The Family category has 2004 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
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JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
COLUMBIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world's most dangerous game.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is pretty entertaining and hilarious, and a surprisingly impressive sequel. It's a good example of "stupid fun," and I mean that in a good way. And it is surprisingly emotional too.

This film takes place in an unknown time, sometime after the 2017 Jumanji. Spencer has gone back into the game and the other three players need to go back to rescue him. However, due to the console being broken, Spencer's grandpa, Eddie and his friend Milo enter the game along with Martha and Fridge, instead of Bethany.

Now, an issue with sequels is the possibility of new viewers being confused and alienated, due to not having seen the first one. However, because Martha and Fridge have to explain the rules of the game to Eddie and Milo, the movie explains the rules to the audience, without it seeming forced.

Speaking of Eddie and Milo, they're a pretty fun inclusion to this film. As a formula changer they work really well and they easily steal the show. They both have a nice chemistry and, having Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart (of all people) acting like elderly men, makes it even funnier. Honestly, the cast is perfect. Of course, all the returning actors are great, especially Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, since they're now playing new characters. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Awkwafina is in this film. She's recently become one of my favorite actresses, so I was really happy when she showed up.

Since this film is a comedy, you're probably wondering how good the comedy is. Overall, this film is pretty hilarious. In the beginning, most of the comedy comes from Eddie and Milo being confused about the game. While this is pretty funny, it does become somewhat repetitive. Thankfully, the film has a lot of really nice details, such as Eddie admiring his tattoos in the game and Fridge freaking out over cake, due to events from the first movie. Plus, the action scenes are really energetic and fun. They are the perfect definition of "stupid fun." They're absolutely ridiculous, but you're still having a blast.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. If you liked the first film I bet you'll like this. The film opens in theaters nationwide December 13, 2019. Look for it.

By Calista Bess, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Jumanji: The Next Level keeps things playable, perhaps surpassing the first. The ensemble cast and direction add newfound levels of entertainment. Anyone interested in the Jumanji franchise must catch this on the biggest screen possible.

The game has changed as the gang returns to Jumanji to rescue one of their own. The players will have to explore parts unknown, from the salty deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to win the world's most dangerous game.

All of the returning original cast is great, and there is a longer setup that allows for further characterization. Alex Wolff and Morgan Turner, as Spencer and Martha, continue their budding romance as Spencer struggles to manage long-distance dating. Madison Iseman and Ser'Darius Blain, as Bethany and Fridge, show their maturity and growth since the first, especially Bethany who is more inclusive and less cliquey. Danny DeVito and Danny Glover, as Eddie and Milo, add heart and dynamic as their grouchy and forgetful antics are always a good laugh. As you may know from the trailers, the roster of characters makes it back, but not everyone is in the same avatar they were last time. Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan effectively play this change. Awkwafina makes a debut and standouts among this roster as her signature fast mouth is always hilarious.

Jake Kasan directs, as he did the first, and this is even better than the first in terms of stylistic choices and pacing. In fact, it captures the feel of a videogame better than the first. Every sequence feels like a level and the special effects are impressive, especially in the bridge chase which is inspired by the likes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the monkeys add pure adrenaline rush. This is truly my favorite scene in the movie.

The message of this film is about teamwork, as the gang is willing to sacrifice themselves to rescue Spencer and leave no one behind. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 due to action, suggestive content and some language. The movie releases in theaters on December 13, 2019, so check it out.

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

Jumanji: The Next Level is one of the most entertaining films I've seen in a while and is an excellent sequel. The movie is funny when it knows to be and serious when called for as well. I do have a concern for this series though, because the entire premise is the same as the original and it could wear out in the near future. Also, some of the tonal switches are really sudden and it throws you off on how to feel in those scenes.

Jumanji: The Next Level takes place two years after the events of the first Jumanji movie. The four friends - Martha, Spencer, Fridge and Bethany - have all gone their separate ways. Over winter break they plan to get back together at a cafe called Nora's. When Spencer gets home he finds out his grandfather is staying with them as he recovers from hip surgery. The night before the meet-up Spencer is feeling lost and goes to find the Jumanji game console, which we thought had been destroyed. The following morning Martha, Fridge and Bethany show up at Nora's and wait for Spencer. They call him and he doesn't pick, which makes them suspicious. So they go to his house where he cannot be found anywhere. Suddenly they hear ominous drumming so they check the basement where a fixed Jumanji console sits.

My favorite part of this movie is the expansion of the already interesting video game world. They keep the video game aspect of the non-playing characters that serve the same purpose as the first film, but give them slight alterations like a classic video game. They also expand on the weaknesses and skills of each of the characters based on what's coming, as a video game should.

This movie has some amazing star power! My personal favorites are Danny DeVito and Karen Gillan. Danny DeVito is a veteran actor who has starred in films such as The Rainmaker and L.A. Confidential. On the other side of the age spectrum is Karen Gillan, an amazing young actress known for playing Nebula in the MCU and Amy Pond, the companion to the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who.

The message of this movie is the same as the original Jumanji - be yourself because ultimately that's what matters most. This movie will appeal most to fans of the first installment of the series and The Fast and Furious movies. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, but adults will enjoy it as well. I give Jumanji: The Next Level 3.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters December 12, 2019. Look for it.

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

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


TWO POPES, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TWO POPES, THE
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - An intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world. Inspired by true events.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie. Even though the subject of this movie is based on a religious story, it is filled with humor, sport and a fascinating storyline. The acting is also magnificent and the best part of the movie.

The Two Popes is inspired by true events telling the story of Pope Benedict being elected following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and Pope Francis being elected in 2013 when Pope Benedict resigned. During this time, the Catholic Church is losing followers and is in the midst of various scandals. Cardinal Bergoglio, who ultimately becomes Pope Francis, is one of Pope Benedict's harshest critics as he is frustrated with the Catholic Church and wants to retire. Pope Benedict invites Cardinal Bergoglio to Rome not to discuss his retirement, but to discuss other matters, including a scandal that the Catholic Church is facing that could ruin its stability.

I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would and I learned a lot about the Papal election process. Even if you are not Catholic, you will still like it. The movie also uses real footage of some of the events.

Jonathan Pryce (Pope Francis) and Anthony Hopkins (Pope Benedict) are absolutely brilliant playing their parts. As a bonus, they even look like the real life popes that they are playing. My favorite character is Pope Benedict because he slips a joke in whenever he can - even if the joke is not funny.

The message of The Two Popes is that it's okay to have different opinions and if you work hard enough together you can find common ground. This movie has some bad language, some disturbing violent images and some discussion of child abuse. It is rated PG-13.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, and adults will really like this movie. This movie is on Netflix December 20, 2019.

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

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


KARMA OF BOCCE, THE
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KARMA OF BOCCE, THE
DUNCAN PUTNEY
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Description - A young boy meets a young girl at a local park. They watch her grandfather and his elderly friends play bocce as she reads the boy a story, his imagination is set free and he watches the heavens move with every toss in the old men's game.

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

DARK WATERS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DARK WATERS
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - From Participant (Spotlight, Green Book), DARK WATERS tells the shocking and heroic story of an attorney (Mark Ruffalo) who risks his career and family to uncover a dark secret hidden by one of the world's largest corporations and to bring justice to a community dangerously exposed for decades to deadly chemicals.

Corporate environmental defense attorney Rob Bilott (Academy Award�-nominee Mark Ruffalo) has just made partner at his prestigious Cincinnati law firm in large part due to his work defending Big Chem companies. He finds himself conflicted after he's contacted by two West Virginia farmers who believe that the local DuPont plant is dumping toxic waste in the area landfill that is destroying their fields and killing their cattle. Hoping to learn the truth about just what is happening, Bilott, with help from his supervising partner in the firm, Tom Terp (Academy Award�-winner Tim Robbins), files a complaint that marks the beginning of an epic 15-year fight--one that will not only test his relationship with his wife, Sarah (Academy Award�-winner Anne Hathaway) but also his reputation, his health and his livelihood.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dark Waters is a compelling look at one man's fight against the corrupt practices of a multi-billion dollar company.

Based on a true story, Dark Waters follows Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate lawyer who gets a call from a family friend named Wilbur (Bill Camp) about a disturbance on his farm in West Virginia. Over 100 of Wilbur's cows have died and he suspects it has something to do with the creek running through his property. Wilbur's hunch becomes a frightening truth as Rob investigates decades' worth of wrong-doing by the DuPont chemical company.

Mark Ruffalo portrayal of Rob Bilott is excellent. He's plays the legal scenes with conviction, but he feels more like a vessel to receive information than a fully- formed character. We see plenty of Bilott's moral standards, but we rarely get a sense of what drives him to do the work he does or who he is emotionally. It makes it harder to fully connect with and invest in his character. A performance worth noting with much less screen time is Bill Pullman as lawyer Harry Dietzler. Pullman gives Dark Waters a boost of energy. He's not comedic relief, but he's certainly a breath of fresh air.

Todd Haynes's direction is both impressive and overbearing. Haynes has a flair for stylistic flourishes in his other films and here the moody, muted lighting that clouds much of the film creates a feeling of anxiety that makes every step of Rob's journey and what he discovers uncomfortable in a way that's very effective. By the same token, the color scheme is dark and dreary throughout and the film ends up with a dull sheen and a tone that feels at times heavy-handed.

An aspect of the filmmaking I love is the use of tracking shots to show not only the lives that DuPont destroyed, but the communities too. Dark Waters is unflinching when it comes to depicting the consequences of DuPont's malpractice. It tells and more specifically, shows it, in a way that rightfully stirs up an audience reaction of anger and injustice.

I recommend Dark Waters for ages 12 to 18 for some shocking images and brief language. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. If you're looking for a good or feel-good time at the cinema for the holidays, this isn't it, but Dark Waters is definitely an informative and important film. Dark Waters opens in theaters November 27, 2019.

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

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - This artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career.

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

WHEN I FIND YOU
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHEN I FIND YOU
XI WANG
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 10 TO 18
Description - A toy car and a puppet grew up with a girl together. Nowadays, she doesn't play with them anymore because she is addicted to play video games too much. The toy car and the puppet feel so sad about it so they run away from home.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

HOUSE OF CARDIN
HOUSE OF CARDIN
2 OF EACH, INC. Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Millions know the iconic logo and ubiquitous signature but few know the man behind the larger than life label. Ultimately we seek to answer the question: Who is Pierre Cardin? What is the story behind this legendary icon? House of Cardin is a rare peek into the mind of a genius, an authorized feature documentary chronicling the life and design of Cardin. A true original, Mr. Cardin has granted the directors exclusive access to his archives and his empire, and unprecedented interviews at the sunset of a glorious career.

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

AERONAUTS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AERONAUTS, THE
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - In 1862, pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) teams up with daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. While their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world, they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love The Aeronauts because the visual effects are so realistic and you feel as if you're actually there, living in that timeline! This is such a dramatic and romantic film. It's so rich in remarkable acting and amazing back-stories of characters. The actors really bring life to their roles, making it seem like they aren't actors at all, but actual people in the 1800s.

The storyline is about a young widow Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) and a scientist James Glashier (Eddie Redmayne). Amelia is a brave and courageous woman who wants to make a difference. James is a scientist who wants his ideas to be heard. They both go into a gas-air-balloon to try to make discoveries which would change the world entirely. In this epic journey, and what seems to be a crazy idea at the time because, James says he wants to try and predict the weather, they learn about themselves and each other. The more you watch the movie the more you learn about the characters' pasts, which is just one of the reasons why I love this film.

My absolute favorite part of the film is when James goes to visit his father, Arthur Glaisher (Tom Courtenay) and they talk about how beautiful the twinkling stars are at night. The costume designer, Alexandra Byrne has made some amazing costumes. I really love them. They really suit the 1800s setting. An absolutely remarkable detail in this film is that everything done in the balloon actually happened. This film is inspired from a true story and the balloon actually aloft in real life during producing the film.

The message of this film is to live life at its fullest because, life is short. You can't change in the world if you don't try.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. You can find this film in the theatres December 6 and on Amazon Prime December 20, 2019.

Reviewed by Bella B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


FROZEN II (2019)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FROZEN II (2019)
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In Frozen, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In Frozen II, she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award�-winning team--directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez--and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Frozen 2 opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I must admit. I love Disney. I loved the very original Frozen and love Frozen II! The music is captivating, as are the loveable characters we fell in love with when Frozen debuted in 2013. The core characters, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf and Sven are back and living seemingly normal, happy lives in Arendelle. Olaf ratchets up the comedy and has a plethora of entertaining lines and musical trips down memory lane.

Everyone has grown-up a bit since we last saw the fine people of Arendelle. Kristoff can't get out of his own way in his desire to propose to Anna and life seems to be merry for all, until a calling is felt by Queen Elsa and the group goes in search of answers in the Enchanted Forest, a forbidden place. Along the way, we meet new characters including Mattias (Sterling K. Brown), Yelana (Martha Plimpton) and Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews). They all have a part as Anna and Elsa's quest to learn their family history begins and it gets a little dark as many ventures into the past can be.

When it comes to music, I predict "Into the Unknown" is going to become this year's "Let It Go." I'd be willing to predict the Golden Globe and the Academy Awards nomination for Best Original Song. I also predict Disney will sell millions of iguanas over the holidays. Disney's sequel to Frozen has a built-in fan base, and the Disney marketing machine partnered with the world to ensure we know the film opens just before Thanksgiving, in plenty of time to entertain the entire family!

I give this film 4.5 of 5 stars for its beautiful animation, music and comedy. I would have loved more character development, especially for the new characters. This film will appeal to ages 3 to 18. There is one segment which may appear scary to younger children. Frozen II opens in theaters November 22, 2019. See it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, Ageless

We have dived into the unknown with Disney's latest installment to its chilly universe of Frozen with Frozen II. As a big Disney fan, I can honestly say Frozen was never one of my favorites, as after a while I think we can all agree that building a snowman is anything that you'd like to hear again. I must say though, this sequel is filled with tons of hilarious and amazing surprises.

The film starts in the past, giving us a peek at Elsa and Anna as children, playing with snow in their rooms. We see their parents and get to know them a little better as they tell the sisters a story about an enchanted forest that neighbored the kingdom of Arendelle. What happens next sends the story full-throttle into a whirlwind of emotions as Elsa sets out on a dangerous, but remarkable path of events, that ultimately teaches the pair of sisters how to fix what's been broken and to make things right.

In Frozen, we watched Elsa take the throne of Arendelle and come to terms with her magic. Despite this, we just barely got to see who Elsa truly was. Frozen II gives us everything that we missed out on in the first film, and powerfully gives us an inside look at her mannerisms, thought process, hardships and more. We see her struggle more with her truth, and more specifically her past, as she's itching to know who she really is and where she possibly came from. She's not the only character we see develop though, as Olaf turns into a far more mature little snowman and offers tons of fun facts and questions for audiences to hear along the way. Much like her sister, we see a very different Anna in this film. With crazy mood swings, endless bravery and one big leap of faith, we see the princess grow from fear and confusion into confidence and faith. There is no doubt that you'll get to enjoy all the new sides to these iconic characters.

There are a handful of new characters, one of which is the cute little salamander, Bruni. Surprisingly enough, he is quite the powerful and pivotal character. And of course, how can we forget about Sven and Kristoff? This legendary duo smashes it on the big screen with their great chemistry and 80s rock ballad--oh, yeah. You might want to prepare yourself for some crazy Kristoff vocals.

Disney once again knocks it out of the park with their incredibly detailed animation. Every frame of the movie feels immersive and looks stunning. I still can't wrap my head around the countless amount of hours it must have taken to create a flowing stream of water, and it is done so flawlessly. The soundtrack itself is quite catchy. I've been humming multiple songs to myself since I left the theatre and I only just realized it. With its perfect moments of tenderness and just the right amount of hilarity, Frozen II is set to be a hit for families everywhere.

Frozen II is rated PG for its action, peril and some thematic elements. I recommend this film to ages 5 to 18, as well as adults and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now, so don't miss it.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 21
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Frozen II is a beautiful continuation of one of the greatest animated films ever made. We know the story and characters from the 2013 film, so it's not as original, surprising and innovative as the first one, but as the story evolves so does the animation. The characters grow in their arc, becoming more mature, with stronger relationships and technically, Frozen II is a much better film than its predecessor.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven have become a family. Now, they try to discover the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their Kingdom because it seems as if Elsa has awakened some powerful spirits. They leave Arendelle, their hometown, and embark into a Nordic odyssey, in the impetuous fall, where they will face dangers and will meet new characters.

During the film's 103 minutes, we are delighted with seven new songs, most of them as iconic as those in the previous film and 19 score tracks. "Into the Unknown" stays with you and I'm sure we will hear this beautiful composition at the Oscar ceremony. Frozen II feels like a musical at times and that just makes the movie better.

The story is well narrated and easy to follow for little ones. Sisterhood is a powerful force and the bond between Anna and Elsa only strengths during the whole movie.

Frozen II is absolutely eye candy with a beautiful color palette similar to the original adding the warm tones of autumn. The filmmakers traveled to Finland, Iceland and Norway for inspiration. They consulted with a botanist in Oslo to make sure the forest resembles the authentic vegetation there. The animation is not just beautiful, but also a great representation of the Nordic folklore and the geography of the places.

We can also appreciate the advances in technology in the new characters. Among the most challenging to animate are Nokk, the water spirit and Gale, the wind spirit. The costumes are very detailed and gorgeous and, even Olaf gets to wear one!

The actors from the original cast reprise their roles and Jason Ritter makes his Disney debut as the voice of Ryder. My favorite characters are Brunni, the salamander and Olaf played by Josh Gad. Olaf is very funny and his character becomes bigger in this sequel. My favorite scenes are the ones where the characters are discovering the elements in the forest, because each one represents a new challenge.

The message of the film is about creating your own destiny and not being afraid of growing up.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16, as well as adults. Frozen II opens November 22, 2019. Be sure to check it out!

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

I love Frozen II so much, because the animation is so fantastic and it is so great to see all the characters come back together for a whole new adventure. In the first movie Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) rediscovered being sisters. In this movie, which takes place three years after the original, their closeness as sisters is stronger than ever.

The movie starts off in the past with Anna and Elsa's parents telling Anna and Elsa about the enchanted forest. Their mom sings them a lullaby about a secret place full of magical powers. Then we fast forward to present time and Elsa hears a mysterious voice that calls her into the North Woods and the adventure begins. Along the way they meet the Northuldra, a tribe of people who live in the enchanted forest that are connected with the elements. On this journey Anna and Elsa find out about their parents' past and Elsa finds out who and what she really is.

Frozen II has seven new original songs and all new characters that help Elsa on her journey to discover who she is and the origin of her powers. "Lost in the Woods" sung by Kristoff; it is so funny because it has all these inside jokes from old music videos. There are also two great songs sung by Elsa - "Into the Unknown" and "Show Yourself." Plus, Olaf (Josh Gad) also has a really fun song called "When I am Older'' and Anna sings a song too.

Throughout this movie Olaf become smarter and much funnier. It's a really great experience to see that happen to our favorite little lovable snowman. This movie has a lot of comedy, adventure and touching moments.

The message of this film is to follow your heart and listen to your gut, because if you do, there could be a huge adventure waiting for you. Another important message in the movie is that family is important and will always be there for you; so don't ever turn them away when they offer to help.

I give Frozen II, 5 out of 5 snowflakes and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will love it too! You can catch it in theaters November 22, 2019. Look for it.

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

Frozen II is an exciting animated adventure with lots of laughs! The bright, lively animation really gives character to everyone in this movie. The new songs and exciting story make this film a great choice for the whole family.

Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) set off on a quest with their friends Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and trusted reindeer Sven. They're following a mysterious voice that only Elsa can hear; in hopes of finding the enchanted forest their father told them about when they were kids. Along the way, they encounter spirits of air, water, earth, and fire, and they learn of a mysterious fifth spirit that they must find. Elsa and Anna work together to right a wrong from the past, even though this may mean sacrificing everything.

Frozen II has lots of great new songs that help tell the story, but nothing as catchy as those in the original film. There is no main villain or antagonist, just a lot of angry spirits to deal with. The audience at the screening I attended really loved the sequence where Olaf treats some new characters to a hilarious recap of the first Frozen movie. The costume designers must have had a lot of fun designing the intricate costumes and Elsa and Anna both change clothes lots of times throughout the film. The animators have done some pretty incredible things, from making a horse out of water, to creating a flaming salamander. My favorite part is a funny song Olaf sings about how everything will make sense when he's older.

The message of this film is that when you feel that you've lost all hope, you should do the next right thing. Parents should be aware that some beloved characters are in grave danger and young children might be upset by what befalls them. There are some really dark moments when even the usually optimistic Anna thinks all is lost. However, there are some great messages about bravery in the face of danger and doing the right thing despite the cost to yourself.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 6 to 12 and I believe adults will like it too. You can see Frozen II in theaters everywhere starting November 22, 2019.

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

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


BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Two-time Oscar�-winner Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. He seemed like the nicest man on the planet. Casting the nicest actor on the planet as Fred Rogers was brilliant. Mr. Hanks brings the deliberate-speaking teacher to life in a way I can't describe. I'm betting Tom Hanks will be nominated for many awards for this role. He becomes Fred Rogers in the film.

Kindness is so simple. This film is a beautiful and timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. In the film his character is named Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) and he is grumpy and not interested in an assigned puff-piece profile of Fred Rogers. Throughout the film, he works through his skepticism, and learns kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.

The real lesson is learned by Lloyd as he works through issues of fathers, his own (Chris Cooper) and his new role as a father. The film is moving and brings forth many emotions - from grief to sadness to joy, and everything in between. Lloyd's wife, Andrea (Susan Kelechi Watson) is the bridge between Lloyd's family pain and his future as a better Dad.

Lloyd spoke to my heart and begs the audience to feel emotions and be kind, clean up family messes and listen to others when help is needed. I believe every person who sees this film will be moved. The depth of Fred Rogers reach is felt on a public subway. I have not been able to forget this scene since I screened the film.

I give this film 4 of 5 stars for its beautiful theme, set design and character development. At times, it is slow, yet is parallels Mr. Rogers' pace so I'm not sure if this was intentional or a flaw. This film will appeal to ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens in theaters on November 22, 2019. See it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, ageless
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's definitely A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood when Tom Hanks portrays the iconic Mister Rogers. The message is timely and needed now more than ever. This movie is not what I expected. You learn about Mr. Rogers' through his relationship with a man who didn't want to be his friend or neighbor. It's a message that we all need to hear.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on a true life story about the relationship that develops between Fred Rogers and a cynical reporter who is loath to interview him for a piece on American heroes. In the movie, the reporter is Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) who gives an amazing performance. Through his interactions with Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), Vogel begins to understand that part of him is broken. The healing process begins as their friendship develops and you see Fred Rogers teaching him to understand, accept and voice his emotions and feelings. It is beautiful. Tom Hanks is masterful in this role at bringing out the transformation of his friend.

In addition to Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys, the cast has other powerful performances, notably Chris Cooper who plays Lloyd's dad, Jerry Vogel. Christine Lahti, as Lloyd's Editor Ellen, pushes him to work on the hero piece and adds a touching element to the movie as well. The film is directed by Marielle Heller and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Music plays an important role in this movie and is by Nate Heller. The scenes of Mr. Rogers playing the piano along with the behind-the-scenes of the television show during filming of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood are particularly moving.

The message of this film is that anyone can change the world with words. It's a powerful message that we often forget. Listen and think before you speak, as your words impact others. Fred Rogers finds a positive way to help others express their feelings, which is not an easy thing to do, although he makes it look easy. Forgiveness and redemption are another theme in this film.

I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 and adults will love it as well. The film opens in theaters November 22, 2019 so don't miss it this Thanksgiving season!

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


CHARLIE'S ANGELS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHARLIE'S ANGELS
COLUMBIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally. With the world's smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, there are now teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys taking on the toughest jobs everywhere.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film was immensely entertaining and a joy to watch. While I'm unable to judge this film as a reboot, I can judge this as a girl power film.

The story follows a trio of women known as Charlie's Angels as they attempt to track down a dangerous piece of technology that can kill people with electric pulses.

This film is a reboot of a very well-known franchise. Charlie's Angels was originally a TV show in the 70s. While I knew very little about the franchise, my mom is a huge fan. From what I've gathered, this movie is a pretty loving remake, with some neat callbacks. This is definitely a film that can be enjoyed by people who aren't fans. It is the perfect film for those who want a fun female-empowerment movie.

Speaking of which, this film is very much about the friendship between the three Angels - Jane, Sabina and Elena. Jane is played by Ella Balinska. Sabina is played by Kristen Stewart and Elena is played by Naomi Scott. The three have amazing chemistry, each with their own unique personality and characteristics. I love all three of them a lot. You really do buy that these women have become good friends and they work well together. Of course, the Angels aren't the only amazing characters in this cast. Elizabeth Banks, who also wrote and directed this film, plays Bosley and she's a really fun character. Elizabeth Banks plays a perfect mentor. There's also Jonny Smith, who seems to be a throwaway character at first, but he is weirdly endearing. The actor, Chris Pang, is strangely charismatic and he ended up being one of my favorite characters in the film.

The film consists of a lot of awesome action and espionage scenes. There's some really impressive and honestly quite tense action segments and the espionage is really fun and clever. The gadgets they use are designed really well, in that they are both creative and stylish. Honestly this whole film has a really nice aesthetic, especially the house where the final fight takes place. There are all these bright colorful lights and glass walls with images projected onto them that look amazing.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It releases on November 15, 2019. Look for it. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


RAISING DION
RAISING DION
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - A single mother must hide her young son's superpowers to protect him from exploitation while investigating their origins and her husband's death.

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

FORD V FERRARI
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FORD V FERRARI
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ford V Ferrari is a pure adrenaline rush from start to finish. It's an absolutely thrilling film that fires on all cylinders.

Ferrari dominates the annual 24-hour race at Le Mans for much of the 1960s. Ford decides to throw their hat in the ring, in hopes that a victory at Le Mans will raise their struggling sales. The former racer turned car designer Carrol Shelby (Matt Damon) and his difficult, but passionate racer pal Ken Miles (Christian Bale) are both brought on to help Ford craft a car to get to the finish line.

Beneath the technical polish and gloss of Ford V Ferrari, the friendship between Shelby and Miles is the heart of the film. Christian Bale and Matt Damon are a large part of what makes this film work so well. This is their first movie together and yet, they interact with the ease of old friends. Their performances complement each other. You get really invested in this on-screen duo with an absurd amount of charm exuding from the screen.

We all love a good underdog and this film is a classic underdog story. Ford V Ferrari isn't just about the race at Le Mans, but more about the human struggles encountered to get there. Pride and jealousy constrict Miles and Shelby at times, but the rigid corporate system of Ford Motor Company poses a greater challenge. Ford V Ferrari is an expansive, mesmerizing real-life story that feels perfect for the cinematic medium.

Ford V Ferrari puts you in the driver's seat with the racers, but not in the way I was expecting. The stellar sound design and mixing are some of the best and extremely transportive. They give the racing sequences not just an immersive quality, but a transcendent one. James Mangold's direction is excellent. He gives you sequences that put you on the edge of your seat and capture your gaze. More so, Mangold has a strong grasp on pacing. The film knows when to slow down and emphasize character and emotion and when to boost its engine and hightail it to the next scene. In a film this long, it's remarkable that it feels as breezy as it does. Even if you know this story start to finish, the skill, technically and narrative in which it's told make this ride one easily worth taking.

I recommend Ford V Ferrari for ages 7 to 14 for language. Even if you're not a race car fanatic, there's a good chance you'll love this film. I happily give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is easily one of my favorites of the year. Ford V Ferrari zooms into theaters November 15, 2019.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 24

Ford v Ferrari is an emotionally charged fast-track to the world of automobile racing. You'll be on the edge of your seat as you learn about race car driver and American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and the amazingly fearless British race car driver and engineer Ken Miles, who build a revolutionary race car for the Ford Motor Company. Together they strategize and compete to best the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the world's oldest endurance race - the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The entire cast of this film is superb and their performances are hopefully award-winning. The cast is lead by Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles. Both actors are inspiring to watch; their interaction and relationship is gripping as they hurtle through space and time. Each actor contributes to this magnificent story and fuels the emotional journey. There are so many breakout performances in this film that they each deserve a Lap of Honour.

Ford v Ferrari is directed by James Mangold and casting is by Ronna Kress. The production team enhanced this story with exquisite film editing, carefully chosen locations, excellent wardrobe, stunts and effects. You really feel as if you are there in the 1960s, experiencing this time and mindset.

There are so many messages in this film, including the value of teamwork, perseverance, loyalty, honor and questioning and knowing who you are. On the race track lives depend on the pit crew and your support team in life is equally important to your ultimate direction.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. The film opens in theaters November 15, 2019, so don't miss it!

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Selene W., age 11

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


LADY AND THE TRAMP (2019)
LADY AND THE TRAMP (2019)
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Lady and the Tramp tells the story of an upper-middle-class American cocker spaniel named Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) who meets a street-smart, downtown stray Schnauzer called the Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux), and the two embark on many romantic adventures including that iconic spaghetti smooch scene. Directed by Charlie Bean and written by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film is a live-action adaptation of Walt Disney's 1955 animated film of the same name, which was based on the Cosmopolitan magazine story of "Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog" by Ward Greene. It is dedicated to Chris Reccardi, co-creator of the Modifyers, and a storyboard artist who died in May 2019.

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

JOJO RABBIT
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JOJO RABBIT
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wow! I was stunned by this film. I heard people talking about it after seeing it at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year and couldn't wait to see it. Taika's masterful control of a highly charged subject, the Holocaust, turning it into a dark comedy is pulled off in the most remarkable way. The cast is superb, starting with Roman Griffin Davis, whose innocence draws you in from the opening scene and somehow he holds onto it, even as he discovers truths that threaten his ideals and beliefs that he has held fast. His invisible friend Adolf Hitler, played by Taika Waititi, comes in like a big surprise. You want to laugh at his antics, and not laugh because he is Hitler. In the end, you laugh, because the entire film makes you do that. Scarlett Johansson, as Jojo's mom is warm and slightly off kilter. You se her passion for her young son and for "doing the right thing." You're not surprised at what happens to her, as horrific as it is. Thomasin McKenzie, as Elsa, the young Jewish girl living in the attic plays her role beautifully and her relationship with Jojo develops realistically as his eyes are opened to the idea that Jews are not what he's been told at Hitler's youth camp. The ending is satisfyingly appropriate. We can only imagine what happens next. 5 out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really love Jojo Rabbit. It is a work of art and definitely deserves so many nominations for the award season. It is a beautiful story told in a very original way, but some people may not fully understand everything, especially if you don't know much about World War II.

This storyline is about a boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who lives in Nazi Germany and is in one of Hitler's youth training camps. He constantly talks to his imaginary friend, who is a child-like version of Adolf Hitler. One day, he finds out that his mom (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin Mackenzie) in their home. As the film goes on, Jojo discovers the truth about the Nazi world and the Jews as well. By discovering Elsa and the development of their friendship, Jojo starts questioning his ideals and loyalties.

This film is a dark comedy and a satire of one of the most horrific events in history, the Holocaust. This was a very dark time in the world and somehow Taika Waititi (the director) turns this tragic time into a remarkable comedy. The narration in this film is really good and the story unfolds very easily. I didn't really know much about World War II, and the film doesn't really address why Hitler was bad, but this is not a documentary. It doesn't refer to many facts of the Holocaust; it really addresses Jojo's struggles and is a story about tolerance and how love overcomes bigotry.

The acting is very good. I especially love the performance of Taika Waititi who plays the imaginary Hitler. Sam Rockwell plays a very intriguing role as Captain Klenzendorf and Scarlet Johansson is a very loving mother you immediately connect to immediately. Roman Griffin David is the perfect Jojo in this, his acting debut.

One thing that really caught my attention was the music because there are Beatles' songs in German. I like the paradox because the Beatles are, to me, a great expression of love. I really love the idea of using Beatles' songs and found it very creative. The director was inspired by the idolatry Beatles' fans have for this British band. The bright colors contrast with the sadness of the era, representing the illusion of wellness that a lot of Germans felt while they were being brainwashed by the Nazis. The cinematography creates a very warm atmosphere and the wardrobe also shows the elegance of the era.

I like these types of film where they make you research about things that you may not have known about before. After seeing this film I was a little confused, but after doing some research I really saw the beauty of the film. One of my favorite scenes is when Jojo and his mom are on a bike ride together.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. Jojo Rabbit opens November 8, 2019. Be sure to check it out.

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

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


LAST CHRISTMAS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAST CHRISTMAS
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate's barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart ... and you gotta have faith.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Last Christmas is a Christmas tale with an out-of-place musical hook that works better than it should. For a film that hinges much of its story on a single Christmas song, I found myself unexpectedly moved by it. It has a touching story about doing good for others, which we're all capable of, and not letting hardship keep you from reaching your full potential.

Kate (Emilia Clarke) finds her life at a standstill, mostly homeless and frequently drunk with a loss of ambition or drive. She is about to get fired from her job as an elf at a Christmas-themed store when she meets the jovial, yet mysterious Tom (Henry Golding), who helps usher her into a new era of her life. Kate begins to help those she has done wrong and view the world in a more positive light as the Christmas holiday draws near.

Emilia Clarke gives a surprisingly layered performance as Kate. Her character is written fairly blandly, but Clark gives it depth when the screenplay doesn't. Henry Golding plays Tom with exuberance and energy. His thoughtful approach to life makes him a nice foil to Kate's blatant cynicism. Emma Thompson puts on a Slavic accent in a scene-stealing comedic performance as Kate's painfully honest and worrisome mother. There are some moments in this film that are painfully reminiscent of other films in the rom-com lexicon, but there's a consistent charm here throughout, more earnest than contrived. This charm is amplified by the likability of its two leads, Clarke and Golding.

The film's sound tracked is from the music catalog of singer George Michael. They serve as smooth transition between scenes, but at times feel tacked-on and gimmicky and don't fit in with the rest of the film. Last Christmas has a third act that turns the movie on its head and, while the shift isn't shockingly surprising, it's well-executed and re-contextualizes much of what has come before.

I give Last Christmas 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 due to sexual references and language. There's nothing too scandalous, but it's still worth noting. If you're a fan of this genre, you'll probably love this film and its holiday charm is hard to resist. In the end, we go to the movies to be entertained and in that respect; Last Christmas certainly gets the job done. This film comes out in theaters everywhere November 8, 2019. Look for it.

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

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


PLAYING WITH FIRE (2019)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLAYING WITH FIRE (2019)
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Description - When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters come to the rescue of three siblings, they quickly realize that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet -- babysitting. As their lives, jobs and depot get turned upside down, the three men soon learn that children -- much like fires -- are wild and unpredictable.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie because it is very entertaining and super funny. Playing with Fire is a 96 minutes filled with shenanigans. John Cena makes the audience laugh and it is weird to see him with a head full of hair.

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

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

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

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18 and adults can enjoy it too! Playing with Fire comes out in theaters on November 8, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet -- high school. Accompanied by a ragtag group of teens and Boots the monkey, Dora embarks on a quest to save her parents while trying to solve the seemingly impossible mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Fans and newcomers alike should find themselves enthralled with this live-action comedy adventure based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series. A colorful palette, witty dialogue and a strong cast led by Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) as the ever-enthusiastic Dora with support from Michael Pena as her equally excitable father and Eugenio Derbez as the double-crossing Alejandro, bring the story to life. Humorous songs and bits of science are doled out as the chipper heroine makes her way through the wilds of a jungle to foil a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped Dora's adventure-seeking parents in order to lead them to the fabled Lost City of Gold. The home-schooled Dora is accompanied by two very reluctant friends from her new school in the city and her older cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), once Dora's best friend, now embarrassed by her naivete. The mix of high school dramatics and hijinks (including a blue monkey and a devious talking fox) makes for an entertaining, action-packed comedy. The cinematography is crisp and colorful with one eye-popping sequence finding the main characters morphed into their animated versions. At the heart of the consistently funny business is the irrepressible Dora, whose wide-eyed look at the world, keen intellect and natural resourcefulness not only save the day, but prove impossible to resist. Recommended for ages 6 to 18. 5 out of 5 stars. Review by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I really didn't know what to expect from this film. The cartoon TV show version was unique, but was really aimed for young children, ages 3 through 5 years. This movie is a big surprise ! It starts with Dora and her cousin Diego as young kids in the jungle and then Diego leaves for the city and Dora stays in the jungle with her parents and her friend Boots the Monkey. Dora is very bright and is raised by her parents who are professors. Things change and Dora moves to the big city to start high school. Of course, Dora is, well, a bit different, but she is always herself. I like how this film shows that you can and should be yourself. It also teaches preteens and teens about friendship. Most importantly, this is a very entertaining movie! It is filled with adventure and offers a wonderful family friendly movie for children ages 7 through 18. Many adults will love this movie too. It's so much better than the TV show. If you grew up watching the show, you will definitely relate to the main characters - Dora, Diego and Boots the Monkey. I give it 5 stars out of 5 stars. It is coming out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital soon.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love the opening scenes with Dora and Diego playing when they were younger. Dora and the Lost City of Gold includes so many elements from the original beloved series! This scene perfectly transitions from the series into the film. All our favorite characters from the TV show are included in this adventure.

The storyline follows Dora as a young girl who lives deep in the Peruvian jungle with her explorer parents. She spends her days exploring the jungle with her monkey friend Boots, her cousin Diego, and imaginary friends Backpack and Map. When Dora and Diego are young, Diego and his family leave the jungle for city life in Los Angeles while Dora's family remains searching for the hidden city Parapata.

Ten years later, Dora's parents send her to live with Diego and explore the jungle of urban high school. There are many funny scenes in school addressing peer pressure, fitting in and being yourself, which Dora exemplifies. Diego is embarrassed by her behavior and it takes some time for their relationship to get back on track. Dora and friends are kidnapped by mercenaries who try to use them to discover the Lost City of Gold, Parapata. Friends and villains are difficult to discover in their journey, but the gang discovers Parapata and all the secret treasures within.

Isabela Moner absolutely shines as Dora in this film. She IS the character from the TV series come to life. Jeff Wahlberg portrays her cousin Diego and Eva Longoria plays is Dora's mom Elena. Other than Dora, my favorite characters are her friends from the original show. Boots is absolutely adorable and I enjoyed watching Backpack and Map when they appear. The set is spectacularly designed and built. The jungle scenes and Lost City are fabuloso! I love all the cool special effects, especially the booby traps at the end of the movie. I guess you'll just have to watch it to find out more.

There are so many messages in this film such as the value of teamwork, being courageous, being yourself and not succumbing to peer pressure or expectations. Dora finds herself lonely when surrounded by other kids at school, but not lonely when she is alone in the jungle. Throughout the movie Dora and the other characters show these qualities as they work together to find Dora's parents and solve the mystery of Parapata. Dora discovers that exploring new places and people is the real treasure.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12. It releases both digitally and on DVD/Blu-ray in November, 2019. Look for it!

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Paramount Pictures has done it again! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. Deliciouso! Are you ready for a new live action Dora?! If so, you'll love this feature transformation of Nickelodeon's TV show Dora The Explorer. If you have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow up in the jungle, that's a question for Dora and her playful monkey Boots. This film takes you alongside Dora as an explorer learning the jungle's darkest secrets. Buckle up, it's going to get wild.

This film follows Dora, a teenage explorer who leads her friends on a adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind The Lost City Of Gold. Dora spent most of her life exploring the jungles of South America, but nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet, high school. Yes, high school. Dora spent most of her life in academic isolation with her professor parents. Get ready for Dora and her adventures to begin. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.

The lead characters are Dora (Isabela Moner), Elena (Eva Longoria), Boots (Danny Trejo's voice), Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), Swiper (Benicio Del Toro's voice), Dora's Father (Michael Pena) and Diego's Mother (Pia Miller). My favorite character is clearly the favorable Dora who shows strength and courage throughout the film. For example, her parents doubt her, but she has a light inside her that will prove them wrong. She wants to show her friends, family and fellow explorers that, just because she's young, she can be a leader and explore alongside her parents. I love that the film features a predominantly Latinx cast. The Spanish parts feel really natural and funny. The Latina female lead really inspired me in so many ways. I learned from her spirit and her willingness to be herself.

My favorite scene is unquestionably when Dora and her friends find the Lost City of Gold. We see how the treasure hunters have tried stealing something that wasn't their own. This scene definitely shows teamwork, action, decision-making and communication skills.

This film shares an important message about always being yourself. Dora proves this as she enters high school for the first time, after being home schooled. She expresses her own personality and doesn't change for anyone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. There is no bad language or violence or anything to be concerned about. It is available on DVD November 5, 2019. Make sure to go check out this astonishing and adventurous film.

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

V�monos! Dora and the Lost City of Gold sends me back to my not-that-long-ago childhood and reminds me why kids love Dora: she is simple, enthusiastic and an avid explorer! Now a teenager, Dora keeps her spirit and deals with identity, like most teens nowadays do, and continues teaching us lessons--and some Spanish. ("V�monos" means "let's go!")

In this live-action movie, Dora (Isabela Moner) goes to the city to explore . . . high school! The jungle seems to be her natural habitat, so when Dora arrives in the city she seems a bit lost and confused. There she meets with her cousin Diego. She doesn't know much about what going to school is and real life in a city seems more dangerous than the jungle does. On a field trip, Dora goes back to doing what she knows best: having adventures. Dora and some classmates accidentally end up in the jungle, and she helps her parents solve a mystery and find the Lost City of Gold.

I love that this film keeps the essence of the original Dora animated series and brings to the big screen elements from the TV show, like some of the animated characters. I like that family is important to Dora, and that she is a good example for younger children. The acting is very good and everyone fits nicely in their roles. Eugenio Derbez, one of the producers of the film, is surrounded with a great group of actors. He plays Alejandro Gutierrez, an explorer related to Dora, although she doesn't know him well. Eva Longoria and Michael Pe�a play Dora's parents, and they are funny and add a warm touch. Isabela Moner is the perfect Dora: she totally embodies the tone of the little girl while playing a teenager.

The story is a little predictable but overall is entertaining. The sets are not perfect, but they serve the purpose. I was actually excited to see the film since Dora is such a classic and 2020 (next year) will be the 20th anniversary of the character. The message of the film is: family comes first, and you don't have to change who you are to fit into society.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 4 to 14. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019.

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

I love Dora and the Lost City of Gold much more than I thought I would! The live-action movie is light-hearted, full of comedy and adventure, and stays true to the original Dora the Explorer TV series.

The movie follows Dora, a teenager now, who is begrudgingly shipped off from the jungles of Peru to Los Angeles, California to live with her relatives, including her cousin Diego. Dora struggles to assimilate in high school and has difficulty making friends. Meanwhile, her parents who are professors and explorers, go missing while on their latest quest to find the Lost City of Gold. Through a series of events, Dora and her new friends are off to save the day!

As someone who grew up watching the show, Dora the Explorer, I am delighted at all the little tidbits in the movie that are reminiscent of the cartoon. Dora speaks to the camera, carries her nifty backpack everywhere she goes and she throws in a Spanish word every once in awhile - "Can you say Delicioso?"

Isabela Moner portrays Dora so well. She fits the part perfectly; looks like her cartoon counterpart; sounds like her and is Peruvian herself! She is upbeat, and as one of the characters in the movie says, has a "relentless good-natured spirit." Though I initially thought the movie would be cheesy, I enjoy Isabela's comedic timing. She carries the movie as its heroin.

Dora's best friend, Boots (a monkey) and nemesis, Swiper (a fox) join her in this adventure. They are the only two characters who are in CGI. Though it might be have been created like this on purpose, I find the graphics of these two characters too cartoony. They stand out too much from the live-action cast.

The message of the movie is to stay true to yourself, which is the advice given to Dora early on. Because Dora stays true to herself, she is able to conquer both the high school and jungle worlds.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, because of its youthful nature. You can find it on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Mia G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a hilarious film for all ages. I love this film because it makes me laugh out loud! This is definitely my newest favorite movie. Thanks to the clever script by Nicholas Stoller, there are lots of funny lines that bring smiles and amusement to the audience.

This live-action movie is about the animated Nickelodeon series character Dora, who is played by Isabela Moner. Dora is all grown up now, and her family's circumstances lead her to move from the jungle to a different kind of jungle: high school. Her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) tries to help her get used to living in the city, but he finds that it is a difficult job. The ever-positive and happy Dora doesn't truly understand the pressures that high school kids face, nor does she see the negativity they aim at her for being different. She doesn't really make friends until she is forced into a situation to solve a big problem.

The actors all represent their characters very well. They look and sound a lot like the original characters from the TV show, as well! Dora's father is played by Michael Pena. Dora's mother is played by Eva Longoria, a popular actress who adults will recognize.

There are lots of special effects in this film. For example, Boots, Dora's monkey, and Swiper, the bad-guy fox, are CGI, but to me they look very real. I would love to share more special effects with you, but you have to see the movie first. There are some fun surprises in this movie that you need to see to believe!

The message of this movie is a great one for all ages: If we stop judging each other and start working together, we can solve big problems!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is rated PG. I recommend it for ages 3 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well, especially the ones who have watched the cartoon version with their kids. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being fun and funny. You should go see this with your whole family! Dora and the Lost City of Gold comes out on DVD November 5, 2019.

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

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an exciting, thrilling and adventurous film that brings back your fun childhood memories. It has action, comedy and even some life lessons throughout the story. It's also very enjoyable to watch with the family, so you'll all have great fun and laughs at the theatre.

The storyline is about Dora growing up as a teenage explorer trying to survive the "scary" life of high school. Dora is figuring out a way to fit in at high school and trying to save her parents at the same time. With the help of Dora's friends and older cousin Diego, the team try to save The Lost City Of Gold.

Some things that stand out in this film are the exotic setting and the ancient artwork they use. Also the production of the film is amazing and impressive, turning an animated TV show into a hit live-action movie. "Big ups" to producers Eugenio Derbez and Kristin Burr for the outstanding work. They play a big role in creating Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Dora faces many challenges in this movie, but one challenge really takes a toll on her. High school can be a difficult transition for some people. But Dora stays herself and is the best she can be even when some make fun of her and bully her. No matter what, Dora keeps striving past those obstacles. So the message that is conveyed is to always be yourself in your own unique way.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Make sure you check out Dora and the Lost City of Gold premiering August 9, 2019.

By Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action movie with great actors and certainly is action-packed! It's full of excitement with plenty of expeditions for fans of the original Dora animated series.

The story focuses on Dora, now a teenage explorer, who is most at home in the jungle. Dora (Isabela Moner) is forced to go to the city and attend high school, while her parents search for a lost ancient city. When Dora is on a scavenger hunt field trip, she finds herself and her friends trapped in a crate. Once they escape, they journey into the rainforest.

Most people that are over seven years old might think that the movie will be childish. However, they will love it. It has action, suspense and adventure that everyone will enjoy. My favorite character is Dora because she is happy every day and always has a song to sing. And Isabela Moner is the perfect actress for Dora. Other famous actors in this film include Eva Longoria as Elena and Michael Pena ad Dora's father.

The message of the movie is to be kind to others, don't always trust new people and stay adventurous. Dora and the Lost City of Gold has no bad language, but it has some bad behavior like trying to steal, being mean to others and attempted murder. There are a couple of dangerous things that kids might like to do, such as going in to a rainforest alone and touching unidentified animals.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, and adults will think that the film is cute. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 102 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


HARRIET
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HARRIET
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Harriet is an absolutely terrific movie with superb acting, vivid scenery and authentic 1800s costumes. The movie pulled me into the story line such that I really loved and hated some of the characters by the end of the movie.

Harriet is about the life of Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist and political activist. She was born into slavery, along with her whole family. One day, she decides that she has had enough and wants to be free, along with her husband who is already free. She escapes from her cruel masters and flees to Pennsylvania on her own. She then becomes a conductor of the Underground Railroad.

Going into the movie, I didn't know that much about Harriet Tubman, other than she was an escaped slave and part of the Underground Railroad. She was much more than that! And I am quite surprised that there has not been a movie made about her story before this. There are some fantastic actors in this movie, including Cynthia Erivo who plays Harriet Tubman, Leslie Odom Jr. (William Still) and Janelle Monae (Marie Buchanon). My favorite character is Harriet Tubman, because she was such a courageous woman and Cynthia Erivo made me believe she was actually Harriet Tubman.

There are so many positive messages in this movie, but my list includes the importance of family, the impact of a courageous women and the power of faith in hard times. This movie has some profanity, a few gory scenes and dead bodies. As you might expect in a movie taking place in a time when slavery existed, there are risky things that kids might try to imitate.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters November 1, 2019.

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

Harriet is a sincere tribute to the real-life freedom fighter. Excellent performances and a developed story add layers of entertainment. Anyone interested in documentaries or the subject material must watch this.

The story tells the heroic tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's most influential figures. The film recounts how her courage and intelligence freed hundreds of slaves and changed history as we know it.

Cynthia Erivo, as Harriet Tubman, brings out something award-worthy. This actress of Broadway fame launches her star potential to greater heights as she perfectly captures Tubman's appearance on top of her distinguishing characteristics. The film is truly a vehicle for Cynthia's many talents. Other cast members include Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still and Janelle Monae as Marie. While Odom Jr.'s role is relatively one-note as someone Tubman sends runaways to, Monae adds heart to Marie as she settles Tubman for city life. As the film progresses, a heartbreaking scene sticks its landing due to the dynamic between the two.

Kasi Lemmons aptly directs, as the story is told chronologically. However, the cinematography does leave a little bit more to be desired, as it lacks nuance and something of interest, during extended dialogue-heavy scenes. Due to this, I felt the runtime and was left desiring the thrilling rescues that follow. It is worth mentioning that you must be interested in American history, or else you will truly remain bored during its two-hour runtime. My favorite scene is Tubman's first escape, because a thrilling scene follows where Tubman jumps downstream into the river rather than get captured. It is truly a testament to Tubman's courage and agility.

The message of this film is that Tubman always stands for justice and treats even her opponents fairly; really everything Tubman stands for speaks truth in heroic qualities. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to violence, thematic content and language, including racial slurs. The movie releases in theaters on November 1, 2019, so check it out.

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

There are a lot of good things to take away from this movie. After seeing this film, I have a very different perspective of Harriet Tubman. I learned that she was a very strong woman.

The storyline is about Harriet Tubman's amazing journey in leading slaves to freedom and how she fought for what she believed in. Harriet Tubman's real name was Araminta Ross; she chose her new name to symbolize her freedom. Harriet had a very strong belief in God and used that to guide her. She walked 100 miles to reach freedom and made 13 trips getting other slaves to freedom. She freed 70 slaves and traveled 1,300 miles total. The bad guys called her 'Moses the slave stealer,' but she was doing the right thing.

This film is very well made. Everything looks very realistic and the actors truly embody their characters. Harriet takes place at a farm starting in 1840. The woman who becomes Harriet Tubman began her life as a slave at the Thompson plantation in Maryland. The movie retells the events of her life very accurately. Cynthia Erivo, who gives a wonderful performance, plays Harriet Tubman. Joe Alwyn plays her master, Gideon, who's portrayal of the bad guy really made me hate him. Janelle Monae plays Marie, a very good friend of Harriet's. Leslie Odom Jr. plays William Still, who helps Harriet find a home and a job when she gets to freedom.

I give Harriet 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18, because it has a lot of very violent scenes, including some where people are killed. It also shows how horrible slavery actually was. Some of these scenes are heartbreaking and very difficult to watch. There is also a lot of racially offensive language.

Harriet comes out in theaters November 1, 2019 so be sure to look for it!

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

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


MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is the great bad queen! As you may recall, Maleficent is the evil queen from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. As her character came to life, it is a dark reminder of how electric this actress is, and how good it is to be bad!

Jolie rocked this role in 2014's Maleficent, a film re-imagined from the character's point-of-view. It was dark and scary, and the costumes reminded me of Halloween.

This film centers on a clash between Maleficent and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), Mother of Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), a human royal from a nearby kingdom who wants to marry Aurora (Elle Fanning), Maleficent's human goddaughter.

While Aurora is Queen of the Moors and she and Prince Phillip both prefer peace to violence; their hope of building a bridge between the human kingdom and the magical creatures that live on the moors is not to be.

What should have been a celebratory engagement dinner becomes a waged war. Queen Ingrith's disrespect begins with her meal choice and escalates to providing iron cutlery, which equates to death to faeries. Throughout the verbal barbs which ensue, there are references to racist and current political regimes, including the current U.S. border crisis.

Maleficent is injured and saved by another winged creature. She awakes to learn she is not the single of her kind. In fact, the story gets a bit disjointed as a back story is revealed to explain the change of venue, and introduces hundreds of winged creatures from all over the planet.

As Maleficent's new tribe decides to fight, Queen Ingrith is preparing for war far below the royal castle walls. The intricate detail to new characters and warfare means the fight is ahead and the architect is revealed. In the beginning, we are lead to believe Maleficent is evil, dark and scary - oh contraire! Maleficent has scary powers, but the true villain is yet to be divulged.

The costumes are beautiful, especially the makeup on Angelina Jolie, which is spectacular. The story moves about a lot. In fact, I feel it harms character development. It's Disney so, of course, there is a cute furry animal that will become plush merchandising gold.

I give this film 3 of 5 stars for its lack of character development and a shifting storyline. The casting is exemplary, especially the humorous takes when Maleficent is made to be more human. Costumes, hair and makeup are stunning. This film will appeal to ages 9 to 18, and introduces elements of Sleeping Beauty. Make no mistake; some of the scenes will be scary to younger children. There is a lot of CGI violence and many off-screen deaths. It opens in theaters October 18, 2019 so check it out.

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The visuals in the film are beautiful: The costumes are stunning and the whole movie is so beautiful to watch. We see the splendor of castles and the reign of the humans. The Dark Fay is this obscure underground place that despite its dreary appearance becomes a place for truth. The music from Geoff Zanelli enhances the scenes transporting us to this mythical place.

The story flows very nicely; it is like watching how a great fairy tale comes to life in the big screen, but Maleficent: Mistress of Evil doesn't take us beyond the impact of the first movie. It is very well done and reiterates there's no black or white but areas of gray. The message of this film is that love does not always end well.

I give Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16. It releases in theatres on October 18, 2019.

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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is totally intriguing because of how unpredictable the storyline is. The writers applied their creativity and the CGI brings it all to life. The visuals along with the emotional impact made watching this film an exciting experience.

This film is the sequel to Maleficent (2014). It is best to watch Maleficent first and then watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to have a better understanding. This series is based on the story of Sleeping Beauty and the writers add their own twists, so you might be unfamiliar with the plot even if you know the plot of Sleeping Beauty. The story starts off with Prince Philip's proposal to Aurora. Their marriage will unite two kingdoms, the Moors and Ulstead. The problem is that the queens of the kingdoms are not on good terms so the marriage does not happen smoothly.

Angelina Jolie plays the powerful and bold Maleficent. Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast for this role with her strong cheekbones and how she commands all the attention. Through subtle changes in her eyes and facial expressions she shows a lot of emotion. Elle Fanning plays sweet and innocent Aurora. Fanning is a wonderful actor as well who can be soft and tough at the same time.

The CGI of the fairies and creatures is very realistic. They are colorful and the habitat that they live in is pleasing to look at as well. I especially love the CGI for Maleficent's wings. They move as one with Angelina Jolie and also help convey her emotions. Maleficent goes through many costume changes and they are all stunning, even though they have a limited number of colors to work with. The costumes highlight her power and confidence. The costumes for Aurora are very flowery and emphasize her innocence. The costumes for Aurora are also symbolic later on in the film.

I simply cannot choose a favorite part of the film. There are so many parts where I cried and laughed. I don't want to spoil anything so all I can say is that I love the scenes where Maleficent gets to use her strong wings.

There are multiple prominent messages and even more underlying messages that can be found in this film. One of the main messages is about looking past appearances to communicate with others. Many of the humans judge the creatures based on what they look like. They stereotype and assume the actions of these creatures, which creates unnecessary apprehension. This can also be applied to our world today, so it is wonderful that the film brings awareness to this problem.

I love the crazy ride that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has brought me on and you will love it too! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Even Disney adult fans will enjoy this. Be sure to watch when it comes out in theaters on October 18, 2019.

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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil explores the world of its archetypal big-bad title character--the witch from the iconic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty--but fans who met her in Disney's 2014 live action film will be disappointed with the overstuffed plot and uneven tone in this film.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) protects the Moors, a place inhabited by a vast array of magical creatures from fairies to humanoid trees. Her daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) accepts a marriage proposal from Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), prompting talks of peace and unity between the Moors and Phillip's kingdom. Maleficent wearily meets her daughter's in-laws, King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). The already tense evening escalates when King John becomes cursed and Maleficent is believed to be at fault. She flees, but Aurora refuses to go with her. Maleficent goes on a journey of self-discovery and must restore order between humankind and her kind.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is so steadfast in the gritty approach it takes to its fairy tale world; it often undermines the magic that makes these stories so enduringly popular. When it comes to fairy tales, realism and gloom is not what has kept them in the public consciousness for centuries.

Maleficent does have some high points. The costume and production design are phenomenal, further suspending you in this world. There are some pretty awe-inspiring shots from Maleficent's point of view as she soars through the sky. There are also some interesting ideas about family and parenting here; far more interesting than the exploits of the tribe of fellow fairies Maleficent meets. If any of the individual ideas presented were given room to breathe and develop, the film would be much better for it. Instead, there's a lack of focus that clouds much of the runtime and it's clear the film doesn't quite know what it wants to accomplish. They pack too many characters and subplots into one film.

One of the costs is screen-time for Maleficent. The film doesn't give Angelina Jolie much to do this time around and I was surprised at the scarce amount of dialogue she is given. When she's training herself to smile or going verbally head-to-head with Queen Ingrith, Jolie shines. Jolie is magnetic onscreen and the film should have utilized her powerful presence more. One consolation though is Michelle Pfeiffer delving into the role of a villain. Her passive-aggressive manner mixes well with a jaded, nihilistic worldview and she's a lot of fun to watch.

I recommend Maleficent: Mistress of Evil for ages 11 to 17 due to mass fantasy violence. For a film about peace and togetherness, it's pretty violent and pushes the envelope on its PG rating. I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars. The film comes out in theaters October 18, 2019.

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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a very emotional and fantastical movie with a unique take on the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty. Since I saw the first live-action Maleficent movie and the original Disney's Sleeping Beauty, I was really eager to see how the second Maleficent would compare to those, and this sequel does them justice. I am glad that we get to know more about Maleficent, the "villain" of the story.

This movie successfully switches between the happy and dark sides of the ongoing feud with the mythical creatures and the humans. Also, the amount of effort and detail that went into the art direction and special effects pays off to make the film even better. From the sets to the mysterious woodland creatures, everything is colorful, vibrant and beautifully detailed, which makes it feel like you are in another world.

It is fun to see Angelina Jolie play Maleficent again because she provides the perfect balance of strength and sweetness. The movie also introduces us to many new characters, such as Prince Phillip's evil mother, Queen Ingrith, and the Dark Fey, a group of winged creatures similar to Maleficent.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil spends a lot of time on the execution of the Queen's plot to take down Maleficent and other magical creatures, but never really explains how the Queen is able to get the information she needs to fulfill her plan. Some parts of the plot needed to be developed more but seemed rushed to get to the epic battle scene. Also, because there is so much going on with the battle plot, there isn't really an opportunity to find out a lot more about Maleficent. The first film was all about Maleficent, which is what made it so great. In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, her character is more on the sidelines up until the end.

The moral of this movie is that anyone can be good or bad and not to judge a book by its cover, because villains can come in many different forms.

The film has a lot of beautiful visuals and lighthearted magic, but there are also some very dark scenes. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits theaters on Friday October 18, 2019 so check it out.

By Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


MOLLY OF DENALI
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLLY OF DENALI
PBS DISTRIBUTION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-8
Description - Molly of Denali is an American-Canadian animated television series created and produced by Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Kids for PBS Kids and CBC Television. It premiered on July 15, 2019. The series is the first ever nationally distributed children's show to feature an Alaska Native as the main character and protagonist. Thirty-eight half-hours have been ordered. Between the two 11-minute story segments, there is a special live-action segment filmed in Alaska. The series follows 10-year-old Molly, an Alaska Native girl from the fictional village of Qyah, and her family, friends Tooey and Trini, her dog Suki, and other residents. Her family runs the Denali Trading Post. It was created by Dorothea Gillim and Kathy Waugh and stars Sovereign Bill. The Molly of Denali theme song is sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller. KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Molly of Denali is an animated TV series featuring a strong Native American 10-year-old girl from Alaska. The show I watched has two 11-minute episodes: Grandpa's Drum and Have Canoe will Paddle. The focus is on problem solving, while incorporating literacy and technology skills.

Alaskan Native values are modeled including respect, sharing, team work and honoring elders, family and cultural awareness.

The program highlights a Native American community in Alaska. The lead character Molly is a strong, energetic young girl, full of life and an inquiring mind. In Grandpa's Drum, she and Tuli find an old photograph of her grandpa when he was young together with a young girl. They discover he doesn't like to sing anymore, because he no longer has his drum. They go on a quest to find the girl and his drum by using their research skills. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, Molly, Tuli and Trini get resourceful once again with their literacy skills to learn how to paddle a canoe. With their friendly social skills, they find an appropriate coach to teach them, so they can enter a race. With their friendly social skills, they find an award winning coach to teach them how to canoe so they can enter a race. They are all terrific role models for young children to get excited about learning!

Native Alaskan children will proudly see themselves and their way of life and a broader audience will be introduced to a new culture. They will experience adventures with the lead characters and see their contemporaries problem solving, learning and having fun. In Grandpa's Drum, they will see Molly and Trini singing and their Grandpa remembering songs with his drum and teaching them. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, they will see the steps Molly and friends make to learn how to canoe and master the race. They will learn to know that we are more alike than different. Viewers may be motivated to explore their own cultural backgrounds as a result.

This is a very engaging show with fun characters that are eager to learn. Each episode flows well, incorporating literacy and technology skills that young children can relate to. It encourages them to go out and learn the skills they need to problem solve and have fun while doing so.

Young children, parents, teachers and caregivers alike will learn about the Native Alaskan culture and learn new Native vocabulary, as well as the difference between now and then. In Grandpa's Drum, we learn that when he was a young boy, he had to go to boarding school and was not allowed to celebrate his culture at school. Today, we find out that this does not happen. Children are at home going to school and can celebrate their culture. This animated show is truly delightful and quite authentic in portraying three generations - grand parents, parents and children. The images are true to form and culture.

In addition to the two animated shorts in each episode, there is a live action piece. In this episode, Molly answers questions about life in Alaska. We see children who live there at the river comparing old photographs of a similar place and see what it looks like today. They learn a traditional song from an elder. One girl says, "When I am dancing with ancestors, I connect with the past."

Molly of Denali has all the benefits of inviting the viewer to question, probe and problem solve as described above, while introducing the viewer to a new culture and environment. It encourages one to look into situations such as in Grandpa's Drum when it helps him to reconnect with his youth, re-learning the songs he loved with his new found drum, and then teaching and passing them on to the younger generation. Viewers will be motivated and encouraged to explore their own cultural backgrounds. Similarly in Have Canoe Will Paddle where it shows how one can learn a new sport, if they so desire. The role modeling of determination is inspiring.

The moral of the series is: if there is a will, there is a way as it models problem solving to get the results you want, gaining new skills and having fun while doing it! Molly and her friends are terrific, inspiring role models for young children to get excited about learning!

I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 8. This airs on PBS Kids and CBC Television now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 8
Description - Llama Llama Springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they give gifts, sing songs, and build snow sculptures. It's a very Merry Christmas indeed!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The DVD Merry Christmas Llama Llama! delivers two holiday stories and a bonus story about reading. This Netflix series is based on the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. In "Snow Show," the teacher announces a snow sculpture contest and the judge will be one of the students themselves. No surprise when Llama Llama is chosen, but can he be fair and choose just one winner? Mama Llama, voiced by Jennifer Garner, gives him advice that helps devise a clever way to ensure all his friends are recognized, while still awarding one champion. In the second story "Secret Santa," classmates must keep their Secret Santa from each other, made especially tricky when they all end up at the same store. The timeless lesson is that giving gifts makes you feel good. Bonus episode, "Llama Llama Loves to Read" highlights the importance of reading practice. Gilroy Goat must overcome his reluctance to read aloud, which he does when paired with the perfect book and many repeated readings. Llama Llama must find a new book when his first choice is not in the library. These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 8. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Merry Christmas Llama Llama is a collection of episodes sure to get you in the holiday spirit with its warm, comforting tone.

Inspired by the best-selling books by Anna Dewdney, Merry Christmas Llama Llama chronicles holiday-themed escapades of Llama Llama and his merry band of anthropomorphic pals. Llama judges a fiercely competitive snowman show amongst his classmates, discovers his joy for reading and navigates the complications of a Secret Santa event.

My favorite episode of this collection is Llama Llama Loves To Read. Gilroy Goat gets empowerment and support from his local librarian and it drives him to great things he never thought he'd be capable of. Gilroy grows and becomes proud of what he achieves.

As someone whose regular bedtime read was the Llama Llama series when I was much younger, I went into this show with some preconceived expectations and I was happily surprised. Merry Christmas Llama Llama expands the scope of this world greatly beyond the exchanges between Llama Llama and his mama so lovingly captured in the books. Euclid, Nelly Gnu, Luna Gilroy and Gilroy Goat are all worthy additions to this cast of characters. They feel very specific and unique from one another. Lest we not forget the show's protagonist and title character, Llama Llama. He helps bring the show down to earth against its kooky side characters. A simple, but needed, character for the stories this show is trying to tell. I respect his morals; the passion and love he has for his friends is admirable.

The animation stays true to the style established all the way back in the first Llama Llama book. The static environments cross with the movement of the characters creating a feeling that is like watching these characters come to life, right off the page.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama gets an age rating from me of 2 to 7. This is something that I could see younger kids really enjoying right along with their parents. I give Merry Christmas Llama Llama 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciate the lessons it relays and the good values of kindness and love it holds dear. Merry Christmas Llama Llama is available to purchase on DVD right now.

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

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things - SNOW and GIFTS! It's really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is based on the book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. The DVD includes three short stories of adventures that the lead character, Llama Llama (Shayle Simmons), goes on with his friends. In the first short story, Llama Llama has to judge a snow sculpture contest between his friends and pick a winner without hurting anyone's feelings. In the next one, Secret Santa, Llama Llama and his friends are secret Santas and have trouble picking gifts and keeping their secret Santas a secret. In the bonus episode, Llama Llama Loves to Read, Llama Llama and his friends have to pick out books to read out loud to the younger kids. Llama Llama can't find his favorite book at the library and his friend Gilroy Goat is nervous about reading out loud. In all three episodes, I really love seeing the great friendship between Llama Llama and how they always support each other. They always find ways to make other people feel good about themselves.

The three stories are all quite good and have great animation. One of my favorite parts was watching Llama Llama finish reading and then jumping into a pile of leaves. One cool thing is seeing how they finish things they have to do and are off to do something fun, like sledding. George Gabriel's music is really catchy and short, which is perfect for the short episodes.

The DVD has two different stories and a bonus story and they all have different messages, but they all have the same theme of friendship! In each episode there is some problem that needs to be solved and gives them a chance to show what good friends should do for each other.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is a great DVD for movie days around holiday break. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 3 to 12. Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is currently available on where DVDs are sold.

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

Merry Christmas! The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!

In this new holiday DVD Llama Llama starts his season off with a snow sculpting contest, singing Christmas songs and some secret Santa fun! If you are an imagination filled, wholehearted kid who enjoyed the books, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, this DVD is for you. I would have thought these episodes were so much fun when I was little, and I still enjoyed them as 10-year-old. My favorite episode is when Llama Llama is the judge of a snow sculpture contest and is having trouble deciding who the winner should be, between his friends. When faced with a problem little Llama turns to Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) to help him out. Together, Mama and Llama Llama take you through solving the problem with a little bit of imagination and kindness.

The animation is really cool and unique. The characters are all hand-drawn, while the background is painted. There is also a bonus episode about Llama Llama's favorite library book that someone else has checked out. This episode really deals with the love of reading and how sometimes we need to try different types of books and we may find something new we enjoy. The setting is mostly in Llama Llama's friendly neighborhood, though he often goes to many different places during the day, such as school, the library, the park and much more. Llama Llama is voiced by Shayle Simons creates the perfect Llama Llama voice. There are three episodes included in this DVD and it is a little over 30 minutes long.

The message of these episodes is that, even if you are little, you can solve big problems with some imagination, so always use it!

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. The DVD is available now, just in time for the holidays. Look for it.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS WITH MOLANG
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-11
Description - The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It's the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child's attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters' antics as well.

Christmas with Molang follows a young cotton-ball rabbit and her best friend Piu-Piu, a small chick. Rather than focusing on Christmas itself, either in the religious or secular sense, these episodes take classic bits of the holiday season (skating, making snowmen, caroling, finding a Christmas tree) and give them a story-book feel, full of light-hearted antics and the joys of having a best friend to do everything with. The DVD is a set of six mini-episodes and contains a number of charming adventures and funny moments.

The best part of this series is that none of the characters actually talk. They make vocalizations, like minions, where some of the words are distinguishable, but must are just sounds. Because of this, the viewer is able to imagine their own dialogue, which adds more humor to the characters interactions. On top of this, Piu-Piu and Molang have some genuinely charming interactions, and there is a distinguished personality difference between the two characters, Molang being the imaginative and upbeat, Piu-Piu being a bit more practical and clever. Most children will just find the characters cute and funny. There are plenty of events with good comedic timing (characters getting run over by snowballs, creeping up behind bushes, or trying to avoid kissing a frog). There is a lot of physical comedy (falling, people getting knocked on the head and such), but they are mostly played for laughs. The only serious injury shown is when Piu-Piu takes a rather nasty fall, nasty enough for him to fall unconscious and temporarily lose his memory.

The stories, while simple, make a decent amount of sense, even without dialogue. The only continuity error is that the two are seen decorating the Christmas tree at the beginning of each episode, making the audience wonder whether this is taking place different years or whether something happened to the old tree. The story does include Santa Claus, which isn't particularly accurate. One episode involves a frog caught in the snow, while real frogs would be hibernating during winter. Another lack of accuracy is that all the Christmas songs the characters sing are secular, with no mention of the original carols used in church.

The animation is pretty basic, with minimal movement and simplistic designs. However, this adds to the charm of the episodes and gives the stories an idyllic, story-book flavor. The voices for the characters are all performed by the same person, but there is a noticeable enough difference to tell who's talking.

The most beneficial episode involves a snow-man. After Piu-Piu and Molang have build and decorated a snowman, their decorations (hat, scarf, carrot and chocolates) are stolen by some hungry forest creatures, twice. After seeing that the small creatures are in need, the two go back to their house and prepare food and clothing for the creatures in a heartwarming show of forgiveness and compassion. In all the episodes, the characters find creative ways to solve problems and are always ready to help out a friend.

More than anything, the DVD illustrates how to be a good friend, to help out when others have problems, is ready to forgive, and find joy in everyday things. Whatever situation Molang and Piu-Piu find themselves in, they are the best of friends and they are always laughing. These episodes have a lot less to do with Christmas, religious or secular, than they have to do with just being kind to others, regardless of the time or season.

Christmas with Molang is a genuinely funny and charming collection of short stories that illustrate friendship and finding joy in simple, every-day things. Through a simple style of story-telling and plenty of vocal effects, these mini-episodes spark the viewer's imagination and bring back idyllic memories of Christmas activities. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Christmas with Molang is a cute movie full of all things Christmas! I love it. It's a movie I would love to watch with my little cousins. The characters are so funny, playful and seem to always have fun.

Christmas with Molang is a DVD with six different short stories about Christmas on it. In each story the lead character, Molang and his friend Piu Piu experience a new lesson related to the spirit of Christmas. They build a snowman, go ice-skating, find the best Christmas tree and even meet a Ninja, back-flipping Santa Claus. Each time they go on one of their adventures, they learn a new lesson.

There are so many funny parts in each of the short stories. One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu's hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music. Sometimes it is a little weird when the characters speak in animated baby voices. It could be a little annoying for older kids, because you can't always understand what they are saying. However, because of the great animation, you can still tell what is happening. The scenes are very bright and colorful and full of the Christmas spirit.

The overall message of the DVD is to be kind to others, even strangers. In each story the characters are trying to help someone else or show how much they care about them. Also, it encourages you to show people you care and make new friends. Some day, when you are in trouble you'll have help because you helped them.

I rate The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages. The animation is filled with pastel colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

The storyline follows two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu. Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick. They encounter problems throughout the day and, while finding the solutions to these problems, they learn a valuable lesson every time. Normally Piu Piu is the one who is in distress and Molang finds a way to fix Piu Piu's problem to cheer him up.

The animation is in a cutesy style from Korea. Molang was drawn by a university student named Yoon Hye Jin and is made to look like a sticky Korean rice cake. Everything is colored in light pastels and all the characters have round figures. Super adorable!

Although the cartoon is from Korea, the characters do not speak in Korean or in any real language for that matter. The fans have named the language that they speak Molangonese or Piupiualish. The audience is still able to understand what they are trying to say by the images shown and the strategic framing.

My favorite part about Christmas With Molang has to be the messages. Molang and Piu Piu promote the idea that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts. They help out other animal friends in their community and feel complete. Molang and Piu Piu inspire viewers to do good deeds for other people. They are an example to kids that "when you do good it comes around."

Molang and Piu Piu also show how great it is to have a best friend. Molang and Piu Piu love each other very much and support each other all the time. These besties show how to sympathize and comfort others. These are important things to know to be able to socialize and be a caring person. Molang and Piu Piu promote positivity and love throughout the series.

Christmas With Molang is the perfect cartoon to show kids of all ages during the holiday season. They will love how cute everything is and will be inspired to do kind things for other people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Christmas With Molang is out on DVDs now so be sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Christmas with Molang 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really cute movie for younger kids so I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Christmas with Molang is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

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

I love this DVD! It is full of cuteness and Christmas cheer! And it is perfect to watch on a cold, winter day.

Christmas with Molang is about a bunny named Molang and a chick named Piu Piu going on fun-filled Christmas adventures. Episodes include A Beautiful Christmas Tree, The Snowman, At The Elves' House and Santa.

The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters' hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures. All of the episodes are adorable. My favorites are The Choir and The Frog, because they have the funniest story lines. The episodes are approximately five minutes each, so the total run time is about 30 minutes.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including the value of friendship, helping others and always have fun in what you do. Christmas with Molang has no bad language, but there are a few risky things that kids might try to do such as climb a Christmas tree, bother wild animals and go into houses Santa style.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS (2019)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS (2019)
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - All Little Wolf wants to do is stay at home with Mum, Dad and his brother, Smellybreff. However, Mum and Dad are worried that their precious son, Little Wolf, is not as bad as a small wolf should be. So they decide to send him off to Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Uncle Bigbad is a hopeless teacher, but armed with determination and native wit, Little Wolf thinks things out for himself. Sent out by his Uncle to round up a troop of boy scouts to eat for supper, Little Wolf discovers that the scouts have many useful skills that Little Wolf can learn from them. In the end, Little Wolf decides not to follow outdated rules of proper wolf behavior but to be true to himself. As a result, he inherits his Uncle's fortune and becomes master of Cunning College. Based on a world-famous series of best-selling Little Wolf story books, this one-off is a treat for the whole family!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness is a short film based on the book with the same name by Ian Whybrow and made into an award-winning film by Karsten Kiilerich. I personally love this film. Little Wolf's parents are very concerned about him not being big and bad enough, not really displaying typical wolf behavior. So his parents send him to Cunning College in hopes of learning the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Bigbad sends Little Wolf out to some troops and he, in turn, learns many lessons from them. After all is said and done, Little Wolf is true to himself and doesn't try to change his behavior to reflect the Nine Rules of Badness. This ends well for him and I don't want spoil what happens for him at the end. You'll just have to watch and find out. The animation is style is reminiscent of the books and is very charming. My three-year-old loved watching this. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 12. However, I'm sure some older kids and adults may enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness, directed by Karsten Kiilerich, is unique and unexpected! With its spiral of surprises, I never could predict what would happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The message of the film is to be yourself by being good, even if being good is bad. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


SONIC BOOM: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - It's a Sonic you haven't seen before - an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he s up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Though somewhat predictable, the show has some very funny moments and can serve as an entertaining break during the day, since the episodes are so short. The message of the story centers around the conflicts between friends. This includes Doctor Eggman, whose role is more of a rivalry than a serious threat of evil. If parents want their kids to get more out of this show, then they should pause between episodes and discuss the characters' adventures with their child, comparing to their child's own experiences with questions such as, "What would you do if your friend acted like that? Can you think of better ways to solve that problem? How might this whole scenario have gone differently?"

Younger kids will enjoy the bright, energetic characters' antics with their friends, as well as making fun of Eggman for always losing. Slightly older kids might appreciate the show, because they're familiar with other materials from the Sonic franchise.

The plots of each episode, though simple, make the usual cartoony sort of sense. Problems are set up, faced and resolved in the next episode. Further consequences are glossed over. The show is not designed to be accurate in the way it portrays animals or technology. There is plenty of punching, lasers, breaking robots and making things explode, but nobody actually gets hurt. Both heroes and villains engage in "don't try this at home" stunts. On another note, nearly all the characters are portrayed as gullible and unintelligent, particularly the stronger ones, like Knuckles. This could be interpreted as the common prejudice that big plus strong equals dumb.

Though less stunning and more simple than the computer animation seen in most contemporary cartoons, the show has some pretty background sets. The action sequences are also well-animated.

This show could be considered educational by its portrayal of the frictions that often arise between a group of people, particularly friends. The gang's interaction with Eggman could even provide a teachable moment, such as showing kindness to your enemy, even when you know he'll turn around and try something bad again tomorrow.

This program is a collection of episodes having to do with solving conflicts between friends. The episodes point out problems that often arise such as jealousy, feeling underappreciated, unpopular hobbies and wanting to make up for thing's you've done wrong. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12.

Reviewed by Beth T., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is very entertaining. Each story line is funny; it has a lot of action and delivers a lot of adrenaline.

Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 1, is over four hours of action, fun and entertainment. The package comes with two DVDs that include 26 episodes. Each disk is 145 minutes. Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) is a blue hedgehog who has a sidekick, Tails, who helps him in his adventures. Sonic's friends - Knuckles (Sebastian Desjours), Amy (Cindy Robinson) and Sticks (Nika Futterman) - help him attack his arch nemesis Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock). Each episode has a different story line. It does not follow a sequence, which it means that each episode is always a different adventure and that's what makes it so entertaining.

The graphics are amazing and the colors are very bright. The voice-overs are funny and they fit each character. The music is okay. I especially like the theme song, which is very catchy. My favorite episode is The Meteor when Sonic and Dr. Eggman switch their brains and body accidentally. They touch a meteor and then their brains and bodies are switched. Dr. Eggman becomes Sonic and Sonic becomes Dr. Eggman. Dr. Eggman tries to act like he really is Sonic and tries to trick Sonic's friends so he can destroy them and he can rule the world, since he is now a genius and super fast. My other favorite episode is Double Doomsday. In this episode a kid meets Dr. Eggman and the kid gets mad at Dr. Eggman, because he is makes the kid do chores. The kid makes a doomsday device to destroy the world. He tells Dr. Eggman that his doomsday device is going to do more damage and they start competing against each other to destroy the world.

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

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, but adults can watch it with their kids and may find it amusing. This disk is definitely worth four hours. Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 1, is available now, so look for it! Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

What do you call a blue hedgehog that is really fast and trying to stop an egghead from taking over the world? Sonic! It's been a while, but he is back along with all of his friends...and enemies. This show is action-packed, hilarious with some dad jokes and just overall fun. Each episode also has some kind of moral or message at the end. I watched the Limited-Edition DVD Gift Set that comes with a DVD of over four hours of action- and adventure-filled episodes, plus it includes Sonic and Dr. Eggman pose-able action figures. But let's just do this, shall we?

We enter the animal world of Sonic Boom, with all of its strange buildings and characters that are actually animals. We are first faced with a problem, which is usually Sonic's responsibility to solve, and which always involves his nemesis Dr. Eggman. Along with help from his friends, Sonic uses his super speed to save the day. Let's meet a few of Sonic's friends! There is Amy, a pink hedgehog, who uses her giant pink and yellow hammer to defeat Dr. Eggman. There is Knuckles who uses his super strength, and of course his knuckles, to take down Dr. Eggman. Finally, there is Sticks, who uses her boomerang to help Sonic win each battle with Dr. Eggman.

It all takes place in Sonic's strange village and Dr. Eggman's evil lair. The series is directed by Natalys Raut Sieuzac and Sonic is voiced by Roger Craig Smith. Sonic is a mischievous blue hedgehog. He can sometimes get a little overprotective of his friend Tails, a cute fox who loves making gadgets that are actually helpful, unlike Dr. Eggman's scary but silly inventions. Dr. Eggman is a true blockhead who sees himself as a genius, even though he is not at all clever. Amy is a true peacemaker who can't stand it when her friends fight, but gladly helps fight Dr. Eggman. Knuckles is well... pretty much a dingbat. He often believes anything he hears and he hears a lot of those unbelievable things from Sticks. No, not a twig! Her name is Sticks and she is way too wild and crazy.

Get on board with Sonic and his friends because every episode is a new, supersonic adventure! The message of this series is to always help your friends and sometimes your enemies too.

Sonic Boom: Season 1, Volume 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 4 to 12. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Beatrice N, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Sonic Boom is a really good cartoon filled with funny jokes and adventure. It is based off of the Sonic video games and turns it into an ensemble comedy. It pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline and excitement. The animation is great also.

The storyline follows Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sticks who defend Seaside Island from various threats such as Dr. Eggman and his robotic creations. Wherever Sonic goes, his friends are always there to help him. Dr. Eggman always creates robotic things and tries to defeat Sonic with them, but he always fails.

In the video game, Sonic did not speak, but Robert Craig Smith gives life to the character and makes him awesome. The director, Bob Rafei, made this animated series great. The writer, Ian Flynn, wrote a great and comedic script too.

The message of Sonic Boom is to always have fun in what you're doing. Whenever they fight Dr. Eggman, they are always telling jokes and having fun. Sonic Boom: Season 1, Volume 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 10. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Leandro R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PRINCESS EMMY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PRINCESS EMMY
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Princess Emmy is a young girl with a secret gift - she is the only one in the Kingdom of Kandis who can speak to horses. Up until now, life for Emmy has been wonderful: exploring and hanging out with her best friends (a stable full of horses), spending time with her family at the castle, and not having a care in the world. But when her jealous, scheming cousin Gizana appears and Emmy must undergo the ultimate test to earn the right to keep her gift, she'll have to stand strong and stay the course in this wonderful, spirited film about courage, perseverance and friendship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a delightful film for younger children. The storyline is about a young princess who can talk to horses and finds her gift in peril when her scheming cousin tries to steal it away. Princess Emmy is bright and likable and the animation is quite well done. The storyline is simple and somewhat predictable, but suitable for its target audience. I particularly enjoyed the scenes of the countryside, which are rendered beautifully and the cat is drawn particularly well. The voice acting is definitely noteworthy. All stand out as unique and true to their characters and Ruby Barnhill's portrayal of Princess Emmy is particularly outstanding. Emmy provides an excellent role model for young girls because of her strength of character and sense of adventure. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Welcome to Emmy's world. Magical, playful, discovering, and your real-life wonderland. This 78-minute fantasy DVD will take you on an adventure through princess Emmy's cup of tea with a secret-gift.

Written by Sergio Casci and directed by Piet De Rycker, the story follows Emmy and her friendly and trustworthy stable of horses. Princess Emmy is a young, adventurous girl with a secret, a secret gift that is. Emmy is the only person in the Kingdom of Kandis who can communicate to horses. Life for Emmy has been wonderful; exploring and hanging out with her pals. That is until her jealous and rude cousin Gizana appears and Emmy must experience the ultimate challenge to earn the right to keep her gift. She has to stand strong. Emmy must go through a series of confusing test to find out if her secret is worth to keep.

The lead characters in this DVD are Princess Emmy, voiced by Ruby Barnhill, Princess Gizana , voiced by Bella Ramsey, David, voiced by Nathan Mack, Ceasar,voiced by Joel Fry and many more enjoyable cast.

My favorite character is Princess Emmy, because she is brave, daring, and not like any other Princess. Princess Emmy likes to get messy sometimes, as well as getting wild, dress the way she feels comfortable in. My favorite part in the film would be when Princess Emmy is in the stables and she is quietly reading. She noticed a bright light and a smell that tied up her nostrils. She heads down to the basement, discreetly following the smell and light when she is being circled by the light and is frightened at first but then exclaims "let's take an adventure!" to her horses. This part is my favorite because it proves how brave and adventurous Princess Emmy is.

I really enjoyed the film Princess Emmy, due to its coverage of many important themes and role models for today's girls. I also enjoyed the creativity of the movie, in both the storytelling and animation. The use of animals in the film is one of my favorite aspects, because it creates a very loving environment for the kids watching.

The animation and vocal performances are very well chosen. The film is set in a very ordinary atmosphere on a modern-day Kingdom. I admire the art department for creating such a vibrant and imaginative aspect of this DVD. The colors on the pony stall, to the way the castles design and colors shined at the top of a mountain was simply beautiful. The music in this film provided me with different emotions and had a sense of freedom.

This DVD shares many important messages, such as Emmy being a strong princess, working hard and helping those around her. Just simply being yourself and Emmy work towards her goal of proving her self-worth. This DVD has no false language or any dangerous activity's that younger kids might try to imitate.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 11, but adults might enjoy it as well. Princess Emmy is available now on DVD, make sure to get yours! Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really enjoyed the film Princess Emmy, due to its coverage of many important themes and role models for today's girls. I also enjoyed the creativity of the movie, in both the story-telling and animation. The use of animals in the film is one of my favorite aspects, because it creates a very loving environment for the kids watching.

Princess Emmy tells the story of a young princess, living in the Kingdom of Kandis, who has a secret -- she is the only girl who can talk and understand horses. She lives in a palace where she gets to explore and play with her friends - a stable full of amazing horses. Her life has been perfect until the arrival of her cousin Gizana who challenges and competes with Emmy, putting at risk her chances of becoming an officially princess. The film traces the ups and downs Emmy faces and the challenges she must overcome in order to earn the right to keep her gift.

Written by Sergio Casci and directed by Piet De Rycker, the film is set in a very natural environment on a modern day kingdom. This is important to the plot because Emmy's home is a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain, where she runs and explores freely with her horses. This setting helps create a feeling of freedom and easiness as well as providing the animals in the film with a lot of liberty. The music in this film is very well chosen, as it intensifies the magical aspect of the movie by adding the sounds of sparkles or fairy dust.

Princess Emmy has a very beautiful ending which leaves the audience valuing the importance of friendship. This film explores the seriousness of being nice to one another, despite the challenges you are facing. Princess Emmy provides a great example for little girls because it presents Emmy as a strong princess who works hard to help those around her, while working towards her goal of proving her self worth.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its creativity and well-presented theme. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 12, but adults might enjoy it also. Princess Emmy is available now on DVD, make sure to get yours!

Reviewed by Leire B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 114.98
Media: DVD ISBN # 826663202083
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15. The Yo-Kai Watch DVD is available now. If you are an anime fan, you might really enjoy this DVD, so look for it! Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

The hilarious and clever show Yo-Kai Watch, directed by Mark Risley, is incredibly animated and whimsical. It is filled with a variety of different characters that kids really get to know.

The episodes follow the wild adventures of a young boy named Nate (Johnny Yong Bosch) who receives the mysterious Yo-kai watch from the ghostly Yo-kai named Whisper, who is Nate's butler and best friend. This means that Nate is granted the power to see the Yo-kai, which are mischievous invisible beings from another dimension, that cause problems everyday. In this volume, it is up to Nate and Whisper to summon the Yo-kai they have befriended to defeat the troublesome ones and save the day. There are tons of new Yo-kai to be stopped, such as Dazzabel, who makes people become obsessed with being fashionable, and Babblong, who makes people tell long and boring stories. This volume is filled with fun characters that everyone will love.

I really like how the show balances an adventurous aspect with humor. Throughout the show, both the mischievous Yo-kai and the main characters are constantly saying and doing funny things that will keep audiences laughing. My favorite character is Whisper because he's endearing and clever and is knowledgeable about all things Yo-kai, plus he is the trusted sidekick that everyone wants to have. Also, I enjoy how in each episode, there is a new Yo-kai to be defeated, each with its own personality and appearance, which keeps the show very entertaining and unique. You never know what is going to happen next. Visually, the show is very detailed with vivid anime style animation and has great character development, which really contributes to the episodes. Fans of anime will love the look of this show.

Yo-kai Watch: Season 1, Volume 2 has many quirky, funny and imaginative elements that make it enjoyable. It has great entertainment value.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, but it is also perfect for the entire family. You can find it on digital DVD now so look for it.

Reviewed by Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEI TEI
MARK LESCHINSKY
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 6-15
Description - A heartwarming story about an unusual friendship of two children living in different countries in different time periods. An 11-year-old boy named Johnny, a talented young chess player has found his best friend Dashenka, a 10-year-old Russian girl living with her pet rabbit in 1963. Both children are dreaming about flying to space. Johnny wants to go back in time to meet Dashenka.
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

OUT OF THIS WORLD
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OUT OF THIS WORLD
ANTONIO SOUTO FRAGUAS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-10
Description - A little alien travels to earth in a rescue mission. This film has been made as part of the Spanish Film Program, an initiative for the kids to learn a second language through the process of making a movie. Language in Spanish and English.
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CERULIA
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Description - Cerulia comes back home to bid her final farewell, but her childhood memories and grandparents presence would not let her go. In Spanish with English Sub-titles. From Mexico. Directed by Sofia Carrillo.
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KAZUMI RACECAR PIG
DAVID MCBRIDE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - Little Kazumi is afraid of anything different than what he is used to in his Pig culture. One day, Kazumi finds himself in a world of different when he gets stranded on an alien planet. He will need to face these new things if he wants to get back home. Kazumi may even find out that different can be great and make a friend or two along the way.
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

DAM WALL
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DAM WALL
VENTURA COUNTY NEWS
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Dharan is a story of friendship between a six-year-old urban girl and an eight-year-old rural boy. Inquisitive Charcha travels to a village near Satara in western Maharashtra with her father on his official tour. Her father is a water resources officer who has arrived to inspect a water dam site. They settle in a circuit house. In the hour of load shading at night Charcha walks out of her room in the search of her father - wearing a white nightdress, holding a candle in her hand. She bumps into Panya, a shy rural boy who is a nephew of the caretakers at circuit house. He confuses her for an evil spirit and runs away in fear leaving Charcha mind boggled. Although Panya realizes, she is no ghost by their second encounter, the running away continues. It adds to Charcha's loneliness who's already unable to function without her mother. She breaks down. Panya realizes his mistake. In the guilt of his ignorant behavior, Panya apologizes to her and after some gifts, with lots of persistence - They become friends. Their friendship is flowering in the backdrop of protest existent in the village against the proposed dam. When Panya takes Charcha to his home to show around, his mother learns whose daughter she is. The dam being sanctioned by Charcha's father will put Panya's house and property into the water catchment. This leads to an interpersonal conflict as well as social conflict within them. In their own simple world - How do they solve the problem of this magnitude with their compassion and empathy?
Runtime: 94 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This title is available for purchase from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC


BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES
GKIDS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Paris, 1930. The infamous surrealist filmmaker Luis Bu�uel is left penniless after the scandalous release of L'Age d'Or leads to a falling out with collaborator Salvador Dal�. On a whim, Bu�uel's good friend, sculptor Ram�n Ac�n, buys a lottery ticket and promises to devote his winnings to fund Bu�uel's next film. Incredibly, Ram�n wins the jackpot, sending the two friends to the remote mountains of their native Spain to film the documentary Las Hurdes: Land Without Bread. Driven by mad artistic impulse and haunted by childhood memories, Bu�uel must confront the specter of mortality looming over the lives of his subjects -and his own.

In a stranger-than-fiction tale befitting the master filmmaker, Bu�uel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles tells the true story behind a fascinating episode in cinematic history, utilizing sensitive performances as well as excerpts from Bu�uel's filmography to present a deeply affecting and humanistic portrait of an artist hunting for his purpose.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an incredibly unique film. It's rare to see such mature animation like this, and I've been wanting more mature animation for a while. So I was incredibly entertained.

The film is about the Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel and it follows him as he films his documentary, Las Hurdes, which is a documentary about the Las Hurdes region in Spain.

Now, I love animation. However, I am slightly peeved that 2D animated movies are not very popular anymore. So I was excited to learn that this film is 2D. Not only that, but it is incredibly stylized and beautiful 2D. I've always liked aesthetics pertaining to historical generations of filmmaking. So it's not surprising that I love this art style. One thing I find interesting is that many scenes in the film have clips from the actual Las Hurdes documentary, sliced in with animated recreations of the scenes. I can't really explain why, but I really like this detail.

Another interesting aspect of the animation is the imagery. Luis Bunuel is often associated with surrealism and I assume that's why the movie includes several strange and nonsensical sequences. There's also a consistent theme involving religion, which I didn't really understand if I'm being honest, but it is interesting.

A major aspect of this film is Luis's relationship with the anarchist painter, Ramon Acin. The film was made thanks to Ramon, so it's understandable that the film heavily focuses on their friendship. It's interesting to see their conflict on the purpose of the film, and in general it makes for some compelling drama.

In a way this can serve as an introduction to Luis Bunuel and his work. I never knew of him before this film. However, now I'm somewhat intrigued by him and his work. Although, there is something I should warn people about. Despite the film being animated, this film is absolutely not a kid's movie. There are lots of dark jokes, mature themes and a surprising amount of animal violence. It is important to point this out as many people assume all animated films are for little kids, when that couldn't be further from the truth.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. If you're a fan of history, the art of film or both, and you can stomach some uncomfortable subject matter, I highly recommend this. It comes out on August 16, 2019.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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