The Family category has 2157 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
sorted alphabetically

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WHAT A DISASTER!
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHAT A DISASTER!
PBS DISTRIBUTION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 7-18
Description - PBS SoCal, Southern California's home for new PBS program premieres, debuts an entertaining new spin on emergency preparedness with the special What A Disaster! The fun new game show hosted by Jay Jackson (Parks & Recreation) challenges three Southern California families to test their emergency readiness plans in the event of the next wildfire, earthquake, flood or other disaster. Viewers will follow the contestants' progress through a series of fast-paced, exciting tasks that include comical twists designed to educate and teach critical, lifesaving guidance.

The competition-themed special seeks to raise awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness as well as equip viewers with an understanding of the "do's and don'ts" in emergency situations. Produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, each family's strategies will be judged remotely by two disaster response experts: El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center in San Bernardino's Lulu Lopez and LISTOS National Program Director Liliana Encinas. The family with the most creative and resourceful solutions will be rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize. The other families with the least number of successes will be receiving a Disaster Preparedness Kit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review below
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What A Disaster! is an enjoyable family watch, after which you'll be prepared for any disaster that might come your way. The unique format, engaging challenges and crucial message all make this an amazing movie to watch over Thanksgiving!

What A Disaster! is a game-show style program hosted by Jay Jackson, centering around three Southern-Californian families (The Yang family, the Smith family and the Luna family) competing to be crowned the most prepared for any natural disaster that may come their way. They're also competing to receive $1,000. The families are led through a series of challenges that include knowing where your utilities are and what to pack if you're running out of a burning building.

As this is a PBS production, the 40 minute film is stitched together quite well. The contestants are spontaneous and bring life to the film, especially the little kids! I also enjoyed Jay Jackson's bubbly hosting. He looks upon these families as his neighbors, and the care he has is evident. There are some points where the contestants' voices seem to echo or reverb, though. It is also a bit obvious that the judges are reading from a script, as their eye line is off-center. But overall, the production value does not drag What A Disaster! down.

As its title would give away, the film promotes disaster preparedness and staying safe in any situation. Also, this film endorses messages of sticking together, especially with family, and teamwork. This is an especially important message for 2020, given the wildfires that SoCal has suffered, and I'm super glad that PBS produced this program.

I give What A Disaster! 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Adults would enjoy this film as well. What A Disaster! premieres in Southern California this Thanksgiving on Thurs., Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal and encores on Sat., Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. on KCET.

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

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


I HATE NEW YEAR'S
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
I HATE NEW YEAR'S
TELLO FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 16-18
Description - With a huge hit on her hands, rising music star Layne hits some serious writer's block. She decides to head home to Nashville for New Year's Eve, looking to find her ex and get back her songwriting mojo. As she spends New Year's jumping between bars and parties with her best friend Cassie, looking for the one that got away, she realizes that the love of her life, and the reason she sings, has been right in front of her all along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I Hate New Year's uses current events very well, including the world of the music industry, the use of social media to promote and to present ideas, and especially the representation of the LGTBQ+ community. Teens and younger adults can relate to the film in that it deals with decision making and how to deal with emotions when insecurity hits. The songs in the film are beautifully done, and they add to the tone of the movie.

The storyline follows a rising pop star who finds herself unable to create songs, having writer's block. She travels to her hometown in hope of finding inspiration to continue creating music. With the help of her friend and the intervention of fate, she has to face her past to create the best future for her career, and for herself.

The film presents a story that is directed to older teenagers due to the themes of love, friendships, taking risks and insecurities. These topics are more topical for older teens and young adults. The writing is quite good and there is a solid continuity between each scene. It has good continuity and keeps the main themes easy to understand. There are some scenes that break the fourth wall which was unexpected and maybe unnecessary, but they do add to the comical tone of the film. In some scenes, acting doesn't quite have the punch I would hope for, but for the most part, emotions are well portrayed and they can be both observed and felt by the audience. The vocabulary is very modern and it addresses issues such as social media, school experiences and dreams. The music is excellent; the original songs are very well done with lots of emotion. The images are high quality so every detail is appreciated. The main characters are portrayed by popular actors that can be recognized from known TV shows and other films. However, the camera work is a bit uneven. There are multiple scenes where the shot starts to shake and gets out of focus. Sometimes when people are speaking, the camera shakes and it feels awkward.

This is a LGTBQ+ film. It shows a romantic and comical story between two characters that are young women. It also shows representation of a minority group, which can be crucial for young members of the community that may be looking to see someone like themself in a movie. It also deals with many themes that are frequent for teenagers and young adults, which makes it very appropriate for those age groups.

The messages of the film is about how friendships can make a difference in someone's life, especially when insecurities or hard situations arise. It also deals with the issue of taking risks and facing decisions that may not result in what is wanted, but are necessary to move on in life. Throughout the movie multiple characters drink alcoholic drinks. They are not underage, but there is drinking.

I give I Hate New Year's 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. This LGTBQ+ film explores the life of a young rising pop star and how coming back home can mean more than just creating a new song. Multiple themes are in play - how facing decisions can make a difference in your future, how cultivating friendships is important, and what being a friend means. It especially shows how fame and popularity are not as important as family, friends and one's wellbeing. The original songs of the film are very emotional and the lyrics are poems that add to the chemistry between the characters. There are some minor issues such as shaky camera work and some slow performances, but the emotional meaning of the movie and the storyline make those issues not that severe. Representation of different members of the LGTBQ+ are represented throughout the movie. The movie is centered on the life of a young woman, and how she is able to move on and to grow as a person once she accepts the circumstances of her life.

Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Youth Juror

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 16-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


TEAM MARCO
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TEAM MARCO
SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-14
Description - Marco, 12, is obsessed with his iPad and hardly leaves the house. But when his grandmother dies and his grandfather moves in, Marco's life is turned upside-down and he's forced...to go play outside. "Nonno" (Grandpa) introduces him to bocce ball and to the neighborhood crew of old Italian men who play daily at the local court. With sport, laughter and love, Marco finds connection to other people and rounds up a team of neighborhood kids to take on Marco's grandfather and his pals.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Team Marco is a wonderful, heartwarming and sweet movie. This family-friendly fun comedy will have you laughing, bring you joy and inspire you to seize each day.

This movie is about a boy named Marco (Owen Vaccaro) who is insanely addicted to video games. When his grandmother dies and his house nearly burns down, his grandpa, Nonno (Anthony Patellis), moves in. Nonno is extremely bothered with his grandson's obsession with video games. Nonno will not stand for this and takes measures into his own hands. He decides to take away all of Marco's electronics and forces him to play outside. Nonno teaches Marco his favorite sport - bocce ball. Can Marco and his team of friends beat Nonno and his gang of neighborhood Italian bocce ballers in a bocce ball tournament?

This movie was written, directed and produced by Julio Vincent Gambuto, and it is his first feature film. This story is inspired by a real-life experience. About four years ago, when Julio was visiting his nieces and nephews, he noticed that his nephew, Marco, didn't even greet him when he arrived at their house because his head was buried in his electronics. This sparked the idea for his movie. The film takes place in Julio's beloved hometown, Staten Island, NY. It was filmed on location, which was very important to Julio. He loves his hometown community and was passionate about it being filmed on Staten Island. My favorite characters are Nonno and Marco. I really like the performances of Anthony Patellis because of his dry sense of humor and his love of family, which shines through. He is very entertaining while playing the cranky grandpa battling technology. Owen Vaccaro convincingly plays the "pre-teen techie" Marco. I can relate to his love of electronics and his struggles trying to balance Nonno's desire for conversation, friendship and connecting through Nonno's favorite sport, bocce ball. My favorite part of the movie is when Nonno is trying to figure out the Google Assistant.

The main message of the movie is to be present when around your family. This film shows technology is not always bad, and in fact connects us. It also reminds everyone that, while technology will be around forever, your family will not be. Cherish the time you have with your family.

I give Team Marco 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults. Team Marco will be released on most streaming platforms November 20, 2020. Look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HALF BROTHERS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HALF BROTHERS
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Renato, a Mexican aviation exec, is shocked to learn he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher. They are forced on a road trip together, tracing the path their father took from Mexico to the US.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Half Brothers is a fun-loving movie with loveable characters which takes you on a wild adventure that will have you laughing. Along the way the characters learn about each other and their father. They also learn a lot about themselves. These two brothers with opposite personalities must unite to uncover the hidden truth of the past.

The story begins with young Renato (Ian Inigo) enjoying time with his dad, Flavio (Juan Pablo Espinosa). Things change when Renato's dad leaves Mexico to go to the U.S. to look for work and does not return. Years later when Renato (Luis Gerardo Mendez) is a grown up, he gets a phone call saying his dad is extremely sick and he needs to come right away. He is torn between wanting to go and staying home to prepare for his wedding. He decides to go and gets the surprise of meeting his half-brother, Asher (Connor Del Rio) who he did not know existed. Their dad sends them on a wild journey to get the answers Renato has wanted to know his whole life - why his dad never came back for him. Along the way, he gets to know his half brother as they go on a hilarious and bonding scavenger hunt across America to get the answers.

My favorite scene is when Asher steals the goat from the barn. It kept me laughing and intrigued. All the actors make this odd situation funny and memorable. I also enjoyed the music selections playing during their road trips. They are catchy, uplifting and always enhance the mood of these scenes. Asher is an easy character to like. He always has a positive attitude and his clothing choices throughout the movie really fit his character.

The messages in this film are about how forgiving can be life changing, that it is okay to be yourself, and accepting others' differences can lead to the best friendships. While forgiveness is not always an easy thing to do, it is better to forgive than to hold onto something that makes you unhappy. Being yourself is important. Just because you are different it does not make you less important. Accepting differences in others can lead to happiness. You should know that there is some explicit language, the use of guns and violence and there is talk about some adult situations.

I give Half Brothers 5 out of 5 stars. It has some amazing messages that are delivered in a very humorous way. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. This film comes out in theaters December 4, 2020.

Reviewed by Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-18
Description - It's been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom's new boyfriend (Tyrese Gibson) and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to run away. But when a mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel threatens to destroy the North Pole and end Christmas for good, Kate and Jack are unexpectedly pulled into a new adventure with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell). Written and directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) and co-starring Goldie Hawn, THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES: PART TWO is an action-packed adventure for the whole family that's full of heart, humor, and holiday spirit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like The Christmas Chronicles 2 because it is a heartwarming film, full of magic and adventures which makes it so fun to watch. Santa Claus is not the typical Santa we are used to seeing in other movies. This Santa is a type of daredevil Santa.

If you watched The Christmas Chronicles in 2018, you must know that Kate (Darby Camp) and her brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) are friends with Santa Claus, played by the one and only Kurt Russell. Kate's mom and her boyfriend Bob (Tyrese Gibson) take Kate, Teddy and Jack (Jahzir Bruno), Bob's son, to celebrate Christmas in Cancun, Mexico. Kate doesn't want to be there as she misses her dad who passed away two years ago. An evil kid named Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) wants to destroy Santa and uses Kate to get to the North Pole to do his dirty deed. Jack follows her so they both end up at the North Pole and that's when ALL the adventure begins!

My favorite part is when Jack picks two of Mrs. Claus' special homemade cookies - confidence and bomb. When he needs confidence he forgets which one of the cookies is confidence and almost eats the cookie bomb. The graphics and digital effects are amazing. The reindeers and the cougar look real. The music is very appealing in every scene. The costumes are very seasonal. Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn) gives this movie a special touch, which makes this film different from the first movie. Mrs. Claus creates Santa's Village and takes good care of it. The movie mentions how it should be called Mrs. Claus Village, which gives this character the importance she deserves because, in reality, she is the person behind Santa, supporting him, taking care of him and his business.

The moral of this movie is to move on, be happy and let others be happy. Throughout the film we learn that Kate doesn't like her mom's new boyfriend and doesn't want Bob substituting for her dad. Santa shows her that family is everything and that they matter the most, so why not cherish that her mom is happy because she found love again in Bob? Kate needs to accept that her mom loves Bob and that doesn't mean she stops loving her dad. She needs to understand her mom deserves to be happy. Life continues; people need to move on.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. The Christmas Chronicles 2 comes out on Netflix on November 25, 2020, so get your hot chocolate and cookies or popcorn ready to enjoy this magical film!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


ANIMANIACS 2020
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ANIMANIACS 2020
HULU, LLC Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - They're back! The Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot, have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. After returning to their beloved home, the Warner Bros. water tower, the siblings waste no time in causing chaos and comic confusion as they run loose through the studio, turning the world into their personal playground. Joining Yakko, Wakko and Dot, fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain also return to continue their quest for world domination. Animaniacs is an American animated television series developed by Steven Spielberg for steaming service Hulu. It is a revival of the original 1993 television series of the same name. The new series sees the return of the Warner Brothers, Yakko and Wakko and their sister Dot (voiceovers by Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Tress MacNeille), and of Pinky and the Brain (voiceover by Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche). The first season is set to premiere on Hulu November 20, 2020.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Animaniacs is back giving us tons of entertainment! Don't expect to see reruns with this rebooted animated series. Showrunner Wellesley Wild nails the creation of fresh and relevant content, while keeping the same hilarious craziness of the original series.

The series is about the Warner siblings Wakko, Yakko and Dot who are crazy and wild characters found on the Warner Bros. Studio. The episodes follow them as they get into trouble running around the Warner Bros. Studio lot and while meeting other characters. The new season picks up 22 years later, after they were locked away. Now we get to see their new adventures as they learn more about the current world around them and all the changes that have happened.

Director Steven Spielberg brings back the same characters and many of the original voice actors. The main characters are the Warner brothers and sister - Wakko (Jess Harnell), Yakko (Rob Paulsen) and Dot (Tress MacNeille). The setting for the series is the classic Warner Bros. Studio lot and the lot's water tower. It's hilarious to see the characters run around the lot learning about things that didn't exist two decades ago like tablets, climate change, Ubers, cat-fishing, YouTubers and Amazon drones. Ralph the security guard (Frank Welker) even has new tricks he can use to catch the Warner siblings, such as a net connected to a drone. The show was updated to a wide-screen format and to make it more gender balanced and diverse. In the premiere episode, Dot points out that Warner Bros. now has a Black female CEO. Shorts like The Warner Kids and Pinky and The Brain also return with new content. It's a clever way to see how the other characters are doing after meeting the Warner siblings.

The Warner siblings and the rest of the cast always find a way to have fun in each episode. The message of this series is to find a way to stay fun, positive and happy despite the craziness in the world. I will note that there are some scenes or jokes that viewers may not get unless they followed the original series, but you will still laugh.

Animaniacs is a great mix of kid-friendly education and slapstick comedy, deserving 5 out of 5 stars and a recommendation for ages 5 to 18. Adults are sure to love it too especially if they are fans of the original series. The new season of Animaniacs debuts on Hulu on November 20.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


COLLECTIVE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
COLLECTIVE
PARTICIPANT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - In 2015, a fire at Bucharest's Colectiv club leaves 27 dead and 180 injured. Soon, more burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening. Then a doctor blows the whistle to a team of investigative journalists. One revelation leads to another as the journalists start to uncover vast health care fraud. When a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system but also to the obstacles he faces. Following journalists, whistle-blowers, burn victims, and government officials, Collective is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An electrifying and groundbreaking documentary, Collective is a chilling reminder of the underhanded dealings of modern politics. Shot in a rigorously observational manner, Collective covers an event that took Eastern Europe by storm and led to massive big pharmacy and government reform.

On October 30, 2015, a deadly fire in Colectiv, a popular nightclub in Bucharest, Romania killed 64 and injured 146. Of the 64 killed, 38 died in the hospitals. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered they were in close contact with some of the most resistant hospital bacteria on the continent, which festered in their unclean wounds. In the first part of the film, Catalin Tolontan's journalistic crusade is detailed, as he embarks upon a journey to uncover the negligence, corruption and political machinations that plagues the Romanian health system as a whole. Vlad Voiculescu is introduced as the new minister of health, and he looks to take Romania in a new direction for health and safety but faces massive backlash. Watch Collective to find out how this crisis is solved.< p>A widely-known Romanian journalist at the Gazeta Sporturilor, Catalin Tolontan, together with Vlad Vioculescu, ex-minister of health and patients rights activist, are featured in Collective. Tolontan colleagues Mirela Neag and Razvan Lutac are captured in the newsroom, printing papers and delivering fiery questions at press conferences. I especially enjoyed their portion of the film, possibly due to my interest in journalism, but also because of Tolontan's unique approach to tackling this case - calculated vehemence. Even Voiculescu's segment is intriguing, albeit a little more morose and harder to follow. Honestly, you can't help but feel bad for Voiculescu, the one upstanding politician who cares for people more than for the money in his pocket, especially in the tense election scenes. Tedy Ursuleanu, a burn victim, is also featured in this film. Her story is not illustrated in great detail, but featuring her is, to me, a massively positive step for Nanau to take. It adds a whole new level of 'wow, this is real' to Collective.

The cinematography in this film is absolutely stunning; the camera team uses dimly lit, low contrast scenes to drive home the intensity of the incident and harshly lit closeups in telling the story of the people that Collective follows. The lack of ambient noise filtration in press conferences helps the viewer really jump into the story. Besides the plot, this has got to be my favorite part of the entire documentary.

Collective promotes freedom of speech, government transparency, and valuing lives over profit, which are all positive morals. There are political elements in this film as well as rather graphic scenes depicting burn victims, that you should be aware of. Also, there is some bad language and the whole plot is unsuitable for younger audiences. Nanau successfully calls viewers to action to speak out against corruption.

I give Collective 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Collective is in theaters and on-demand November 20, 2020.

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

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


COWBOY: A DOCUMENTARY PORTRAIT
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
COWBOY: A DOCUMENTARY PORTRAIT
1922 FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - An authentic, intimate depiction of the contemporary cowboy, COWBOYS: A DOCUMENTARY PORTRAIT straps audiences in the saddle alongside working men and women on some of today's largest and most remote cattle ranches in the American West. Told genuinely and reverently through first-hand accounts from cowboys in the deepest, most isolated parts of America, the timeless documentary illustrates not only the rewards of a cowboy's lifestyle but also the unvarnished hardships of a celebrated but misunderstood way of life.

Utilizing their extensive collective backgrounds, co-directors John Langmore (published ranch photographer and former working cowboy) and Bud Force (rodeo cowboy turned award-winning director/DP) provide an aesthetically mesmerizing, sure-handed look at how Western traditions have found a way to coexist with society's modern achievements.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait because it held my interest and I learned a lot about cowboys that I didn't know before. I like learning about their lifestyle, their customs, traditions and habitat.

This movie documents how cowboys and their families live in some of the most isolated ranches in America and it teaches the audience about the cowboy lifestyle and duties. Being a cowboy is like any other profession, with the difference that it is not an easy job. A cowboy's job is mostly physical. They raise cows and bulls to make a living. They make lots of sacrifices like not being with their family, because they spend a lot of hours working. Even though cowboys work all year, they only get paid once or twice a year.

My favorite part is when a cowboy's young wife shares what it is like to be married to a cowboy. They live isolated and far away from town. It takes her nine hours to drive to town to go grocery shopping. She makes sure her two little children don't get injured, because even the hospital is far away. This movie was filmed at eight different ranches. The aerial shots showing the landscapes are amazing. This film documents the importance and value of being a cowboy, showing the audience how being a cowboy is a profession. It is not just the hat, the boots or riding a horse. It is more than that and it is not easy to be one. The background music is well selected. You should be aware that there are some gory scenes that are not suitable for smaller children.

The theme of this film is to see the cowboys for what they do, not for who they are. People only see their outfits and their horses; they think that's all they are. People don't see they are hard-working professionals that make sacrifices living in isolation, working long hours in the fields. Cowboys are a very important part of this country. Not everybody is born to be a cowboy.

I give Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 plus adults. This film will be released November 17, 2020. Mark your calendar so you don't miss it!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


DOUG UNPLUGS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOUG UNPLUGS
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-9
Description - Hailing from DreamWorks Animation and based on Dan Yaccarino's "Doug Unplugged" book series, "Doug Unplugs" follows a young robot named Doug who senses there's more to life than just the facts. While other robots plug in for their daily download, curious Doug unplugs and journeys into the human world, and with his best friend Emma, experiences its wonders firsthand. "Doug Unplugs" is executive produced by Jim Nolan, Aliki Theofilopoulos and Dan Yaccarino, and stars the voice talents of Brandon James Cienfuegos, Kyrie McAlpin, Eric Bauza, Mae Whitman, Leslie David Baker and Becky Robinson.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the animated series Doug Unplugs because it blends fun and education. I like how vibrant the characters are and how I learn something new from each episode. Every episode also has music incorporated into it, which adds another fun element to the show.

Doug Unplugs is an AppleTV+ series about a six-year-old robot named Doug (Brandon James Cienfuegos) who unplugs to visit the human world to learn about things. He gets together with his best friend Emma (Kyrie Mcalpin), who teaches him about a bunch of stuff from her world--whether it's explaining what table tennis is or describing what people do at a beach. Doug is full of curiosity, while Emma is always excited about what she can show her friend next. They have a bunch of new experiences together and always seem to be having a good time.

My favorite character is Emma because she is super outgoing and gets excited about everything. She reminds me of myself, since I'm outgoing too. I also like how there are songs in the episodes. They mostly are upbeat songs that help you remember something special about the episode. Sometimes they get stuck in your head because they are pretty catchy. The animation of this series is full of color and is really cute. Brandon (who voices Doug) and Kyrie (who voices Emma) have perfect voices for their characters. They both have good energy, which makes you want to watch the next episode to see what adventure they will go on. If you like learning about things, you'll enjoy watching this series.

The message of the film is to always be curious about things and don't be afraid of trying something new. Just because you are unfamiliar with something doesn't mean you should be scared of it. You might learn something and have fun doing it. I know I was a little scared to try snow skiing, but once I tried it, I had so much fun--even thought I might have fallen a few times.

I give Doug Unplugs 5 out of 5 stars and recommend the series for ages 2 to 9, although adults will probably enjoy watching this series with their kids because they might learn something, too. Doug Unplugs is available now, so check it out on Apple TV+.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-9
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHARLIE SURFER
FENOMEN TV, FILM & SCENE AS
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Charlie is 10 years old and diagnosed with Asperger's. He is proud of his diagnosis but sometimes he wishes he could be more like the other boys in his class. Feeling different makes him feel left out at times. Because of his Asperger's Charlie struggles with team sports. But he has found two things he loves to do, surfing and dancing. We follow Charlie through ups and downs at this years surf camp. Freom Norway, in English, filmed in Ireland.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KATE AND AVA
AIKO HILKINGER
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 5-12
Description - Two young girls solve problems created by magical creatures only they can see

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-112
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
QUEEN MARLENE'S TOY MUSEUM AND FRIENDS: TRAFFIC SAFETY TOYS
MARLENE HOCHMAN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-10
Description - Queen Marlene's Toy Museum and Friends," is produced by The Toy Museum of NY. With over 21 years of experience working with children, families, teachers and students, the Museum has created a series of educational and entertaining films to enable anyone from anywhere to enjoy a visit to the Toy Museum. Hosted by Queen Marlene, who is also the Founder of The Toy Museum of NY, the castle serves as the Museum's home and provides the perfect setting for giving tours and teaching young audiences about toys in a fun way.
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

RAINBOW RANGERS: RANGERS TO THE RESCUE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RAINBOW RANGERS: RANGERS TO THE RESCUE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Description - Seven girls live a rainbow ride away and whenever there's trouble, the Rangers zoom into action across the sky to save the day!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Rainbow Rangers: Rangers To The Rescue is a perfect choice for kids who like adventure and friendship. All the episodes present real problems that the Rainbow Rangers have to solve. This is a good way to show young viewers how to problem solve. The characters are always working together and demonstrate how working together gets things done much quicker.

In the seven different episodes there are different problems on Earth that the Rangers go down and help solve. While doing that they teach important life lessons.

My favorite part out of all of the episodes is when Floof makes an entrance into the main space. It shows that they, even when working to solve problems, the Rangers still have fun and are relaxed about things.

The voice actors in this series are terrific, making sure you know what emotions the characters are feeling though their voice talent. I especially like the voice of Kalia which is played by Phillipia Alexander. Her performance stands out because she makes her tone motherly when she talks with the Rangers and always sounds worried when telling them about the horrible problems taking place. I also like Dan Russell's voice-acting as Preston Praxton, especially when his character sounds indifferent. I love the animation and the storylines also. They make the show. One of the things that jumped out to me in this show is what how the animation makes making the movements of the characters look so natural and how they take positions that real people would stand in, rather than stand straight upright. By mimicking human stances, the characters feel more lifelike.

The message of this series is about teamwork and how you can get a lot more done and do a much better job at something if you have work together with your peers. In all of the episodes teamwork is a prominent part.

I give Rainbow Rangers: Rangers To The Rescue 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. Reviewed by Julie S. and Lorelei T.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! DVD because it is an educational and fun animation show, for mostly a girl audience, but boys can enjoy it too.

This DVD is about seven girls who are named Rainbow Rangers. They have colorful hair and space type outfits. Each one of these girls is unique. They each have their own personalities and powers. They live in a place named Kaleidoscopia. The Rangers have wristbands that ring when they are needed. Whenever there is trouble for people or animals on Earth, the Rangers ride a rainbow in their space-type scooters and go to their rescue. They have a unicorn named Floof as a pet that helps them too. This DVD includes eight very exciting episodes filled with adventures. Each episode is approximately eleven minutes long.

My favorite episode is "Bee Safe," because it is about a mama elephant and her two baby elephants crashing into a farm, looking for food to feed her babies. The Rangers come to rescue their friend's, Milika, farm. One of the Rangers finds out the mama elephant is afraid of bees so the Rangers use their powers to protect the farm by constructing small bee houses and placing them in front of Milika's farm. They tie them all together so the mama elephant will trip on them and all the bees will come out and scare the elephants away. Also, the Rangers find a food source for the elephants so Milika's farm will be safe from the elephants. This show's animation is digital, which makes it very neat. The graphics are colorful and bright. The theme song is appealing and very catchy. The voiceovers for each character are great.

Each episode's storyline promotes the idea of "team work makes the dream work." All seven Rangers help those who are in need. Each one has their own powers, but when work together they are stronger and their job is made much easier.

I give Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18 plus adults. Even though this animation show is mostly for girls, boys will enjoy it as well. This DVD is available now so look for it.

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

I love Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! so much!! It made me smile and laugh the whole time. I kept on watching until there were no more episodes left and watched it again. I am sure this DVD will become every little girl's favorite one!!

This DVD is about a group of girls and little cute boy unicorn saving the world!! There are seven main characters, each with different strengths. And there are seven episodes. These girls face challenge issues in each episode and have to use their power to make each other stronger to solve problems.

The characters include Rosie Redd, Mandarin Orange, Anna Banana and there are many more. They are as adorable as much as their names. My favorite character is Fluff, the magical unicorn. He can magically present yummy treats and share them with his friends. In addition, his hair is awesome like a rainbow. The director Rob Minkoff and the writer Shane Morris have created a unique story as ell as characters. The bright and vivid colors keep your eye on the story every second. And their costumes are just so cute. The main song perfectly matches the characters and stories. It is hard to let it go after hearing a few times.

The message is of this film is to be kind to others, then others will be kind to you. The Rangers all help each other, make each other more powerful and always care about others.

I give Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. It is available now on DVD so look for it.

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

Epic! I recommend the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue! because it shows how important is to help others and work as a team. What I like best is how all the girls are adventurous, have different powers and work together to solve problems.

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV show Rainbow Rangers. It follows the Rainbow Rangers who live in Kaleidoscopia. They protect nature and the land. Each of the eight girls has different powers. Their home is full of unicorns, trolls and other creatures that they value greatly. The Rainbow Rangers show up to help wherever they are needed. They are strong, kind, thought and smart leaders. The show is full of unexpected circumstances that the Rainbow Rangers are ready to assist and get things back on track.

Mandy Orange is my favorite Ranger because she always finds a way to keep things positive. I love how the girls solve problems. Rainbow Rangers is full of girl power. The cinematography and special effects are extraordinary. The production uses vibrant colors and engaging attributes in the characters, down to their costuming. What makes this show stand out is how it empowers girls with very different appearances. I like that the show is inclusive of all types of girls and characters. My favorite part is when the girls fly off to an adventure to protect the creatures, people and the land of Kaleidoscopia.

The message of the show is to always be considerate and help others.

I give the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Bailey Rae F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 88 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


FISHBOWL
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FISHBOWL
101 STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Description - In a small town filled with secrets, three sisters are forced to cling to each other as they cope with loss and a father who's growing increasingly obsessed with the rapture he thinks is coming.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I found Fishbowl super interesting. There's a lot to discuss about the themes and presentation.

The story follows three sisters, Belle, Rachel and Jessa, as they struggle to cope with recent trauma in a small town. Meanwhile, their father grows more paranoid over the end of the world.

It's important to mention that this film is heavily about religion. What sparks the father's paranoia is a televangelist claiming he can save people from Judgment Day. As a result, the father becomes obsessive and borderline abusive. I really like how this film comments on religious figures taking advantage of those who are struggling. It's a topic I don't see discussed that often, and I think it's well handled here. Because on the one hand, you feel bad for their father, Rick, as he's dealing with trauma just like his daughters. However as the film goes on, he begins to spiral out of control, and becomes more and more unlikeable. Despite that, you understand his downward spiral isn't entirely his fault. It's an intriguing character arc, and a great way of showing how religion changes people. Humans are fragile and flawed and need direction, but which way should they go?

I also really like the acting in this film. The daughters give incredibly emotional and compelling performances, but I want to give special mention to Caroline Coleman, aka Jessa. She has no lines of dialogue, but her acting is really emotional and I really felt her pain. This is her first film and I sense a great future ahead.

However, while I think this aspect of the film is handled well, there are many scenes that don't really seem to have a purpose other than to make you uncomfortable. I don't inherently have a problem with a movie trying to make me feel uncomfortable, if there is a reason for it. But, I couldn't really figure out what the reasons were for those scenes. So take this as a warning that some scenes might be upsetting.

The presentation of this film is pretty great. I like the dull, somber tone of the movie, and the lack of music. This movie also utilizes a lot of flashbacks as a way to get a better understanding of the sisters' mother. I like how the events that led to this story aren't entirely clear, and they let you figure out what's happening through context clues and parallels. I think it makes the character arcs, along with the ending, much more impactful.

I rate Fishbowl 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, as this film can be quite dark. It is available now on Amazon and other VOD platforms, so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY
VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - Paul lives an isolated life with his father in upstate New York. He finds making friends impossible due to a rare condition he has known as congenital hypertrichosis - an affliction that causes an abnormal amount of hair growth all over his face and body. On his 13th birthday, Paul receives a mysterious gift that compels him to run away and seek out the mother he has never known.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Is it a full moon outside? Because today I am howling that you need to check out The True Adventures of Wolfboy! This film is one big emotional journey that is extremely important for every young adult to see. Some movies might have a few lessons here and there, but this film is one big lesson. It might seem like a normal movie, but actually there is much more in the big picture. The film addresses many lessons or morals plus it has outstanding acting and amazing costume and makeup designs.

The True Adventures of Wolfboy follows a 13-ear-old boy named Paul (Jaeden Martell) who suffers from hypertrichosis. This disease makes it so you have abnormal hair growth around your body. For Paul, growing up, he ends up being called a version of a werewolf or dog. Of course, no one ever wants this to happen to themself, so it makes it extremely hard for Paul. One day, he receives a gift from his estranged mother, telling him to come find her because she has an explanation for everything. This leads Paul to go on a journey, not just a physical journey, but an emotional journey of self-acceptance.

As you can imagine, it must take a lot of makeup to make someone look like a wolf boy so naturally, the makeup department's work to make Jaeden Martell look like a wolf boy is extraordinary. Another great aspect of this film is the acting. John Turturro's portrayal of Mr. Silk is especially astounding, because he makes his character stand out and appear so authentic that you will remember his character long after the credits roll.

The True Adventures of Wolfboy includes some profanity, including one F-word, some under-age drinking, bullying and mild-violence. However, the movie is one very big lesson teaching viewers to be comfortable in your own skin. No matter what you think, you are amazing - plain and simple. Any differences you have just make you special and you should embrace them. This movie is a must-see for anyone who is struggling with themselves, because it helps you come to grips with who you are and reminds you how amazing you truly are.

I am howling that my rating for The True Adventures of Wolfboy is 5 out of 5 stars because of the emotional journey the film takes you on and because of the life-changing morals and theme. I recommend The True Adventures of Wolfboy for ages 12-18, plus adults, because of the language and sensitive topics. You can find The True Adventures of Wolfboy on digital on October 30, 2020.

Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


ONCE UPON A SNOWMAN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ONCE UPON A SNOWMAN
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: SHORT, AGES 5 - 18
Description - Olaf's first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is just the comedic break from reality that I needed. Once Upon a Snowman is an entertaining short film about the origins of Olaf from the Frozen films that tickles the nonsensical humor in me.

From "I'm having a bit of a crisis of identity, I think" to "That's very generous, fuzzy man bear," Olaf surely has a lovable personality and we see in eight minutes how Olaf, our favorite snowman, came to exist. I love how Olaf manages to keep his spirits up even when he has no idea who he is, what his name should be or what should become his nose - a flag? paddle? carrot? The best part is at the most troublesome moment of the entire film when he yells "Use the buddy system" to the separated parts of his body while being chased by a predator.

It's people, or might I say snowmen, like Olaf from whom we should learn how to deal with adversity. Olaf just goes for things without hesitating. He doesn't sit around and wait for his problems to be solved for him. He looks at himself in the mirror and asks if he is a "Trevor." He tests out a sausage as a nose and when all of it fails, he just keeps trying until he gets the answers he needs. We may not have to worry about the same problems as Olaf, but we can learn from his behavior. There is always a solution to every problem. We just have to go out and find it. This film also dives into how Olaf may be a snowman, but is warm at heart. People may seem cold as ice on the outside, but if you get to know them like we get to know Olaf, you may realize that they are not all that they seemed. They may become a good friend, but you won't know until you look past their outer demeanor. Olaf is the kind of snowman who helps those in despair and makes new friends along the way, whether it's a human or a wolf.

I rate Once Upon a Snowman 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, and older. You can stream it on Disney+ now.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Like most Disney animated shorts, Once Upon a Snowman is fun, colorful and full of all your favorite Frozen characters. It's full of comedy, discovery, nostalgia, lots of snow and of course....magic!

In the new eight minute long Disney+ animated short Once Upon a Snowman, we get to see the previously unseen and untold origins of everyone's magical and warm-hug loving snowman, Olaf. This film offers a behind-the-scenes adventure from the moment Olaf is brought to life by Elsa as she makes her way up the Arendale mountains to build her ice fortress singing "Let it Go," and then follows Olaf as he begins to discover who and what he is. In just a small amount of time, we get a really fun, behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite scenes of the original movie, as seen from Olaf's point of view and through his wanderings around the frozen forest of Arendale. It is really fun to see iconic scenes with some of the other characters, seen from Olaf's point of view, and finally we learn how and why he loves summer so much!

The message of this film is to always ask questions and be friendly with everyone you meet, because you never know what answers they will give you and what sort of friendship could evolve, just from saying, "Hello."

If you love the Frozen movies and the Frozen animated shorts, then you'll love Once Upon a Snowman. I give Frozen 5 out of 5 snowflakes (y'know, because it's about Olaf) and recommend it for ages 5 to18, plus adults, as well as Disney fans, will absolutely love it too. Once Upon a Snowman debuts on Disney+ on Oct 23, 2020. Don't miss it.

Reviewed by Lindalee R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


OCTONAUTS: OPERATION DEEP FREEZE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OCTONAUTS: OPERATION DEEP FREEZE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - The Octonauts are a team of adventurers who explore the worlds oceans, rescue aquatic creatures and protect their habitats - from the bustling eco-system along the Amazon River to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze's characters and stories are cute. The DVD's educational Arctic theme flows throughout every episode, giving you the option to enjoy all 66 minutes at once or to split up them up to view only one episode at a time if you want to limit screen time.

The Octonauts, Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso and crew, travel to the Antarctic to respond to a call for help. In each of the five episodes the team encounters a dilemma under the ocean or in the environment near the water. The Octonauts work together to come up with a plan and quickly put it into action. Always upbeat and never too scary, they face challenges and overcome them as a team.

The animated characters have unique voices and depict various animal types. The main characters include a polar bear, a cat and penguin. While there are a variety of animals, they all have the same black eyes and most of the background landscapes are flat. For example, the clouds don't move in the sky. The colorful characters, their movement and the music would likely keep children engaged enough that the backgrounds are not particularly important.

The Octonauts vow to explore, rescue and protect. Each episode provides a few educational points and talks about protecting wild life and the environment in terms younger viewers can easily understand. In this DVD you learn about penguins, the Arctic vs. Antarctic and fossils (to name a few).

The message of teamwork is woven into each episode and every character has its own skillset that is valuable to the team, further depicting uniqueness. The Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze has no violence, profanity or bias present.

I give Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. It is available on DVD now so look for it.

Reviewed by Angela G, KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze, like so many of their other DVDs, is so enjoyable! It has the cutest animation that has a near stop-motion look and fun adventures.

The Octonuats are a group of animals that explore, rescue and protect. On this thrilling DVD, we join the Octonauts on their numerous exciting adventures to the Arctic and Antarctic (yes, there is a difference). And for those that have watched previous episodes, this DVD introduces some new characters. There are five episodes in this DVD, each running about 13 minutes and include Operation Deep Freeze, Walrus Pups, Emperor Penguins, Coelacanth and Hidden Lake.

Octonauts once again never fail to keep people entertained. There is something new to learn for everyone. The animation is very high quality, yet simple, and always has a new landscape to see, even if it is just snow and water. The voice cast includes Simon Greenall, who plays Captain Barnacles, the leader of the Octonauts, who also happens to be a polar bear and really nails the leader-type voice. Rob Rackstraw plays Kwazii, the adventurous pirate cat, and has a splendid "piratey" voice. Paul Panting plays Peso, the expert penguin medic, and does a perfect shy but kind voice. My favorite episode is Hidden Lake because I had no idea that red lakes existed, let alone that anything lives in them!

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD, including helping others, protecting the ecosystem and the importance of teamwork. Younger children should keep in mind that they should not be interacting with wild animals in real life. However, this show might inspire them to be a vet or animal researcher.

I give Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Adults will think that 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 12

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze is a superb, educational DVD that will capture your attention for its entire duration. The intricately-designed characters (both their personalities and outward look) and the unique storylines are wondrous!

This 66-minute DVD follows a team of sea-adventurers (Captain Barnacles the daredevil polar bear, a friendly ex-pirate named Kwazii the cat, a medic: Peso the penguin and others), as they embark upon an expedition to Antarctica to help out marine life. They prevent a group of penguins from falling into an ice chasm, rescue walrus pups with the Captain's niece and nephew, and discover some microscopic creatures under a hidden lake.

I have a bit of a history with the show Octonauts; I loved it when I was younger and, to be totally honest, still have a soft corner for the super awesome animated animals. Specifically two: the resourceful and level-headed Captain Barnacles who is voiced by the highly talented Simon Greenall; he's one of my favorite voice actors. And, of course the scaredy-cat Peso who is the first to show vulnerability, but is one of the most resilient characters in the show. He's played by Wayne Grayson. Also, the animation is absolutely spectacular; the deep colors and super cutely designed characters will surely catch your eye. Overall, it's a beautifully executed show!

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze promotes messages of teamwork, helping others, perseverance and resourcefulness. It's an uplifting DVD that will surely put a smile on your face.

I give Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 4 to 6. Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze is available now on DVD! Look for it!

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 70 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


CLOUDS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CLOUDS
DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Young musician Zach Sobiech discovers his cancer has spread, leaving him just a few months to live. With limited time, he follows his dream and makes an album, unaware that it will soon be a viral music phenomenon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Clouds is an inspirational story that helps the viewers to realize the value of our time. Not only is the message beautiful, but the cinematography is beautiful, as well. It is a powerful film that will make you reach for tissues.

The film is based around the true life story of Zach Sobeich. Zach was a high schooler diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer, and told that he had less than a year to live. Instead of giving up on the rest of his life, he decided to make the most of it. He started to write music and set up the band A Firm Handshake. He wrote the song Clouds, which was a viral hit on song charts in countries around the world. Zach Sobiech inspires others to do the same as he: make the most of life. In the film, Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus) tells viewers that you don't have to be told you are dying in order to start living.

Zach Sobiech's best friend Sammy, is played by Sabrina Carpenter, an exceptional actress who draws the audience into the emotional scenes. The family members of Zack Sobiech, such as the mother Laura Sobiech (Neve Campbell), the father Rob Sobiech (Tom Everett Scott) and the sisters Alli and Grace (Vivien Douglass and Summer Howell), are all exceptional actors as well. You can see how much they care for Zach Sobiech, how much they love him, and how badly they want him to live. The intense emotions they are able to convey is what brings the audience to tears.

The strategic cinematography by Ben Kutchins also brings the audience into the scenes and makes them feel as if they are right there, in the moment, with the characters. The strong performances of the actors combined with the excellent cinematography helps to deliver the message of the story right into the viewer's hearts. My favorite scene is when the story comes full circle while Zach is performing for his audience. They sing his own song back to him, just like he dreamed. At that moment, I felt really proud of him, and I felt his happiness.

The message of this film is to start going after your dreams now. Zach said that teens mistakenly feel invincible, and we always say that we'll start working towards our dreams tomorrow. Zach's story proves that life is a gift, and we have the power in our hands to make the most of it. With time, we can do anything we want, achieve anything we want, and be anything we want. We just need to take advantage of that power.

I rate Clouds 5 out of 5 stars. I really loved it, and I think that everyone else will too, even adults. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. You should definitely go watch it now! Clouds is streaming on Disney+!

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

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


HONEST THIEF
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
HONEST THIEF
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - They call him the In-and-Out-Bandit because meticulous thief Tom Carter (Liam Neeson) has stolen $9 million from small-town banks while managing to keep his identity a secret. But after he falls in love with the bubbly Annie (Kate Walsh), Tom decides to make a fresh start by coming clean about his criminal past, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Honest Thief is the "average Joe" of current film releases. It's a movie with very few characteristics that make it stand out from other action/drama. In the film, Tom Carter (Liam Neeson) tries to give up $9 million in stolen money to live an honest life with the woman he loves. But as he attempts to turn himself in, two corrupt Feds, Ramon (Anthony Ramos) and John (Jai Courtney) take advantage of the stolen money. Now he must clear his name for a murder he never committed all in the name of love.

I feel like I have watched Honest Thief many times before. Many action/drama films have the same feel to the plot, action and dialogue - and the writing here feels a bit lazy. It is as if Honest Thief cut and pasted elements from clich� lines from classic action films and put them into scenes that were supposed to be suspenseful and dramatic. I have heard the lines "I am coming for you" in too many films to count, and the effect of using these lines too much is disappointing.

I like that Honest Thief is fast-paced and scenes don't drag out. There are "good old" car chases, people being knocked out and being swung around like ragdolls. The use of comedy is sparse and feels thrown in the movie for the sake of comedic relief. Honest Thief is serious in tone so the comedy feels awkward and out of place, especially since there is so little of it.

I can usually enjoy any kind of film for what it is, but something rubbed me the wrong way about the character of Annie (Kate Walsh), Tom's wife. Her role, even her designation as a grad student, feels instrumental only for the progression of Tom's character. Tom believes he can turn himself in, delete his past, and that Annie will stay with him even after finding he's a professional bank robber. I am disappointed in the stereotypical and outdated use of women as the motivation for everything a man does --as well as not happy with the lack of female representation here. If we use the Bechdel test for female representation and ask, "Does the film have two named female characters that talk to each other about something other than men?" Unfortunately Honest Thief fails this test.

This film has action, violence and some strong language. I am able to empathize with Ramon as he struggles about whether to go along with John and steal the money for the future or do what is morally right. Even in Tom's case, as we learn about his motivation for robbing banks, we realize that not everyone is what they seem at surface level and good people can do bad things.

I give Honest Thief 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 12 to 18. Honest Thief released in theatres on October 16, 2020.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


COME PLAY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
COME PLAY
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A long-limbed monster named Larry targets Oliver, a non-verbal autistic young boy along with his family and friends as well as other victims by manifesting through their smart phones, computers, television screens and other mobile devices.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Come Play will surely give you the chills! This Halloween-release horror film incredibly realistic CGI, sonorous and somber soundtrack and superb performances make this an enjoyable watch. I'll get into more about the production quality very soon, but first: the plot!

Come Play follows Oliver (Azhy Robertson), an elementary school student with autism. He's a little lonely because he's different from everyone else, and so when he finds an ebook which promises friendship, he's eager to read it from cover to cover. But in the book lies Oliver's worst nightmare: Larry, a monster who wants Oliver so badly that he's willing to break through Oliver's devices into his world just to take him away.

The production quality of this film is incredibly high. Jacob Chase, director and writer of Come Play, has written a spine-tingling script and puts forth his impeccable skills of direction in this film. David J Bomba, the production designer, meticulously designed each scene; his handiwork is magnificent. And Roque Banos, to whom the musical credits go, provides just the right low-pitched, deep soundtrack that completes the overall package of this horror indie film.

As far as the acting in this film is concerned, all of the performances are absolutely amazing! Azhy Robertson's portrayal of Oliver is perfectly toned and well-acted; it is quite realistic and is unlike most representations. I also love Gillian Jacobs' performance as Oliver's mother, Sarah. She's supremely talented at emoting and her delivery is impeccable. Playing a mother is difficult; striking up the right emotions is a challenge, and it's a great achievement to convincingly portray one. Absolutely awesome!

This film promotes friendship and staying beside one another through tough times, just like Byron (Winslow Fegley) and Oliver do. There are some things that parents need to look out for. Because of Oliver's autism, he can be a bit standoffish and aloof and hits some of his friends at times. Oliver's mom and dad fight frequently, and insecurity about parenting is brought up. In general, the subject matter of this film (horror, autism and bullying) is intended for slightly more mature audiences.

I give Come Play 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults may enjoy this film as well. Come Play releases in theatres on October 30, 2020.

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

Grab some pillows and blankets to hide behind because today we are talking about the new terrifying film, Come Play! Come Play has brilliant jump scares flying at you left and right, and tons of scary scenes that will make you jump in odd ways. The suspense of the movie continually puts you on the edge of your seat dying to find out what happens next. Come Play provides an authentic plot. Quite frankly, I have never seen anything like Come Play, which makes it even more entertaining to watch.

Come Play follows a young boy named Oliver (Azhy Robertson) who is on the autistic spectrum and, unfortunately, cannot verbalize for himself. Instead, Oliver uses his phone or tablet to communicate. However, one night his phone starts talking to him. In the middle of the night, Oliver's phone randomly gets stuck on a book called "Misunderstood Monsters," and Oliver learns of a monster named Larry, who just wants a friend. Soon Oliver learns Larry's true potential and he and his family must escape the curse of this devilish monster.

The most compelling characteristic that makes Come Play so entertaining is the writing. The writing is superb. It is written in a strange and clandestine way, so it doesn't scare you in the predictable ways you might anticipate. Come Play is extremely impressive with its horror approach. The writers create angst and scare you with just two innocent people walking down the sidewalk, and not with a huge creepy monster. This movie's electrical effects are extremely important because of the electrical connection Larry has. The lighting effects in this film are exceptional. They definitely make the movie even creepier.

Come Play is a horror movie. I recommend it especially if this is your first experience viewing this film genre, because it is scary, but in a fun and entertaining way. Besides the typical jump scares, the movie also provides a different type of horror - bullying. Bullying is shown quite a lot in the first half of the movie and may not set the best example for children watching. Important lessons are communicated in this film, particularly the importance of friendship and family.

Similar to when the jump scares made me scream, I am screaming now that my rating for Come Play is 5 out of 5 stars. It has amazing writing and electrical effects. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults, because of the frightening scenes and language. You can find Come Play in theaters October 30, 2020.

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


NASRIN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
NASRIN
VIRGIL FILMS & ENTERTIAINMENT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 16-18
Description - Secretly filmed in Iran for over two years, NASRIN is an immersive portrait of human rights activist and political prisoner Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iran's remarkably resilient women's rights movement. Nasrin has long fought for the rights of women, children, LGBT prisoners, religious minorities, journalists and artists, and those facing the death penalty. She was arrested in 2018 for representing women who protested Iran's mandatory hijab law and sentenced to 38 years in prison, plus 148 lashes. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman and featuring acclaimed filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, journalist Ann Curry, exiled women's rights activist Mansoureh Shojaee, and Nasrin Sotoudeh. With an original song by Tony Award-winning composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty with lyrics based on Nasrin's letters from prison to her children; performed by 4-time Grammy winner, Ang�lique Kidjo.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nasrin is an eye opener and really puts life into perspective! This documentary makes you want to jump off your couch and live your life. By the end of it, you'll feel so appreciative of liberties we take for granted.

This film is held together by first-hand video footage, calls and interviews with Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. The videos have time jumps, from 2006/2008 to more recent ones from 2016/2017. The majority of the movie is in Persian with English subtitles. Nasrin's letters are translated to English, narrated by Olivia Colman. The film also includes interviews with Nasrin's friends and family. The cinematographers keep their identities hidden, filming Nasrin in secret, as to not be persecuted.

The film really shows Nasrin's bravery. Videos of her talking on the phone about her cases show how passionate she is about her job. We see her not only as a lawyer, but as a mother and an activist. The highlight of this documentary is when Nasrin goes to protests and stands up for human rights. At the end of the movie, Nasrin's husband states how she will go to prison for the second time as a political prisoner. Her sentence is thirty four years and one hundred and forty eight lashes. We see people worldwide protesting her sentence, from Ireland, Turkey, Spain and the United States. Her sentence was reduced to twelve years and seventy four lashes. Iranian citizens still fight for her freedom.

The lesson to be learned from this film is to always fight for what you believe in. Nasrin fought for her clients as a lawyer and continues to fight for change in her country. She has defied boundaries by refusing to abide by the Iranian dress code and to participate in sit-in protests.

I give Nasrin 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. It premieres at Doc NYC November 11, 2020.

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

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


CASAGRANDES, THE: FAILS FROM THE CRYPT/BAD CLUCK
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CASAGRANDES, THE: FAILS FROM THE CRYPT/BAD CLUCK
NICKELODEON
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - With All In: The Fight For Democracy, documentarians Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes weave a compelling account of the history of voting rights in the U.S, a long, winding path through many of the most pivotal moments and movements of the past--through triumph and tragedy--bound to infuriate audiences just as much as it'll invigorate them. The story of voting rights in this country is not brief, nor simple. The movie opens with a primer on Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. From there, the film documents the vast journey from the dawn of our nation when the only people who could vote were white, male landowners to where we are today, with voting rights for all citizens over 18. It's remarkable just how much Garbus and Cortes are able to encompass within the film from Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregationist practices, and the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, up to the present day. The pacing is impressive and gives the viewer a lot to take in and take away from the film, but the film is never overwhelming in its scope or ambition. Garbus and Cortes even include footage as recent as the Wisconsin primary depicting voters donning facemasks at the polls. It's slightly surreal to see a story being told that is so heavily informed by the headlines of today. The film's most engaging perspective comes not from that of a voter, but a politician in that of Stacey Abrams. Her point of view anchors the film as living proof of the consequences of voter suppression. The importance of voting demonstrated throughout gives urgency to All In, and I commend the editing, considering how much the situation surrounding voter suppression and the fight for voting rights was still developing in the months leading up to the film's release. All In: The Fight For Democracy affirms the power of one's vote and shows how much traction has been gained in establishing wider voting rights. The film also demonstrates the degree to which the ever-present threat of voter suppression has grown and the ways in which it plagues the elections of today, illustrated by the gubernatorial race between Abrams and Kemp. Michael Waldman utters a sentence early on in the film that encapsulates nicely the film's thesis: "History is never a straight line, it's always a fight." History repeats itself just as often as it progresses and that notion is crystallized within this film at various points where the film jumps back in time to show how the past has informed the present. All In closes with a crystal-clear message to go vote. An acute reminder that All In can't close the door on its story precisely because the fight referred to in the film's title is still ongoing. Much work has been done in the realm of voting rights, but much more still remains to be done-- the film doesn't lose sight of that. I give All In: The Fight For Democracy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 for some brief violent images from newsreels and archives. This is timely, illuminating documentary filmmaking covering a pressing issue and definitely a must-see, not just for the information it contains, but the skill with which it's presented. All In: The Fight For Democracy is available to Amazon Prime subscribers starting September 18, 2020.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Casagrandes is just the show to get you into the Halloween spirit! Its spooky new episodes, "Fails from the Crypt" and "Bad Cluck" bring chills and frights to anyone watching. It's a great family fun adventure.

Casagrandes follows the Mexican/American family the Casagrandes on their wild journeys and is a spinoff on the Nickelodeon show The Loud House. Season two kicks off with "Fails from the Crypt" where Ronnie Anne (Izabella Alvarez) and her friends try to break a local record for staying in the cemetery overnight. They try everything in their power to not be scared, and the challenge is harder than it seems In "Bad Cluck" a spirit chicken appears and haunts the family. The Casagrandes band together to get the ghost out of their home.

Definitely the best parts of these episodes are the crazy twists and turns, with some surprises. I found "Bad Cluck" to be less exciting than "Fails from the Crypt." The topic was not as funny. "Fails from the Crypt" is perfect for the spooky season, and really brings out all things Halloween. The tone is dark and freaky, like a graveyard, which is wonderful.

Throughout both episodes, the Casagrandes family comes together and faces many issues they have as a family. There a little bit of haunting that might be fearful for children under the age of 10.

I give Casagrandes "Fails from the Crypt & Bad Cluck" 4 out of 5 stars and recommend these episodes for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It is available October 9, 2020 only on Nickelodeon.

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

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


ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCARACY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCARACY
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - The documentary takes a look at the history, and current activism against voter suppression; barriers to voting that most people don't even know is a threat to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - With All In: The Fight For Democracy, documentarians Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes weave a compelling account of the history of voting rights in the U.S, a long, winding path through many of the most pivotal moments and movements of the past--through triumph and tragedy--bound to infuriate audiences just as much as it'll invigorate them.

The story of voting rights in this country is not brief, nor simple. The movie opens with a primer on Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. From there, the film documents the vast journey from the dawn of our nation when the only people who could vote were white, male landowners to where we are today, with voting rights for all citizens over 18.

It's remarkable just how much Garbus and Cortes are able to encompass within the film from Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregationist practices, and the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, up to the present day. The pacing is impressive and gives the viewer a lot to take in and take away from the film, but the film is never overwhelming in its scope or ambition. Garbus and Cortes even include footage as recent as the Wisconsin primary depicting voters donning facemasks at the polls. It's slightly surreal to see a story being told that is so heavily informed by the headlines of today. The film's most engaging perspective comes not from that of a voter, but a politician in that of Stacey Abrams. Her point of view anchors the film as living proof of the consequences of voter suppression. The importance of voting demonstrated throughout gives urgency to All In, and I commend the editing, considering how much the situation surrounding voter suppression and the fight for voting rights was still developing in the months leading up to the film's release.

All In: The Fight For Democracy affirms the power of one's vote and shows how much traction has been gained in establishing wider voting rights. The film also demonstrates the degree to which the ever-present threat of voter suppression has grown and the ways in which it plagues the elections of today, illustrated by the gubernatorial race between Abrams and Kemp. Michael Waldman utters a sentence early on in the film that encapsulates nicely the film's thesis: "History is never a straight line, it's always a fight." History repeats itself just as often as it progresses and that notion is crystallized within this film at various points where the film jumps back in time to show how the past has informed the present. All In closes with a crystal-clear message to go vote. An acute reminder that All In can't close the door on its story precisely because the fight referred to in the film's title is still ongoing. Much work has been done in the realm of voting rights, but much more still remains to be done-- the film doesn't lose sight of that.

I give All In: The Fight For Democracy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 for some brief violent images from newsreels and archives. This is timely, illuminating documentary filmmaking covering a pressing issue and definitely a must-see, not just for the information it contains, but the skill with which it's presented. All In: The Fight For Democracy is available to Amazon Prime subscribers starting September 18, 2020.

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

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


WITCHES, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WITCHES, THE
HBO MAX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Based on Roald Dahl's 1983 classic book 'The Witches', the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Witches is probably my favorite film of the year. Is not just beautiful; it is captivating, intriguing, perfectly scary, pure cinematic joy!

The Witches is a fantastic tale that grabs you from the very beginning. It is the story of a seven-year-old orphan boy that discover that witches are real! They hate kids and turn them into mice. I don't want to tell too much about the story, which is already well known. It is based on Roald Dahl's 1983 classic book by the same name. Since I haven't read the book, I want you to feel as surprised as I was in case you haven't read it or haven't watched the 1990 movie, also based on the book. If you have read it, you may love the way the characters come to life in this cinematic adaptation.

It is always inspiring to see Octavia Spencer. She plays any character so well and here, as the boy's grandmother and the voice of reason, she is fantastic. Anne Hathaway is from another world. I couldn't believe she could play this wicked character with such a grandiose attitude. She is now my favorite villain - scary, with lots of charm.

Another flawless performance is Stanley Tucci's Mr. Stringer. You can barely recognize him and he has just the perfect nuances and mannerisms to be a flamboyantly exquisite character. Last, but not least, Chris Rock is the perfect narrator with a totally engaging delivery and Jahzir Bruno, the boy, shines in his theatrical debut.

All the production aspects of this movie are very well done - the sets, costumes, cinematography, sound effects, editing, special effects, music. All together they create a great movie under the direction of Robert Zemeckis, who also wrote the script and, of course we can't expect less from the director of hits and gems of cinema like Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Cast Away and so many other films. I also loved the imprint from Guillermo Del Toro who shares writing credits. There's a quality of fantastical monsters that are delightful, which I am sure has to do with his attachment to this film.

The Witches is a spooky story for our generation, with real twisted characters, gorgeous scenarios and a great story that reminds us of the importance of team work, the courage to face adversities and offers a tribute to the important role of grandmothers in a child's life.

I give The Witches 5 out of 5 starts and absolutely recommend it to kids 10 to 18, plus adults. Some scenes may be a little disturbing for younger kids, so think about that before taking them to see it. The Witches opens October 22, 2020 on HBO Max.

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

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


2 HEARTS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
2 HEARTS
12 PING�INOS S.L
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - For two couples the future unfolds in different decades and different places, but a hidden connection will bring them together in a way no one could have predicted. Based on an inspirational true story, 2 Hearts is a romantic journey that celebrates life, love and generosity of spirit, and challenges audiences to believe miracles are possible.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This romantic drama is filled with inspiring messages that melted my heart and moved me in unexpected ways. Make sure you grab a box of tissues before you watch this tearjerker. I cried my eyes out!

The film is based on the inspirational true story of Christopher Gregory (Jacob Elordi) and Jorge Bacardi (Adan Canto). It takes place in two different decades, two different cultures, two different ages and two different romances. They essentially have almost nothing in common, yet their lives intertwine in a very surprising way when they end up having a profound connection.

This movie caught me off guard. While it is a heartwarming movie with a few corny jokes and several funny scenes, it is filled with very relatable sad realities. The actors are very believable. I found myself wrapped up in their story as if I was part of their actual families. The actors in the movie are cast perfectly. Two of the strongest performances are by Adan Canto who plays Jorge, a hopeless romantic whose struggles go from joyful bliss to devastating sorrow. Radha Mitchell plays Leslie, a very strong woman who demonstrates what the power of love can do. It's a difficult role and she nails it. My favorite character is Chris because he is a corny, awkward, lovable college-boy, who reminds me so much of my own college-age brothers.

The main messages are the importance of human connection, the power of love and how life is both "awesome and fantastic." There is some bad language in the film and it promotes safety in a big way.

I give 2 Hearts 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy it, too. This movie releases in theaters on October 16, 2020.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


TIMESTORM
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TIMESTORM
PRX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: PODCAST, AGES 8-12
Description - When the Ventura twins are yanked into another dimension, they meet a distant cousin who gives them an extraordinary mission: travel through time to preserve their culture's true history. Alexa and Beni visit three continents across the span of five centuries, meeting people who have left their mark on Puerto Rican heritage. In the twenty-first century, the twins navigate school, friendship, and family while keeping their time-traveling quests a secret. When a natural disaster devastates islands across the Caribbean, the twins understand what is at stake for their ancestral homeland. As Puerto Rico faces an uncertain future, the twins witness, find, and remember its past. Produced by Cocotazo Media.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Timestorm is an exhilarating podcast with constant action that will excite young viewers. The story can be a little hard to follow at times, but the background sounds when they are in the timestorm signifies movement into the Timestorm, which helps you place you there. The show also throws a lot of educational and cultural information about Puerto Rico, intertwined with the exciting adventures.

The kids enjoy adventures as if they are traveling in time. They learn a lot about their Puerto Rican heritage and culture in the process. They have a very exciting and fulfilling time while jumping through history and learn far more than within the limitations of a classroom. My favorite part, aside from the story itself, are the sound effects which are fantastic. Of course, the characters are very expressive and dynamic, which is needed without a concrete visual.

The message of this podcast is that learning can be fun and that knowledge is exciting, fulfilling and opens so many doors.

I give Timestorm 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. Reviewed by Melissa M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Timestorm is a very interesting podcast series with a unique story line, which is important for something you can't see and only hear. I also like that it's different from movies or cartoons and TV shows because it's a podcast, so you have to develop listening skills and create the scenes in your mind.

This podcast is about a man named Horacio who finds two cousins, Alex and Beni Ventura. Horacio teleports them to the Timestorm, a place where they're not on planet Earth, but they're somewhere back in time. They start to learn about why they were brought there in the first place. Once they learn, they have to wait till the right time, which turns out to be when hurricane Maria comes. Hurricane Maria is the hurricane that devastated the island of Puerto Rico in September 2017. When the hurricane comes, they got to the Timestorm to start their mission. They are given clothes to fit the time they are going to. Horacio tells them not to mess with anything because it would change time in the present if they did. If you want to hear the rest, go listen to the podcast to know what happens after.

My favorite episode is number three, because listeners start to discover cool things about the Timestorm. In this episode, Alexa and Beni go into the Timestorm and learn about how their clothes have superpowers, and how they can speak any language with their clothes. My favorite character is Beni because he is like me: a gamer, loves books and thinks everything is an adventure.

This podcast has 20 episodes, each is approximately 15 to 30 minutes long, which is the perfect amount of time. The voice-overs are excellent, because each voice fits each character. What is interesting about podcasts is that they are sound only, but this podcast is designed with such original high quality that you can imagine the scenario as if you're watching it on a screen.

The moral of this podcast is you can't always be the hero--Alex and Beni want to help the world from the storm, but then they realize that you can't stop storms. They want to change the world, but if they do it would mess with history and possibly ruin the world. It teaches them that not everyone can be a hero or help people. Just do the best you can, like they did.

I give Timestorm 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults will enjoy this podcast as well. Timestorm can be found online at Trax: https://www.trax.fm/timestorm

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


TAI ASKS WHY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TAI ASKS WHY
PRX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: PODCAST, AGES 8-12
Description - Little guy, big questions. Tai Poole is trying to find answers to life's biggest questions. What happens after we die? What is love? How can we fix climate change? He may not solve them all, but give him a break...he's only 13-years-old. A CBC Original podcast.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tai Asks Why, hosted by Tai Poole, offers a refreshing outlook on life that engages the childlike curiosity within me! As Tai lets his questions guide the way, I feel as though I am embarking on an exploration deep into the questions that guide our lives on a daily basis. Yet, on this profound journey, I laughed with Tai as our minds are boggled by the implications of new and fascinating scientific discoveries.

The podcast follows Tai's mission to unpack the mysteries of life ranging from personal dreams to world-wide apocalypses. Although a daunting task, Tai's enthusiasm invites his audience to feel like an active participant in his exploration.

Tai has the incredible ability to engage listeners of all ages. His younger brother, Kein, is only eight years old yet Tai uses his brother's opinion as a framework for asking more questions. To answer these questions, Tai reaches out to experts on the topic. For younger children who are Kein's age, the expert's insights may not be clear, but Tai overcomes the age barrier by explaining the concepts in a fun way, often renaming scientific ideas like the neural connection between the gut and brain as the "gut-brain's" friendship with the "head-brain." Even for those who do understand the concepts, such as myself, Tai's interpretations lighten the mood and help turn the expert's opinions into curiosity-quenching and sometimes hilarious insights into who we are.

Tai speaks to the listeners and his interviewees as though they are his best friends, not afraid to open up about tough experiences or confusing emotions. Due to this, I feel as though I have known Tai for many years and I never feel any inkling that he is a stranger.

The sound production heightens the interaction I feel with Tai and my favorite parts are the songs he sings to sum up the main points of his discoveries. The addition surprised me and I found myself leaving the podcast in a humorous and brightened mood. Even when he addresses topics like death, the song at the end offers hope in a lovable way.

I give Tai Asks Why 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. I feel adults will enjoy the podcast too, because there is something for everyone to learn, whether it is scientific knowledge or a new perspective that emphasizes our connection to each other and to the world around us. Check out Tai Asks Why on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/tai-asks-why

Reviewed by Sahiba K.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A must-listen for all families, Tai Asks Why explores unique topics and provides listeners with knowledge they didn't even know existed! I specifically enjoyed the high-quality narration, exclusive interviews of professionals...and the fun puns thrown in that made me laugh.

Tai Asks Why is hosted by the show's namesake, Tai Poole, an award-winning child podcaster and "mathlete." Each episode of the podcast goes into detail about one intriguing concept in life and asks important questions about it. These topics range from love and d�j� vu to climate change and trusting our gut.

Tai's enthusiasm for learning, specifically in mathematical concepts, is palpable, and the listener also has fun along with him! Though he can stray a bit far from the mic at times, reducing the volume and clarity of his voice, Poole will definitely make you smile. And Tai's younger brother Kien makes some cameos, too, and many 'aww' moments follow. Several experts are also interviewed over the course of this podcast, including Chris Mullen, a neuroscientist from Switzerland. Tai asks insightful questions, many of which I would have echoed. As far as production goes, it is evident that the sound techs on Tai Asks Why know what they are doing. Masterful SFX blending and audio control make this podcast very easy on the ears. One thing I did notice was that sometimes during the interview segments, the audio cuts are very obvious; I could tell exactly where the sound techs had cut a clip. This does not detract from the amazing auditory experience, though.

Tai Asks Why is especially important in a time like 2020, when kids are exceedingly being drawn toward media that does not enrich their knowledge. This podcast is enriching and entertaining and promotes a message of learning through fun and exploration. This podcast is also unique because it has a child host, and kids can relate to Tai's experiences.

I give Tai Asks Why 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults will also enjoy this podcast. Tai Asks Why is available on Trax.fm now!

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

The Tai Asks Why podcast is amazing. I love how a 13-year-old kid talks about so many interesting and questionable topics. Tai really brings something new to the table and hearing the perspective of another kid is really cool. Tai is such a curious boy and he has so much energy! The mind of a kid is so much more imaginative than regular adults.

This podcast describes what goes on around people and why those things happen to them. It gives clear explanations about many topics such as love, fear, the start of the English language, color, freckles, temperature, time and so much more. When you're looking to impress your friends with some random knowledge, this podcast is the place to go!

In this podcast, Tai talks to a psychologist, a writer, his mom, his younger brother and a bunch of strangers. Tai also digs deep into the science and history of all his topics about how our body and how the world works. In episode three, the psychologist that is brought in to discuss love is Jennifer Bartz, an associate professor at McGill University. Bartz introduces a whole new perspective on love and opened my eyes to how love really works. Another guest, in the fifth episode, is a guy named Tom Howell, who wrote a book called The Rude Story of English and some of the Oxford Dictionary. Towards the end of the episode "What is Love?," Tai makes up a little song about hugs and love, which adds a lot more spirit to his podcast and made me I definitely want to listen to more. My favorite part of this podcast is when Tai talks to the strangers at a coffee shop and asks them all about love. That is pretty funny.

The message of Tai Asks Why is about opening our eyes to the world around us and making us understand our surroundings on a new level. After listening you start seeing things differently than before and all of the information that you learned helps you become more aware of day-to-day life

I give Tai Asks Why 5 out of 5 and I recommend it for all ages. You can find this podcast online now at Trax. Https://www.trax.fm/tai-asks-why

By Winter F., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer, age 14
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIC DROP
PRX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: PODCAST, AGES 9-13
Description - Teens have a lot to say about this complicated world -- are you listening? Mic Drop features first-person stories by tweens and teens sharing their mood-swinging, dream-chasing, rule-breaking dramas, adventures and experiences -- with no adult interruptions. A CBC Original podcast.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mic Drop is a youth hosted series that is devoid of adult interruptions and allows children to talk freely among themselves about complicated topics. It is a great way to offer other children that may be enduring similar situations a sort of validation. This podcast does not squander children's thoughts and feelings due to their age; instead it invites youth to be able to discuss more adult topics. As an adult, I enjoyed the topics and discussion and can relate to them as well. It is significant for children to be able to hear other children talk freely about what they are genuinely feeling without having an adult sway or dictate the conversation. Children's ideas and emotions matter just as much as adults.

The youth hosts tackle topics such as Black Lives Matter, divorce and mental health. I enjoyed listening to them express their feelings and emotions in the podcast. Tweens and teens would enjoy this podcast because it is from a child's perspective. It seems easier for a young person to feel included if another child is speaking about something they may be experiencing as well. In many ways it validates their thoughts and feelings.

I love the flow of each podcast episode. It opens with an introduction, a brief anecdote, the feelings of the speaker, and closes with a summary of how they feel in the end after talking. The podcast name, Mic Drop is a smart name. All the topics in the podcast do have a mic drop aspect to them. The speakers drop a bombshell, usually at the beginning or end of the podcast that emphasizes the topic and discussion. Some of the topics regard racism and homophobia. Some parents may not be ready to discuss these particular topics, but you can always skip the ones you don't want to listen to and listen to others instead. However, it is worth noting that tweens and teens are aware of these topics and listening to a discussion of them helps them know how to deal with them.

Production wise, the sound is crisp! I am very impressed with the quality of sound in each episode. The intros start with an upbeat song accompanied by the message: without adult interruption (which I love).

I give Mic Drop 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 13, even 18 and older. The material offers children the opportunity to not feel discouraged about discussing topics that may deemed suitable for adults only. Some of the episodes give insight for children, and even adults, about topics they may not be well educated about. Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mic Drop is the perfect way to connect the teenagers of today with real stories from their peers as it covers topics of all kinds that the rising generation can relate to.

Currently a two season podcast, each episode of Mic Drop features the experiences of teens and tweens and their take on mood-swings, dream-chasing, rule-breaking dramas, adventures and experiences. What makes it even better is that there are no adult interruptions. So the stories we hear are true to the source.

This podcast has a real feel as we hear firsthand experiences from numerous teens and hear their thoughts about issues that adults often don't discuss with them. It's personal and seems as if the speaker is simply having a conversation with us, the audience. Kids have a lot more to say than adults often give them credit for and this podcast amplifies the many important stories that are hiding away in the minds of these children. We hear about their dreams, identities and struggles. I love that it promotes a dialogue on many serious issues such as mental health, culture, substance abuse, LGBTQ and more. Growing up can be a dangerous thing; young people are extremely impressionable. It's very common for their struggles to be dismissed by adults who don't take them seriously or encourage positive behaviors. That type of response can be alienating. Mic Drop helps kids that are struggling with issues that the speakers are discussion that they aren't alone.

This podcast talks about some serious issues including violence. The takeaway for teens and tweens listening to this show should be that there are others who are experiencing similar things as them and this podcast promotes taking adults out of the picture for a moment so that kids can connect with each other on a deeper level.

I rate Mic Drop 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 9 to 16. You can listen to Mic Drop on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/mic-drop

By Anokhi L, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Mic Drop is an exceptionally entertaining podcast that genuinely kept me interested and intrigued throughout all the episodes that I listened to. I got to hear about the experiences that teens younger than me go through. It is comforting to know that we aren't alone, but we are all still going through different experiences that are shaping and forming our personalities and sense of character. This podcast allows the listener to take a break from their own life and imagine what it is like to live as a teen in 2020, if they aren't a teen already. It features stories of kids with varied personalities and stories that are meaningful, to a degree, as well as amusing to listen to.

Mic Drop details certain aspects of teen life varying from fun extracurricular activities to more serious topics such as sexual harassment. I listened to the three latest episodes: Gabriela's, Marty's and Bella's. Gabriela's episode is centered around her love of jiu-jitsu and judo, while also touching on her experience of being sexually harassed by some of her male teammates. In Marty's episode, he discovers punk music and uses it as an escape from the bullying and teasing inflicted upon him by his classmates. In Bella's episode, she discusses her on-and-off relationship with her elementary school boyfriend and the emotional rollercoaster that ensues. Other episodes include "Ben Beatboxes through his Parent's Divorce" and "Taneia brings Black Lives Matter to School."

Listening to Mic Drop allowed me to place myself into these kids' shoes. The stories are well thought out and interesting to listen to. I cared about what they had to say, because it reminds me so much of myself and some experiences that I have gone through. It made me nostalgic to some degree. It is a professionally produced podcast with a fairly high production value that caters to kids and adults alike. Mic Drop overflows with positive messages. It teaches people to always follow their dreams and passions, even if that means having to overcome several obstacles. It also reminds us of what it is like to be a young teen and to live in a world filled with both fun and stressful situations and experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I give Mic Drop 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, because it talks about serious topics such as sexual harassment, drugs and alcohol, some of which parents may not find appropriate for younger kids to listen to. Mic Drop is both a fun and poignant podcast that encompasses what it means to be a teen today. I enjoyed it and believe that many other teens will. You can listen to it on TRAX by PRX at https://www.trax.fm/mic-drop

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Mic Drop is a podcast featuring tweens and teens talking about the world and experiences from their lives. These teens have a lot that they want to share about this year, 2020. They want to tell us what these past couple of months have been like for them and their friends, too - with no adult interruptions.

The show's hosts care deeply about so many things that have happened this year. For example, they all really care about what happened to George Floyd and they definitely care a lot about what COVID-19 has done to the world. They share their experiences with their podcast listeners, because 2020 has been a roller coaster year. They tell us what they did, how they acted and anything else on their minds about this year so far.

These teens and tweens want their audience to know about the things that we should all care about right now, whatever age we are. They have had a very different and unusual year and their podcast talks about their lives, adventures and experiences. In future episodes, they will share more in detail. For example, one kid shares how he sold candy at school at the beginning of the year. He admits this was a bad idea, but we don't know specifically why, although I can certainly guess.

A few important messages in this podcast are that you should try to get involved with all of the things that come up in your life. Also, you should try to tell people about what has happened or what you have done this during this past year. You should also listen to what you hear in the world or from your friends and family, so that it can help you later on in your life. That is how we learn and grow.

I give Mic Drop 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. You can listen to this podcast on TRAX by PRX.

Reviewed by Conrad W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAGIC SASH, THE
PRX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: PODCAST, AGES 8-12
Description - A time-traveling women's voting rights adventure with Aly Raisman. The Magic Sash is a journey back in time hosted by gold medal athlete and advocate Aly Raisman. Join an 11-year-old boy and girl as they experience big moments in women's suffrage first-hand. They'll learn that what women and men fought for -- women's right to vote -- isn't dusty history at all. The Magic Sash is from the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission and the National Park Service.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Magic Sash is a powerful and moving podcast well worth your listening time. This podcast incorporates accurate educational points in an entertaining fashion that will capture the attention of children.

An 11-year-old boy, Isaiah and girl, Lotty are given a class assignment to learn about the women's suffrage movement. When they meet up to work on the assignment, they discover a way to time-travel, and they get to learn about the women's suffrage with their own eyes. Lotty and Isaiah continue to journey though time and experience the biggest moments in the fight for women's right to vote.

Each episode of The Magic Sash is introduced and closed by gold medal athlete and advocate Aly Raisman. The podcast is high quality with each character having a unique voice. My favorite aspect is how the background sounds and music help bring the storyline to life.

The message that children's voices are important is woven throughout and encourages children to use their voice to accomplish what they are passionate about. This podcast would be great for teachers to incorporate into their curriculum. It focuses on the educational message of women's rights and equality while remaining entertaining, engaging and to the point. The Magic Sash is safe for all listeners, including classroom users, because it has no violence, profanity or bias present.

I give The Magic Sash 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. The podcast and supporting lesson plans can be found at https://www.trax.fm/the-magic-sash

By Angela G., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the podcast series, The Magic Sash, because it is interesting to learn about the women's right to vote. This podcast series, hosted by Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, makes learning about history more fun than just reading about it in a book. This is particularly interesting since 2020 is a presidential election. I can't imagine what life would like if women couldn't vote. Listening to this podcast is both educational and fun.

The Magic Sash is a podcast series that follows two fifth graders, named Lotty and Isaiah, to travel back in time to observe important events that lead up to the women's right to vote. Lotty and Isaiah have to make a school presentation, so they get together at Lotty's house. There, they find a box labeled "Granny Flo," where they find a special "Vote for Women" sash, which transports them back in time. They then get to meet historically significant figures, including Lotty's distant relative, Florence Whitaker.

Each episode of about 15 minutes is filled with adventure. I like hearing the differences between what life was like back in the 1800s versus 2020. A simple thing like girls wearing pants was unheard of back in 1848. But in 2020, it's pretty common to see girls wearing pants. My favorite part of this podcast is hearing how excited Florence Whitaker is to see Lotty and Isaiah each time they visit her. It's funny when all three of them don't quite understand what is happening, but it's cool because even though they don't quite get what is happening, they enjoy each other's company. Sometimes I feel like Aly Raisman's commentary is a bit disruptive to the story, but it does help me understand what is happening. The use of music helps the listeners understand when Lotty and Isaiah are switching between time periods.

The message of the podcast series is that sometimes life is unfair, but that you should speak up about things that matter to you. I think Susan B. Anthony is brave and smart because she stands up to people and is strong in what she believes. I am thankful for having people like her so I can vote when I turn 18.

I give The Magic Sash 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This podcast is available now, so go look for it from TRAX from PRX at: https://www.trax.fm/the-magic-sash

By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The newly released podcast The Magic Sash is entertaining and educational! Aly Raisman, a gold-medal gymnast and advocate, hosts and she pops in multiple times during each podcast to give us some more facts about the events. What's incredibly impressive is that while it is educational, it is also really entertaining. The voice actors are animated, adding fun and detail to each episode.

The Magic Sash follows Lotty (Katelyn Joseph) and Isaiah (David Dotson) as they begin to prepare for their school project about women's rights. Together they unexpectedly dive into the past with a magical sash where they discover the challenges women faced in the 1800s and 1900s. They learn about the struggles that women's rights advocates went through just to make their voice heard. Florence (Jennifer Roszell) and Susan B. Anthony (Susan Riley Stevens) are the main advocates that Lotty and Isaiah learn about.

This podcast has many highlights, including how it really paints a picture in my head, which is especially important in a podcast. The educational facts about women's rights mixed with the edge-of-your-seat storyline are spot on. We get informed about many events in the history of women's rights, but it isn't just a boring fact list. It has a real, big-screen-worthy plot. All the characters are played by talented actors that not only speak in character, but also grab your attention with their tone. Also unforgettable are the sound effects. In entertainment where you can't actually see what is going on, the sound effects are so important. They illuminate what can't be described by voices. For example, when Lotty and Isaiah travel in and out of the past, there is a time-traveling sound that is always used. This is fantastic because I always know when they go back in time. The time warping could easily get confusing, but it's not because of the well-placed sound effects.

The message of this podcast is to be aware of women's rights. Throughout the entire podcast, we are enlightened with plenty of interesting facts. When Lotty and Isaiah are in the past, we learn about certain events by actually participating in them. Once they return back to the future, Aly Raisman usually informs us more about where we were and how that event made a difference in getting rights for women.

I give The Magic Sash 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to14. It can be found free on Trax at https://www.trax.fm/the-magic-sash.

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

The Magic Sash podcast is inspirational. It shows how women in the past did not have certain rights, like the right to vote. Strong women like Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others supported a movement of women rights' protest.

The storyline follows a girl named Lottie and a boy named Isaiah who are studying together at Lottie's house. They go to the basement and find Lottie's great-great-grandmother's sash. As Lottie puts it around her chest, she doesn't know it is a magic time-traveling sash and it takes them back to the women's rights' protest time period. They have a learning history adventure. They meet Susan B. Anthony, Fedrick Douglas and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who are some of the key people in the movement. They also meet one special person, Lottie's great-great-grandmother and have the pleasure of making her dream come true - to vote for the first time. They keep time traveling and are really inspired by the way these women stood up for their rights.

This podcast is really interesting. I learned that women had to fight so they could vote. The adventures they have are so exciting. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. There are eight episodes, based on history, but fictionalized.

The message of this podcast is that you should always fight for what you believe in and for what is right and you should never give up. This is how women's history was changed.

I give The Magic Sash 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. You can find this podcast at TRAX by PRX at https://www.trax.fm/the-magic-sash

By Sara Lea G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STORY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STORY
DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE, AGES 9 - 18
Description - This updated adaptation of the classic fairytale tells the story of Danielle (Drew Barrymore), a vibrant young woman who is forced into servitude after the death of her father. Danielle's stepmother Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) is a heartless woman who forces Danielle to do the cooking and cleaning, while she tries to marry off her own two daughters. But Danielle's life takes a wonderful turn when she meets the charming Prince Henry (Dougray Scott).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The exceptionally entertaining film Ever After: A Cinderella Story, starring Drew Barrymore, is filled with drama, romance and comedy! The best part is definitely its intriguing plot, which is based on the Cinderella story. I thoroughly enjoy following Danielle (Drew Barrymore) throughout her adventures. The cast is full of strong actors and the costumes are beautifully detailed.

We are introduced to the story by an elderly woman who meets with a couple of men, because they seem to have unknowingly written a book about something that she knows actually happened. They call her 'Cinderella,' but the woman knows her as Danielle. The dusty pages of the book open and we are brought into the bright, colorful world of a young girl. That world soon becomes dark and evil when her father dies and she is taken in by the Baroness Rodmilla (Angelica Huston) as a servant. She struggles under the weight of understanding her heart and rebelling against Rodmilla.

The most noticeable element in this production is the story. Compared to the original Cinderella stories, this is far better, taking an amazing twist off the traditional plot. While keeping the same ideas of romance and being treated unfairly, we see more realistic events in this film. The acting performances almost equal the incredible plot. Drew Barrymore and Angelica Huston's performances are outstanding, but Megan Dodds (Marguerite), Melanie Lynskey (Jacqueline) and Anna Maguire (young Danielle) are also unforgettable. These actresses make the difference between a good movie and a great movie. Also woven throughout the story are breath-taking costumes. At many points, I just stared at the screen in awe. One example is when Danielle dresses up near the beginning of the film with the help of Gustave (Lee Ingleby). She wears a pressed gown with white lace and some nice shoes. The truly mind-blowing detail is her hair. Bravo to her hairstylists! Not only in this scene, but throughout the entire film, her hair always seems to be perfectly styled. When she is serving Rodmilla and her daughters, she has her hair down, but it is still pretty. Once she goes into the village as a courtier, her hair is braided, styled and commonly topped with an accessory that always matches. Without these fantastic attention to detail, this film would not be what it is.

The message becomes clearer as the film develops - work hard, always stay positive and treat others fairly. Danielle goes through a period of grieving, but then she slowly starts to realize that she must move on, even when it means working hard to feed and serve her stepmother and stepsisters as they insult her. She stays positive all the time, which is very important for her apparent destiny to come true. The sympathy we feel for Danielle when her stepmother is cruel to her can all be traced back to treating others fairly. This is the most important message in this film.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story is one of the best films I have watched. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. You can find it on Disney+ and other streaming services now so look for it.

By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


SONIC BOOM: ROBOT UPRISING!
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: ROBOT UPRISING!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - It's a Sonic you haven't seen before 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 - Sonic is back in Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising with his usual wise-cracking, fast talking...well, fast everything! This DVD includes eight episodes (four of these are parts of one story) and runs for 90 minutes. It begins with the story "Robots from the Sky" in which Sonic and his friends Tails, Knuckles, Sticks and Amy must defend themselves when a past mistake turns into a robot civil war. Robots from Morristown, a robot utopian planet, try to recruit others. Unknown to them, they are infected with malware and are controlled by a vengeance-seeking robot. The robot uprising theme continues in the episode entitled "Strike!" in which Dr. Eggman's robot minions become fed up with their maltreatment and decide to strike until their demands are met. With help from Amy, the robots and their evil overlord come to a compromise...but not necessarily in the way she had hoped. In "Evil Dr. Orbot" Dr. Eggman needs to pass a test to get his evil permit--but forces one of his robot lackeys to take it for him. After Orbot downloads the textbook, he begins devising his own evil plans. Will he replace the evil genius Dr. Eggman? Sonic fans won't be disappointed with these action-packed animated stories. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - You have "got to go fast" in this new action-packed DVD Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! with everyone's favorite super-powered hedgehog Sonic Boom. This DVD is running with 600 miles per hour speeds, fantastic animation and plenty of action-packed scenes. While it has amazing animation and action-packed scenes, unfortunately, it doesn't have the best dialogue and didn't grip me as much as I thought it would. Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising starts off with our favorite hedgehog team, Sonic (Roger Craig Smith), Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), Knuckles (Travis Willingham), Rose (Cindy Robinson) and Sticks (Nika Futterman) as they are attacked by everyone's favorite eggtastic villain, Dr. Eggman (Mike Pallok). Later, Sonic and friends encounter a couple of recently crash-landed robots, and the team learns of a mysterious robot world in the sky. One day the robots suddenly go evil! The team must uncover the mystery and save the robots of this world.

I am a long-time fan of Sonic the Hedgehog. I was nervous about viewing this DVD because I have high standards for this character. I was not disappointed. I would like to give major congratulations to the Animation Director Riash Tadeo Shahnawaz for overseeing and creating such beautiful animation with a beautiful set of characters. My criticism of this DVD is with the dialogue. The dialogue is extremely basic and doesn't really go into as much depth. I feel that if the writers took a little more time to work on the script, it would be a lot better.

This DVD is entertaining for children, with comedic action and plenty of jokes that young kids will understand. The characters DVD provide very important examples for children, like the importance of charity, teamwork and more. It also promotes many morals. When something gets in your way, problem-solve and think out of the box to reach your goal!

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising goes above and beyond Sonic's top speeds, and provides an entertaining, action-packed story that all children will enjoy, but lacks clever and gripping dialogue. I give Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12. You can find Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising in stores or at your digital retailer. Check it out.

Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This colorfully animated Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! DVD is great for young kids! The voice-over actors add silliness and comedy to the scenes, and the theme song and other sound effects are great elements as well. Plus the animation is truly incredible. There isn't much of a story, and the one there is, is a bit difficult to follow with all of repetitive action and combat. This DVD includes (eight) fifteen-minute-long episodes all together. Four of them are part of the same general story. Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) and all of his friends have to decide which robots to befriend, knowing that whomever they don't choose become their enemies. The other four episodes are individual but similar in the way that Dr. Eggman is the Antagonist.

The highlight of this collection of re-released episodes is definitely the animation. It's bright, detailed and full of imagination. It's a little kid's dream world! I applaud the animators, voice-over actors and foley artists on their spectacular work. One thing that definitely has room for improvement is the storyline. The animation and acting are great, but a TV show needs a story, even if just for each individual episode. Most of the time I only see fighting and have no idea what is going on. Although this might be great for younger kids, who are just interested in seeing their favorite characters come to life, older kids will probably get bored after a few minutes. Overall, this the greatest, but also possibly the only flaw of these select episodes.

The message is that teamwork and friendship are important. Sonic and his friend have to use teamwork to face off against Dr. Eggman and his robot bad guys. There are some arguments, but the protagonists work it out and learn their lesson, the way little kids should take away that lesson. This is okay, but I think actually saying the lesson to be learned helps people understand it better. There is only some mild cartoon violence, but nothing inappropriate or extremely violent takes place.

I give Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! 3 out of 5 stars and recommend the DVD for ages 4 to 7. The DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


GIGANTOSAURUS: SEASON 1, VOL. 1
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIGANTOSAURUS: SEASON 1, VOL. 1
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-11
Description - Four curious young dinosaur friends explore the mystery of Gigantosaurus, the largest, fiercest dinosaur of all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The DVD Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1, a collection of episodes from the animated children's TV show, is incredibly adorable and perfect for preschoolers. The voice acting is very high quality and the dialogue easy for kids to understand. Cyber-Group Studios' animation is quite smooth, plus the cinematography, by Director Olivier Lelardoux tells the story clearly with its high-key lighting and, for the most part, eye-level shots. With each episode presenting a new fun adventure for four friendly dinosaurs, it will surely keep your kids' interest peaked.

The storyline follows Rocky, Tiny, Marshall and Mazu - a pack of dinosaurs that spend their time going on exciting journeys that often involve provoking the most threatening dinosaur of all, Giganotosaurus! As time passes, the group finds out that perhaps that the biggest dinosaur isn't so scary after all.

The way the story is told is very engaging for young minds. The episodes stand alone quite well so you don't need to watch it in chronological order to understand what's going on -- always a plus in a kids' show. The production design is appropriate for youngsters. For one thing, the color schemes are bright and eye-catching, so it really sets a childish mood. There are plenty of things for children to learn from in the show - being smart is like a superpower, boldness is essential to success. When it comes to preschool DVDs, Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 is the cream of the crop.

The message that Giganotosaurus always promotes is "never judge a book by its cover." The other dinosaurs often fear Giganotosaurus because he is huge, but he is actually very nice and completely unlike their expectations.

I rate Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. The DVD is available now so look for it.

By Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed the DVD Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 because this collection of episodes is full of adventure. I think kids will really like to watch this series featuring four young dinosaurs named Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu who are all afraid of a huge dinosaur named Gigantosaurus.

Each one of these 26 episodes tells stories about this crew of four characters who are best friends. In one episode, they try to get one of Gigantosaurus's scales; in another episode, Rocky (Dylan Schombing) tries to be brave and goes to the top of a volcano. Many wild things happen to the group of friends through their adventures, but they always seem to figure things out.

My favorite part of this series is the time when Gigantosaurus slaps Rocky with his tail, and Rocky flies through the air. It is a super funny part because what seems like a bad thing at first--getting hit with Gigantosaurus's tail--ends up helping Rocky get to where he wanted to go. I also like the upbeat theme song at the beginning of each episode--it sets an energetic tone. I like the animation because each character is cute and colorful. Rocky is my favorite character because he may be small, but he's super confident.

The message of the film is don't judge people or things by what they look like. Just because Gigantosaurus looks scary, he might not necessarily be mean or evil. And even though Rocky is on the smaller side, he still can be really brave. (I understand because I get judged for being small, but I am capable of many things that might surprise people!)

give Gigantosaurus 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 is a very cute and entertaining animated series for younger kids to enjoy with friends and family. What I like the most about this DVD is that it comes in a gift box package which includes two discs with 26 episodes of Gigantosaurus and two action figures, Rocky and Mazu adding up to over four hours of fun.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 is about four small funny dinos living in the forest and discovering new things. The dinos Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are the perfect team. Rocky is a red dino who is very brave. Bill is a blue dino that is kind of scared of literally anything. Tiny is a green dino who loves to be silly, tell jokes and have fun. Mazu is a brown dino who is extremely smart, and he is the one with the brains. These four together have incredible adventures and they help anyone along the way. There's one thing that they cannot do, which is go near Gigantosaurus. Gigantosaurus is the biggest, fiercest dino of all. He is 100x their size and can destroy anything in his path. He does help them, though; he gets them food by walking because the trees shake when he moves around causing the coconuts to fall.

This educational preschool TV series is based on a book and was first made into a series in France. The graphics are super impressive, the voice-overs fit each character and the music is appealing. My favorite episode is "Don't Cave In" because it's about how Tiny hears a rumor that there's a monster in a cave. The gang is running away from Giganto, when they run into the cave that they weren't meant to.

One of the morals of the series is not to brag because Rocky brags about how he was going to win the talent show, but instead he crashes it. This tells kids not to brag in any way or form--instead just do your best.

I rate Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 the highest, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 plus adults can enjoy this DVD with their kids as well. It is available now, so look for it.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


SIMPSONS, THE: SEASON 31
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SIMPSONS, THE: SEASON 31
DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 9-18
Description - Everyone's favorite family is back for the 31st season of the longest running scripted primetime show in television history, "The Simpsons." With an all-star lineup of guests including Bill Porter, Jane Goodall, Jason Momoa, Cate Blachett, and Kevin Feige, special musical performances from the likes of Weezer and John Legend, and fan-favorite episodes "Thanksgiving of Horror" and "Treehouse of Horror XXX," the latest season joins Disney+'s comprehensive collection of more than 600 episodes, "The Simpsons Movie," and animated shorts "Maggie Simpson in 'Playdate with Destiny'" and "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Simpsons Season 31 is charming, funny and, as always, the writing on Matt Groening's long-running animated satire is witty and hilarious. I love how in the first episode Homer gets rejected on a sports show so he starts his own, and how they poke fun at how sports shows never get to the point. I also love how they throw in the message of feminism when Marge gets her anger out by chopping wood and becoming a lumberjack in episode six. It is very funny when Superintendent Chalmers says, "I know who would do anything for money as long as it does not involve kids. TEACHERS!"

The Simpsons is an animated series about a family that includes Homer, a conservative alcoholic dad, Marge, a stay at home mom who takes care of everyone, Lisa, their genius, liberal daughter, Bart, their troubled son, and Maggie, a baby who can't talk but sucks on her pacifier. It's also about the town of Springfield and its citizens, which really represents any small town in middle America. The Simpsons uses satire to comment on social issues and politics. They make heavy issues funny and easy to digest. Like giving Homer, who is pretty dumb, an important job at a nuclear power plant.

I love all of the characters' voices. A few of my favorites are Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith), Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright), and Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner). One of my favorite Simpsons moments is when the family dog, Santa's Little Helper, is reunited with his mother in episode 22. It's heartfelt and sweet. The animation is colorful and really brings the characters and the town to life while creating its own world.

One positive message in The Simpsons is acceptance of diversity. There are characters of different races, religions and political views, and they all find a way to get along. The Simpsons does have a lot of adult themes and may not be appropriate for younger kids. There is sexual language and suggestive situations. Homer is a major drinker and goes to a bar called Moe's Tavern, nightly.

I give The Simpsons 5 out of 5 stars. I definitely recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The Simpsons Season 31 on Disney+ starting Oct. 2.

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


HELPSTERS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HELPSTERS
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - Cody and the Helpsters are a team of monsters who love to solve problems. Whether it's planning a party or mastering a magic trick, the Helpsters can figure anything out - because everything starts with a plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An entertaining and educational show, Helpsters will keep preschoolers glued to the screen when it is on TV! This Sesame Street-esque live-action show with unique plotlines and lovable characters also teaches kids problem-solving skills and the basics of coding!

Helpsters follows five friendly monsters who love solving problems. They are Cody (Stephanie D'Abruzzo), Heart (Ingrid Hansen), Mr. Primm (Martin Robinson), Scatter (Tim Lagasse), and Jackie (Jennifer Barnhart). Each episode consists of two parts; the Helpsters solve two sets of problems from two sets of people. And everything starts with a plan, as they like to say... or rather, sing! The fun five devise a plan of action and then use sequences (here's where the coding basics begin) and specific, simplified instructions to execute that plan and help their friends, like Astronaut Amrita and Robbie and Rhonda Runner.

As a toddler, I loved puppet-based shows; they seemed so real! And, even as I've grown older, I've grown to recognize the skill of the puppeteers in creating the illusion of life. Sorry if that spoiled the magic for anyone... No, but seriously, the puppeteers behind Helpsters show great prowess. Also, the production value of Helpsters is very high--the sets are intricately designed and the amount of thought that went into something as small as the transition scenes is jaw-dropping. Kudos to Alex Fox, Rachel Lewis, and Michael J. Cargill ! I would lastly like to highlight two superb characters, whose performances I really enjoyed. Heart (Ingrid Hansen), the massive orange monster, is so endearing, despite his massive size. His simple style of speech belies his massive heart -- thus the name, I guess! Scatter (Tim Lagasse), the scatterbrained dude in blue, fulfills his role of comic relief well, and I definitely laughed at several parts. And a third character also entertained me! Cody--the ringleader of the bunch--is super caring and sweet; Stephanie D'Abruzzo channels her inner child in acting the part.

Helpsters is a super cute and, actually, a really educational series! I can guarantee you that your preschooler will definitely learn some great problem-solving skills from this show. Besides its innately educational nature, Helpsters also spreads a message of helping your friends whenever possible and having patience throughout trying times.

I give Helpsters 4.5 out of 5 stars and would recommend this show for ages 2 to 5. Helpsters is coming to Apple TV+ on October 2, 2020.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


GHOSTWRITER: SEASON 2
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GHOSTWRITER: SEASON 2
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Description - When a ghost haunts a neighborhood bookstore and starts releasing fictional characters into the real world, four kids must team up to solve an exciting mystery surrounding the ghost's unfinished business.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Though it has incredibly intricate plots and will provide children with much knowledge about literature, unfortunately Ghostwriter doesn't hold viewers' attention past a few episodes. I'll explain why very soon... but first--the story!

Ghostwriter follows four middle-schoolers (Ruben, Chevon, Donna, and Curtis) who team up to solve a mystery haunting their neighborhood. The ghost of Ruben's grandmother haunts his grandfather's bookstore; she has some unfinished business and communicates with her grandson and his friends via a typewriter. She releases the characters of several notable books to help them piece together the puzzle of her last wish. And it's up to the group to solve the mystery. That's all fine, but each episode is a part of a story: Episode 1 is Part 1 of "Ghost in Wonderland", Episode 2 is part 2 of that story. Episode 3 is Part 3 ... well, you get the gist. The show consists of three main plotlines which are split into two or three parts by episode. When I watched the show, I felt the script could have been tightened and each storyline could have taken up just one episode; there were parts that dragged on and parts that felt unnecessary to the development of the story. This is the one big drawback that I found in the series.

There were many strong performances. I especially enjoyed the performance of Isaac Arellanes as Ruben and Amadi Chapata as Chevon; Isaac Arellanes is skilled at emoting and delivers his lines clearly. Chevon's character is almost a trope by now--the bookworm who has a super fun personality, but I love the character nevertheless! Amadi Chapata especially shines in high-tension scenes, where she delivers lines naturally and with poise. Also, Neil Patrick Harris is super fun, energetic and entertaining as The White Rabbit! His performance will have you hopping! The music by Erica Procunier and set design by Jef Silver, Mark Jaworski, and Robin Hinter both caught my ear and eye, respectively. The suspenseful, deep intro of the show sets the mood, and the sets provide for an immersive visual experience. There are also some awesome special effects!

Ghostwriter promotes messages of teamwork, learning through exploring fictional worlds, and helping your friends out. There are some things parents should look out for: at two or three points in the film, Curtis yells at his sister Donna. One time, his parents yell at Donna. The topics of parental separation, as well as death, are brought up several times throughout the film. Also, considering the film is called Ghostwriter, there are a lot of ghost-y things in this show, like haunting, invisible forces typing, people roaming attics, and so forth.

I give Ghostwriter 3.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults may enjoy this show as well. Ghostwriter: Season 2 debuted October 9, 2020, Exclusively on Apple TV+

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


BABY MINE PROJECT, THE: A LULLABY COLLECTION
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BABY MINE PROJECT, THE: A LULLABY COLLECTION
THE BABY MINE PROJECT
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 0-5
Description - Produced by Grammy nominee Chris Jay, David Shipman, Aaron Safer and Music Arranger Jamsheed Master, The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection is the first major fundraising campaign for the recently established non-profit whose mission is to support the health and wellness of children in underserved areas of Africa while providing them a source of comfort through the development of music and art. Curated by The Baby Mine Project's creator and co-founder Shipman, the collection features a diverse group of U.S. artists and African children's choirs coming together in a compilation of familiar and new songs designed to provide comfort and soothe the listener, regardless of age, all for a good cause.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection is a finely crafted, produced and performed album of original and classic melodic tunes guaranteed to gently nudge your little one to sleep. The addition of The African Children's Choir and the Kenyan Boys Choir is a treat along with a talented array of terrific vocalists. Deft arrangements and instrument choices are spot-on and perfectly support our journey to Dreamland.

Impeccable arrangements and performances. Since this is a lullaby album, I certainly recommend it to parents who are seeking quality music for their child that will grow with them.

The quality of the material coming from a variety of sources flows extremely well. The intelligent song choices, whether classic or original, fit the lullaby genre like a glove. Themes of peace and love permeate, along with gentle reminders that the little ones are being watched over and cared for. Again, it comes around to the soothing production and the terrific vocal performances.

Lullabies are an individual choice for parents to utilize as an aid for creating a soothing transition to dreamland and, in some cases, represent music, styles and artists they want to expose their child to. All the songs contained are terrific and carefully chosen and performed very well. It is lovely recorded.

Bottom line: the child is hopefully asleep - mission accomplished. As a fundraiser for the non-profit Baby Mine Project the purchase of this album supports children in Africa and beyond. Kudos to the creators for doing that. I give The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 0 to 4. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the CD The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection, because it reminds me of listening to my church choir. All the songs are very calming and relaxing. They are perfect if you're feeling stressed out or, for a baby having a hard time falling asleep. I will listen to this again when I need to take it easy and take a break from a challenging situation.

Some of the songs are about being brave and doing things by yourself and being confident in yourself. Other songs make you want to go to bed. I definitely can see playing this CD if you have to put your baby or younger sibling to bed. It would probably make a kid stop crying because it's soothing to listen to.

My favorite song is "A Million Dreams" because it is the cover song from the musical The Greatest Showman which I love. I always love hearing songs sung by a variety of people because each sings it differently and that is so cool and interesting. I especially enjoy the version of "A Million Dreams" which delivers it in a way I've not heard before. All of the singers on this CD have beautiful voices.

The message of this collection of songs is to always believe in yourself, even if things are hard. You just have to push to get through them. Sometimes I do not feel confident in myself when things get really hard, but I keep telling myself "you can do this," it keeps me moving forward.

I give The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12 plus adults.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I can't name an album that sounds as angelic and ethereal as The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection. This collection brings back a desire to crawl into my mother's arms and be cradled to sleep letting the world around me slow down exponentially in the process.

The Baby Mine Project's mission is to support the health and wellness of children in underserved areas of Africa while providing them a source of comfort through the development of music and art. This CD is produced by Aaron Safer and David Shipman, along with Grammy nominee Chris Jay. It includes 13 songs by various artists including the African Children's Choir. You might recognize some of the songs in this collection as they are renditions with a heavenly delicacy from classic Disney songs.

I adore the celestial background music going on behind the lead singer in multiple songs. It adds an extra divine layer to the song. It feels like I am laying down on an open field of flowers and angels are flying about and singing to me. Sometimes I imagine that I am being lifted into the kingdom of heaven. I can only imagine how the little cherubs that get this lullaby played to them as they drift off into peaceful sleep might feel. One of my favorite songs in this collection has to be You'll Be In My Heart sung by Kristen Michelle Wilson, originally from Disney's Tarzan. I've fallen in love with Disney songs like that throughout my childhood so to hear it in a lullaby rendition makes me fall in love with it all over again, in a completely different way. I also love the song You Are My Sunshine sung by Julia Ceslee Marie as the cute vocals are backed with a ukulele to make a super sweet song. I also can't forget to mention Hushabye Mountain sung by Robyn Adele Anderson for its fantastically mysterious sound. Overall this collection is one I would listen to on my own. I have already listened to it twice and I am currently listening to it as I write this review.

I rate this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for infants to age 3. You can purchase The Baby Mine Project: A Lullaby Collection as a CD or digital at babymineproject.org. At least 50% of the gross proceeds go to The Baby Mine Project and the project is partnered with Ovi Childrens hospital, a non-profit hospital for Kenyan Orphans with life threatening illnesses. You can also listen to the complete collection on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music or purchase it on Itunes.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST!, age 18


Runtime: 43 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 0-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 20
Media: AUDIO


FARMER AND THE BELLE, THE: SAVING SANTALAND
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FARMER AND THE BELLE, THE: SAVING SANTALAND
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Sparks fly between a famous model and a farmer with a young daughter, when she visits her childhood home. The town is in danger of losing their beloved Santaland festival, but miracles can happen with a little love, family, and faith.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland has a positive message in a unique story.

When Belle was a little girl her grandma tried to instill good values into her, giving her a bracelet to remind her of what is important in life. On the other hand, her mother wanted her to focus more on her beauty to become a NYC model. As an adult, when her world starts falling apart, Belle goes back to spend the holiday in a small town that is home to Santaland to try and find her grandma's bracelet she lost there years before. Instead she finds childhood pen pal, Josh who she starts to fall in love with. Belle helps save his Santaland while realizing beauty is much more than skin deep.

The production is well done although at times the storyline seems a bit farfetched even though it is inspired by a true story. Belle Winters is played by Jenn Gotzon and Josh is played by Jim Chandler.

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland shows that beauty is not what is on the outside, it is on the inside and is shown in the things you do. Your value is not based on appearances or the number of social media follows. True love is found when you respect and use your gifts to serve others.

I give The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It will be release on digital and DVD on November 17, 2020.

Reviewed by Angela G., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is a charming, modern Christmas love story. It reinvents the whole true meaning of Christmas and what is truly important. It definitely left me with the Christmas spirit, the belief that true love is possible, and that miracles can happen.

The movie begins when a grandmother gives a young girl, Belle, a charm bracelet with charms that are engraved with inspirational words. One day, she wears the bracelet when she visits her pen pal Josh's farm. While she's there, an incident causes her to become upset and leave. She later realizes she has lost her beloved charm bracelet. Years later, Belle (Jenn Gotzon Chandler) is a successful model who is getting older and worries that her beauty is fading. She remembers the charm bracelet with encouraging words and decides to return to the farm to look for it. She wants to read the words and hopes that it will make her feel beautiful again. She goes back and Josh is still on the farm with his young daughter. She learns that Santaland festival is in danger of closing down forever. Josh (Jim Chandler) and his daughter, Adele (Adele Chandler), try to help her find what she is looking for.

There are several scenes that I found heartwarming and many that are exciting. There are even some surprises. One of my favorite scenes is the one at the Santa Games at the Santaland festival. There is a lot of action and it is hilarious. This makes it very enjoyable for viewers. Jenn Gotzon Chandler really connects with her character, Belle and shows great emotions; she really puts herself into her character's shoes.

This movie leaves viewers with a beautiful message. It shows that true beauty is not about a person's outside appearance. It is what is on the inside that really counts. Looks will fade but beauty on the inside never does. Being kind and giving is what makes a person truly beautiful. This film also teaches the power of forgiveness and how it can lead to happiness.

I give The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Many adults that like holiday movies will also find this film very enjoyable. This film will be available November 17, 2020 by Vision Films. By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

I like The Farmer And The Belle: Saving Santaland because it's a cute romantic story. I love romantic stories because they typically have a happy ending. Who doesn't love a feel-good ending? The acting isn't as strong as the storyline, but I still enjoyed it.

The Farmer And The Belle: Saving Santaland is about two pen pals, Belle (Livi Birch) and Josh (Benji Russell), who are really good friends. They both think about becoming farmers when they grow up. However, after they go to the Santaland festival where Josh tells Belle to take photos by the pigs, Belle falls in the mud, loses her bracelet and changes her mind about becoming a farmer. As they grow up, Belle (Jenn Gotzon) becomes a very famous model, while Josh (Jim E. Chandler) is a farmer who has a daughter named Adele (Adele Chandler). They are completely opposite of each other. Belle is selfish, but Josh is nice and kind. They meet again because Belle wants to find her lost bracelet. While Belle is focused on finding the bracelet, Josh is trying to save Santaland. Even though they have different goals and values, they end up helping each other and find out that miracles can truly happen.

The camera angles in this film make you think you are in the room with the characters, so you feel like you are part of the story. The music, especially that by John Schneider, is upbeat and very danceable. I love the inclusion of animals in the film. When the characters go to Santaland, there are pigs, cows, chickens, goats and horses. They are all fun to see, since I don't see many of these animals where I live. My favorite part of the film is when Belle plays the role of a donkey in a nativity play because it is super funny.

The message of the film is that you should be nice to everyone and avoid being selfish. If you are rude to people, most people won't like you. It is important to treat others the way you want to be treated, and to know what is important in life. When Josh, Adele and Belle decorate a Christmas tree together, Belle realizes the importance and the true meaning of Christmas.

I give The Farmer And The Belle: Saving Santaland 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 13. This film is available November 17, 2020.

By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is an inspirational story with a combination of Christmas, romance, comedy, sadness and family. I like this film because of those elements and because some parts of this movie are based on real life events.

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is about two children who are pen pals named Belle (Livi Birch) and Josh (Benji Russell). Josh lives on a farm named Santaland. Every Christmas, Josh's family opens the farm to the people in town to amuse them with games and music. One Christmas, Belle visited Josh at his farm. Belle shows Josh a beautiful bracelet her grandma gave her with multiple charms which has different messages on each charm. Then Belle sits on a pigpen fence and accidently falls inside the muddy pigpen. The children laugh at her, which hurt's Belle's feelings, so Belle's grandma takes her back home. Belle's mom tells Belle she is beautiful no matter if the children made fun of her because she was covered in mud. She told Belle she was going to be a famous model, then Belle realizes that the bracelet her grandma gave her was missing, that she left it at the farm. Belle had stopped going to Santaland to see Josh and her lost connection, until she feels the need to go back to find her bracelet. That's when miracles start to happen.

The film is very high quality the music and songs are appealing and add a lot to the scenes and storyline. I love the set, which is mostly the farm and the farmhouse. The cast, including the children, are all talented actors. Singer and actor John Schneider and singer Beckah Shaeare part of the cast.

The moral of The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is that true beauty comes from inside of us not from our looks. Is very important to know that having a beautiful heart is much better and more beautiful than how we look or how we dress. Beauty is to help people and make them happy like Belle helped Josh with Santaland. This film's extraordinary message will bring families together, especially around Christmas time.

I give The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland movie 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it to ages 5 to 18, plus adults will enjoy this magnificent film with their children and family as well. The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is coming to select streaming services on November 17, 2020. It is a "must-see" movie!

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

When I saw the movie trailer for The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland, I was hooked! I had to see this movie because I love Christmas and farm animals. The trailer certainly does its job-- I'll tell you that!

The Farmer and The Belle is a Christmas love story between a famous model named Belle (Livi Birch), and a kind farmer named Josh (Benji Russell) who is raising a young daughter named Adele (Adele Chandler). His small town is in danger of losing a longtime tradition called "Santaland Festival" and is hoping a for a miracle to save it. I relate mostly to the character of Adele. She seems happy and comfortable on the farm amongst her animal friends. The supporting characters also include Belle's trusted stylist, Cassidy (Natasha Bure.) There are also musical cameos, and special guests like John Schneider and syndicated radio host, Delilah.

This film is produced by the two lead actors who wanted to make a film based on their own life.

The style is fun, light and warm which makes it the perfect holiday movie! There is a good lesson wrapped inside the story; it doesn't matter if you are beautiful on the outside. It only matters if you are beautiful on the inside.

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is a good movie but incredibly dense. There is a lot going on. The message is a bit repetitive, and it feels a little long. But, overall it's a solid movie which was enjoyable to watch.

I give The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland 3 out of 5 stars. This film is perfect for ages 8 to 18 and adults would like it too. The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland debuts November 2020, just in time for you to make it a Christmas favorite!

By Izzy C., KID FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is a very fascinating movie! I really adore it. Especially how remarkable Belle Winters (Jenn Gotzen) plays her role throughout the entire movie; what an extraordinary actress!

The storyline is about two friends that get disconnected, Belle (Jenn Gotzen) wants to be a model when she is older and Josh (Jim E. Chandler) wants to be a farmer. Belle is given a special bracelet by her grandma wish inspirational quotes. One day while reflecting on memories from the bracelet that she lost when she was young, Belle decides that she wants to return to her hometown to search for it. Once returning home she realizes the real reason why her and Josh got disconnected over the years.

The main character Belle (Jenn Gotzen) is my favorite, because she is a model. When she goes back to Santaland to look for her bracelet she doesn't act like she is better than anyone else. She is very humble and carries herself professionally. The music really drives the movie, I enjoyed how the words of the music matched some of the movie clips. I was also surprised by how abrupt the change of scenes are. Additionally I noted that, over the years, nothing changed in terms of the house, farm or the small town.

The message of the film is to not be so quick to give up on a friendship without knowing a person's back story.

The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is a beautiful movie. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It will be release on digital and DVD on November 17, 2020.

By Deena H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95
Media: FeatureFilm


WAR WITH GRANDPA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WAR WITH GRANDPA
101 STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Sixth-grader Peter (Oakes Fegley) is pretty much your average kid-he likes gaming, hanging with his friends and his beloved pair of Air Jordans. But when his recently widowed grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with Peter's family, the boy is forced to give up his most prized possession of all, his bedroom. Unwilling to let such an injustice stand, Peter devises a series of increasingly elaborate pranks to drive out the interloper, but Grandpa Ed won't go without a fight. Soon, the friendly combatants are engaged in an all-out war with side-splitting consequences.

Based on the award-winning book by Robert Kimmel Smith, The War with Grandpa is a hilarious family comedy featuring an all-star supporting cast: Christopher Walken, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Laura Marano and Jane Seymour.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Just when you think you've seen it all, 2020 brings you Robert De Niro flying a drone into Uma Thurman's head in The War with Grandpa. The fantastic film with an all-star cast is sure to become a family favorite! While the story is familiar, familiar fan-favorite actors make it worth the watch.

Tim Hill directs this timeless tale of the importance of family. Robert De Niro plays a set-in-his ways grandfather to Peter, played by Oakes Fegley. When daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) insists her father move in with the family, Ed (Robert De Niro) is hesitant. Peter, once optimistic about the time he can spend with his elder, is quickly startled by the news that his beloved grandfather will be stealing his room. Now, a war ensues as both struggle to realize the good that has come out of this inevitable situation.

I love the cast of this film with Laura Marano as Mia, Oakes Fegley as Peter and scene-stealer Poppy Gagnon as Jennifer - the three children of Uma Thurman and Rob Riggle. Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour and Christopher Walken play friends of Ed that get involved in the prank war. The script includes jokes for the kids and also some fun references for adult viewers. My favorite scenes are those between De Niro and Gagnon, as their granddaughter-grandfather relationship is absolutely adorable!

The message of The War with Grandpa is about the importance of family. While Peter learns this lesson from his grandfather, Ed learns it as well. You should know that there are a few instances for parents to look out for, including nudity references and some language. While there is some minor violence, it isn't anything to make the film unsuitable for children. After all, it is rated PG.

I give The War with Grandpa 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 15, while also being enjoyable for adults. The War with Grandpa opened in theaters October 9, 2020.

Reviewed by Erin M.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Grab your popcorn and sit down for a wild ride because we are talking about the new hit family movie, The War with Grandpa! The War with Grandpa shows off unexpected pranks and comedic scenes, and also displays fantastic character development and a hilarious plot. The film provides an amazing cast you just can't get enough of, and many life lessons/morals presented in unconventional ways. This movie is silly in all the right kinds of ways; however, some dialogue seems a little too immature and completely unnecessary.

The movie starts off by introducing the Decker family, a somewhat crazy family with a daughter who wants to see her boyfriend, a little girl who wants to celebrate Christmas in September, and a middle school boy named Peter (Oakes Fegley) who loves his shoes! When their Grandpa (Robert De Niro) starts to not be able to care for himself, he is forced to move in with his family. There is one problem-- he has to take Peter's room, and Peter is not happy about it. Peter thinks there is only one solution to get his room back.... WAR! Peter and his Grandpa start the ultimate prank battle. You will never see the end coming!

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was confused. I have such a high standard for Robert De Niro because of all the amazing movies he is in, like Taxi Driver and The Irishman. I initially thought The War with Grandpa would waste talent like his, but I was very wrong. Robert De Niro in this film is outstanding, and it was a breath of fresh air from all the extremely serious movies he has done before. Roe Baker did an outstanding job casting everyone in this movie.

The War with Grandpa really does provide many lessons and morals in unconventional ways. Under all the pranks and silly jokes, this film teaches you that even when you don't want to give up something up you love, think about who it could help if you did. The War with Grandpa is rated PG, for some rude humor and mild language.

As Peter declared war on his Grandpa, I declare a rating for The War with Grandpa of 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend The War with Grandpa for ages 8 to 12. You can find The War with Grandpa in theaters on October 9, 2020.

Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The War with Grandpa is the perfect film for the whole family! It is funny, has great actors and delivers a feel-good message to all of us.

This movie is about a boy named Peter (Oakes Fegley) who is your average sixth grader. But, that all changes when his Grandpa Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with his family. Neither Grandpa Ed nor Peter like the new living arrangement, because grandpa loses some of his independence and Peter loses his bedroom. A secret "prank war" ensues as Grandpa Ed and Peter try to outdo each other until someone gives up.

This film is based on the best-selling book, The War with Grandpa, by Robert Kimmel Smith. Thanks to Tre Peart, the executive producer, this movie was made. When Tre was in the third grade, he came across the book and suggested to his parents that they should make a movie about it. And here it is! The script is hysterical and takes many lines directly from the book. Also, the amazing cast includes Robert De Niro (Grandpa Ed), who plays a terrific, immature, but loving father and grandfather. Uma Thurman plays a stern, but wonderfully caring mother (Sally), and Oakes Fegley plays Peter, an excellent prankster protagonist. The supporting cast consists of terrific A-list talent including Rob Riggle, playing a "cool dad." Christopher Walken and Cheech Marin team up with Grandpa Ed to make him even more immature. My favorite part of the movie is all the creative ways Peter and Grandpa Ed find to prank each other, and sometimes other members of the family (sorry Sally).

The messages of the movie are about the importance of communication within a family and respecting your elders. Also - trampoline dodgeball solves everything.

I give The War with Grandpa 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. Adults will also enjoy this movie. This movie is scheduled to come out in theaters on October 9, 2020.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I just love The War With Grandpa with all the great actors like Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and others that take it to another level of comedy. I thought this would be a good comedy, but it turned out to be even funnier than I thought it would be. At times like these, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need more movies like this that are enjoyable, funny and interesting.

The storyline is about a war between Peter (Oakes Fegley) and his grandpa (Robert De Niro). Peter and his grandpa had a really close friendship, but it is tested when grandpa moves into Peter's bedroom. Peter is forced out of his comfy bedroom into the attic, which gives Peter enough of a reason to start a prank war with grandpa. Their pranks are so funny; they had me laughing at the edge of my seat. And the fun part is that Peter's parents had absolutely no idea this war was going on. I can't even get started on Peter's little sister, Jenny (Poppy Gagnon) who is so sweet. She is always so nice to her grandpa. You could say that Jenny is the "Queen of Christmas" because she always wears Christmas shirts and her whole side of the room looks like a Christmas factory.

This film is absolutely amazing. It is definitely a fun family film. Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle make up an impressive cast. The camera work is wonderful and I love the settings.

The primary message of this film is that fighting is never the answer to anything, because you can get yourself hurt or hurt other people. Another massage to not be so attached to your things and learn to share, especially with your grandpa.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters October 9, 2020 so look for it. Reviewed by Sara G., KIDS FIRST!, age 10

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


CHILDREN OF THE SEA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHILDREN OF THE SEA
GKIDS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-15
Description - CHILDREN OF THE SEA is the latest feature from Japan's STUDIO4�C (known for Tekkonkinkreet, MFKZ, Mind Game, Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight, and others), and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro). CHILDREN OF THE SEA is adapted from the manga of the same name by author Daisuke Igarashi, which won the Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival. When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka's dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans' fish.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Full of intense imagination and interesting concepts, Children of the Sea is sure to captivate its audience. This Japanese fantasy film offers its viewers a tremendous amount of excitement and appreciation for nature. It's full of exploration and great artistic design. Some of the film's themes are difficult to connect with, yet the Children of the Sea keeps its viewers engaged and curious with its amazing animation.

The film is about a young, somewhat troubled teen named Ruka, who finds herself challenged by the relationships of her peers and her mother. During troubling times, Ruka is drawn to the local aquarium where her dad works -- a place she visited often and found comfort in as a child. Many mysteries of the ocean confuse Ruka over the years but when she meets Umi and Sora, two brothers believed to be raised by dugongs, marine mammals, their knowledge of the ocean seems to shed light on those mysteries. After Ruka spends her summer with Umi and Sora, she discovers that she, too, has this supernatural connection to the sea.

A big "thumbs up" to the animation department in this film for bringing the mystic ocean and its creatures to life! Children of the Sea kept us glued to the screen with its combination of animated drama, fantasy, and mystery, from scene to scene. The detailed and colorful environments of the sea, is by far my favorite part of the film. Although the story is challenging at times to follow, this film is a visual masterpiece.

Children of the Sea contains some deep concepts, and its message is difficult to understand. Mysterious ocean sounds that seem to trigger a global migration of sharks and whales in this film may be the film's best message. These sounds, which are part of the ocean's mystery, could affect the future of all life on Earth. Everything that surrounds us is connected, and we must find balance within the greater universe. Man and nature must live in harmony.

I give Children of the Sea 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Children of the Sea may be more appreciated by adult nature lovers who could better appreciate its message and in-depth concepts. This film can be seen on blue-ray, DVD, and digital streaming.

Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


SKY DOG
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SKY DOG
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After a high school senior working on his pilot's license rescues a dog named Oreo, he finds out his mom is a CIA agent who's been captured. He teams up with Oreo and a new friend to find his mother and uncover double agents inside the CIA.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An enthralling watch, Sky Dog will capture kids' hearts and surely become a fixture feature film in many households. The high production quality, intriguing script and fast-paced action all make for a pleasant viewing experience. In a crowded segment of action/spy films, Sky Dog undoubtedly stands out.

Sky Dog follows the life of Colt Lifestone, a high school senior who has his heart set on getting his pilot's license. After a fateful revelation regarding Colt's mom's job and news of her kidnapping, Lifestone finds himself uprooted from all he knew to be normal, in a new home, new school and with two mysterious guardians. Colt teams up with his new friend Alice to find out what's really going on... and solve some mysteries in the process.

Both the characters of Colt Lifestone (Daniel Knudsen) and Alice Jones (Vickie Lynn Smith), the protagonists of the film, come across as confident and strong. However, Knudsen's shaky or robotic delivery can jerk the reader out of the magic of the story at times. There are many other actors involved in the "above-the-line" element of Sky Dog, and I especially enjoyed the performances of Mimi Sagadin (as Sheila Porter) and Rocco Guirlanda (as Agent Dewitt Porter). They sold their antagonistic roles to me and stirred up emotions in my heart, a difficult feat for many films. Sagadin, specifically, truly commits to her character--her performance seems to me to be the most genuine of all. Now to other talent on the film. Daniel Knudsen and Tim Kaiser directed Sky Dog; Mark Knudsen wrote the script and Kristina Kaylen led the production effort. All of these individuals show exceptional talent, but one member of the production crew shines above all: Samuel Joshua, the mind behind the film's original music score. The musical score would have to be my favorite part of the film. A mix of simple tunes, orchestral pieces and regal John Barry (James Bond films)-esque trumpet fanfares -- the music of Sky Dog adds much to the film and makes the viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

The message of Sky Dog is twofold: always do the right thing, no matter what it takes, and recognize the heroes around us. In terms of an advisory, parents should be aware that Porter mistreats Colt at two or three points in the film. Also, Colt and Alice steal a plane and defy the rules. There are also thematic elements in Sky Dog, such as kidnapping and weapons, that would not be advisable for young children.

I give the film Sky Dog 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for kids aged 12 to 18. Adults may enjoy the movie as well. Sky Dog is coming to you, online and on DVD October 20, 2020!

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

Sky Dog is a very exciting movie and I enjoyed it. This movie keeps you curious about what will happen next. Also, there is a turn of events that keeps you very engaged throughout. Lastly, there is a hero in this movie and everyone loves a hero. This film has all the components to make an absorbing and delightful movie.

This film is about a teenager named Colt Lifestone (Daniel Knudsen), who is just a normal teenager until he discovers that his mom (Jeannine Thompson) is a CIA agent and is in danger. Colt is determined to rescue her with the help of a friend and a small dog.

The mood of this movie is hopeful and suspenseful. This is really a film that teenagers will enjoy. Written by Mark. A Knudsen, this film has an interesting storyline that is filled with emotional, action filled scenes. For example, when the CIA goes on a mission the audience follows along. This part is very intriguing as we watch the mission unfold. The most exhilarating part of the film is the ending, when Colt faces the bad guys. This is when the pieces of the puzzle come together and give the film its final touch. The camerawork is great, especially all the various camera angles. Daniel Knudsen, who plays Josh, is a well-known actor and film director. Daniel Knudsen's acting is very natural, but there is lack of emotion. For instance, when he finds out that his mom is in danger, he doesn't show much concern about it. Moreover, Oreo (Rosie Berryer), is Colt's dog. Oreo is loyal, smart and plays a big part in helping Colt and his friend. In this film, the mom's acting is very expressive. You can really see the emotion in her face and that's what makes her a great actor.

The messages of this film address determination and teamwork. Colt is not one to give up and this really helps him become a hero. The saying "two heads are better than one" is proven in this film. When you work together with others, it is more likely that the outcome will be great.

I give Sky Dog 4.5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Adults will like it as well. You can find this film on Digital and DVD October 20, 2020.

Reviewed by Ginebra Q., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Sky Dog is a great suspenseful movie that lots of kids, especially those that like planes, will like. The film is also fun to watch.

The movie is about a teenage boy who wants to become a pilot and then, rescues a dog named Oreo. When Colt Lifestone (Daniel Knudsen) figures out that his stepdad (Tim Kaiser) and mom (Jeannine Thompson) are CIA agents his life is turned upside down. In one part of the movie, Colt tries to convince his protectors that he might have figured out a way to get back his mom, but do they listen or not?

I like the scene when Colt's teacher talks about what true heroes are and how to be one. The character that I like the most is Alice Jones (Vickie Lynn Smith). She is a good friend and is mostly with Colt when he needs her. She is not an ordinary friend. She always believes in him and what he says. My favorite part of the movie is when Alice and Colt work together to find his mom. They have to deal with some dangerous people but they do not let anything stop them. They work together and come up with smart ideas such as putting a bad guy to sleep by sneaking some sleeping pills to his drink. They then end up getting away with their ideas and go on to find Colt's mom.

The message of the film is that you can be a hero without any special powers.

I give Sky-Dog 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 10. You can find Sky-Dog on October 20, 2020 on digital and DVD.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95
Media: FeatureFilm


CANDY PLANET
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CANDY PLANET
SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-8
Description - Getaway for an awesome summer vacation with Rainy and her mom on a faraway rainforest planet made entirely of Candy. When Rainy's mother is accidentally turned into a living-Candy -- it will be up to Rainy to save her mom from a world of outrageous characters in the sweetest places... Candy Planet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoy the vibrant color scheme of the animated film, Candy Planet. There is a copious amount of neon and bright colors. It visually appealing to me, so I assume it will also be appealing for children. Sometimes there are unnecessary scenes that slow down the pace of the high energy adventure. For example, when the film cross-cuts between the adventure and the residents of candy planet, I know it is necessary to show both places, but it seems as if the candy planet scenes are there to add runtime rather than give the viewer information.

The storyline is about a mysterious robot appearing and zapping Rainie's mother, Eileen, into a piece of candy. Rainie and her friends follow the robot to discover it is trying to take Eileen back to the candy planet. Along the way, Rainie and her friends discover the truth about candy planet's existence and during their adventure, they learn the meaning of friendship.

I like how the viewer is omniscient while the characters are more restricted in their knowledge of the candy planet's ruler, Gordon's true intentions. This technique may reduce the surprise of the "big reveal," but the viewer still experiences tension while the characters discover Gordon's motive. The film starts in the middle of things, which makes the viewer intrigued instantly. Besides the extra added fluff, which can be easily looked over, it's still a good storyline. Everything gets explained thoroughly.

This film is animated and doesn't employ an array of varied camera angles. With the action scenes, of course we receive some medium and close-ups that connect us with specific characters emotions, but other than that the camerawork is fairly simple. The costumes that Rainie's friends wear are ornate and correlate with her friends being from an otherworldly jungle, hence their skin is blue. I like the various different planets and how each one has a specific theme. One is frozen; one has attacking candies which resemble Venus flytraps; one is a molten lava planet. Each planet also presents a different obstacle the characters need to overcome.

The music and sound effects work well. Both appropriately connect to the scenes in which they are paired. The music in the dance scene that Rainie and Gordon share is upbeat; each time they step on a button it beeps to the beat. Fun fact, the character that voices Rainie, Cherami Leigh, is an adult and not a child. Leigh's range in voice-acting is great. The key influencers are the editors and the storyboard creators. With animation, production process is a little wonky due to editors starting towards the beginning of the process rather than the end. Creating storyboards for any film is tedious, but especially with animation, because if someone decides to cut a single second out of the original storyboard, the creators have ultimately wasted time when it is cut. The same idea applies if something is added later.

This is small, but having the main character as a young girl and not a young boy can potentially inspire young girls to lead and embark on their own heroic journeys. One of the simpler messages is of friendship. Working together with people that care for one another, through the good and bad moments, results in a stronger and more loving friendship. An implicit message of this film is karma. Whether that be good or bad, like Gordon reluctantly becoming a piece of food, which he turned people into for years, unwillingly. A positive example of karma is when Rainie's mother explains to her that since she has a kind heart, she'll attract kind people in her life. What you put out in the world, positive or negative affects you, so you might as well make it a positive. One other message is that you can't subdue your emotions or bad experiences. The more you suppress them the bigger it explodes in the end. If Gordon communicated with his brother about how he genuinely felt, Rainie and her friends would have never endured his wrath.

There are a couple of fights, but they are more like tackling between the antagonist and the other characters. There is no graphic violence. My favorite part is the ending because Gordon receives karma. He's turned into a piece of food, which is what he was doing to other people for years. A lot of the characters in this film are voiced by actors with a long list of prior work such as Cam Clarke, Robbie Daymond and Dorothy Elias-Fahn.

I give Candy Planet 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 3 to 10. It is a cute, adventurous film and it actually presents important messages.

Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Candy Planet is an interesting animated movie that younger kids will definitely find entertaining. It is somewhat predictable and some of the characters are kind of strange. The dubbing is very good and lines up pretty well with the animation.

The storyline is about a young girl, Rainie and her mom who go to a magical jungle for a vacation. They find a mysterious present outside their door and discover it is a magical camera that turns people into candy! Rainie's mom turns into a living chocolate bar, and to save her, Rainie and her friends fly to her rescue and get dragged to Candy Planet. There they meet Gordon who is not who he seems. Find out what else happens when you watch Candy Planet.

This movie is aimed at a younger audience, because the humor is basic and the storyline is simple. Even though it is somewhat predictable, it is an original idea, and I appreciate that. The movie's dialogue was initially in Chinese, so it is dubbed in English and it syncs up better than I expected. The animation is well produced. It looks similar to other animated movies, but has a uniqueness of its own. The characters are not very well-developed. There is little background on the characters and you have to guess what their relationships are. Speaking of characters, my favorite is Powderpup, the candy dog that they meet along the way. He is adorably cute.

The primary messages are about friendship and teamwork. Even though this movie is aimed at showing the importance of friendship, Rainie does make rude remarks towards her friends.

I give Candy Planet 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. It is available now on Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNow and other streaming platforms.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Candy Planet is a 3D animated movie with a unique story. It has great animation and lots of bright colors throughout. It is a fun movie with lots of emotion. Due to the short run time of the movie (75 minutes.), it seems very fast paced, but that doesn't stop it from being a good film. I also really like the villain of the movie.

The storyline is about a girl named Rainie (Cherami Leigh) and her friends getting transported to a world inhabited by candy people after her mom gets turned into a candy. Rainie and her friends have to go through tests to turn her mom back into a human. The villain of the movie, Gordon (Todd Haberkorn), is the leader of the candy planet and tries to get Rainie to lose her friends and her belief in friendship. The only complaint I have with this movie is that it's never explained how Rainie became friends with the blue jungle people. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story.

The voice actors in the film are very good, especially Cherami Leigh who plays Rainie. She gives a fantastic performance, which is probably due to her extensive voice acting experience. I also really liked Robbie Daymond's performance. The voice actors are the best part of the movie as they really stand out. The animation is excellent as well; I really like all the colors in the movie. They make the movie feel more fun and playful. I also really like movies that are 3D animated. My favorite scene is when they're running on different planets, trying to get to the test.

The main theme of the movie is about friendship and how important it is. Throughout the movie, Rainie is tempted by Gordon that she doesn't need her friends and that they slow her down. Although friendship is a strong theme in a lot of animated movies, I think Candy Planet utilizea that theme particularly well. The film doesn't have anything that parents would worry about except a couple of fight scenes, which aren't too bad.

I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 10. You can find Candy Planet now on iTunes, Amazon digital, Google Play, Vudu and FandangoNow.

Candy Planet is an animated film that is perfect for younger kids who like a good adventure about friendship.

The storyline follows a girl named Rainie (Cherami Leigh), on vacation with her mother, when a camera comes along and turns her mom (Dorothy Fahn) into a candy and takes her to a planet made entirely of candy. Of course, Rainie and her friends have to save her and due to a slight error in judgment, Rainie ends up having to save her friends along with her mom.

My favorite part of the movie is the beginning when some cute animals are turned into doughnuts and taken to the candy planet. The animals are super cute and act funny. I enjoyed the way Cherami Leigh voices Rainie, because she really takes on her character and her vocal expressions relay her emotions perfectly. The part of the film that sticks with me most is how all the voice actors convey emotion solely through their voices. The way Dorothy Fahn plays Rainie's mother, you can hear the concern for her daughter. There are a few other actors in this movie that stand out to me. For example, Robbie Daymon, as Blue, changes his voice throughout and makes his character come to life. This movie is in 3D animation, which is very well made. The characters are clear and the background doesn't overshadow the characters. The sound effects sound real and make it sound like the cameras are taking pictures. With all the action taking place, the sound effects are important to enhance the story. It is very well paced and keeps the viewer wanting to know how the characters will solve the next problem they face. The music is suspenseful throughout, which adds intrigue to the story development. The colors are all bright and happy, reflecting the candy and making it intriguing to younger viewers. My eyes were drawn all over the place because it is all so bright and exciting.

The message of the film is about trusting your friends and working with them to complete a task. If you don't trust your friends they will stop trusting you.

I recommend Candy Planet for ages 4 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. You can find it now on Google Play movies, Prime video, Hulu and Netflix.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: FeatureFilm


CAMP ARROWHEAD
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAMP ARROWHEAD
SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 7-16
Description - 19-year-old Sophie Walker attends a summer camp to help her get over the loss of her mother. She attends as a worker and is initially made fun of by some rich girls at the camp. But when the rich girls realize they need another girl for the archery team, they invite Sophie to join. Meanwhile, Sophie has met a mysterious man in the forest named Percy who claims to be an archery coach. Sophie gets Percy the job as team coach and Percy proceeds to turn the girls into lethal archers. Along the way, Percy also helps Sophie come to terms with the loss of her mother - in an unexpected and magical way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From an adult's perspective, I feel Camp Arrowhead tries to tackle a lot of themes including death of a parent, disabilities, religion, sport competitions, a mystery, and more. Maybe children watching wouldn't recognize that, but the film tries to tackle a lot of ideas in a short amount of time, so some ideas don't seem as fleshed out as others. The excellent camerawork makes it much easier to get through.

The story follows Sophie, a teen whose mother has recently passed, who discovers that her father needs to go out of town for work. Not wanting to be sent to her younger cousin's house for her summer vacation, she reluctantly goes to Camp Arrowhead with her friend April to work at the camp that caters to rich teens. Throughout the film Sophie encounters various other characters that influence her and teach her lifelong lessons.

The camerawork is very well done. The lighting always looks great and is never too dark nor too bright; almost every shot looks perfectly balanced. I enjoy the superimposing image of Sophie's face dissolving into the image of the car driving to Camp Arrowhead. This happens at the beginning of the film so it insinuates to the viewer that there is going to be a significant connection between the two. I also like shallow focus shot when Percy sings and Devin's mother is behind her in the shadows and is out of focus. She is in contrast with Devin who is in focus and not in the shadows. It represents how Devin's mother is always lurking behind her and watching her every move to try and control her life. The sets and locations are very relatable and believable. The camp location encapsulates a typical teen camp location that I have seen in many other films. Finding a good location for shooting in the woods is typically hard, but the woods in this film looks great and realistic. The music relates well to each scene. The score used for emotional scenes evokes somberness and the music used for uplifting montages matches the action.

Percy is the character who influences the rest of the cast in certain ways they need to change. For example, Percy helps Tyler realize his strength and how smart he really is. Percy is very all-knowing and guides these characters into their respective changes. The other key influencer is most likely the editor. The editing is seamless and there aren't any awkward cuts. It flows well.

The message, as clich� as it sounds, is about how love, compassion and understanding conquers all. This has a religious theme, that comes in quite unexpectedly. I don't mind it, but feel as if it should have been addressed earlier in the film because it seems to come out of left field. As it is, it is just very abrupt. You should know that there is a death of a parent mentioned, but it is not in any way graphic. There are some typical camp shenanigans throughout the film, but it is just some petty pranks.

What this film reinforces is the idea of understanding others' struggles. We truly do not know what others are going through, such as Devin dealing with her over-controlling mother. As soon as Sophie treated Devin with respect, she experienced a very different side of her. An interesting part is when Sophie's phone message finally is sent to her deceased mom despite saying "undelivered" for months. Utilizing her phone to concretely present the abstract idea of her "sending the message of love" to her deceased mother is clever.

I give Camp Arrowhead 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 9 to 13. I love the cinematography and editing; the production values are great, but the storyline is a bit all over the place.

Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Camp Arrowhead is a heartwarming film with an inspiring message. It is a story about overcoming tragedy and never losing hope. When you have friends and you work together, sometimes miracles happen. It is a fast-paced film with lots of laughter and adventure.

The storyline is about 19-year-old Sophie Walker (Tori Keeth) who recently lost her mother and volunteers at a summer camp to avoid staying with her cousins. A kind and mysterious man named Percy (Donnie William) gives her and her friend archery lessons and they both become ace archers. The camp bully, Devin Dupree (Chloe Lukasiak), really wants to win the archery competition and she is determined to win the competition no matter what. Along the way, Sophie comes to terms with her loss, in an unexpected and magical way.

One of my favorite parts of the film is the talent show scene. The songs are beautifully written and performed. Sophie sings a heartfelt song that touches everyone dearly. The emotions she expresses and the lyrics of the song really pull you in and grab your attention. Percy sings an upbeat song that leaves everyone feeling good and lifts the mood. Other characters also give talented performances. Chloe Lukasiak portrays her role as the bully in a believable way. Jennifer Aquino who plays Candace and Carter Southern who plays Tyler also bring their characters to life. The campground setting is perfect for the film. The natural setting, the camp buildings and the archery equipment really makes it all seem very real. I really enjoyed watching the characters develop and grow while they at camp.

The messages in this film are about forgiveness and love always prevail. Forgiveness allows peace and love and leaves viewers with hope.

I give Camp Arrowhead 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this movie to ages 7 to 16, plus adults. This film is available now on digital channels including iTunes, Amazon digital, Google play, Vudu and FandangoNow.

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

I really enjoyed this fun and adventurous movie! Camp Arrowhead is set in an authentic American summer camp. The actors all give genuine and believable performances. The film delivers a positive emotional message and feel-good factor.

This story follows 19-year-old Sophie (Tori Keeth), whose mother has recently passed away and she hasn't been the same since. She joins her best friend, April (Joy Regullano), to work at Camp Arrowhead as her father thinks it would be a good idea for her to work through her grief. She wanders into the wood and meets an unusual old man who might just offer the help she needs and, when the archery team require some new recruits, Sophie and April are up for the task. They join the archery team and learn about the importance of family, friendship and teamwork.

The production is very professionally made and the cast are incredible. Chloe Lukasiak (Dance Moms) plays her performance as the stuck-up, posh and snobby brat, Devon Dupree, especially well. Tori Keeth (Henry Danger) takes on the lead role as the heart broken Sophie Walker, with great emotion and feeling. Donnie Williams plays the role of Percy, a character who is mysterious and helpful in a warm and friendly manner. The supporting cast are great and each plays their role to a high standard, adding to the overall performance. The set is very realistic and in keeping with the storyline. I especially love the cabins. They look so warm and cozy. The music helps set the scenes whilst not distracting from the movie, and the character performances. My favorite part is towards the end of the film when Percy leaves a surprise gift, that leads Sophie to a very special place. I don't want to spoil it for you all, so can't say any more than that.

The message of the film is of uplifting friendship, and that time helps to heal emotional pain. We watch the girls struggle through a social divide, initially clashing, then put their differences aside and forming a bond through teamwork. It also teaches us the importance of forgiveness, no matter what you've done.

I give Camp Arrowhead 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. This film is available now on digital channels including iTunes, Amazon digital, google play, Vudu , and FandangoNow.

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

Camp Arrowhead is a family-friendly film filled with laughs, drama and the hope that you have an open-mind.

With Sophie's dad going away for work all summer long, she decides to work at Camp Arrowhead with her close friend for the summer. Camp life has its challenges, especially since Sophie's mom died just a few months ago. With the help of new friends and a mysterious older man named Percy, Sophie learns the art of competitive archery and the gift of being able to communicate with her mom.

I enjoyed this movie because the plot is unpredictable and has a happy ending. Directors Timothy Armstrong and Fernando De La Cruz created a movie that generates a range of emotions. The magical theme was a surprise and includes some plot twists. Actor Donnie Williams' performance as Percy makes the magical character believable, while at the same time creating a well-loved movie character. Tori Keeth, who plays Sophie, creates a character that you hope will be able to find happiness. With the strong supporting cast you find yourself rooting for multiple people. The cinematographer, Ferguson Sauve-Rogan supports the film's message by creating authentic settings that carry the magical and realistic theme throughout the movie.

A common theme of the movie is to believe in yourself and have faith. Many of the characters in the movie confront and overcome difficult obstacles. Although the movie promotes many positive messages, some subtle racial inequity exists. Most likely this is not what the producers wanted, but it provides a good opportunity to bring awareness to discrimination in films and creates the chance to have an open and honest conversation about racism.

I rate Camp Arrowhead 4.5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14. You can watch Camp Arrowhead now on iTunes, Amazon digital, Google Play, Vudu and FandangoNow.

Reviewed by Calee N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Camp Arrowhead is a new feature film aimed at tween girls about friendship and loss that reminds me of a Disney Channel movie, but falls short. I wanted to like this film, but the pacing feels slow and the writing is awkward. The movie also solves all of its characters' problems too easily.

The storyline is about a 19-year-old girl, Sophie Walker (Tori Keeth), whose mother died a few months ago. She is angry at herself because she argued with her mom before she died and Sophie never had a chance to make up. Her friend is going work at Camp Arrowhead and invites Sophie to join her. At camp she ends up making friends with the rich mean girl campers, finds romance with the camp director's grandson who is in a wheelchair, and makes peace with her mom's death with help from a special friend.

The sets and locations are realistic. The costumes quickly identify teen girls at a summer camp. There are some special effects at the end, but they are not very high tech. My favorite character is Sophie's friend April (Joy Regullano), who is very upbeat and nice to everyone. The other lead character is Devin (Chloe Lukasiak), who is a stereotypical mean rich girl who is under lots of pressure to win at archery from her mean mom. She changes after she invites Sophie and April to join the archery team and they become friends. The movie has a strong moral message that is delivered through an older character, Percy, whom we later learn is not what he first appears to be. My favorite part of the film is the montage where Percy teaches the girls archery.

The message in this film is that kindness and forgiveness (especially of yourself) will make everything better. It feels religious by using symbols such as a cross and angel and talking about heaven. The message is positive. I just don't like that everyone's problems are solved so easily at the end. Most of the negative behavior such as revenge and cheating is handled when characters apologize or have consequences like getting disqualified.

I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 through 14. This film is available now on digital channels including iTunes, Amazon digital, google play, Vudu, and FandangoNow.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MAMBO MAN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAMBO MAN
CORINTH FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 14-18
Description - It is the story of a Cuban farmer and music promoter who gambles everything on a deal that appears too good to be true.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mambo Man is an incredible Cuban flick! One not to be missed, especially for those of the Cuban culture. Relatable and a great family film.

Mambo Man is about a Cuban named JC (Hector Noas) who is both a farmer and a music promoter, popular on the island for his music. When his friend, Roberto (David Parez), appears out of the blue with a business offer JC cannot refuse, JC is left scrambling to find fifty thousand dollars. Throughout the film we see JC and his family struggle with their everyday life. We see how poor the island is and posters of Fidel Castro, whether praising or fearing him. Throughout the film, Cuba is shown in its poverty--overcrowded, with residents looking for work for food and money. Mambo Man doesn't hide Cuba's flaws nor does it glorify the country, but rather shows the day-to-day life of the island's inhabitants.

Another plus is the authenticity: the whole cast is Cuban and the movie is filmed in Cuba. (As a Cuban myself, I enjoyed seeing these shots of where my father grew up.) The entirety of Mambo Man is in Spanish with subtitles, with people rarely speaking English. At times, the subtitles do not match what the dialogue really says. Some lines are changed, sometimes phrases and expressions aren't included. Some of my favorite scenes are those that include music, especially traditional Cuban music made for dancing. The soundtrack includes wonderful songs that many Cubans can recognize. Mambo Man has incredible shots of the countryside of Cuba, too, such as JC's farmland, and when he and his chauffeur, David (Alejandro Palomino) drive through the city and countryside.

Overall, the main plot of the film feels extremely rushed, and the not-so-needed scenes drag on for way too long. For example, at one point, JC's friend steals ten thousand dollars from him. We never meet his friend, Omar, so it seems odd to have a character who is pretty unrelated to the plot steal such a grand amount of money. Also, there are parts in the film where tourists visit JC's farm that are longer than necessary. It would have been much better to meet Omar rather than see tourists that have no effect on the storyline. In another example, JC's wife, Rita (Yudexi De La Torre Mesa) is angry with her husband about how much money he is risking, and then in her next scene she talks about how losing a huge sum of money is no big deal, and that family is what is important. We miss her character development, and it seems peculiar how in one scene she nags JC about almost losing their home and in the next she shrugs it off.

The message of the film is that family is what matters most, not money, as JC learns towards the end. There are many uses of adult language; some shown in subtitles, and some not included but still said in Spanish. Heavy alcohol and tobacco depictions are shown as well.

I give Mambo Man 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It premieres on virtual cinema on September 11, 2020.

Reviewed by Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


MULAN 2020
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MULAN 2020
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - To save her ailing father from serving in the Imperial Army, a fearless young woman disguises herself as a man to battle northern invaders in China. Mulan 2020 is a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name, based on the Chinese folklore "The Ballad of Mulan." Directed by Niki Caro. With Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Loyal, brave, true, honorable, and devoted, all describe aspects of Disney's new remake of the animated movie, Mulan (1998). Niki Caro, the director of this year's live-action version, took on the huge challenge of giving new life to the legendary tale of China's fearless girl warrior after 22 years. This action-packed, family film will keep viewers in suspense while tugging at their hearts along the way. Mulan offers us much to appreciate ...culture, a love for family, honesty, peace and so much more. We couldn't have asked for a better release date for Mulan, as its many messages are powerful and uplifting which are needed during these unsettling times in many communities.

The film follows a fearless young woman named Hua Mulan who is the daughter of Zhou, a warrior veteran. Mulan is not like other traditional women of her age. She is a uniquely gifted woman driven by the power of the chi, destined not to conform and marry the match of her parent's choice; rather she prefers to use her skills to fight as a warrior and to defend her country, town and family. Her father, who is traditional in his beliefs, warns Mulan to hide her gifts. Upon learning of a possible empire takeover by Bori Khan and his power hungry rebel group, one male from every household is ordered to enlist in the Imperial Army to defend their land. Mulan's father, the dad of two daughters, is not in good physical condition to take on this feat yet steps up to the challenge. Knowing that her father is in no shape to battle the enemy, Mulan sacrifices everything and faces death to disguise herself as the man of the household and train with the Imperial Army.

Yifei Liu, who plays Mulan, possesses great star power. She is fierce yet sensitive and shows viewers a wide variety of her emotions throughout the film. A huge shout out to the cinematography, art, set, costume, and make up crews for bringing such light, excitement, and brilliance to the legendary Chinese Empire. Every scene is colorful, bright, and full of life. China and New Zealand are perfect landscapes for the film sets and are perfect for captivating the viewers. And despite the adventure and suspense, the film entertains us with several scenes containing humor.

Mulan is a film with many messages of loyalty, bravery, honor, devotion to family, and more. The strongest message is about empowerment. Mulan, born into a culture where there is a clear division between the roles for men and women, chooses not to conform to tradition and claims her rights to be who she wants to be. Mulan is faced with many heartfelt decisions that, above all, could cause her death, yet she stays true to herself.

I give Mulan 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to ages 8 to 18. Mulan is the perfect family film and adults will love it as much as kids. Mulan will begin streaming on September 4th 2020 on Disney+. This is a film that you do not want to miss!

Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love the new action-packed Mulan movie! The costumes and scenery in this live-action version of the animated film are stunning. Fans of Mushu will notice the new Mulan has no Mushu! However, this Mulan is a PG-13 movie with a lot of intense action, and I don't think that a talking dragon would fit in an action movie (sorry, Mushu!)

Mulan is about a girl (Lui Yifei) growing up in the male-dominated culture of the Imperial era of China. Women are supposed to be quiet, composed, graceful, elegant, poised and polite. But Mulan is different. She possesses a strong chi, something thought that only men could possess. When China is attacked by Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee), one man from each family is required to serve in the Imperial Army to defend China. Mulan has one sister and no brothers, forcing her father to fight. He is already a war hero and was injured while serving and cannot fight, so she has no choice but to disguise herself as a man and take his place.

First and foremost, the cinematography is unbelievable! There are so many unique camera angles, and the colors are strong and vivid. Kudos to cinematographer Mandy Walker! Along with impressive special effects, the costumes and scenery are beautiful. There are several differences between the new Mulan and the original. I enjoyed the newer one as it is a lot more about girl power, and has an all-Asian cast. My favorite performance was from Liu Yifei-- her fighting skills are very realistic (because she practiced so much) and she has a calm fierceness that is so heroic! The new live-action version also has many subtle tributes to the iconic songs in the original animated version. Also, while this film is not a musical, for those of you who loved the original songs, be sure to get the soundtrack, sung by Christina Aguilera.

Along with the warriors' credo to always be loyal, brave, and true, Mulan emphasizes the importance of family and demonstrates girl power. This movie has some scary elements and has several violent fight scenes.

I give Mulan 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy it, too. Mulan is currently available on Disney+. (It will be free to Disney+ subscribers on December 4th, 2020.)

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


MR. SOUL
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MR. SOUL
CRITERION PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL. Ellis Haizlip ensures the Revolution will be televised with "SOUL!," America's first "Black Tonight Show." From 1968 to 1973, the public-television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics-voices that had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home. The series was among the first to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. With participants' recollections and a bevy of great archival clips, Mr. SOUL captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The documentary Mr. Soul! is entertaining and touching! It is remarkably interesting and makes you want to research more about Ellis Haizlip. He made a huge difference in the way African Americans were shown on television by creating his own show called "SOUL!. This movie focuses on African American music, dance and literature and how Mr. Haizlip used his program to show Black talent in positive ways.

Mr. Soul! is a movie about Ellis Haizlip's life as the creator, co-host and producer of an TV show featuring Black performers called SOUL!. It tells the story of Haizlip, the show, and the talent he showcased. You hear about his life and accomplishments from the performers he had on SOUL! and from his friends. You also see different footage from SOUL!, and pictures from Haizlip's personal life. The documentary also demonstrates how Haizlip went from being the producer of the show to also hosting it.

The main character is Ellis Haizlip. I love how kind he was and how he always made SOUL! fun for everyone. He gave so many different people opportunities to show off their talents on SOUL!. The director, Melissa Haizlip, is a talented storyteller. She uses different elements such as a narrator (Blair Underwood), videos from SOUL!, interviews from the shows' guests, and testimonies from his friends to tell Mr. Haizlip's incredible story. The movie includes great music from different Black culture genres such as Gospel and R&B. There are incredible dance numbers and bands shown that were also on the show. The film has some funny parts, and it will take you through different emotions, which makes it more interesting. I was incredibly surprised to learn that Mr. Haizlip was a television host before Oprah Winfrey and that he was a musician before he became a TV host.

The message of this film is that anything is possible and that sometimes you have to take risks to get where you want to be in life. For example, when Mr. Haizlip's friend decided not to host the show anymore, Mr. Haizlip took a risk and became the host and made history. Parents might need to look out for the use of the "N-word" in the beginning in a short video clip from one of the show's acts and mentions of suicide.

I rate Mr. Soul! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 13 to 18. Adults will love it as well! Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST

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


PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, THE
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - A modern take on Charles Dickens's classic tale of a young orphan who is able to triumph over many obstacles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This new film adaptation of Charles Dickens's original story David Copperfield is one that nobody should miss! The costumes and sets are superbly designed to take you all the way back to the 1800s. The acting performances and storyline just add to the strengths of The Personal History of David Copperfield. The only weakness is that the plot is somewhat confusing and a bit hard to follow. But otherwise, this film is definitely a must-see.

David Copperfield (Dev Patel) is an orphan whose mother marries an evil man. David is forced to work in a bottle factory and live with poor Mr. Micawber (Peter Capaldi). The plot follows him as he grows up, makes friends, and goes through hard times.

My favorite parts of The Personal History of David Copperfield are the costumes and sets. Every costume that appears fits the time period, character, and suits the storyline. Even the hair styles, hats and shoes are spot on. Dora's (Morfydd Clark) hair style, in particular, matches her personality. A lot of scenes throughout the film take place in England, in locations such as London, Bury St. Edmunds and King's Lynn. The locations and sets also help make the time period clear, and express the general mood of the movie. Another thing that stands out is the acting performances. Tilda Swinton (as Betsey Trotwood) delivers my favorite acting performance, but the film is well-cast and most of the actors are strong in their roles.

One weakness that stands out to me is that the plot is a bit confusing. The storyline has a lot to give if only it could be more clear about what is going on. At times, I am not sure if what is being shown is his imagination, a memory, or if it is actually happening. Younger kids might not understand what is happening and might miss important elements of the story.

The message is to not judge someone by the amount of money they have. For parents to know, there is a little bit of physical fighting but not much. There are also a couple scenes and a bit of the storyline based around alcoholism and being drunk.

I give this comedy- and drama-filled film 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and adults. The Personal History of David Copperfield can be found in theaters beginning August 28, 2020.

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

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


ONE AND ONLY IVAN, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ONE AND ONLY IVAN, THE
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 - A gorilla named Ivan tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Ruby as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - With realistic computer-generated imagery and a profound message, The One and Only Ivan captures its viewers' hearts and minds. Throughout the ninety-four-minute feature, just about anyone will grow rather fond of Ivan and his pals. The film comprises a mix of human characters, settings and assets created with computer graphics that is both believable and intricate. The One and Only Ivan flows magically, and its power-packed message has been perfectly preserved and magnified from its literary inspiration.

The comedic feature film directed by Thea Sharrock is an adaptation of author K.A. Applegate's Newbery Medal-winning book by the same title. The title character, a silverback gorilla, headlines at the Big Top Mall Circus in Atlanta, GA. Ivan enjoys notoriety and popularity far and wide for his fa�ade of ferocity. He lives quite happily with his multi-species troupe of friends, including Mack, the ringleader, Stella and Ruby, the elephants, Henrietta the chicken and Bob, the dog. After experiencing a loss and then a new arrival, things at the Big Top take a turn. Ivan devotes himself to piecing together his past and, in the process, works together with his buddies to hatch a plan to escape from the circus.

Produced by Allison Shearmur, Angelina Jolie and Brigham Taylor, The One and Only Ivan does not disappoint when it comes to star power. Sam Rockwell voice-acts the part of Ivan, Bryan Cranston portrays Mack, and Bob is voiced by Danny DeVito. Sam Rockwell puts forth a compelling performance; his honest and emotional voicing of Ivan made me sympathize with the gorilla and hear his voice on a deeper level. Bryan Cranston puts on an inspiring and enthralling performance as Mack, the slightly hammy ringleader who isn't afraid to take risks. His delivery was on point, as well. And lastly, a veteran in the Hollywood film industry, Danny DeVito - his comic timing, as in his other eighty-nine performances, is impeccable. Bob adds a lighter air to the film, especially at some sad moments. The hilarious script by Mike White, expert cinematography and graceful, powerful music also work together to make the viewing experience even more enjoyable. My favorite part of this film is the final circus performance - you'll have to watch it to see why!

This Disney+ film gives us hope that we can all change the world and make a difference just like Ivan does - not only does he make a difference in his life but also in the life of his young responsibility. The One and Only Ivan is also a great film to show children as it teaches them empathy and promotes kindness and altruism. There is mention of death in The One and Only Ivan, and gunshots are heard.

I rate The One and Only Ivan 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend the film to children ages 8 to 18. The One and Only Ivan is coming to Disney Plus on August 14, 2020!

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

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


FATIMA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATIMA
PICTUREHOUSE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Based on historical events, three young shepherds in F�tima, Portugal, report visions of the Virgin Mary, inspiring believers and angering officials of the Church and the government, who try to force them to recant their story.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fatima is a definite must-see film for those of the Catholic faith. A phenomenal period masterpiece that pulls at your heartstrings. A film that should not be missed. Fatima brings light to a true story that many do not know.

Fatima tells the true story of three young children who met the Virgin Mary and were witnesses of "The Miracle of the Sun." The movie opens up with Professor Nichols (Harvey Keitel) as he visits Sister Lucia (Sonia Braga) in a nunnery in 1989. They talk about the happenings from Lucia's past in 1917 Fatima, Portugal. The film goes back and forth between both years. We see a young Lucia (Stephanie Gil) with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto (Jorge Lamelas and Alejandra Howard) meet the Virgin Mary (Joana Ribeiro). After that fateful day, the story breaks out and the children are faced with a harsh reality.

The true standouts of Fatima are its young actors. Stephanie, Jorge and Alejandra show the struggle of being called "liars" when telling the truth. The kids are called out by their parents and are given the cold shoulder by many in the village. This never stops them--they stand by the truth with faith in their hearts. The movie concludes with The Miracle of the Sun which happened on October thirteenth, 1917, followed by actual photos of that day. The makeshift monument that was built in the movie is an exact replica of the monument in the photograph. It is appealing to see how much filmmakers worked on small yet important details such as this one.

The lesson to be learned from the film is to always have faith and believe in your truth. Time and time again, Lucia faces anger from her mother, who believes her daughter is lying about meeting Mary. Not once does Lucia give up, however; and she always prays, standing by her word. The topic of the Catholic faith may disinterest some audiences who do not share the same views. Considering that Fatima features the Virgin Mary, Catholicism is front and center in the movie.

I give Fatima 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18 plus adults. It is available in theaters August 28, 2020.

Reviewed by Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK
NICKELODEON Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Re-imagined for a new generation, Nickelodeon's all-new version of '90's kids' cult classic Are You Afraid of the Dark?'s three-part limited series follows members of an entirely new Midnight Society, who tell a terrifying tale of the Carnival of Doom and its evil ringmaster Mr. Top Hat, only to witness the shocking story come frightfully to life and prepare for an adventure beyond their wildest nightmares. The new members of the Midnight Society are: Rachel, played by Lyliana Wray; Gavin, played by Sam Ashe Arnold; Akiko, played by Miya Cech; Graham, played by Jeremy Taylor; and Louise, played by Tamara Smart. The Carnival of Doom's ringmaster, Mr. Tophat, is played by Rafael Casal (Blindspotting). Includes three episodes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "The outside world is dull and dreary," so the TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? will surely give you the "thrills and chills" you have been waiting for. From creepy clowns to evil music, this show will give you a fright. Not in the in-your-face kind of way but in a more sinister way. You may never bat an eye, but you will feel at least a cold shiver down your spine from time to time. But don't you worry! You are safe at home on your couch because everything you see is "all part of the show."

What starts off as a typical high school show with the new girl in town, turns into one where she is invited to the middle of the woods by the Midnight Society to tell the scariest story she can. After she tells the tale of Mr. Tophat and the Carnival of Doom, things get even spookier when they start to come true. Right from the start, daunting violins and accordions are played in a lifeless forest with laughing children in the background and scorpions in the air. Then you are asked... "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" A match is lit under it and the forbidding title sequence slowly turns dark. This is an excellent way of teasing this show, and I absolutely love the vibe.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? takes classic horror elements and redoes it well. The earthy music, airy and watery, mixed with the violin and accordion sprinkled with some laughter makes for a creepy juxtaposition of mood.

Throughout the series, we are taken on a rollercoaster of doubt, as plot twists are everywhere. Some of the shots are very well done, like when each kid gets the flyer for The Carnival of Doom and the camera cuts to each person's fearful eyes. There is also the scene where Rachel (Lyliana Wray) and Gavin (Sam Ashe Arnold) are attacked in a carnival ride and the lights are flashing to add uncertainty.

My one piece of criticism for this show is that the end feels a bit rushed. Unlike the classic series in which each episode is a different story, this version of the series builds up a lot of tension throughout the episodes and doesn't leave quite enough room for answers to be revealed at the end. But I have to credit Are You Afraid of the Dark? as it has high production values and has epic moments that we usually only see in action movie-- such as when the kids walk away from cars with the headlights on and rock music blares in the background.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? has some content that may cause young kids to feel squeamish, especially if they are afraid of bugs. Friendship is a big component of this show even if it might not seem like it at first. We are presented with a question: would you rather have all the materialistic wealth in the world or simply have good friends by your side? And this show promotes the idea of having a close group of friends.

I rate this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 11 to 18. Are You Afraid of the Dark? is available on DVD on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, and includes three fan favorite episodes from the original series in English, French and Spanish.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.99
Media: CDROM
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! AMAZING ANIMALS!, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! AMAZING ANIMALS!, THE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-10
Description - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary 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! So let s go, go, go, go on an adventure, we re flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat, Fish, Sally and Nick learn about animals in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals! DVD which offers a collection of short episodic adventures. The four friends fly around the world in The Cat's special Thinga-ma-jigger, which allows them to safely travel to different animal's homes. Although the topic of animals and their ecosystems may be a more difficult concept for children to grasp, this series conveys information in a very kid-friendly way.

In one episode, Sally and Nick travel to a bamboo forest after The Cat (Martin Short) hears that they need a surprise birthday present for their stuffed animal, Pammy. Sally and Nick talk to Zhu Zhu, the panda, that lives in the bamboo forest who teaches them about a panda's diet, why pandas eat bamboo and how and why bamboo grows extremely tall.

All the episodes follow the same structure - Sally and Nick are in a predicament, The Cat takes them on an adventure relating to the problem and the children glean how to solve their original problem and also get a snippet of what life is like for various animals.

Some younger audiences might struggle with educational shows because sometimes they can be too wordy or complicated. With this series, the educational aspect is not heavy nor draining. Witty, funny dialogue and songs offer a bit of "stealth education" that translates well from the animals to Sally and Nick. This DVD gives children the confidence they need to learn new things and exit their comfort zones while exploring the world around them. I recommend this DVD to ages 5 to 10 give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the DVD The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! because all six episodes are super fun and exciting. Every episode features an animal that Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) and his friends, Sally (Alexa Torrington) and Nick (Jacob Ewaniuk), visit. It's interesting to find out what animal they get to meet. At times, the voices of the kids get a little annoying, but that might be because they remind me of my younger siblings. For the most part, the episodes are entertaining, and I think younger kids (the target audience) especially will love this DVD.

The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! is about the adventures that Cat in The Hat goes on with his two best friends, Sally and Nick. In one episode, Nick has trouble finding his yo-yo, so Cat in The Hat brings him and Sally to a red squirrel named Bucky, who teaches them how to find hidden things. Another story is about Sally wanting to learn how to do a somersault. Cat in The Hat comes back with an armadillo named Louie to help. Although the crew of friends needs to figure out a way to surprise Louie, so he can show how he rolls. You'll have to watch this episode to find out how they surprise Louie. You'll enjoy the other episodes as well, since each one teaches you about an animal.

My favorite part is when a fish hops out of the water multiple times and gets mad about it. He keeps getting shaken around and his facial expressions are hilarious. My favorite character in the collection is Cat in The Hat, because he is so funny and has a great personality. The animation is cute and I love how the characters make pretty much everything rhyme.

The message of this DVD is to work together to solve problems. Solving problems with friends is a lot easier than trying to figure them out by yourself. Most likely you'll learn something that you would have never guessed. An example of this is when Nick gets help from the red squirrel named Bucky to find his yo-yo. Bucky is more of an expert on finding and hiding things, so with his help, Jack has an easier time looking for his lost toy.

I give The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals! is a real treat for kids to watch! On the surface, it looks like seemingly goofy stories filled with silly humor, but when you look deeper, kids can learn a lot about the animals featured and the life lessons hidden within the story. Songs also play a large role and add an extra element of fun to the show. You might catch your child singing along.

Throughout the course of six episodes, viewers are taken on fun adventures with friends Sally, Nick and The Cat In The Hat in his Thinga-ma-jigger. In order to solve problems or learn new things, The Cat takes these kids to places with silly names like bam wama booboo or wobble bobble woods and we meet new animals.

My favorite part of the entire show is the songs. Sally, Nick and The Cat sing a fun go-getter song each time they embark on an adventure and it is so catchy. There is also another song in each episode that relates to the adventure they are on. But the music doesn't stop there. Often times, The Cat will simply sing and rhyme his dialogue, which I enjoy, because it doesn't sound forced like rhyming can sometimes sound. The animation in this show, especially the houses at the beginning of each episode, are really funky, which gives a unique texture that makes them look even more animated but enjoyable for kids. What also makes this show fun is how The Cat often appears from weird places such as a potted plant or a backpack. The fish that accompanies the three on each journey on the Thinga-ma-jigger also brings comedy to the show and one can't forget about Thing 1 and Thing 2 and their mischievousness. All these characters make the show completely entertaining. Honestly, I feel like I am back in my 6-year-old self when I watch this.

The viewer can take away a lot from this show. Each episode teaches something new about a different animal such as how some animals eat, protect their food and themselves or find their way when they are lost. Other life lessons are taught like asking parents for permission before you go on an adventure, being resourceful, finding positive solutions, thanking others when they help you, apologizing for scaring someone and eating vegetables.

I give The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 5 to 10. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Runtime: 66 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com



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