The Family category has 2360 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRODUCING JODEA
FAIRMONT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - A struggling young actress's fortunes change when a world famous movie director drives into the back of her car.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love Introducing Jodea! It is an incredible film that brings great emotions to the viewer and is full of teachings. This film tells the story of Jodea, a woman who, since a kid, dreamed of becoming an actress, and she finds someone who can help with that. This film is so amazing that you could not look away from the screen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The message is that unlikely friendships can work out.

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

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

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


JUSTIN BIEBER: OUR WORLD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUSTIN BIEBER: OUR WORLD
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Justin Bieber: Our World takes viewers backstage, onstage, and into the private world of the musical icon as he prepares for his unprecedented concert, "T-Mobile Presents New Year's Eve Live with Justin Bieber." After a three-year hiatus from a full performance, and with concert venues shut down due to the pandemic, Bieber delivers an electrifying show to close out 2020 on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 240 invited guests--and millions of fans across the globe watching via livestream. The film follows Bieber and his close-knit team in the month leading up to the show, as they rehearse and construct a monumental stage while adhering to strict health and safety protocols. The film also captures personal, self-shot moments between Bieber and his wife Hailey.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Justin Bieber: Our World is one of the most immersive Belieber experiences out there - the film takes you backstage, onstage and into the private world of Justin Bieber in a beautifully produced 96 minute documentary. It's certainly not a film to miss!

Viewers step into the shoes of Bieber and his team as they prepare for a record-breaking New Year's Eve 2020 concert after a three-year hiatus. Due to pandemic protocols, Bieber plans to deliver his performance on top of the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 240 invited guests and millions of fans watching via live stream. But setting the whole event up is certainly no easy task. Rehearsing, building a massive stage and light setup, and dealing with technology make the experience more than slightly stressful for the crew. The film also captures personal self-shot moments between Bieber and his wife Hailey through his own "vlog camera." A good part of the film is composed of Bieber performing his songs.

The production quality of Justin Bieber: Our World is quite high, with candid perspectives captured in an organized fashion and organic cuts between songs and scenes. The genuine companionship and love Bieber's crew has for him (and vice versa) shows on screen. It's certainly heartwarming to see the small, sweet moments, like how Bieber's choreographer is welcomed back on set after his quarantine.

Justin Bieber: Our World promotes teamwork, perseverance, patience and the importance of family.

I give Justin Bieber: Our World 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Justin Bieber: Our World premieres on Prime Video on October 6, 2021. Check it out!

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

Last year was a year like no other. Humans across the globe had to adapt while taking a pause due to the pandemic and its lockdowns. For many of us, that was a difficult task. Many events came to a screeching halt including family and friend get togethers, holiday gatherings, and any entertainment outside the home. Life was as abnormal as it gets! We look forward to these events within our lives as they are what keep us laughing, smiling and connected to others. We had to get real creative in staying connected with love ones and that's exactly what world superstar, Justin Bieber did in 2020 while ringing in the new year. Together with his dedicated team of music professionals, Bieber found a creative way to stay connected and share his talents with the world on a very special evening considering the strict guidelines of the pandemic.

Justin Bieber: Our World, is a new 90 minute documentary which highlights the recording of Bieber's special evening and the days leading up to the New Year's Eve concert. The film takes us behind-the-scenes and gives fans a look at the many efforts put forth by the Bieber team to produce an amazing show while following strict COVID health and safety procedures. The film documents a 30 day overview of the hard work and obstacles involved in the production of an event during this uncertain time. With little public entertainment going on during the pandemic, Bieber's creative team found the perfect way to deliver this artist's talents to fans globally in celebration of the New Year. Approximately 200 fans were able to view Bieber's return to the stage from their socially distant balconies, while others around the world were able to watch a live stream of the concert from their homes. Above the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, this music artist did not disappoint his fans with his gift of 21 hits shared with the world.

There are many positive thoughts worth sharing about this film. First, I have a great deal of respect for Justin Bieber and his journey. He entered the industry as a child and dug his heels in to get where he is today. He has overcome many obstacles in his life, including performing for a world overcome by COVID, which is evident in this film. The film highlights so many of the moving parts that are put into play to produce entertainment. I appreciated seeing how all the various teams of professionals came together in order to put create such an amazing show. Most notable in this documentary are the choreography and dancers. A big "thumbs up" for Nick DeMoura, the lead choreographer on the Bieber Team, who created masterpiece dance routines for this concert. The dancers stole the show! As I'm more than a casual fan, I had hoped that this documentary would reflect more on the personal life of Bieber, rather than the film being almost entirely about this concert. There's no doubt that Justin Bieber was born with a true gift and he's a very talented individual, so whatever he is able of sharing with his fans - we'll take it!

The message in Justin Bieber: Our World is the importance of teamwork and loyalty. Bieber's team has been together since he became a super star and it is obvious that they have formed connections that are much more than professional. They work together through challenges and hard times, but always find ways to laugh and to build on their friendships. The message is also about commitment and mutual respect. These are two qualities which are desperately needed within this industry. Justin Bieber makes it very well known through his words and actions in the film that he values his team.

I give Justin Bieber: Our World 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults and all Bieber fans will especially enjoy this documentary. Justin Bieber: Our World is streaming now on Amazon Prime.

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

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


VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
COLUMBIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Eddie Brock struggles to adjust to his new life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, which grants him super-human abilities in order to be a lethal vigilante. Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Venom: Let There Be Carnage because it is based on one of my favorite Marvel characters, Venom. I like that Carnage is a product of Venom, so watching these monsters clashing with each other is phenomenal.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is about a journalist named Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who has a dark black, Spiderman looking devil named Venom that lives inside his body. Most of the movie shows Eddie and Venom not getting along, because Eddie is sick and tired of having Venom inside his body and Venom wants to be free to eat people. Venom is very clumsy and destructive and Eddie is frustrated because his apartment is a mess. An assassin named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) knows Eddie and asks to speak to him before his death sentence is carried out. Eddie visits Cletus in prison, but Cletus antagonizes Eddie with his past and Venom comes out of Eddie's body to choke Cletus. Cletus bites Eddie's hand and tastes Venom's blood. So guess what happens? You have to watch the film to find out.

This film has amazing CGI graphics. The graphics look so real and the buildings falling apart when Venom climbs between them look real as well. The fighting scenes between these two titans are so incredible that it makes you want to see more. I expected there to be more encounters between Venom and Carnage and was disappointed that there weren't more. The movie has a good combination of comedy and action. The music is appealing in every scene. My favorite part is, of course, the battle between Venom and Carnage in the church. Carnage is huge compared to Venom and looks more powerful than him because Carnage has multiple extremities which Venom does not have.

The moral of this film is to never underestimate yourself no matter your size or strength. You do not know if you can win the war if you don't go to battle.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres Friday, October 1, 2021. Remember, like all Marvel movies, you have to wait until after the credits. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

There are several things in this film that fall short for me. Its lack of development of Kasady and the way it seems quite biased towards Venom. It's important to note that I haven't seen the original Venom, but I had a pretty easy time understanding the characters and the important plot details. As far as I can tell, the first movie didn't have much of an impact on the story of this film.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to Venom (2018) and it continues the story of Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote Venom (Tom Hardy). In an attempt to restore his journalism career, Eddie interviews the serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) right before he receives the death penalty. However, Kasady ends up becoming the host of a new symbiote, named Carnage and escapes. Now Eddie and Venom must stop Kasady and Carnage.

My biggest issue with this film is its pacing. The film is 90 minutes long, and it feels like it ends before the climax really starts. If I could make a suggestion, I would have preferred that they spent more time developing Kasady, as well as his childhood love interest, Shriek (Naomie Harris). We see small glimpses of their history with each other, but we never really learn why they're so attached. Considering that Kasady's main motive is to be with Shriek, she definitely should have been more developed; she doesn't really feel like a character her, she feels more like a plot device. Another thing that bothered me about this movie is the way it treats Eddie and Venom. Venom is an interesting character, because he starts as a villain and morphs into an antihero over time, and the movie hints at this duality. However, the movie seems very biased towards Venom. When Eddie calls out Venom for causing problems for the both of them, Eddie later has to apologize to Venom. Meanwhile, Venom is never held accountable for the fact that he does cause a lot of problems. Eddie was completely in the right in that situation. The film wants us to believe Venom is super funny and edgy, but he acts like a spoiled child for most of the film and I felt bad for Eddie the entire time.

The message of this film is that it's important for people to work together and communicate, so they can come to an understanding. I also would like to warn people that it is quite a violent and loud movie with a lot of action scenes.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It releases in theaters October 1, 2021. By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Time to sink our teeth into the new wild ride of Venom: Let There Be Carnage! This film differs little from the first film, but still delivers entertaining action with its stellar CGI. A complex plot is crucial for a blockbuster action film of this caliber, and unfortunately this sequel spirals out of control and ends up a large mess. Most of the dialogue between Venom and Eddie is extremely hard to understand because of the depth and pace of Venom's voice; so watching with subtitles on is ideal. Venom: Let There Be Carnage begins with the iconic duo of Venom and Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) as they both learn to live with each other and solve their own problems. When Eddie continues to interview serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), he ends up solving a murder case tied to Celetus's name. This seals Cletus's fate as he is now sentenced to death. Allowing his seemingly "final words" with Eddie, he gains the offspring of Venom, giving Celetus the ability to team up with the psychotic beast Carnage! Venom and Carnage go toe to toe for the battle of a lifetime.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage has a plethora of carnage, just not in the way we want to see. The sequel is borderline pleasurable, however has no remarkable improvements or differences from its predecessor. Carnage, in his original comics, is brutal. He is an insane symbiote who doesn't kill because he needs to; it's because he wants to. Before the release of the film, there was early debate whether a PG-13 rating could handle him, or truly embrace him by having an R rating. Comic book fans will notice how significantly diluted the character is, making him feel out of place and simply inaccurate. Another consistent problem is the humor and dialogue. The first film had a known struggle of embarrassing dialogue and the sequel tries to overcorrect that issue, but results in numerous jokes not landing, with no audience reaction.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is as PG-13 a film could be without being rated R. As you can expect with these characters, there is plenty of graphic and intense violence with multiple instances of cursing. Multiple scenes are extremely vigorous and can not be handled by younger viewers. Beneath the mayhem lies themes of friendship, family, and love. One of the main morals is that, despite all obstacles, teamwork always prevails.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. You can find Venom: Let There Be Carnage at your local theater now.

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

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


ADDAMS FAMILY 2, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADDAMS FAMILY 2, THE
MGM STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6 - 18
Description - The Addams Family Everyone's favorite spooky family is back in the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2. In this all new movie we find Morticia and Gomez distraught that their children are growing up, skipping family dinners, and totally consumed with "scream time." To reclaim their bond they decide to cram Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and the crew into their haunted camper and hit the road for one last miserable family vacation. Their adventure across America takes them out of their element and into hilarious run-ins with their iconic cousin, It, as well as many new kooky characters. What could possibly go wrong?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's time to take a road trip with our favorite creepy family just in time for Halloween! In the follow up to the 2019 film, the Addams family brings the same amazing family values and fun in The Addams Family 2, which takes us on a new spooktacular adventure, complete with explosions, practical jokes, sibling rivalries and fun. This film is just as entertaining as the first one.

The Addams Family 2 focuses on Wednesday Addams (Chloe Grace Moretz), who is feeling misplaced and not very "Addamsy," so she is slowly pulling away from her family. To get his family closer, her father, Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) takes everyone on a road trip in a haunted RV. At the same time, the family is being followed by a creepy man, Mr. Mustela (Wallace Shawn), who is threatening to break up the family after it is discovered that Wednesday may not be an Addams. Gomez and Morticia Addams (Charlize Theron) have to find different ways to protect the family, which initiates a series of wacky adventures on this road trip.

The movie follows Wednesday as she learns about who she is, however, the main character is the entire Addams family: Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley (Javon "Wanna" Walton), Uncle Fester, (Nick Kroll), Cousin It (Snoop Dogg) and Grandma (Bette Milder). I love how the storyline focuses on family and how the Addams family will fight tooth and nail together to stay a family. The audience will not have a problem connecting with the characters as they all have a strong presence in this sequel and are well-developed. The audience will be spooked by the protective, yet, funny role, played by the family's butler, Lurch (Director, Conrad Vernon). This film is hilarious. My favorite part is when Wednesday uses a voodoo doll to help Pugsley impress a group of girls by dancing and then tosses him into the Niagara Falls in true Addams' fashion. The music keeps the film energetic and. of course, wouldn't be complete without a concert performance by Cousin It.

The message of The Addams Family 2 is to love and accept each other and it reminds us that family goes beyond genetics. Throughout the film, different characters try to force others to change qualities they dislike about them instead of accepting them as they are, and perhaps just working on themselves.

The Addams Family gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. The Addams Family 2 creeps into theatres and On Demand October 1, 2021.

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

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


DEAR EVAN HANSEN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DEAR EVAN HANSEN
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - The breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film musical Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky, is phenomenal and breathtaking. I really enjoyed watching this, because it is a true original, outstanding musical that speaks directly to the heart. Dear Evan Hansen is something extraordinary; it is not like any musical I have watched before and it has a really powerful message as it engages with the real world in ways that most musicals don't.

Evan Hansen is an anxious, isolated high-school student who's aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age. He soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery when a letter he wrote for his therapy writing exercise falls into the hands of a grieving couple whose son took his own life. Evan is tossed in the tumult of a fractured, grieving family. Connor's parents believe Evan was his best friend. But the reality is far different. Evan plays along with the charade, gaining the fame, adulation and love that he's always dreamed of - all at the expense of Connor's memory.

My favourite actor is Evan's mother Heidi (Julianne Moore). Heidi is a single mom, working late-night nursing shifts to afford college for Evan. She desperately wants the best for him, even when he doesn't notice her efforts. The film's best scenes revolve around her; the first occurring when Cynthia and Larry offer to cover Evan's tuition. She's proud. And you can see the gears shifting inside of Heidi's head before she declines. The film offers sympathy to all its characters by offering them the chance to sing their feelings out and make a case as to why they matter.

The message of this film applies to teens trying to overcome social anxieties, reminding them that it's okay to be anxious and depressed, and that being medicated for those things, if necessary, is normal and healthy. However, don't change yourself just to fit into society; stand up for yourself. If something happens and you are caught up in the situation, be confident in yourself, no matter what. A note of caution: this film does address suicide, has some strong language and some suggestive references.

I give Dear Evan Hansen 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theatres now.

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

Dear Evan Hanson is one of the most relatable films released this year. It paints the perfect picture of how many people have felt about emerging from the pandemic and how they have coped with it.

The storyline follows a high school senior named Evan Hanson (Ben Platt) and his transition between a traumatic summer to his last year of high school. He starts the year with an odd series of events that affect the rest of his year and his life.

Ben Platt has always been one of my favorite actors to watch. He plays such a vulnerable, emotional and relatable character that many young adults can relate to. He gives a raw performance showing what social anxiety and depression may look like in a high school setting. This film is adapted from the Tony Award-winning musical by the same name, but the musical numbers don't show up a lot. There is more dialogue, which I enjoyed. I cried more than three times during this film, which shows you how much the film's message affected me. Like Ben Platt we see other emotional performances from Colton Ryan (Connor Murphy) and Cynthia Murphy (Amy Adams). Larry Murphy (Danny Pino) represents society in the way that many are ignorant to the signs and severity of mental health issues of those around us. The opening scene's musical number Waving Through a Window is the best introduction to a main character I have seen. Through lyrics and non-verbal cues the actors send a message that made me think of my own health and question the society that young adults are dealing with today.

The message of this film is that it is okay to know that you are not okay. Anyone, at any point in time, may be going through a tough time; take care of yourself, and maybe even write a letter to yourself like Evan does in this film. You should be aware that the film does mention suicide and other mental health issues that may be an issue for some viewers.

I give Dear Evan Hanson 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theatres now.

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

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


CROODS, THE: FAMILY TREE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CROODS, THE: FAMILY TREE
HULU, LLC Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 6-14
Description - It continues the evolving story of the Croods and Bettermans as they learn to live together on the most idle farm in prehistory.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - DreamWorks Animation's The Croods: Family Tree is an amazing and hilarious show. With all the characters from the newest movie, this show is sure to get you laughing.

This show is about the prehistoric Croods living with the Bettermans. While the kids get along, the adults have their fair share of mishaps as they learn how to live together on a farm. In one episode they try to capture the punch monkeys; in another they get Dawns Grr back.

This show is so fun to watch because of its humor. No matter how many mishaps the make, they are always back for more and that makes this show engaging. It has an amazing group of voice actors. Tran reprises her role as Dawn; A.J. Locascio reprises his role as Thunk from Dawn of the Croods. The new voice cast features Amy Landecker as Ugga, Kiff VandenHeuvel as Grug, Ally Dixon as Eep, Artemis Pebdani as Gran, Darin Brooks as Guy, Matthew Waterson as Phil, and Amy Rosoff as Hope. All the voice talent excels at making the Croods sound prehistoric and the Bettermans sound "evolved," as Hope would put it. Another great thing is the design of the farm they live on. It looks so amazing, like something you would want to live in, but if you look closer it is made out of things that were found in prehistoric times. The wall, the house and "The System" are made from bamboo and vines. The house is in a tree; so they live in a tree house. It also credits them with making a lot of things like windows, which are similar to TV and showers.

The message of this show is anyone can get along, no matter how different they are.

I give The Croods: Family Tree 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults can watch it with their kids on movie night. This is available on September 23th, 2021 on Hulu and Peacock.

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

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


MY LITTLE PONY: A NEW GENERATION
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: A NEW GENERATION
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-14
Description - The unimaginable has happened... Equestria has lost its magic! Earth Ponies, Unicorns, and Pegasi are no longer friends and now live separated by species. But idealistic Earth Pony Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) is determined to find a way to bring enchantment and unity back to their world. Teaming up with open-hearted Unicorn Izzy (Kimiko Glenn), the pair travel to faraway lands where they encounter the likes of charismatic and brave Pegasi Pipp (Sofia Carson) and Zipp (Liza Koshy) and the ever-responsible fellow Earth Pony Hitch (James Marsden). Their mission is full of misadventures, but these new best friends each possess their own unique and special gifts that may be just what this ponyverse needs to restore magic and prove that even little ponies can make a big difference.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony: A New Generation is a continuation of the My Little Pony series. It will remind you of the original, but it's more modern. It is very entertaining and interesting. If you have watched the My Little Pony series before, you will enjoy this.

The storyline follows Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) who is an Earth pony and she meets a unicorn named Izzy (Kimiko Glenn). Unicorns, Earth ponies and Pegasi aren't friends anymore and it is unlikely to see them together. Sunny and Izzy realize that all the ponies don't have any magic and they need to find out why. They travel all through Equestria to find out how to get magic back for everyone.

The songs in this film are very catchy and creative. My favorite song is "Glowin' Up'' performed by Sofia Carson, because it is upbeat, sets the mood and is a good song all around. The storyline is fun and shows us how the times are much more different than it was with the original ponies. My favorite character is Sunny, because she doesn't believe what others want her to believe and she never gives up. She grew up with people always telling her that the other ponies were bad, but she knows how to see the good in them, so she thinks differently. Also, when times get tough Sunny never gives up.

The message of My Little Pony: A New Generation is friendship is magic. If you have been a My Little Pony fan since earlier shows, this message will pop right into your head. This is a great film to watch with the family. is an awesome film to watch.

I rate My Little Pony: A New Generation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. You can watch this film on Netflix starting September 24, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

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

My Little Pony: A New Generation is a new upbeat, vibrant and adventure-filled movie. If you've seen previous My Little Pony shows or movies, you will be pleasantly surprised with this new one. With all different types of ponies coming together, and saving the day with the power of friendship, you will be entertained the whole time.

My Little Pony: A New Generation is about a young Earth pony named Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) who is set on bringing back the friendship, magic and unity between the Earth ponies, the unicorns, and the Pegasi. Teaming up with a unicorn named Izzy (Kimiko Glenn), which is frowned upon by Sunny's best friend and sheriff Hitch (James Marsden), Sunny goes on a quest to get the divided crystals that would bring Equestria back to the way it used to be. Along the way she makes new friends, and faces new challenges.

My favorite thing about this movie is the music. Beautiful harmony is one of my favorite things, and every song in this movie has that element. My favorite song is "Fit Right In" performed by Vanessa Hudgens, Kimiko Glenn, James Marsden, Liza Koshy and Sofia Carson. The different parts that everyone sings and the visuals that accompany it make it a stand-out scene that audiences will remember. The whole vibe of this song matches the tone of the movie extremely well. My Little Pony: A New Generation is a movie targeted towards younger audiences, so naturally they aren't going to explicitly refer to the more mature morals. However, within the plot of the film, it's evident that one of the messages is that it doesn't matter who you are, where you're from or what you look like, you shouldn't be judged by someone before they get to know you. Everyone should be included, and treated with kindness. The Earth ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi were taught to be afraid of each other. But, once they meet and hear the other sides of their stories, they become friends and realize that it doesn't matter what anyone else says, they make their own decisions about the others. My favorite characters in this show are Sunny and Hitch. They're definitely an example of a dynamic duo. Even though they are different, with Hitch being professional and overprotective and Sunny being adventurous and a risk-taker, they make a great team.

The message of My Little Pony: A New Generation is something that all of the ponies can agree on no matter where they're from - friendship is magic. No matter what they are told about each other, they will always come together for friendship.

I rate My Little Pony: A New Generation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. No matter how different the ponies look, you will feel the nostalgia from the relationships between them. My Little Pony: A New Generation comes out on Netflix September 24, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-11
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ALPINIST, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALPINIST, THE
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Marc-Andr� Leclerc climbs alone, far from the limelight. The free-spirited 23-year-old makes some of the boldest solo ascents in history. With no cameras and no margin for error, Leclerc's approach is the essence of solo adventure.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Alpinist is a fascinating documentary that shows rare footage of beautiful landscapes and will either inspire you to chase your dreams or make you afraid of heights. Whichever way you take it, the movie is well worth the watch.

The Alpinist follows the 23-year-old mountain climber, Marc-Andre Leclerc, who is a pioneer of solo climbing and has broken countless records. In the documentary, you see all his astonishing climbs and travels around the world and meet the meaningful people who are in Marc-Andre's life.

There are many remarkable factors about the movie. The first thing to mention is the cinematography which is mind blowing! The angles and the positions of the camera capture the climbing so perfectly that you feel as if you are climbing right along with Marc-Andre. You feel so connected to Marc-Andre that you feel like you've known him forever. Kudos to directors Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen and their crew. The way they captured this incredible footage is remarkable, because as you watch the film, you learn how elusive Marc-Andre Leclerc can be.

The messages of this film are to follow your passions and to have courage, while also understanding the risks of what you are doing. There is some profanity, some wounds are shown, and the use of drugs. If you are afraid of heights, I would definitely not recommend this.

I give The Alpinist 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters September 10, 2021. Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, THE
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn't long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I liked the film The Eyes of Tammy Faye because it is a heartwarming story that opened me up to a whole other world that I was unaware of. It taught me about others' way of life and how their beliefs can make them the person that they are.

This movie follows the lives of Tammy Faye (Jessica Chastain) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield). They both dedicated their lives to Christianity and made a living from it. They found each other young and grew together. However, as their work continued to evolve Jim began to forget why this all started. Whereas Tammy made plenty of mistakes, but always remembers who she is.

Something that I enjoyed about this film is how honest and real it is. It shows the reality of the lives of these two people and doesn't sugar coat anything. Another thing that stands out is the acting. Jessica Chastain makes her character extremely believable. Additionally, this film takes place in a completely different time period, and she really taps into that. Furthermore, the characters' ages are constantly changing as the decades go by. Tammy always looks and acts exactly as she was supposed to be during each time period. Lastly, the sets and costume designs are executed extremely well. Everything matches the time period perfectly, and made me believe I was actually living during that time.

The message of this film is to always stay true to yourself and your beliefs. This film does contain some romantic content.

I give The Eyes of Tammy Faye 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. The Eyes of Tammy Faye releases in theaters September 17, 2021.

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

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


PLAYING WITH SHARKS: THE VALERIE TAYLOR STORY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLAYING WITH SHARKS: THE VALERIE TAYLOR STORY
DISNEY+
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Pioneering scuba diver Valerie Taylor, who has dedicated her life to exposing the myth surrounding our fear of sharks.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many of us are completely mesmerized by Earth's oceans and find the species inhabiting these bodies of water very fascinating. What lies beneath the ocean's surface is both exciting and frightening at the same time. Species ranging from small macro-molecules to gigantic creatures that lurk within these waters offer us fear of the unknown. Valerie Taylor, a famed underwater filmmaker and shark researcher, has made a life for herself stepping into that unknown. Valerie's life story as a pioneer of close-up encounters with the most frightening of all ocean creatures has been made into a riveting new documentary film, Playing with Sharks. Within this film Taylor gives proof to the world that there is no need to fear some of our oceans most misunderstood creatures - sharks.

Playing with Sharks is a fascinating tribute to Australia's Valerie Taylor, who has spent more than 70 years diving into oceans around the world capturing footage of a variety of shark species, including that of the Great White. As part of National Geographic's 9th Annual Shark Fest, this documentary chronicles the life of a woman who has gone from champion spearfisher to shark protector. Valerie's early days as a marine hunter was halted following a personal revelation that depletion of massive numbers of marine animals will undoubtedly change the habitats she loves most. Realizing that there are only 10% of sharks left in the world, it was an easy decision for Taylor to retire her spear and shoot these apex predators using only her camera. In what seemed to be the highlight of Valerie's career when her shark footage was used in the making of Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller, Jaws, but it actually brought unintended consequences for these marine creatures. The movie Jaws unexpectedly triggered a heightened fear and complete dislike for sharks. In a race to quickly fix the tarnished perception of sharks, Valerie Taylor became a powerful voice for their protection.

Sally Aitkins, Emmy-nominated director and writer of Playing with Sharks, has moved mountains with this documentary! Through remastered footage of Valerie Taylor's life journey, Aitkins shines a bright light on this living legend. The flashbacks to Taylor's earlier professional years is a great touch to the film and allows viewers to experience just how passionate Valerie is about marine life and her determination to protect it. The many marine professionals who share their experiences with Valerie also add a great deal to this film. The footage shared in this documentary serves as the evidence needed to move us from fear to respect for these amazing creatures who call the ocean their home.

Playing with Sharks has many messages, but the most important one is the need for mutual respect for all forms of life with which we share our world. We live in a world driven by greed and disrespect for other living things and, because of this, not everyone understands that we all depend on each other for survival. When removing one link to a chain, the chain falls apart. We must find a way to better understand nature in order to appreciate it. In her lifelong commitment to conservation, Valerie Taylor has done just that - she has exposed the truth about sharks and has created an audience of believers that these creatures have for years been misunderstood.

I give Playing with Sharks 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults would especially enjoy this documentary. Playing With Sharks begins streaming on Disney+ July 23, 2021. This is a must see film for all marine lovers.

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

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


DO, RE &MI
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DO, RE &MI
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-8
Description - Join birdie friends Do, Re and Mi in the musical world of Beebopsburgh, an island where instruments grow in the Falsetto Forest and a giant Music Mountain towers above all their adventures. Discover the sounds and melodies, move to the beat and see how music helps solve any problem. Featuring an original song each episode.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do, Re & Mi is a fun and educational show with many fun characters that make it so enlightening. With so much fun it's hard not to get into a show like this.

This show follows three little birdies, Do (Luke Youngblood), Re (Jackie Tohn) and Mi (Kristen Bell). They go on lots of adventures together such as trying out for a singing job or getting a new guitar and getting lost. With lots of fun messages and characters this show will appeal to a variety of kids. Each episode is about 23 minutes long and split into two stories.

This web series has lots of fun things to point out, starting with the theme song introducing all the main characters and introducing some inspirational messages. It will have your preschooler repeating the song around the house all day. There are also lots of other songs, hence the title Do, Re & Mi. Each episode has at least two, if not more songs and two different problems that the three birdies try to solve. There is a cool little animation that happens every episode. The animation is clear and sharp and is really fun since it's based on birds. Lots of bird terms are toyed with, such as humamazing, absohootly and high wing which make for a fun addition, since the whole show is about birds. We also learn some music terms such as tempo (speed of the song) and dynamics (volume of the song).

The message of the show is about being yourself and never stop singing.

I give Do, Re & Mi 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, plus adults who will enjoy watching it with their little kids and can join them in singing along. This launches on Amazon Prime Video September 17, 2021. Be sure to check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat, a full decade before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned separate-but-equal legislation, Pauli Murray was already knee-deep fighting for social justice. A pioneering attorney, activist, priest and dedicated memoirist, Murray shaped landmark litigation--and consciousness-- around race and gender equity. As an African American youth raised in the segregated South--who was also wrestling with broader notions of gender identity--Pauli understood, intrinsically, what it was to exist beyond previously accepted categories and cultural norms. Both Pauli's personal path and tireless advocacy foreshadowed some of the most politically consequential issues of our time. Told largely in Pauli's own words, My Name is Pauli Murray is a candid recounting of that unique and extraordinary journey.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The documentary My Name is Pauli Murray is a missing piece of history that has not been taught in our classrooms. It amplifies the life of an African American female whose struggles pushed her to create everlasting change in our modern society.

My Name is Pauli Murray shares the life of Pauli Murray, an African American queer woman, who shattered the status quo by fighting for women's and civil rights. She was a student, lawyer, minister and a heroine in many aspects. This documentary sheds light on all of her societal triumphs and personal defeats.

As an African American female, I felt a great sense of sadness after watching this documentary. This film shows that the society I currently live in is a direct result of Pauli Murray's impact and yet, I never learned about her in school. Directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen, producers and directors of the documentary RBG bring to live the legacy of a woman unknown to most people. There are little questions the audience has about her life after the film's completion. One aspect I did not like is how the film breaks her life into phases of her career paths. This set-up hampers us from seeing the connection between her personal life and her careers. However, that may be due to my curiosity about knowing more about her and her life. My favorite part of this film is the repetition of the quote, "She was ahead of her time." Pauli Murray refused to move to the back of a segregated bus 15 years before Rosa Parks did. Many people think that certain historical events, radical ideals, and justice comes with a timeframe when, in actuality it does not. That is what this film teaches us.

The message of this film is that you are not ahead of your time; it's just that the world may not be ready for you. Yet, soon enough, they will be. This film does contain violent scenes showing racial injustice.

I give My Name is Pauli Murray 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. My Name is Pauli Murray opens in theatres September 17 and streams on Prime Video October 1, 2021.

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

My Name is Pauli Murray is a documentary about Pauli Murray, a civil rights activist, women's rights activists, lawyer and poet and non-binary advocate for LGBTQ rights. It goes into detail about Pauli's life, as well as the many great things Pauli accomplished and the impact they left on the future. This film is very informative and overall a well-structured documentary. It was an enjoyable viewing experience.

It was really interesting to learn about Pauli Murray, because before watching this film, I had no idea who they were. And Pauli was definitely a person who deserves to be remembered--not just for their legacy and cultural impact but also for who they were as a person. My Name is Pauli Murray does take time to discuss Pauli's personal life and hardships, and that is one way in which this film makes Pauli relatable to people of this generation. I was particularly interested in the discussions of gender identity and presentation. It was heartbreaking to hear about Pauli's difficulties being non-binary, because nowadays we do have words to describe what Pauli felt.

I also really enjoyed the editing and presentation of this documentary. Not only was this film extremely educational and thought provoking, but it was also fun to watch. There were many instances where quotes from Pauli would appear on screen to drive the point of a specific section, which was very effective. My Name is Pauli Murray has a unique visual style, and the pacing is excellent.

I definitely think My Name is Pauli Murray is crucial viewing for anyone who is interested in civil rights and gender equality. The film tells a very inspirational story about an unsung hero who was before their time and who deserves to be heard. However, it should be known that this film includes graphic depictions, as well as descriptions, of racist hate crimes. There are many moments that showcase photos and footage of these events, and this could be potentially triggering.

I give My Name is Pauli Murray 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. This film comes out in theaters September 17, 2021 and will be released on Prime Video on October 1, 2021.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


NIGHTBOOKS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NIGHTBOOKS
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - A young boy named Alex becomes the prisoner of a witch to avoid certain death, he convinces her to let him tell her a scary story every night. Upon meeting the witch's servant, Yazmin, the two must use their wits to escape her apartment, a magical labyrinth filled with various dangers, before the witch kills them both.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nightbooks is very entertaining, but has some slow moments. It's perfect for people who love a scary movie, but may regret watching it at night (like me!). It has the just right amount of scary moments to give you a thrill, but also doesn't keep you up at night.

Nightbooks follows the story of a boy named Alex (Winslow Fegley) who loves to write scary stories. While trying to find the boiler room in his apartment complex, he is lured into a witch's (Krysten Ritter) house, who steals children. He meets Yasmin, who is also stuck there. Can they make it out before they face certain doom? Watch the movie to find out.

This film is based on the book by the same title, so fans of the book should love the movie. The set has so much attention to detail and the costume design, especially for Natacha the witch, is immaculate because all of her outfits perfectly express her personality. The special effects, specifically for the monsters, are so realistic that it gave me chills. My favorite character is Lenore the "sometimes" invisible cat because she has such a mind of her own.

The message is to never lose hope and always be yourself. Just because people think you are different doesn't mean that you are bad. There is some bad language and some scary parts that young kids find scary.

I give Nightbooks 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases September 15, 2021 on Netflix.

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

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


EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE
AMAZON PRIME Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a 2021 biographical coming-of-age musical comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Butterell (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Tom MacRae based on the stage musical of the same name, in turn adapted from the BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16. Despite obstacles, 16-year-old Jamie has the courage to fabulously follow his unconventional dream in this inspiring true story turned musical sensation.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Everybody's Talking About Jamie is the new musical film of the year! With music to get you on your feet and comedy that will make your stomach hurt, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is one to watch.

Based on true events, the story follows Jamie New (Max Hardwood) , a sixteen-year-old boy with the passion to become a drag queen, and he gets help from a former drag queen. With his best friend, Pritti Pasha (Lauren Petal), he attempts to prove wrong the people who doubt him, including school bully Dean Paxton and his own father. Although his father has chosen to cut him out his life, his loving mother is always there to help.

Jamie New is a huge character. He has an answer for everything and always has some glitter to spare. As he attempts to become a drag queen he is more confident than ever. Hugo/Miss Loco Channel (Richard E. Grant) is a former drag queen who attempts to help Jamie as he sees him as the next generation and the future of drag. Pritti Pasha is definitely the brains of the duo. She is a high achiever and would never break the rules. The rest of the cast are incredible and every single character stands out.

The music in this film is from the original stage musical. My favourite song is the opening song, "And you don't even know it." It serves as an introduction to some of the characters and is an upbeat dance number that will have you dancing and singing along just like the rest of the soundtrack. My favourite part of the film is when Jamie realizes that all he wants is to be a drag queen and becomes Hugo's trainee. As a result he starts saving for his very first drag queen dress - his mum already bought him the shoes.

The message of the film is to be who you want to be. Don't let others pull you down from what you want to do, especially if it makes you happy. You should be aware that this film does contain very strong language.

I give Everybody's Talking About Jamie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Everybody's Talking About Jamie steps out of the darkness and into the spotlight on September 17, 2021 on Amazon Prime.

By Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12The film follows Jamie New (Max Harwood), a gay 16-year-old boy from Sheffield, England, whose secret dream is to become a drag queen. His mom, Margaret (Sarah Lancashire), as well as his best friend and fellow outcast Pritti Pasha (Lauren Patel) support him, but his absentee father (Ralph Ineson), homophobic bully Dean Paxton (Samuel Bottomley) and future-focused career's teacher Ms. Hedge (Sharon Horgan) all seem to be against Jamie. Mentored by former drag queen and current shopkeeper Hugo Battersby (Richard E. Grant), a.k.a. Loco Chanelle, Jamie embarks on a journey to discover his true identity, tearing down boundaries and burying toxic relationships along the way.

Max Harwood brings viewers along on his emotion-packed hero's journey; he certainly steals the show. Besides Harwood, though, Lancashire's portrayal of Margaret captures all of the motherly emotion that a sentimental coming-of-age story needs. The care between the two is palpable. Jonathan Buttrell makes his silver-screen directorial debut with this film, and his technique of capturing emotion is superb. Unfortunately, lighting, camera angles and focal choices leads to some distraction in some compelling moments. The score of the film, as with the musical version, is superb, but the sheer number of songs and usage of varied background tracks causes the film to drag as it nears the end. Nevertheless, the music is undoubtedly the highest point of the film.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie promotes acceptance, following your dreams and never being afraid to take a risk. There is some mild profanity in the film.

I give Everybody's Talking About Jamie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Everybody's Talking About Jamie is available on Amazon Prime Video beginning September 17, 2021. Go check it out!

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

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is the empowering spectacle everyone needs! With its amazing songs, incredible dresses and an iconic protagonist, the film will have you wanting to dance along at your nearest cabaret.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is based on the true story of Jamie New (Max Harwood) and adapted from the West End musical of the same name. Jamie was always taught to be conventional, to choose a "realistic" career and be basic like everyone else. On his sixteenth birthday, he realizes that's not who he is, and decides to become a drag queen. The film has mind-blowing choreography with top-tier songs that pay homage to the musical.

This movie is a real Broadway show in your living room. The elaborate dance numbers with large groups of people, neon lights, phenomenal singing and fabulous drag dresses leave little to be desired. Jamie finds his way into the world with glamour and by making a statement. He encourages audiences globally to be yourself. Being a drag queen in the small town of Sheffield, England was very different. Jamie grows into the stunning personality of Fifi la True with the support of his amazing mother and friends. The film itself really proves how much effort the filmmakers put into their work. The movie shows the real truth of what it was like to be a drag queen in the past. Richard E. Grant is the best mentor Jamie could ever have. He explains his life in the 1980s reminding Jamie about the epic beginning of drag culture. He is so amazing; his fluid movements and the way he speaks just make you want to be his friend. Richard really worked hard on not making his character a parody of a drag queen, but reflect the beauty of a queen. He shows he has what it takes to be called Loco Chanelle, on and off the stage. The movie also has amazing cameos like the iconic queen Bianca Del Rio and Layton Williams, the star of Everybody's Talking About Jamie on West End.

The moral of this film is to always be yourself. Jamie never gave up on his dream of being a drag queen and most of all, he never gives up on being himself. He put in the effort of becoming an amazing queen, and working on himself. He always shines and never cares what others think.

I give Everybody's Talking About Jamie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 plus adults. It is available in theaters September 17, 2021.

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

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


COME FROM AWAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
COME FROM AWAY
ENTERTAINMENT ONE Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 10-18
Description - Come from Away is a 2021 American-Canadian musical film comprising a live stage recording of Irene Sankoff and David Hein's 2017 musical of the same name, which tells the true story of 7,000 passengers who were stranded in a small town in Newfoundland, where they were housed and welcomed, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The film, produced in response to the shutdown of Broadway caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, was directed by Christopher Ashley and filmed in May 2021 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in New York City, featuring members of the Broadway cast.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Come From Away is a modern musical telling the life-changing story of the stranded passengers diverted to Newfoundland following the 9/11 disaster. With an incredible cast, catchy tunes and a moving tale Come From Away is definitely a film to watch.

Twenty years ago, on September 11, two planes crashed into the world famous twin towers in New York City, after they were high jacked. American air space was closed and all planes in the air were forced to land; thirty-eight of them were diverted to and stranded in Newfoundland, Canada. This story follows the passengers and crew from one of the planes as they come to terms with life in their new surroundings, while forming new relationships and bonding with the locals. This is the filmed version of the award-winning Broadway musical, filmed live on stage at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in New York City, which tells the story of those 7,000 stranded passenger.

Throughout this film, twelve cast members each play a number of roles and it is very hard to single people out at times. All the characters are based on key individuals involved in the plane diversion. Some cast members who really stood out to me include: Jenn Colella who plays one of the pilots and a townsperson, Annette. She plays sets the bar very high for anyone who might play these roles in the future. Her amazing solos and riffs will knock your socks off. Sharon Wheatly plays Diane and Jim Walton plays Nick, two people who meet on one of the planes and, throughout their time in Newfoundland, start to feel a connection. Sharon and Jim are both very talented and share and amazing duet, "Stop the World." The remaining cast members each bring something different to this amazing production in their own unique way, from comedy to heart-break. My favourite song is the opening song "Welcome to the Rock." I love that it's an upbeat dance number that introduces you to the cast and the characters they play. I don't think I could choose a favourite part of the musical as all of it is just so interesting, moving and inspirational.

The message of this film is to remember how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away or changed forever. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this tragic event over the past 20 years.

I give Come From Away 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It premieres September 10, 2021 on Apple TV+.

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

Come From Away is an amazing filmed version of the Broadway musical. With all the singing and dancing, this show is sure to get you up and dancing.

This musical is a lot like the film Hamilton in that it is a live recording of the stage musical and is based on real historical events and people. It is about the aftermath of 9/11 when 38 planes were forced to land on a small Newfoundland island and tells how all the residents of the town of Gander took care of 7,000 people who were on those planes while they were stuck there for five days.

This musical is different from most because there is no main character; every character is equally important. Also, all the actors play two roles, often both a passenger and a helpful Newfoundlander. The costume changes are incredible as they often do them while on stage, but that is so small that you might not notice it. Another cool thing is that in the back of the stage there is a door that some people walk through and then it shuts again, which I found intriguing. Some of my favorite characters are Kevin and Kevin, who are dating and Bonnie, who takes care of animals. One of my favorite scenes is when people are walking on chairs and others keep moving the chairs and the stage rotates so it looks like they are moving. It has so much music. I continued listening to it right after I finished watching the film and listened to it while I was writing this review.

The message of this show is twofold. First, that you can make the best of any situation and second, when you can help others, try to help.

I give Come From Away 5 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It is available on Apple TV+ now.

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

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

This title is available for purchase from ENTERTAINMENT ONE


MEERKAT MANOR: RISE OF THE DYNASTY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MEERKAT MANOR: RISE OF THE DYNASTY
BBC WORLDWIDE AMERICAS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 8-18
Description - Continuing the dramatic tale of survival revolving around three families of meerkats who are descendants of the legendary meerkat matriarch, Flower.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many of us live in areas where Mother Nature brings a variety of seasons which exposes us to a wide array of ecosystems. Because we're used to this variety, we have become incredibly curious about areas of the globe whose ecosystems are perhaps not as vast; one area in particular is the desert. With its harshly hot and dry climate, we know that anything able to withstand such brutal weather has to be an amazing creature and that's one reason we have completely fallen for the South African meerkat. The documentary series Meerkat Manor has entertained us for over 15 years and has brought the wondrous secrets of the Kalahari Desert right into our homes. The latest series, Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty, is totally engaging and makes us want to see more of our favorite mongooses.

Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty follows three families of the most charismatic desert mammals and showcases their family dynamics. In the spotlight of this series is Swift, the granddaughter of the original Meerkat Manor Whisker family matriarch, Flower. We've waited 12 years to catch up on what the Whiskers, Hakuna Mata and Ubuntu families have been up to and there are many surprises within this series as some things have changed. The new series continues to show us just how difficult life in the desert can be, yet with the perfect family dynamics and role assignments, animals can overcome these challenges. Just like in our own lives, people compete for space, food, and other resources, the meerkat families are no different. These episodes highlight that, despite the fact that the meerkats share a common bloodline, individual survival and the survival of their family is their main concern.

There are a lot of great things about this series, but my favorite part is the character led story telling by narrator Bill Nighy. The series humanizes the meerkats and gives each their own entertaining personalities. There are heroes, villains, babysitters, a Romeo and Juliet pair, and so much more. These personalities are hilarious and interesting to watch. The cinematography is also fantastic with its capturing of some of the most harsh weather conditions on Earth. I especially enjoyed the scenes where the camera was placed deep within the meerkat burrows. Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty is a captivating series about the natural world and I appreciate its educational value.

The message of this series is about teamwork. Of course, family, culture and perseverance are worth mentioning here also; however, if this species didn't have a system of working together, they could not thrive within their harsh ecosystem. Each meerkat has a specific role to support its family. They work cohesively in a variety of ways to assure the success of their family. Whether their role is one filled with drama or with entertainment, one thing is for certain - these desert dwellers are sure to tug at your heartstrings.

I give Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults, especially animal lovers and nature enthusiasts, will also love this series. Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty is available now on BBC American and AMC+. Episodes 7 and 8 are coming out on September 4 and September 9, 2021.

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

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


LILLY GOES TO THE DOGS
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LILLY GOES TO THE DOGS
XSTINE COOK
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 7- 18
Description - Lilly, a 10-foot tall orange monster, visits a the Victoria Dog Show, but her friend Fluffle gets sequestered in the mutt pen! Will Lilly take Best in Show?
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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