The Family category has 2264 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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LUCA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LUCA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 10-18
Description - Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water's surface.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Luca is an entertaining animated film filled with fun, lots of scooter rides and unforgettable moments. It has great messages and shows you that you can have a good time if you just �Silencio Bruno.� This new Disney-Pixar film has the potential of being one of your favorites.

The storyline is about a boy named Luca (Jacob Tremblay), who is a bit different from the rest. He is what people call a sea monster and so is his new friend Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer). Luca lives underwater as a sea monster, but he can�t resist going up to the shore to explore the world as a human boy with Alberto, even though his parents tell him not to. When Luca�s parents find out, they tell him he now has to live in the deepest part of the water with his uncle. Luca and Alberto run away to a seaside town on the Italian Riviera, where they meet a girl named Giulia (Emma Berman), who quickly becomes their friend. However, the town is full of fishermen who are trying to catch sea monsters. Luca and Alberto keep running into situations where they almost turn back into sea monsters, so they must work hard to keep their secret or something bad might happen to them.

I like the relationships that are developed throughout the film, such as Giulia and Luca�s friendship. They teach each other new things, which really help them bond. The ending of the movie is a bit sad because the friends are separated, but that just goes to show how great the writers developed the relationships in this movie. The storyline is fun and exciting and shows the adventures of the characters. My favorite character is Alberto because he is daring and funny. He tries things that he never tried before, even when they are a bit risky and that makes him a fun character.

The message of Luca is that sometimes you just need to �Silencio Bruno� which means you need to tell that little voice in your head that prevents you from doing fun things to just be quiet. There is nothing to look out for in this film. It�s completely family-friendly.

I give Luca 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults. You can watch Luca beginning June 18, 2021 exclusively on Disney+. Be sure to check it out!

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

Pack your bags for a trip to the Italian Riviera! Luca is the feel-good flick to get audiences into the summer spirit. With its comedy, lovable characters, and unique animation, this movie is another Disney pictures hit.

Luca follows two sea creatures, Luca (Jacob Tremblay) and Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) as they wander amongst humans in the small town of Portorosso. The secret of their identity hangs in the balance as the entire town fears sea creatures, and some residents even hunt them. The two boys then befriend Giulia (Emma Berman), and the three of them go on an adventure of a lifetime.

This film is the perfect movie for families. The friendship between Luca and Alberto, Giulia�s rebel side, and the love of parent and child stand out. Alberto helps Luca to let loose, mentoring him in all things human. Their friendship blooms and the two of them tackle their issues together. The two boys steal the show and are set to become fan favorites. The movie also shows viewers the beauty of what most of us take for granted. Luca falls in love with the stars and moon which he has never seen. He gazes at them curiously. He reads books and uses a telescope to watch the blazing balls of fire. He also dreams of going to school and learning, something he was never able to do underwater. One of the most notable differences in this Pixar film is its animation. Its artistic style is noticeably different from other Pixar classics. The characters are 3D with long arms and legs, with wide hands, feet and heads. The vibrant colors and settings show the beauty of an Italian summer. The bright sun, clothes and houses fall brilliantly into step with one another. The attention to cultural detail is immaculate. The characters switch from Italian to English. The town is picture perfect, with old houses and tight, winding streets laid with cobblestones. It is clear that the filmmakers put a lot of time and effort into this film, recreating visuals that are classic Italy.

The moral of the film is the importance of friendship and family. Luca, Alberto and Giulia all fight together and for one another against all odds. Giulia defends the boys and helps hide their secret, instead of being afraid of them like the rest of the town. Luca and Alberto face the world head on, and make sacrifices, putting the others� needs ahead of their own.

I give Luca 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 plus adults. It starts streaming on Disney+ June 18, 2021.

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

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


FATHERHOOD
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATHERHOOD
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Fatherhood is an upcoming American comedy-drama film directed by Paul Weitz from a screenplay by Weitz and Dana Stevens, based on the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin. The film stars Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Frankie R. Faison, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Anthony Carrigan, Melody Hurd, and Paul Reiser, and follows a new father who struggles to raise his daughter after the sudden death of his wife.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Expect the unexpected with Kevin Hart�s new drama film, Fatherhood! The comedian takes his acting to another level and shows us a more serious side, still with a little humor, while delivering a heartwarming, tear-jerking family film. Fatherhood is based off the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matt Logelin and highlights the challenges and triumphs of being a single parent.

In Fatherhood, Matt Logelin (Kevin Hart) and his wife, Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) welcome a baby girl named Maddy (Melody Hurd) into the world. A day after giving birth, Liz passes away from complications, leaving Matt as a single parent raising his daughter. He has no idea where to start, but, with the help of his family and friends along the way, he has to figure out a way to raise her.

The main characters in this film are Matt, Liz, Maddy, Lizzie �Swan� (DeWanda Wise) and Marian (Alfre Woodard). My overall favorite part in this film is how Matt and Maddy�s relationship grows as they go along. Usually, the parents are the ones teaching the lessons in life, but it was nice to see Maddy also be able to teach her father. Maddy is actually my favorite character for this reason. I enjoyed seeing her help Matt become a better father throughout the film. Even though this film is a drama, the director, Paul Weitz, uses creative ways to add humor. For example, there is a scene where baby Maddy looks back and forth between two �crazy� people talking and the camera pans back and forth showing us the scene from her perspective.

The message of this film is that you should not be afraid to ask for help when you need it, especially from your family and friends. Matt refuses help because he thinks he can handle everything by himself, even though he has no idea what he is doing. But eventually realizes maybe he does need some help to get him on the right track. Parents need to be aware of adults drinking and mild profanity and themes about death.

Fatherhood is a very uplifting film that will tap into your emotions. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. Fatherhood comes out June 18, 2021 on Netflix.

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

Who doesn�t love a good drama film? I know that I definitely do. Fatherhood is such a great one. It has family comedy, portrays a realistic way of life, and the acting is stellar.

The storyline follows a dad, Matthew Logelin (Kevin Hart), who recently lost his wife Liz (Deborah Ayolinde). He must now raise his daughter (Melody Hurd) by himself, even though no one believes he can.

The best parts of this movie are the acting, the comedy and the drama. Kevin Hart really brings every emotion to life - when his wife dies, his crying shows us his grief. The comedy in this movie is subtle and it is frequent enough to make you laugh. I really enjoyed the comedy as it reflects funny family moments that we all go through. And the dramatic parts really show how a single parent, especially a father, might act upon losing his wife. Though the story is a bit slow at times, many may be able to relate to it and find it compelling. Fatherhood is based on a true story of a man who was forced to raise his child on his own following his wife�s death.

The message is that there�s nothing that a child needs more than family. Be aware that there is quite a lot of profanity used and there are many references to intimacy that makes it inappropriate for younger kids.

I give Fatherhood 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Fatherhood premieres on Netflix on June 18, 2021.

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

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


PAPER TIGERS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PAPER TIGERS, THE
WELL GO USA INC. Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Description - Three Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men, now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and old grudges to avenge his death.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Paper Tigers is such an engaging film with impeccable stunts, feisty characters and plot twists that grab your attention. You�ll feel like you�ve just witnessed these events happening in real life.

The Paper Tigers is about three childhood friends named Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) who, as adults, reunite after their sifu (teacher) dies. As kids, they shared the love of Kung Fu, but after all these years they have moved on to not such bigger or better things. When they hear speculation from an old enemy that their sifu was actually murdered, they try to find the culprit to avenge him.

The Paper Tigers is a movie centered on the martial art of Kung Fu, which means the stunts need to be executed just right for the action scenes to be believable. I found the stunts top notch; the stunt coordinators made the characters look like they are actually fighting. In fact, the entire crew working on this movie clearly put a lot of effort into making it realistic. In the film, Danny, Hing and Jim run into their old nemesis, Carter, and end up making a bet and getting into a brawl to get information about sifu. The guys are not in the best shape and haven�t fought a match in years so naturally, they have a tough time defending themselves. When they get hit, you can see blood coming from their faces, which looks scarily real. Kudos to the make-up team for creating such realism. Something else that makes The Paper Tigers unique is its comedic relief. Although the film has a very serious plot and the majority of the scenes are full of tension, the screenwriters added scenes where you can laugh, despite the violence. One of my favorite moments is when the three young disciple impersonators come to sifu�s funeral acting foolish. Being embarrassed, Hing says, �Let�s take these K-Pop rejects.� This sense of humor definitely makes Hing a more likeable character and lightens the mood.

The message of The Paper Tigers is that when you give someone your word, you need to honor it. Even though Danny, Hing and Jim left their master and got separated from each other, when it came down to it, they kept their promise. They gathered the courage to get justice for sifu and be true disciples. Parents should be aware that this film has some adult language and some martial arts violence.

I give The Paper Tigers 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to18 plus adults. Anyone that loves Kung Fu and action will enjoy this film. The Paper Tigers is available in theatres and on digital now, and on Blu-Ray and DVD on June 22, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

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

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


JUST ANOTHER DREAM
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUST ANOTHER DREAM
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - When a fateful injury sparks an ordinary girl to have foretelling dreams, she is forced into a race against time to save her family and prove her sanity....or is it JUST ANOTHER DREAM?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I find Just Another Dream appealing because, on the surface level, this film seems like a fun action drama, but it has a deeper meaning about love transcending time and space. Even platonic love can eventually bring two people back to one another. This film also shows selflessness when Anna sacrifices something significant in her life in order to save another person's life. Young people will enjoy the action sequence where Anna runs around town trying to save her family.

The story follows a child named Anna who has a head injury as a young child and afterwards is able to tell the future through her dreams. She dreams something foreboding about her family and the countdown begins to save them.

The visual quality is the biggest strength of this film. Although there are some parts where the CGI could be rendered better, the overall cinematic shots, color and lighting heighten the visual quality in general. The plot is easy to follow, so kids can enjoy and understand the film. This film displays the three act structure. Act one gives us a background of Anna, her family and her friends. Then, Anna has a dream about a lady being murdered. Act two is the turning point when Anna is admitted to a mental rehabilitation center after having a breakdown due to her dreams. The climax is when Anna has a bad dream about her family and escapes to save them. Act three ties up all loose ends regarding how Josh and Anna's timelines are different. It ends with Anna remembering everything she dreamed while she was unconscious after the baseball and promising herself to find Josh. All the characters, except Josh and Anna, do not believe that Anna can actually tell the future. Little by little, Anna proves them wrong and they develop empathy towards Anna. It drew me in because conflict is created right from the start with the tension between Anna, Josh and the others. I was definitely empathic towards Anna and Josh. We are inclined to side with Anna from the beginning, so it is easy to empathize with her. The concepts would be easy for young people to grasp because everything is explained in the end. Any confusion about the friendship between Anna and Josh is also explained. The vocabulary is suitable for its audience. Even in the metal rehabilitation center, the doctors do not use medical terms and explain everything in lay terms. Since this film is an action-filled drama, the scenes with heightened tension have background music that matches the intensity of the action. At times the CGI does not look realistic, such as the fire scenes. This film makes a viewer think outside the box in terms of alternate realities and time. Regarding culture, there is only one person of color in a lead role, the character Takota played by Eugene Brave Rock. I appreciate that Takota explains the culture and history of the Native American dream-catcher to Anna. Most importantly, this film presents the idea that true love, even platonic love, can transcend space and time and eventually two people will always find their way back to one another. Just Another Dream has very good visual quality, an interesting portrayal of space and time, and displays the idea of sacrificing to save another person.

The message of the film is that sometimes one needs to sacrifice something important in their life to save another person's life. There are definitely some things for parents to be aware of that make this unsuitable for younger children including: a bank robbery, a murder in a bank, shooting a gun at someone in the bank (no blood or gore however), bullying, alcohol use, adults kissing a suggestive way, a drowning, death of a child from fire, use of prescription drugs.

I give Just Another Dream 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Just Another Dream because it is an intense, emotional action film. It constantly surprised me with every scene, and was extremely unpredictable.

This film starts off when the main character Anna (Kayden Bryce) is 8 years old, and takes a pretty bad hit to the head. Ever since then, she cannot stop having these incredibly realistic vivid nightmares. In her most recent dream, someone is murdered at a bank robbery. After scaring her family, claiming that a few days later her exact dream happened in real life, they make the decision to send her to a mental hospital. At this facility, they try to help her understand that her dreams are so vivid, that she doesn�t understand what is real and what is only a dream. However, no one believes her except for her best friend. They must work together, to use her power for good.

Something that I really like about this film is the suspense. Every time that I thought I figured out what was going to happen, it surprises me. The movie has a lot of creativity and that makes it even better. Another thing that I like is the incorporation of multiple genres. It could have easily just been an emotional dramatic movie, however it includes many action packed scenes. This really adds to the film, and also allows it to reach multiple types of audiences. This is really great to have, because it has a big factor on how successful the movie is. Lastly, this film gives people a wake-up call on how valuable life can be. You never realize how good you have until you see other people's lives. It also reminds us to trust those you love, and remember that anything is possible.

The message of this film is to always value your life, and realize that you never know what someone else could be going through. This film could be sensitive to younger viewers.

I give Just Another Dream 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, depending on their maturity level. It releases on digital and DVD June 15, 2021.

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

Just Another Dream is a very different movie and I found it a fun movie to watch, because it�s about things that we might deem impossible in real life. However, lots of things are different than reality.

The storyline is about Anna Miller (Kayden Bryce) and her dreams. Ever since an accident Anna was in when she was little, she has had very vivid dreams; now those dreams are starting to come true. Only Josh Mason (Copeland Diver) believes her; everyone else thinks she might be crazy. When one of those dreams puts her family's life in danger it is a race against the clock to save her family.

This film definitely has some good points. For one, the location is amazing; it is a beautiful lake and river and we watch Josh and Anna biking it. This lake is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen; I wish I could see it in real life. The second is the quality of the acting. It has spectacular scenes such as one with lots of crying that look very real. Kayden Bryce, who plays Anna, is only 16, but is already very accomplished. For example, her reaction to Anna waking up from a very vivid dream the first time only to find out that it came true, her reaction is so believable. Another key scene is when Anna�s mom is worried about her and her vivid dreams. Towards the end there are some very confusing scenes that don�t quite make sense until the movie is over. The lightning is impressive and somewhat odd such as a very bright light that comes in from the window behind the actors. You don�t know what it is. There are some very loud and dramatic sound effects, mostly at the beginning that really catch your attention. Most of the costumes are regular day clothes but there is one creepy one that is all black and has a black mask. The plot really escalates, especially when it gets personal and Anna�s family appears in her dreams. Suddenly, a race against time really takes you to the edge of your seat. Although the race against time kind of drags, it still grabs your attention.

The message of Just Another Dream is to believe in your dreams and you can get anywhere.

I give Just Another Dream 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18 plus adults. This film comes out in select theaters and on DVD June 15, 2021. The burning question is: Did Anna go to Tiko�s birthday party?

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

Just Another Dream has great actors, but the storyline it is somewhat confusing. The suspense and plotline that this film meant to create falls a bit short.

The story follows a girl named Anna (Kayden Price) who goes through a series of traumatic events in her early childhood. As a result, she has a side effect of realistic dreams that may come true. She goes on a journey to find out if they are just other dreams.

While the actors are enjoyable to watch, their performances are uninspired and lack emotion in some scenes where that was needed. Throughout the film the camerawork is clear and detailed; it is greatly appreciated when the landscape is so beautiful. I like that the rural setting is realistic and relatable, especially the pond. The beginning is very dramatic and introduces the plotline in such a dramatic way that later, as the plotline is re-introduced, it is very anticlimactic. The audience is left wondering what the story is really about.

The message of Just Another Dream is to never discredit another person�s experiences or their feelings about them. Loss and PTSD are both touched on, which are important issues to discuss. Audiences should be aware that there is a violent crime and scenes of bullying.

I give Just Another Dream 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It is available on digital and DVD June 15, 2021.

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

Just Another Dream is a bit confusing and weird at times. The idea isn�t bad, but it seems that a lot of time is wasted and, as such, the story falters when it comes to important moments.

The story follows Anna (Kayden Brycee), a girl who has experienced vivid dreams ever since she received an injury to her head. After realizing her dreams tell the future, she must save her family, while also proving her sanity.

In terms of the plot, the story doesn�t properly set up the possibility that Anna is mentally unwell. She has a single dream that ends up coming true and her parents immediately send her to a mental hospital. Coupled with the fact it�s unclear how much time passed between her dream and her parents� decision, this reaction makes no sense. If she had a bunch of dreams and was struggling to cope with them, I would maybe understand her parents� behavior. As it stands, it feels too forced.

It also takes quite a while for the main storyline - Anna�s family being in danger - to actually happen. Most of the movie is spent inside the mental hospital, setting up characters that aren�t really very important and reiterating the fact that no one believes Anna. It�s somewhat annoying because we, as an audience, know she�s right. So, all these scenes feel like a waste, because they don�t establish anything new. Although, once the main plot kicks in, I admit that there is some genuine tension. I was actually invested in the safety of Anna�s family.

Unfortunately, the acting in this movie is not very impressive. It is acceptable, however I could not connect with Kayden Bruce�s portrayal of Anna. She seems perpetually moody and annoyed in every scene, even when she is talking with her best friend and supposedly in a good mood.

The editing also needs to be addressed. There are many instances where the audio quality of a dialogue drops in the middle of a line. Towards the end of the movie, there are a lot of very poor special effects. I can excuse these, depending on the film�s budget, but I can�t excuse the music choices. There are multiple scenes where the background music does not fit the tone of the scene at all, and it is really jarring.

The message of this film is that you can�t change the past, but you can change your future, so it�s important to accept where you are right now and move forward. There is a somewhat graphic scene where Anna gets bit by a dog.

I give Just Another Dream 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. It comes out on digital and DVD June 15, 2021.

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

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


HOME BEFORE DARK (SEASON TWO)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOME BEFORE DARK (SEASON TWO)
APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 14-18
Description - Home Before Dark is a dramatic mystery series inspired by the reporting of a young investigative journalist, Hilde Lysiak. Directed and executive produced by Jon M. Chu, the series follows a young girl named Hilde (Brooklynn Prince) who moves from the city of Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury. In season two, when a mysterious explosion hits a local farm, reporter Hilde Lisko begins an investigation that will lead her to fight a powerful and influential corporation - with the health of her family and Erie Harbor in the balance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Calling all aspiring journalists, and father-daughter duos! This new series Home Before Dark has everything you could possibly want in a show, including a special father-daughter relationship, mystery, action, suspense and even romance.

The second season of Home Before Dark starts off the summer after journalist Hilde Lysko (Brooklyn Prince) uncovers a huge break in the Richie Fife case. Hilde, still haunted by the year before, continues to move forward and continues searching, and you won�t believe what she finds.

Hilde Lysko and Matt Lysko (Jim Sturgess) are very special to watch because their father-daughter relationship is very realistic and relatable. As are many other aspects of this show, including the discussion of important topics such as racism. The town of Erie Harbor is seeing new faces, new settings and newly developed characters, which makes the small town a little bigger. Costume designer Kelli Dunsmore creates an entire story in itself with Hilde�s wardrobe. My favorite part about Home Before Dark is when both Hilde and Matt have epiphanies about a story they are reporting on. It makes me hold my breath in suspense as I wait for the pieces to unfold and the story to fall into place.

The message of Home Before Dark is, �We are young, but we are not stupid, and we are paying attention.� The youth of today are seeing a lot wrong with our current society that we deem needs to be fixed. Do what Hilde Lysko would do and seek the truth. This television series contains some bad language, kidnapping, and other mature themes.

I give Home Before Dark 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 14 to 18 plus adults. You can watch Home Before Dark releases June 11, 2021 on Apple TV+.

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

Home Before Dark is an intriguing series that is filled with twists and unexpected turns. I love that there are multiple storylines following different characters. The characters themselves each have distinct personalities which creates an interesting dynamic that is entertaining to watch.

The storyline is based around a smart, young girl in a small town, named Hilde, who is determined to solve a cold case. She has made major breakthroughs on the case in the past, and published her writing. Hilde's work was awarded and widely praised. Although she had received these rewards, she was not satisfied with the way the case ended. Her parents discourage her from continuing research on the case because of the repeated nightmares Hilde experienced.

Brooklyn Prince fits the role of Hilde Lisko perfectly. She portrays herself in a sophisticated manner and she is very well spoken. She is also able to convey her emotions to the audience through her facial expressions which pulls the audience�s attention into each scene. The casting director did well in choosing the characters for the Lisko family, which includes actors Kylie Rogers, Jim Sturgess, Mila Morgan and Pauline Egan. The sisters have some similar features, but still stand out from each other, an analogy for their personalities.

The camerawork in this series is a major factor in establishing the mood of each scene. The camerawork, at times, is breathtaking and beautiful when highlighting the landscape of the town. These nature shots are well executed and create the feeling of peace. Other times, the camera angles add suspense to the scenes. In one scene, I was sitting on the edge of my seat as the camera angle peered down into a dark basement hallway. This frame was left to linger for a couple seconds to give the impression that there was something ominous down there. Overall, I loved the camerawork in this series because of how strategic it is and how effective it is in each scene.

My favorite character of the series is Hilde�s sister, Izzy Lisko (Kylie Rogers). Izzy is older than Hilde and was struggling with gaining friendships in school. She is shy and often overthinks about the situations she gets into. Although she has many insecurities, she is such a supportive sister towards Hilde. While Izzy supports and cares for Hilde, Hilde also cares for Izzy. Hilde is constantly helping Izzy find logical solutions to her problems and talking through Izzy�s thoughts, simplifying them. They are the perfect duo and I admire their good hearts.

The message I took away from the series is to be resourceful and determined. The series gives the viewers a sense of accomplishment through Hilde, and inspires them to be like her. She works so hard and never gives up on her goals. Hilde is an admirable character that the viewers look up to. My only concern with this is that some of the actions Hilde performs are dangerous for her age, such as visiting abandoned areas and sneaking out of class. As long as children who are around Hilde�s age don�t imitate her then it is safe.

This series is the perfect mystery, drama show to watch with your family and friends. The plot twists will keep you glued to the screen and excited for the next episode. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the ages of 13 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this. Season 2 debuts on June 11, 2021 on Apple TV+ so be sure to go check it out!

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

Home Before Dark Season 2 has a storyline filled with many unexpected twists and mysterious happenings this season that will capture viewers� attention. We follow alongside Hilde Lisko (Brooklyn Prince) and her family and friends as they try to discover the secrets of the past. This alluring series will have you mesmerized with surprises you won�t see coming.

In season two, the story continues in the town of Erie Harbor where young reporter Hilde Lisko encounters some unexplainable occurrences. Determined to figure out what�s going on, she and her friends investigate. With the help of her friends and family, Hilde finds new clues and uncovers dangerous, hidden secrets. Her sister, Izzy (Kylie Rogers) deals with finding new friends while helping her sister in her quest for the truth about what�s causing the unexplainable sickness sweeping across the town. They come to discover that searching for the truth could have deadly consequences.

My favorite scene is when Hilde and her friends, along with her dad, Matt (Jim Sturgess), and Lt. Briggs (Michael Weston) venture onto a nearby island to look for more clues. While waiting for Hilde�s dad and Lt. Briggs, they decide to use a drone to explore. The drone crashes, and they go into the forest and look for it before the adults come back. It�s very eerie and suspenseful because we don�t know what or who lurks in those woods. The choices of settings fit well with the scenes, such as the island and the harbor that show life in a small town near the water. The clothing for the characters is modern and goes well with their personalities. Hilde has a more sophisticated look then most kids her age, which goes with her character. It is also nice to see a family that works together and supports each other. Overall, the series is remarkably interesting and entertaining�it is fascinating to see the story unravel in each episode.

The message of Home Before Dark is to never give up, even in times of doubt or uncertainty when you think it�s impossible. If you give up there�s no chance of succeeding. Stay strong and continue past the roadblocks. Home Before Dark also teaches us about courage. Doing the right thing in the face of danger takes bravery. Warnings include scary scenes that may require parental guidance.

I give Home Before Dark 5 out of 5 stars! I recommend it for ages 14 to 17. Adults will also enjoy it. Season 2 releases June 11, 2021 on Apple TV+.

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

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


CENSOR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CENSOR
MAGNET RELEASING Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 15 - 18
Description - After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister's disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Censor is a unique movie that raises a lot of questions about censorship, the effect that fiction has on people and violence in the media. I really appreciate it for its subtlety; however I feel like the message is a little unclear.

The story follows Enid, a film censor. Her job consists of viewing graphic horror films and deciding what to cut and what to leave in. However, after a particular film reminds her of a traumatic childhood memory, she becomes convinced that there is some connection between her work and the disappearance of her sister.

First off, I want to take a moment to appreciate the atmosphere of this film. The lighting and sound design combine to create an extremely bleak and dreary mood, as if the entire film takes place on an unpleasant foggy day. It fits the constant sense of unease this movie gives off, especially when combined with the uncomfortable subject matter.

Censor has an interesting insight on fiction�s effect on reality. I�m very invested in this topic, as someone who loves video games and has constantly heard discussions about how the medium causes violence. Though the film doesn�t outright say it, there�s an underlying message about how society sometimes draws conclusions that aren�t true. At one point, a murder gets connected to a film that Enid allowed to be released. However we later find out the killer didn�t even watch the aforementioned film. This leaves you wondering what the truth of the case is. This murder case is never brought up again and, ultimately, is not that important to the plot.

Censor�s themes surrounding the idea of censorship, and the way they connect to Enid�s past, are genuinely really engaging. Enid claims she does her job to �protect� people, and this perfectly ties into Enid�s trauma. A common thing that happens to trauma survivors is that their brain will block out the memories of the event. As such, Enid can�t remember the exact details of her trauma. Her brain is essentially censoring itself to protect her. But what exactly is it protecting her from? What is the truth of her past? This connection is so fascinating.

I must warn audiences, though, if you don�t like gore or discussions of gore, this movie is not for you. There�s a montage at the beginning showing all kinds of graphic violence, and there is more gore later in the film.

I give Censor 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 16 to 18. Censor releases on June 11, 2021.

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

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


IN THE HEIGHTS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
IN THE HEIGHTS
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - In the Heights centers on a variety of characters living in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, on the northern tip of Manhattan. At the center of the show is Usnavi, a bodega owner who looks after the aging Cuban lady next door, pines for the gorgeous girl working in the neighboring beauty salon and dreams of winning the lottery and escaping to the shores of his native Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, Nina, a childhood friend of Usnavi's, has returned to the neighborhood from her first year at college with surprising news for her parents, who have spent their life savings on building a better life for their daughter. Ultimately, Usnavi and the residents of the close-knit neighborhood get a dose of what it means to be home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Did you love the musical In the Heights and want more? Well, your wish has come true and you can have more because In the Heights is now a movie! It has the same great soundtrack and is even more action packed.

In the Heights is about Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), a bodega owner, and his disappearing neighborhood in New York City, specifically Washington Heights. Small businesses are moving away; people are leaving; and Usnavi is going back to his home in the Dominican Republic to help his family. What will happen when Usnavi leaves?

This movie is based on the book by Quiara Alegria Hudes and musical, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda - both titled with the same name. The music is phenomenal and very memorable because it makes you want to get up and dance. While writing this review, I still have all the songs stuck in my head. Lin-Manuel Miranda also plays the Piragua Guy. Along with the music, the choreography is outstanding, particularly the group choreography - a mix of hip-hop and Latinx styles. Everyone is in sync and energetic. The scenes are very detailed, artistic and beautiful, with so much color. The acting is beyond amazing and every character is so believable and loveable. Anthony Ramos, as Usnavi, stands out and seems very genuine. Melissa Barrera, as Vanessa, shows so much perseverance for her dreams. Leslie Grace�s Nina is passionate as she deals with her character�s conflicts. My favorite character is Abuela Claudia because she is so loving to all, and she reminds us to have paciencia y fe (patience and faith). The characters speak Spanish at times during the film, so it helps if you have some knowledge of the Spanish language, but it�s not essential to enjoying the movie.

The main message is that sue�itos (little dreams) aren�t always easy; you have to work for them. In the Heights addresses some serious topics like attending college and dealing with racial bias as a minority. This movie has some profanity and suggestive references.

I give In the Heights 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters or on HBO Max June 11, 2021.

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

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


GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES
DISNEY CHANNEL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - Disney Channel's out-of-this-world live-action comedy series "Gabby Duran & the Unsittables" has return for a second season on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW. The series stars multitalented actress and musician Kylie Cantrall as Gabby Duran, a teenaged girl who inadvertently lands a job babysitting an unruly group of VIP extraterrestrial children disguised as everyday kids. In season two, a resourceful and courageous Gabby faces even bigger challenges as she continues to protect her alien charges while also navigating the everyday emotional rollercoaster of middle school. The season picks up immediately after a cliffhanger with Gabby's mom, Dina, on the verge of learning Gabby's secret, which the intrepid teen will have to stop in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes. Other adventures this season will include a robot replica Gabby-bot running amok, an alien friend who turns into a "Predator" when she becomes emotional, and a quest to recover Principal Swift's home after it's shrunken down to the size of a dollhouse by an extraterrestrial prankster.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love Gabby Duran and the Unsittables so much because it has an effect that keeps you connected with the show the whole time. It has so many cliff hangers; you�re always wondering what will happen next; your always on the edge of your seat. I like that there are so many mysteries in each episode and that something new happens in every episode.

The storyline is about a young girl named Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who gets picked by Principal Swift (Nathan Lovejoy) who is an alien and wants Gabby to babysit aliens. This job is so important and, if anyone finds out aliens are real, then that would destroy the earth. Principle Swift needs Gabby to keep this a secret from everyone; she can�t tell anyone about aliens or her baby sitting job. Keeping that big of a secret might be a little hard for Gabby.

This show is filled with lots of animated characters and other things that aren�t there in real life. They use the characters so well, and have amazing ways to incorporate them into the show. It�s cool how some aliens that Gabby is babysitting like Jeremy (Callen Farris), Kail (Mia Bella) and Sky (Elle McKinnon) have different powers. This isn't a great sentence. First, avoid using the term "is amazing" as it doesn't tell us anything. I was impressed by how the actors portrayed aliens that are uncertain about how to behave as human impersonators. Considering how young the cast is makes it doubly impressive.

I enjoyed all of the other cast members, especially Coco Christo who plays Olivia Duran, because she's so young and plays her part as Gabby's sister so well. My favorite episode has to be the one with Cry Baby Duran, because it really shows the part of her and her friends being in middle school. The drama really starts to show and gets inside Gabby's head and she is determined to find out who started the rumor. The other thing I found really interesting is how different directors (Joe Nussbaum and Leslie Kolins Small) direct different episodes, which gives the show great variety. For example, Joe Nussbaum directs 9 episodes and it is interesting because it must have been hard to for Kylie Cnatrall to adjust to the different directing styles. Then, Leslie Kolins Small directs 6 episodes and it captured my interest because all the episodes really turned out the same even though they all have different styles of directing, Kylie Cantrall and the directors worked together to make a great show.

The message of this series is that lying isn�t a good thing, but when there are lives on the line, you have to do your best to help everyone. Lying can turn into a big mess, so don�t let that fool you. This series shows that some people are not worth the risk and people don�t always love the idea secrets. Tell them before they find out for themselves.

I give Gabby Duran and the Unsittables 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. The new season comes out on Disney + on June 6, 2021.

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

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


12 MIGHTY ORPHANS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
12 MIGHTY ORPHANS
SONY CLASSICAL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 10-18
Description - During the Great Depression, Rusty Russell gives up a privileged position to coach football at an orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas. Whipping his young players into shape, they soon become an inspiration to their city, state and an entire nation.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - With a moving script, deep characters, and incredible production quality, 12 Mighty Orphans is a film you should not miss! A throwback to the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the aftermath of the First World War, the film will strike a chord with all generations, and it�s an especially great watch for sports fans and Texans.

The film tells the true story of one of the greatest football coaches in American history - Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson). Russell gives up his position coaching and teaching in Temple, Texas, to move to the Masonic Home, a decrepit orphanage in Fort Worth, where he teaches math and science, and more importantly, coaches the young orphan boys in football. Russell struggles to whip his team of emotionally damaged novice players into shape.12 Mighty Orphans shows the journey of the relationship between player and coach and how Russell turns the orphanage into a source of inspiration for the entire nation.

The production quality of this Sony Classics movie is superb; from the start, the Texas drawl of the intermittent narration, the slightly browned footage, and even the car that Rusty Russell drives, a 1930s Ford, all contribute to making the viewer feel that they truly are in post-World War I Texas. The dialogue is both clear and realistic, and it helps add to the depth of each character. The three characters who are the most expounded upon are Rusty Russell, Snoggs (Jacob Lofland), a thin, good-hearted orphan, Doc Hall (Martin Sheen), the medic of the orphanage and Hardy Brown (Jake Austin Walker), the troubled yet talented football star. Each of these characters has a detailed backstory and the actors that play them emote beautifully throughout the film, always staying true to their character in a way that never feels forced. I especially love Jake Austin Walker�s performance as Hardy Brown and Martin Sheen as Doc Hall; the intense emotion of Hardy�s role and the layered personality of Doc really bring the story to life. And of course, the fatherly Rusty Russell is the star of the show!

12 Mighty Orphans promotes messages of unity, community, perseverance and faith. For the young orphan boys, getting over the tragedies of their past is the only thing holding them back from greatness; Russell shows them (and viewers) that moving on, though difficult, is the key to putting your best foot forward and succeeding in the future.

I give 12 Mighty Orphans 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18; adults will enjoy this film as well. 12 Mighty Orphans will be available in limited-release form on June 11, 2021 and in theatres on June 18, 2021.

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

12 Mighty Orphans is a great film and very family friendly. I like that it focuses on events that brought about a sense of pride to a community when the world was not in a good place.

The film is based on a true story about a group of orphans, Hardy Brown (Jake Austin Walker), Snoggs (Jacob Lofland) and Fairbanks (Levi Dylan) and Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson) who leaves his position at a prestigious school to come to the orphanage to coach these boys. These boys have never played football before. With the support of Coach Russell, his wife Juanita (Vinessa Shaw), Doc Hall (Martin Sheen) and a former orphan, Mason Hawk (Robert Duvall), the boys learn to believe in themselves and become a true team. They beat the odds and discover their individual and collective strengths on the way to becoming a really good football team. The Mighty Mites, a name given to them by Mason Hawk, end up getting the support of their community because they symbolize hope and resilience of the human spirit.

The film really excels at the character arcs; we watch most of the main characters experience growth as a result of their interactions with Coach Russell and with each other. The film features some well-known actors, like Academy Award-winners Robert Duvall and Martin Sheen, who both excel in their ability to bring characters to life. Another plus is that the film focuses on something positive that the community rallies behind and it temporarily takes their minds off of the Great Depression. My favorite character is Coach Russell. As an orphan himself, he beat the odds and became a successful coach and family man, but he doesn�t forget where he came from and goes back to help other orphans. Coach Russell shows the kids that it is possible for them all to do much more than they or the world expects.

The message of this film is that, no matter how dark times get, you should never give up on yourself or the world. Even those that the world has forgotten about can have a beacon of hope.

12 Mighty Orphans gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. 12 Mighty Orphans releases in theaters June 11, 2021.

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

I like 12 Mighty Orphans because it is based on a real life event. It has an incredible cast and each one portrays their character so well. This story is a big eye opener.

The story follows a group of 150 children at an orphanage in Texas in 1940. A football coach and teacher named Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson), who is an orphan himself, recruits 12 teenage orphans to play football. These young boys go from playing without shoes, not knowing how to play football and not even having a real football to play with to winning the Texas state championship. Mr. Russell and the orphanage's doctor, Doc Hall (Martin Sheen), train the team. They teach them discipline, respect, love for the sport and, the most important thing, self-love and self-respect.

12 Mighty Orphans is directed by Ty Roberts who manages to transmit onto the big screen the story of these orphans - sadness, frustration, suffering, passion and joy. The cast includes some A-list actors such as Robert Duval, Wayne Knight and Treat Williams. The locations and landscape are colorful and beautiful. The wardrobe features outfits from the 40s, including football gear made of leather pads and leather helmets. My favorite part is when the team comes together and starts to realize that being an orphan is not as bad as they think it is.

The moral of this film is that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from; as long as you do things with love and passion, you will succeed in life. Teamwork plays a big role in this film, because the orphans come together as a family to succeed at football. Be forewarned that the film contains some profanity, some explicit dialogue, and bloody real life events.

I give 12 Mighty Orphans 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Minors can watch this magnificent and possibly award-winning movie, with the supervision of an adult. 12 Mighty Orphans has advanced screenings at Texas theaters starting June 11 and opens nationwide June 18, 2021.

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

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


SPIRIT UNTAMED
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIRIT UNTAMED
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 5-15
Description - After moving to a sleepy little town, young Lucky Prescott befriends a wild mustang named Spirit, who shares her rebellious spirit. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her new friends embark on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse that forever changed her life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Adventure awaits in Spirit Untamed, the next chapter in the beloved animated Spirit franchise which is sure to capture a new audience of followers. Spirit Untamed is the story of connection between a girl named Lucky (Isabela Merced) and a wild mustang stallion she names Spirit. Lucky is a spirited girl and has difficulty fitting into the traditional life that her family plans for her. Her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) takes her away from social pressure for the summer to the frontier town of Miradero to live with her estranged father Jim Prescott (Jake Gyllenhaal). On the train to Miradero she encounters Spirit and his wild herd. The story evolves as both Lucky and Spirit adapt to new circumstances and learn to embrace change as well as rely on the friendship and support of others.

Lucky is fortunate to find two steadfast friends in Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace) and Pru Granger (Marsai Martin) who emulate the connection between a girl and her horse that Lucky desires with Spirit. Both girls teach her about equestrian and human connections. I love the fun-loving and spunky character, Abigail, who brings so much humor to the movie which is offset by the sarcasm of Pru. Together these three girls are unstoppable in their efforts to rescue Spirit and his herd from a group of wranglers that threaten their freedom.

Spirit Untamed is from DreamWorks Animation so you know the characters and scenery are going to be depicted flawlessly. I love how this film keeps the feel from the original movie but adds another layer of lush detail under the guidance of Director Elaine Bogan who has a personal connection with horses. My favorite scene is what I call �the tango� between Lucky and Spirit when she is trying to coax him to accept her. The pull of their relationship shows and is enhanced perfectly by the light and playful music composed by Amie Doherty. I really like how the movie incorporates the actors singing with their roles�I love to hear Isabela Merced�s beautiful voice and even Jake Gyllenhall trying to sing badly.

The one segment that bothers me is when Lucky first mounts Spirit. The riding is unbelievable for a girl who is just learning and is more akin to a trained circus or stunt rider. Horses are powerful animals, and I hope young viewers will understand that they need guidance around horses and to respect them. I did love the personality that was given to all the horses in Spirit Untamed�each horse had its own lovable character and expressions. Everyone will, of course, love the cuteness overload of the brave baby foal.

What really stands out to me among this film�s many underlying messages is the theme of letting go and how hard that can be. I don�t want to elaborate further, as it would be a spoiler, but there is one great �letting go� scene with Lucky doing the right thing. Friendship and loyalty are also important themes in Spirit Untamed, as Lucky searches for a place where she belongs.

I rate Spirit Untamed 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. This movie will be in theaters June 4, 2021, so don�t miss this heartwarming story and adventure!

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Spirit Untamed is a fun-filled animated movie that will have you on the edge of your seat with its rollercoaster of emotions. It is full of suspense, humorous moments and scenes showcasing beautiful relationships. Spirit Untamed is one of the most captivating animated films I�ve seen, with humorous scenes and a great message. Watching this movie on the big screen brings a special kind of magic that draws you in and makes you feel every emotion the characters are feeling. Whether it is a sense of elation, anger, determination or love; I felt it all.

The storyline follows a mischievous girl named Lucky (Isabela Merced) who goes to live with her grandfather after her mother passes away. After pulling too many stunts, her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) decides to take her to spend the summer with her father Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal). Lucky wasn�t expecting to have any fun or make a connection with anyone there and then she meets a beautiful wild mustang that she names Spirit. When she discovers that a horse wrangler named Hendricks (Walton Goggins) is trying to steal Spirit and his family, she teams up with her new friends Abigail (Mckenna Grace) and Pru (Marsai Martin) to save them.

Although Spirit Untamed is an animated film, it is filled with suspense. Lucky loves to take risks, and that means she is willing to do anything and everything she feels is right. For instance, while Lucky, Abigail and Pru ride their horses through Heck Mountain and over the Ridge of Regret, they are incredibly close to falling off the edge. The way these scenes are designed, and how the events unfold, had me genuinely nervous for the girls. The relationships in the film are well developed. Lucky and Jim�s relationship starts out shaky, but gradually grows throughout the movie. By the end of the movie, the father/daughter relationship is made whole. The friendship between Lucky, Pru and Abigail grows throughout the movie as well, which makes the film much more enjoyable. Something else that stands out is the music. The background music adds greatly adds to the suspense and propels the action. The songs highlight the stunning vocals of the talented performers Becky G. who sings �You Belong.� Its tempo builds as the excitement in the film builds. This sets the perfect tone for the movie, giving it a sense of hope. The cast is very diverse and featuring people from different backgrounds, which I appreciate as well. Spirit Untamed has it all!

The message of Spirit Untamed is: if you see something that�s wrong, speak up and do everything you can to put an end to it. Lucky is aware that it is wrong for Hendricks and his gang to take Spirit and his herd away. No matter what anyone tells her, she doesn�t rest until she finds a way to make everything right.

I rate Spirit Untamed 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults Spirit Untamed is available in theatres June 4, 2021. You better hurry; you don�t want to miss this!

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

Spirit Untamed is a thrilling and exciting animated film that keeps you entertained throughout the whole movie. It showcases the friendship between humans and horses, has great messages and holds your interest until the end.

The story follows a girl named Lucky Prescott (Isabella Merced) who returned to live with her dad (Jake Gyllenhaal) for the summer. On the way, she meets a wild horse named Spirit that is adventurous and daring, just like her. Since Spirit is wild, he doesn�t trust Lucky at first. It takes him some time, but eventually he and Lucky become friends. Lucky comes across horse wranglers that are trying to capture Spirit and his herd. She is determined to do whatever it takes to save Spirit and his family.

Something that really impresses me about this film is the lip-syncing of the animated characters. Their mouths match exactly what they are saying. The background music sets the mood such as when scenes are intense, the music intensifies, which helps the audience connect with the mood of the scene. My favorite character is Lucky because she is adventurous, curious and fun. The moment she arrives at her father�s home, she sets off to explore and which leads her to an adventure right away. Her dad, Jim�s character develops the most during the movie. In the beginning, he is afraid something bad is going to happen to Lucky if she gets close to the horses, so he forbids her from being near them. Over time he realizes he can�t keep her from everything and learns to let her follow her heart.

The message of Spirit Untamed is �when you trust someone they will learn to trust you.� The only warning I have for this film is that in some scenes, ropes are wrapped around the horse's necks.

Spirit Untamed is an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, plus adults. You can watch Spirit Untamed opens in theaters June 4, 2021. Go check it out!

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

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


HUMAN FACTOR, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HUMAN FACTOR, THE
SONY CLASSICAL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - With unprecedented access to the foremost American negotiators, THE HUMAN FACTOR is the behind-the-scenes story from the last 25 years, of how the United States came within reach of pulling off the impossible - securing peace between Israel and its neighbors. Today, the need to learn from past mistakes couldn't be more urgent.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Human Factor documentary is very informative and will be loved by those that are curious about the negotiators of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict during the Clinton Administration, and their efforts to bring compromise and peace. The one-on-one interview setting makes it easier to understand and grasp basic questions of this foreign political situation. And while the film does provide some context in the beginning, you may want to do a little research on the conflict before watching.

I had an unexpectedly emotional reaction to this documentary. Director Dror Moreh cleverly sets a specific tone that grabs the viewer, and then reveals history in a brilliant way. My favorite parts are with the negotiators and their dialogue about their personal firsthand experience being a part of this crucial stage in history. While it is a foreign conflict, we are shown it from the United States� perspective.

I love the music throughout this film, thanks to composer Eugene Levitas. While a lot of scenes were usually serious due to the political dialogue, some scenes added unusually whimsical music to set a certain mood.

The message of this film is really important to understand, especially in the current political climate of the United States. �People just like to demonize the other side. All that is out is the human side, the animosity for each other. And unless (we) are planning on accepting the other side, there is zero hope for a solution.� The challenge of any political conflict is building bridges and crushing barriers, and this conflict is no exception. The Human Factor does contain violence, gore, and scenes that depict warfare.

I give The Human Factor 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. You can watch The Human Factor in theatres nationwide on May 7, 2021.

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

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


LAUNCHPAD
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAUNCHPAD
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 8-18
Description - A collection of 6 short films. Six filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds were selected and provided with the opportunity to share their perspectives and creative visions that will show audiences what it means to be seen.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Launchpad is an emotional and uplifting collection of Disney short films that are great for teens and adults. Every one of the six movies features excellent acting, impressive cinematography, great special effects and storylines with meaningful themes.

Launchpad includes six different shorts, each with its own unique plot. American Eid and The Last of the Chupacabras are both centered around religion; American Eid is about a young girl finding out she has to go to school on the Muslim holiday, Eid. The Last of the Chupacabras is about a lone Mexican-American trying to keep her culture alive. Growing Fangs is a fantasy about a half-human/half-vampire trying to hide her identity from both worlds. Let's Be Tigers is about a young girl, Avalon (Otmara Marrero) trying to process the loss of her mother while she is babysitting for a 4-year-old. Dinner Is Served follows a Chinese student trying out for the top position at a fancy restaurant. The Little Prince(ss) is a story about a young boy who loves ballet and whose best friend's dad comes to talk to his parents about his "girlish behavior."

With emotional and deep storylines, these short films need great acting to convey the strong messages of the films. These actors deliver. Every character is portrayed by a passionate actor that deeply understands their character and performs with passion. Even for films with no dialogue, you can understand what they are thinking and feeling. Otmara Marrero who plays Avalon in Let's Be Tigers, delivers an unforgettable performance as such a sorrowful character. The change as she plays with Noah (Dash McCloud) is visible as the film develops. In American Eid, Jenna Qureshi, who plays Ameena's older sister, Zainab, also delivers a stunning performance, making her teenage, trying-to-be-cool character relatable in every way. The cinematography is equally excellent. The special effects in the fantasy films are wonderful, particularly in Growing Fangs with its vampire effects. Magic is the main component in this one, but there are other effects as well. The stories are all well-written. Some of the shorts are heart-breaking and emotional, while others are more uplifting and creative. There's a variety of wonderful ideas spread throughout.

These shorts have many themes, some overlapping others. A central point for all of them, is to recognize other people for what they are, not for how they appear.>p>I give Launchpad 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Launchpad can be viewed on Disney Plus beginning May 28, 2021.

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

I appreciate the sophistication involved in the themes and making of Launchpad, A Short Film Collection. I found these lacking in action and the messages are pretty heavy. They are all a good length and cover a wide range of topics (such as). Some are a little repetitive and unclear.

This is a collection of short films, ten to 20 minutes in length, Growing Fangs, American Eid, Let's Be Tigers, Dinner is Served, The Little Prince(ss) and The Last of the Chupacabras. They address issues such as racism and gender stereotyping, and we learn a lot about many different cultures, religions and lifestyles. The films are a good mix of seriousness and funny ways of interpreting problems.

These short films are not typical Disney movies, yet they are really interesting. Many of them have dialogue at least partially in non-English languages and, although they are subtitled, I sometimes felt a bit lost or uninterested because I didn't know the language. There are many young actors in these films that deliver excellent performances. My favorite film is American Eid, which highlights a young Muslim girl who lives in the United States and goes to a school that doesn't give days off for Eid, which is the Muslim holiday following one month of fasting, Ramadan. I like the protagonist's sister, because she realizes by the end that appreciating her family and her culture is more important than being cool, and either way she manages to do both. Growing Fangs is a thrilling story about a girl who is half human and half vampire; she faces the problems of belonging to more than one community and finding acceptance. Let's Be Tigers is about a kid who helps his babysitter get through a rough time. The messages in Dinner is Served are deeper and a bit harder to understand; it covers a Chinese student who tries to follow his dream and goes through a process of realization about his dream. The Little Prince(ss) focuses on gender stereotypes, following a young boy who does ballet and likes the color pink. In The Last of the Chupacabras an elderly woman has a magical adventure with a mythical creature.

The message in these films is about accepting people for who they are. This applies to their religion, culture, gender and age. The only shortcoming is that the messages are sometimes a bit forced and some parts are unrealistic, which I didn't like that much.

I give Launchpad, A Short Film Collection 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to18 and adults and will be premiering on May 28, 2021 on Disney+.

Reviewed by Rosemary K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


CRUELLA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CRUELLA
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Before she becomes Cruella de Vil? Teenaged Estella has a dream. She wishes to become a fashion designer, having been gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition all in equal measures. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true. Having wound up penniless and orphaned in London at 12, four years later Estella runs wild through the city streets with her best friends and partners-in-(petty)-crime, Horace and Jasper, two amateur thieves. When a chance encounter vaults Estella into the world of the young rich and famous, she begins to question the existence she's built for herself in London and wonders whether she might be destined for more after all. When an up-and-coming rock star commissions Estella to design him a signature piece, she begins to feel as though she has truly arrived. But what is the cost of keeping up with the fast crowd- and is it a price Estella is willing to pay?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cruella, the film, is a very audacious take for a Disney movie. It is bold, strong, raw, and at the same time flourishing with creativity and joyful to watch. The acting is superb and all aspects of production--costumes, locations, art and design--are on point. Last but not least, the soundtrack is definitively one to remember.

This origin story tells how the well-known villain from the original book and subsequent animated movie The Hundred and One Dalmatians becomes Cruella. Sadly, it takes bullying, cruelty and hate to turn a wonderful character to evil. In Cruella we see a young Estella (Tipper Steifert-Cleveland) surviving as an orphan, struggling to create a family with two boys she meets on the street, along with the noble company of two dogs that are humans' best friends. This is one of the aspects I love about Cruella: despite that Cruella de Vil is well known for animal cruelty, this movie honors dogs by having two canines, Buddy and Blink, as important cast members.

Tipper Steifert-Cleveland's performance is the perfect predecessor to the stunning grown-up Estella (Emma Stone) to shine in a multi-layered character. We see how 12-year-old Estella is bullied at school which is one of the most important messages of the movie to its younger audience, showing how people that surround you can hurt you when your appearance doesn't match what they see as "normal." As Estella, Emma Stone is full of creativity and ideals and an absolute survivor. She's a hard worker who's determined to make her dreams come to life. We see her cleaning floors and toilets at the iconic fashion store Liberty of London, pursuing a career in fashion design--but society sabotages her plans.

The Baroness (Emma Thompson) is despicable and charming at the same time. Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser play Jasper and Horace, respectively; little thieves that show unconditional love to Estella and are literally partners in crime. John the Valet (Mark Strong), besides being perfectly cast, should have had more presence in the storyline since he could have brought more humanity and hope to the film. My favorite part? The music, brilliantly composed by Nicholas Britell to match the narration and the era. And the visuals and cinematography are just stunning.

The story of Cruella is fascinating, but my only issue is how long the storytelling takes, including scenes that could have been edited out. At times, there are a couple instances of self-explanatory dialogue related to the turning point in the story: the world is cruel, making Estella become the meanest villain in response. Ultimately, the message of the film is that environment, nature and nurture play a decisive role in one's being and in our role in society.

I give Cruella 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 13 to 18, plus adults. There are some mildly violent scenes and themes that can be inappropriate for the very young. Cruella opens May 28, 2021 in theaters and on digital platforms.

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

Cruella is an all-new, live-action feature film that is fashion-forward and villainous! The fashion and soundtrack really help drive the film. The camerawork is astonishing and connects you to the protagonist's journey.

Based on the novel The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, Cruella takes you on the journey of how the most fashionable villain goes from being a mischievous, rebellious and fashionable young girl (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland) to becoming Cruella De Vil (Emma Stone). After suffering a great loss, Estella meets two young homeless thieves, Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and they instantly become family. Estella uses her fashion sense to design costumes to allow them to run scams to survive. Then, she gets the job of a lifetime, creating outfits for the chic, terrifying fashion legend, the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). After a revelation connecting the Baroness to a horrific event from her childhood, Estella seeks revenge and gets a chance to let out her inner "Cruella."

The main characters in this film are Estella/Cruella de Vil, the Baroness von Hellman, Jasper, Horace, Anita Darling (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and Mark Strong (John the Valet). Cruella is narrated by none other than Cruella herself and is set in 1970s London during the punk rock revolution. The camera techniques used are sensational; at times they make you feel like you are walking with the characters. The party scenes stay true to the red, black and white color pallet Cruella is known to wear. My favorite part is when the rebellious Cruella goes to a black and white ball wearing an all-white outfit and drops a match on it. The dress burns up and reveals a red dress underneath. It is also remarkable how costume designer, Jenny Beavan up-cycled materials, such as trash, and uses the infamous Dalmatian pattern, to create Cruella's outfits.

The message of this film is that sometimes the worst memories are the ones that have the greatest impact on your life. In this film, Estella experiences different events in her life that would break the typical person, but it led to her experiencing some of the greater moments of her life, such as meeting Jasper and Horace or having a chance make clothing. The only parent warning I have is a short scene where Estella is drinking.

I rate Cruella 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18; adults are sure to love it too. Cruella releases simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on Friday, May 28, 2021.

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

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Justina Machado, George Chakiris, Mitzi Gaynor, Chita Rivera, Norman Lear, Gloria Estefan, Sonia Manzano, Karen Olivo, Emilio Estefan Jr., Terrence McNally, Mariem Perez Riera, Pedro Juan Lopez
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It is the ultimate in-depth documentary about one of Hollywood's most trailblazing actors. This film is the absolute tear-jerking, hysterical, educational experience of the year. By the movie's end, you just want to go for it too.

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It recounts the life story of critically acclaimed actress Rita Moreno. Rita, who is best known for her roles of Anita in West Side Story and Carmela in The Electric Company, stars in the documentary, along with stars like Whoopie Goldberg, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria and more. The film features clips from a large variety of Rita's films throughout her career as well as from award shows, and photographs and footage from her personal life, including interviews with her friends and family.

This film shines a light on how incredible Rita is, and how human as she leads the way for Puerto Ricans and all Hispanics in the 1960s, stands up for women's rights and fights to be able to choose which roles she plays. She deals with being type-cast as an island or Hispanic character, and decides and turns down roles that would shove her into a tiny box. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly side of Rita's life, not just grazing at the surface. It shows how Rita struggled with hating her Hispanic roots, because it limited her as an actress. She tells how she was sexually abused, was forced into an abortion by her then-boyfriend Marlon Brando, and tried to commit suicide. The film shows exactly why Rita is such a beloved actress and person. Despite all she's been through, she never gives up and learned to value the woman she is. Rita grows into her own person throughout the movie, telling how everything that put her down at the time just made her stronger.

The moral of the film is to stay strong and keep fighting. Rita is not eighty-nine years old and one of 15 EGOT winners (acronym for the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards), just because she gave up. Being a Puerto Rican actress in New York and trying to find your way in the world wasn't as easy as Moreno makes it look. She has maintained her humbleness and blossomed into a modern woman who fights for human rights and looks great while doing it.

I give Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters June 18, 2021.

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

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It is a trailblazing documentary that will inspire girls across the world who have a dream! Rita Moreno's life story is a testament to her perseverance and others like her who had a dream and decided to go for it.

This documentary profiles Rita Moreno (West Side Story, One Day at a Time), following her life from its beginnings as a poor Puerto Rican girl to becoming an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) award-winning actress. We see her struggles and trials throughout her life and how she confronts and handles them.

Latina Mariem Perez Riera directs this documentary and brings a great deal of passion to it, making the film very personal and authentic. The film employs stop motion animation, film excerpts to show Moreno's life as a young woman to a legendary entertainment icon and political activist. Not only are the scenes diverse, so are its features. I particularly enjoyed hearing from Morgan Freeman, Lin- Manuel Miranda and Hector Elizondo. My favorite parts of this documentary are actually the sad parts. So many people in the limelight tend to sugar coat the truth about their troubles, which makes them seem perfect. This film is raw to the point that, even though her life has a Hollywood spin to it, it actually tells a story that many young girls can relate to today.

The message of this documentary is in the title - be a girl (or boy) that goes for your dream. Rita Moreno came from less than many, yet lived a life bigger than most. You can do it! You won't know unless you try. This film does contain a description of sexual violence and some profanity.

I give Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can

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


P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 11-18
Description - This documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at P!NK as she balances family and life on the road, leading up to her first Wembley Stadium performance on 2019's "Beautiful Trauma" world tour. The film follows P!nk as she balances being a performer with her role as a mother, wife and boss. It mixes footage from the road, behind the scenes interviews, and personal material. On the tour, P!nk played 156 shows in 18 countries. The film is produced by Michael Gracey and Isabella Parish, with Luminaries, Silent House and Lefty Paw Print.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I was intrigued by P!nk: All I Know So Far and enjoyed each and every second of it, from its realistic aspect to the behind-the-scenes showing them working on the performances. We see that P!nk loves her family just as much as she loves performing and how she makes time for both. Each and every part of this documentary is amazing.

This documentary gives the audience an inside peek into the life of P!nk as a performer and a mom, while counting down to one of the biggest moments in her life - her 2019 Wembley Stadium performance. This film gives you a taste of all the hard work that P!nk and her team put into every performance. Plus, it shows how she balances her profession with being a mother of two and being absolutely great at both.

The beginning of P!nk: All I Know So Far pulled me in immediately as it gave me the feeling that I was about to see something incredible. And, I was one hundred percent right; I love everything about this documentary. I loved seeing the honest and hardworking P!nk on screen. She conveys how hard being the boss can be, especially as a woman in this industry. In P!nk's case, her team respects her and is committed to perfecting their performance as they practice dance moves and rework blocking to make things easier on P!nk. This film shows you that Pink is just as human as the rest of us. She may be a singer with many hits, but at the end of the day, she is back with her family doing what most people do. She wants to be a great mom and that's the main reason she brings her kids on tour with her. Seeing how much P!nk loves her family brings a calm and heartwarming aspect to the film. I learned a lot about P!nk that I didn't know before and that helped me understand her better. I love seeing P!nk give advice to her younger self as well as to her kids. I found myself learning some things to use in my own life. My favorite thing was, "Lead by example, work hard." She does both as she participates in this beautiful but overwhelming business, while absolutely killing it. You might find yourself learning new things about the pop-star P!nk and you will be inspired by what is on screen.

This film really shows audiences how much hard work P!nk puts into her art. We usually only see the final product of P!nk being on stage. This shows the ups and downs she goes through as a performer and how she deals with everything thrown at her.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. P!nk: All I Know So Far can be streamed on Amazon Prime now.

Reviewed by Hazel A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

P!nk: All I Know So Far, a new Amazon concert documentary on the singer, by Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) highlights the daily struggles and fortunate moments through the eyes of Pink, showcasing how she balances being a wife, woman, Grammy-award winning singer and above all, a mother.

The documentary shows Pink during the summer of 2019 as she travels throughout Europe on her "Beautiful Trauma" world visit with her kids and spouse, Carey Hart, a previously proficient motocross competitor. The opening minutes effectively compare two sides of the artist - the brave entertainer swinging on a chandelier-like structure over a swarmed stadium in a dark sparkle leotard and the active mother taking her family from one city to the next.

Beginning in Amsterdam, Pink talks about the road bumps of life on the road and the new struggles with being a mother of two children. She is not only hoping for a wonderful experience on tour for her fans, but also for the moment of a lifetime for her kids. "The only way I can justify dragging my family all over the world is that we are making memories together," she says. It's truly wonderful to see how passionate and dedicated she is in bringing out her best with every performance. However, it's sad to see how much pressure she is put under and how tough she is on herself.

P!nk: All I Know So Far reveals show rehearsals, bike rides through different cities and unplanned moments. These scenes highlight her family's dynamics, showing her open communication with her kids, and showing Pink's parenting style. Pink works hard to foster an inclusive nurturing environment; she wants her children to stay quirky and fun, and she encourages them to be nothing but themselves. P!nk: All I Know So Far doesn't ever get as raw as promised. The film spends far more time telling rather than showing, and uses lots of explanatory narration. I found that a bit distracting and it didn't hold my interest as much as when we actually got to peek behind the scenes of her life. After all, this is a film, not a short story or novel. My favorite parts are the moments when Pink is hanging out with all her background dancers and seeing their connection with Pink's oldest daughter, Willow and her youngest son, Jameson. Of course, getting to see her practice all her stunts and almost flying through the air is exhilarating. She has so much love for everyone she associates herself with and who supports her. One moment that is extremely heartfelt, is when Pink reads messages from her fans. One woman that shared her story and battles told how Pink's music and 'I don't care' attitude has influenced her and ultimately saved her.

This film shows the true meaning of kindness. What I took away from watching it is: you are perfectly perfect just the way you are. You may appear "weird" and "not normal" to others, but do not let them define who you truly are.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It's available now on Amazon Prime Video.

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


INTRODUCING JODEA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRODUCING JODEA
FAIRMONT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - A struggling young actress's fortunes change when a world famous movie director drives into the back of her car.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love 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 Friday, June 4, 2021. Save the date!

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


HOLLYWOOD.CON
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOLLYWOOD.CON
REVERIE ONE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - An actor steals the identity of a producer, and is hurled into Hollywood's next Mayan film. In the jungle of Mexico she is mistaken as a member of a cartel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Hollywood.con because it is a comedic film that is very informative about Guatemalan culture. It contains a lot of funny scenes and is very entertaining.

This film starts off profiling a struggling actress living in Los Angeles. However, after an unexpected turn of events, the protagonist Mika (Mika Boorem) finds herself in Guatemala, working on her first ever producer job. Throughout her time there she experiences many ups and downs, and eventually finds herself. While in Guatemala, Mika and her team encounter some competition in making their film. They must work together to stay competitive, while learning how to respect the values of other cultures.

Something that I really like about this movie is how they include a mix of genres in one film. Not only is it comedic, but it is also mysterious. I love mysterious films and, including humor, makes it that much better. Another thing that I enjoyed are the fun little special effects that are included every so often. They have the right amount to create a fun dynamic, without making it become a live action film.

The message of this film is to always stay true to yourself, even during competitive times. This film does include some profanity.

I give Hollywood.con 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Hollywood.con is available now on Amazon Prime!

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


LA MUSICA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LA MUSICA
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Pack your bags--we're going on a musical adventure! Join Mar�a and a playful group of peers as they embark on a fun-filled journey from Spain to Latin America, singing, dancing, and learning Spanish along the way!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - La Musica promotes interactive engagement between the audience and the lessons on screen. This DVD utilizes the concept of language immersion, which means that, instead of simply using words to teach children a new language, it uses visuals and songs to ingrain Spanish words and phrases. The use of animation, and the overall structure of the DVD creates an easy to understand and enjoyable flow.

I find this immersive concept appealing and engaging. When I learned a new language the teacher just wrote the words on the board in English and then in French. Nothing clicked! This DVD is so much more fun, vibrant and personable. I did not know very much Spanish before watching this and now I have learned some new words over the course of 35 minutes.

I think children will enjoy this DVD because of the songs. They have a good beat and, honestly, are very catchy. The way the main instructor, Maria, speaks to the audience makes it extremely personable and it seems as if children will engage with the welcoming environment she creates.

The DVD flows very well. The structure is that Maria talks to the children who are on-camera with her, but also to the audience, about what they are going to discuss. Maria explains it a little bit more and then invites one of her friends to sing a song about it. After each song, she reflects a bit about it and then the process repeats. There is not much connection with the characters, yet it is still enjoyable to watch them sing in Spanish. The material is suitable for the intended age group. There are times when Maria repeats a phrase or word a couple of times in a row to reinforce the Spanish words, but I believe that is important for 4 to 10-year-olds.

This is all shot using either a green screen or animation. The green screen allows the production freedom to travel virtually to Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. Sometimes it is a bit style-less, but I do not think children will notice. The actor that plays Maria is great. The cover of the DVD is very appealing with its border of a rainbow, and showing Maria dressed in her flamenco outfit. This DVD teaches children not only fundamental Spanish words, but also about the Spanish culture. During one song, Ileana sings about where she is from and gives examples of other countries where Spanish is spoken. There is a map behind her showing native animals of these Spanish speaking countries also. There is not much problem-solving, but there is definitely cultural lessons woven throughout the language lessons.

The message of this DVD is about getting children excited to learn about Spanish culture and the language through interactive engagement, song and dance with the guidance of native speakers.

I give La Musica 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 10, plus adults. Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the DVD La Musica because it is very entertaining and makes it easy to learn Spanish. I like how children can interact with this DVD while learning Spanish and having fun at the same time.

This DVD has lively Spanish melodies and it includes both Spanish and English subtitles to make it easier for the audience to follow and learn the language. It includes ten Spanish songs and is approximately 35 minutes filled with fun and learning experiences. The graphics and backgrounds are vibrant and colorful as are the characters. The main character, Maria, takes the audience on a Spanish sing-along adventure around the world with the help of Fritzi the mouse and the rest of the playful cast as they journey from Spain to South America. This DVD includes a lot of singing, dancing, stomping, clapping, solving riddles, helping Maria find Fritzi and figuring out what the next dance will be as you learn the language. The music is very appealing and catchy.

Whistlefritz is creator of this language learning DVD. Their Spanish for Kids DVDs, CDs and lesson plans have received more than 100 national honors and awards from most respected organizations in children's media. My favorite part of La Musica is that it incorporates some songs from the Spanish CD, Buenos D�as! Learning Songs which I had the pleasure to review in 2020. This DVD takes some of the songs from Buenos D�as! And turned them into scenes. My favorite scene is "Se Habla Espa�ol."

La Musica is the latest DVD release in the award-winning Spanish for Kids series. It is an excellent tool for non-Spanish speakers or for young children to learn Spanish as a second language.

I give La Musica 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 3 to 18, plus adults. La Musica DVD is available now in stores and digital download. You can visit the Whistlefritz website at www.whistlefritz.com to keep updated about their DVDs, CDs and other programs.

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

Whistlefritz has done it again with their newest Spanish language DVD, La Musica. La Musica is an exciting journey through the world of music with easy to learn Spanish songs that make you want to get up and dance along! With a fun and diverse cast this DVD is a great next step for kids hoping to become more conversational in Spanish.

Maria (Sara Jerez) and her friends put on an outstanding show as they travel around the world on a Spanish adventure. With catchy songs, a fun cast, native speakers, and fun animated characters, this DVD will keep you watching until the end. All elements of La Musica come together to create a great musical experience along with teaching fundamental Spanish that can be used by teachers, parents and kids themselves. There are English subtitles for those that are just beginning to learn Spanish.

This DVD has a fun and colorful feeling that is sure to keep your children entertained. The colorful background and award-winning music all contribute to a great educational film. With just the right amount of education and amusement, it offers a perfect way to help teach your child conversational Spanish. I love La Musica because its light and exciting theme it is perfect for all ages, not just the younger children. My favorite part is when Maria dances a traditional Flamenco dance, because it is so interesting and fun to watch.

The message of La Musica is that education doesn't need to be boring. This DVD shows that you can lighten it up with songs and dance! Even though it may be difficult to learn a new language, anybody can do it, even children!

I give La Musica 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 5 to 10. You can buy this DVD online now.

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

La Musica is a short language learning course for kids in a series by Whistlefritz. Presented entirely in Spanish, La Musica is filled with dancing, singing and more. This educational DVD keeps you moving and humming to its catchy tunes. Kids learn how to say numbers, days of the week and many other words in Spanish thanks to the English subtitles. It's a fun way to learn the language.

This 35 minute conversational course features a cast of kids, teens and a host, Maria, who takes viewers on an entertaining adventure while teaching Spanish words and dances. In one scene Maria flamenco dances and wears a traditional Spanish dress which helps kids learn more about Latin culture. La Musica (The Music) also incorporates animated characters, including Rito the fox and Fritzi the mouse, that help viewers navigate the language. My favorite part is when Rito goes shopping at the grocery store. That scene teaches Spanish words for orange, peach, cookie and other tasty foods.

The excitement is at high levels throughout the lessons, which keep the viewer's attention focused on learning Spanish. The teaching method encourages kids to repeat different words, which are easy to note and understand, based on how they are presented. English subtitles are shown throughout so you can translate while the characters speak. As a beginning Spanish learner, I found that this made it a lot easier for me to understand and found this DVD very newcomer-friendly.

I recommend La Musica for ages 5 to 10, but older kids may find it useful as a fast review or study tool. This course is sure to capture your attention and you too will soon be speaking Espanol. This is available from Whistlefritz at www.whistlefritz.com and online wherever DVDs are sold.

By Ava H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 35 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD

This title is available for purchase from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC


QUIET PLACE, A: PART II
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
QUIET PLACE, A: PART II
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Quiet Place Part II returns to the Abbott family minus Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) who dies in the first movie trying to save his family from aliens attempting to take over the world. It appears the aliens have returned to the Abbott's small town where, once again, any noise will lead to certain death. But there is hope after the discovery of an old friend in hiding.

This outstanding horror film sequel by John Krasinski exemplifies how cinematography and lighting can make a film ten times better. This is especially clear in one of my favorite scenes in which Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) is standing in her flooding nursery, with paper falling off the walls, and dim red lights wrapped around her soaked dress. The camera angles really make this scene much more majestic and tragic. Also, the cinematography captures the CGI figures perfectly. It is terrifying and chilling how realistic these creatures look, drawing the audience into this truly unique film.

One of the best things about A Quiet Place Part II is the talent! I believe every actor and actress featured in this amazing film deserves a standing ovation. My favorite actress is Emily Blunt who is excellent in her role as Evelyn Abbott, bringing layers to her character and displaying her character's growth as the movie progresses. Also, the CGI used to create the antagonizing creatures truly stands out. It feels as if the creatures are there with the actors during the shoot, which is both terrifying and impressive at the same time.

The main messages of A Quiet Place Part II are to have bravery and perseverance. Examples of those qualities can be seen when protagonist Regan Abbott (Millicent Simmonds) goes off on her own, leaving her mother and two brothers behind in search of an island rumored to have other survivors. Some things to be aware of in A Quiet Place Part II are gore, jump scares and some other instances of horror that would not be appropriate for a younger audience.

I give A Quiet Place Part II 5 out of 5 stars. I loved it! I would recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. You can find A Quiet Place Part II at your local movie theater starting on May 28, 2021.

By Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11As much as Emily Blunt and John Krasinski have to be incredibly silent, A Quiet Place Part II is a screaming delight with surprising twists and major intensity. Just when you think you can't get enough of these mind-boggling jump scares, the film provides new creative plot lines that make you jump left and right. The film does lack a major conclusion, which doesn't really give viewers closure, and it leaves you with the thought, "Wait, the movie's over?"

As you can guess, A Quiet Place Pat II picks up after the events of A Quiet Place. The film follows the Abbott family after they leave their previously destroyed home. When they discover a nearby outlander named Emmett (Cillian Murphy), they attempt to work with him so they can face the challenges outside their known world to survive the day. This sequel broadens the universe in ways that we could have never known in the first movie.

When it comes to a horror film, of course you need plenty of monsters. The increased amount of screen time the aliens have in A Quiet Place Part II is immensely more than the first movie. The visual effects department stepped up their game, really improving the CGI with plenty of detail, and making the aliens look a lot more realistic. With the number of aliens being amped up, of course the amount of action is too. The film includes as much action as you could possibly have in a 90 minute runtime.

The one word that describes A Quiet Place Part II is - intense. The sequel adapts its genre from horror to more of a thriller, with an emphasis on thrills. Certain parts of the film can be very extreme and make your heart pump out of your chest. It might seem scary on the outside, but on the inside, it demonstrates themes of family and friendship. It also expresses the importance of trust, and how you should bestow it upon new people in your life.

Topping an outstanding first movie is an almost impossible task, but director John Krasinski proves it to be possible by making A Quiet Place Part II superior to the first movie. Without a doubt A Quiet Place Part II is dialed up 100% from the first movie, improving the alien screen time and CGI that the debut movie lacked. Therefore, I give A Quiet Place Part II 5 out of 5 stars and recommend the film for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can find A Quiet Place Part II in your local theater on May 28, 2021.

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

From the bone-chilling thriller, A Quiet Place, comes the terrifying sequel A Quiet Place Part II. I was horrified and delighted with this film, and I believe I jumped about 20 times throughout the whole movie. Filled with suspense and intensity, A Quiet Place Part II is a must watch for all you horror fans.

Instead of picking up where A Quiet Place they left off, A Quiet Place Part II starts with a flashback of life before the monsters attacked. We see how the Abbott family, our heroes, were living a normal and happy small town life. All of a sudden, there is a flash in the sky and, after a short while, the monsters emerge. The town slowly starts to be destroyed as the creatures pick off people that speak too loudly. Suddenly, we flash forward to the current time where the original film left off, where the Abbott's seem to be the only ones left, or so they think. The suspense and intensity of this film will make you cringe and bite your nails out of fear of what is to come.

This movie is spectacular and there are so many details that deserve recognition. To start, I need to acknowledge the realistic, extraordinary acting in this movie. Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott) and Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott) both convey such strong emotions using so little spoken word. They only use their facial expressions and sign language to communicate for the majority of the film, and yet it is some of the most top tier acting I have ever seen. The acting isn't the only thing that makes this movie spectacular. I love seeing two strong female characters. Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott is the spitting image of a tiger mom. The way her character is portrayed makes it so she shows moments of tenderness, while at other times she is killing monsters left and right like it's nothing. I could go on and on about Millicent Simmond's character, but the main thing that stuck out to me is that we have a deaf teenager who is a hero. She isn't portrayed as helpless because of her hearing abilities; in fact, she is the bravest out of all of them.

The message of this film is that courage means doing the right thing, even when you're afraid. There are many times in this film when we see characters stepping up to help each other, even when it means they risk losing their own lives.

I give A Quiet Place Part II 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 17 plus adults. It releases in theaters May 28, 2021.

By Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

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


GENIUS GENERATION, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GENIUS GENERATION, THE
PRX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: PODCAST, AGES 6-18
Description - Did you know that the trampoline was invented by a 16-year-old? That popsicles, snowmobiles, and the Braille language were also invented by young people? Join host Danni Washington every week to meet the innovative kids, tweens, and teens who are running their own businesses, making new discoveries, or inventing something new using science.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Trax has done it again! The Genius Generation is a podcast about young people with a passion for activism and change.

Each episode of this podcast shares the story of a tween or teen about their innovative ideas and inventions to change the world. Questions for each episode are very similar; however, different stories are shared with completely different responses.

Dani Washington is a great host with a lovely voice. Her willingness, as an adult, to listen to these teens innovators makes this podcast worth the listen. And I cannot forget the guests themselves. These teens and tweens are such an inspiration; not only with their ideas, but their contagious drive to purse their ideas to the fullest. My favorite episode is "Avi Schiffman," about an 18-year-old web developer who created a website platform for convenient and up-to-date information about the coronavirus.

The message of The Genius Generation is expressed by almost all of the guests - pursue your passion; don't be afraid to fail; and most importantly, take initiative for things you care about. Because you never know, maybe you will be the next guest on this show. This podcast is inspirational, educational and promotes positive social behaviors.

I give The Genius Generation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. You can listen to it on www.trax.fm/the-genius-generation.

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

The Genius Generation is a very inventive podcast. It showcases so many different kids and ideas. This is a very inspiring podcast that can help motivate kids to want to make changes in the world.

This podcast is about kids under age 18 that have created something that helps everyone. They usually are asked questions about their barriers, their breakthrough or their creative process. There are six episodes so far, plus a trailer. This podcast talks about so many cool ideas and inventions. The interviewer for the series is Danny Washington.

I like the variety of kids and inventions that are featured in this show. There is usually a "big world" problem that the youth inventor has heard about that has motivated them. In each episode similar questions are used in the interview such as, "What kept you motivated? How did you find out about the problem? What were the barriers and breakthroughs you experiences?" All the inventions are based around science. This is really special, because kids create things to help the world in ways that adults don't even try. For example, Ananya Sridhar invented a new, affordable way to test for lead contamination in water. Neil Suri invented a completely new, affordable way to detect forest fires. Anisha Musti created a new technique to detect Parkinson's disease based solely on the sound of a person's voice. The show is well produced with cool sound effects. Each episode starts with a quote by the person featured in that episode.

The message of this show is that anyone can change the world and, no matter how young you are, you can make a difference.

I give The Genius Generation 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to18, plus adults. You can find this podcast on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/the-genius-generation

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

This podcast makes me feel amazing; like I can do anything. That's just one reason why I love it so much. It is filled with inspiring quotes such as: "I don't hope for the best, I work for it." "If I'm not making a connection with the piece, I feel like, 'what's the point?' "

The series is about kids who make big changes in the world. There are many stories in this podcast - a new one for each episode. In one of the episodes, a girl named Luna Abadia talks about her experience studying abroad in Japan. There, she saw firsthand all the effects of climate change and comments, "I am fighting for all those around the world that are affected by climate change." Her story continues as her organization, ECAP (Effective Climate Action Project) fights to stop the continuing effects of climate change.

Some of the impressive things about this podcast are the clarity of the voices, the sound effects and, most of all, the stories. Each and every story finds some way to hook you in. There are many components that contribute to making this podcast interesting. Two of the main factors are the background music and the sound effects, which are particularly outstanding. An example is when Luna talks about how she got hooked into science in school and we hear a school bell in the background that takes you there. Another time, we hear the sound of metal clinking when Luna mentions a microscope. Another amazing thing about this podcast is the narrator, Danni Washington. She asks relevant and thoughtful questions and speaks with a clear voice.

The Genius Generation has one message throughout - kids can do anything. It is in the title itself. Youth have a voice and we should use it.

I give The Genius Generation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. This podcast can be found on Trax at https://www.trax.fm/the-genius-generation

By Apurva S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 23 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - A behind-the-scenes look at P!NK as she balances family and life on the road, leading up to her first Wembley Stadium performance on 2019's "Beautiful Trauma" world tour.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I was intrigued by P!nk: All I Know So Far and enjoyed each and every second of it, from its realistic aspect to the behind-the-scenes showing them working on the performances. We see that P!nk loves her family just as much as she loves performing and how she makes time for both. Each and every part of this documentary is amazing.

This documentary gives the audience an inside peek into the life of P!nk as a performer and a mom, while counting down to one of the biggest moments in her life - her 2019 Wembley Stadium performance. This film gives you a taste of all the hard work that P!nk and her team put into every performance. Plus, it shows how she balances her profession with being a mother of two and being absolutely great at both.

The beginning of P!nk: All I Know So Far pulled me in immediately as it gave me the feeling that I was about to see something incredible. And, I was one hundred percent right; I love everything about this documentary. I loved seeing the honest and hardworking P!nk on screen. She conveys how hard being the boss can be, especially as a woman in this industry. In P!nk's case, her team respects her and is committed to perfecting their performance as they practice dance moves and rework blocking to make things easier on P!nk. This film shows you that Pink is just as human as the rest of us. She may be a singer with many hits, but at the end of the day, she is back with her family doing what most people do. She wants to be a great mom and that's the main reason she brings her kids on tour with her. Seeing how much P!nk loves her family brings a calm and heartwarming aspect to the film. I learned a lot about P!nk that I didn't know before and that helped me understand her better. I love seeing P!nk give advice to her younger self as well as to her kids. I found myself learning some things to use in my own life. My favorite thing was, "Lead by example, work hard." She does both as she participates in this beautiful but overwhelming business, while absolutely killing it. You might find yourself learning new things about the pop-star P!nk and you will be inspired by what is on screen.

This film really shows audiences how much hard work P!nk puts into her art. We usually only see the final product of P!nk being on stage. This shows the ups and downs she goes through as a performer and how she deals with everything thrown at her.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. P!nk: All I Know So Far can be streamed on Amazon Prime now.

Reviewed by Hazel A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

P!nk: All I Know So Far, a new Amazon concert documentary on the singer, by Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) highlights the daily struggles and fortunate moments through the eyes of Pink, showcasing how she balances being a wife, woman, Grammy-award winning singer and above all, a mother.

The documentary shows Pink during the summer of 2019 as she travels throughout Europe on her "Beautiful Trauma" world visit with her kids and spouse, Carey Hart, a previously proficient motocross competitor. The opening minutes effectively compare two sides of the artist - the brave entertainer swinging on a chandelier-like structure over a swarmed stadium in a dark sparkle leotard and the active mother taking her family from one city to the next.

Beginning in Amsterdam, Pink talks about the road bumps of life on the road and the new struggles with being a mother of two children. She is not only hoping for a wonderful experience on tour for her fans, but also for the moment of a lifetime for her kids. "The only way I can justify dragging my family all over the world is that we are making memories together," she says. It's truly wonderful to see how passionate and dedicated she is in bringing out her best with every performance. However, it's sad to see how much pressure she is put under and how tough she is on herself.

P!nk: All I Know So Far reveals show rehearsals, bike rides through different cities and unplanned moments. These scenes highlight her family's dynamics, showing her open communication with her kids, and showing Pink's parenting style. Pink works hard to foster an inclusive nurturing environment; she wants her children to stay quirky and fun, and she encourages them to be nothing but themselves. P!nk: All I Know So Far doesn't ever get as raw as promised. The film spends far more time telling rather than showing, and uses lots of explanatory narration. I found that a bit distracting and it didn't hold my interest as much as when we actually got to peek behind the scenes of her life. After all, this is a film, not a short story or novel. My favorite parts are the moments when Pink is hanging out with all her background dancers and seeing their connection with Pink's oldest daughter, Willow and her youngest son, Jameson. Of course, getting to see her practice all her stunts and almost flying through the air is exhilarating. She has so much love for everyone she associates herself with and who supports her. One moment that is extremely heartfelt, is when Pink reads messages from her fans. One woman that shared her story and battles told how Pink's music and 'I don't care' attitude has influenced her and ultimately saved her.

This film shows the true meaning of kindness. What I took away from watching it is: you are perfectly perfect just the way you are. You may appear "weird" and "not normal" to others, but do not let them define who you truly are.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It's available now on Amazon Prime Video.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


1971: THE YEAR THAT MUISIC CHANGED EVERYTHING
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
1971: THE YEAR THAT MUISIC CHANGED EVERYTHING
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - In a tumultuous era, 1971 would be a year of musical innovation and rebirth. Fueled by the political and cultural upheaval of the time, fresh talent exploded onto the scene, stars reached new heights, and boundaries expanded like never before. Watch 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, now on Apple TV+. This eight-part docuseries will take you back to the birth of the most original artists and songs that we still listen to 50 years later, including never-before-seen footage of The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is a beautiful docuseries capturing the reality of a year that Baby Boomers and members of Generation X lived through. In this series, the blooming of unique soundtracks in a turbulent time is captured gracefully, using archival footage and interviews plus voiceovers from influential and iconic figures of the '70s.

The eight-part docuseries focuses on the musicians and soundtracks that shaped the culture and politics of 1971; featured artists include The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed... and even Ravi Shankar. 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything goes to great depth (each episode lasts from 40 to 60 minutes) to illustrate how these musical icons were influenced by the changing tides of history, including the Vietnam War, and how they used their work to inspire hope and change in their not-always-beautiful world. From politically-tinted songs to dreams of unity, the show runs the gamut of songs and emotions. It's truly a beautifully-executed series, though it tends to drag about three quarters of the way into each episode.

The series comes from a filmmaking team that includes figures from documentaries like the Academy Award-winning 'Amy,' and so you know it's going to be an awesome piece of work. Asif Kapadia is the show's series director and serves as executive producer along with James Gay-Rees, David Joseph, and Universal Music Group's Adam Barker. And this undertaking truly is a team effort; the production team has meticulously picked snippets of interviews, radio broadcasts, film from the recording booth and performances, and more, all from 1971, and pieced them together to tell a beautiful, intricate story. As you watch more and more of the show, you begin to get sucked into the world that is being portrayed on screen, a surefire sign that the minds behind 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything did lots of things right! Despite the show dragging a bit here and there, your eyes will surely be glued to the screen whenever you watch the series.

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is about resilience and inspiration, or rather inspiration through resilience. As these incredible musicians weathered the tempest that was the titular year, they funneled their energy toward releasing uplifting and rousing music that would echo with the general populace; they truly seized the opportunity. And I feel that it's a great parallel to 2020 and now 2021; certainly, music has played a major part in getting us through the pandemic, and who knows? Maybe 40 years down the road, we'll see a film about 2020: The Year That Music Changed Everything... Again.

I give 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything 4.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything releases May 21, 2021, on Apple TV+!

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-19
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DARK HOBBY, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DARK HOBBY, THE
DIFFERENT BY DESIGN Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - The Dark Hobby is an expos� of the devastation to species and reefs caused by the aquarium trade. This adventurous saga follows a band of Hawaiian Elders, conservationists and scientists who stop at nothing to protect marine wildlife. They file a lawsuit against the State of Hawai'i to halt the collection of reef creatures, a fight that goes all the way to the Supreme Court.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How can we fix what we don't know is broken? How can we make change for something if we can't see what is wrong? The answer is simple...we can't unless we are aware that a problem exists. Hidden under the surface of our oceans within some of the riches habitats on the globe, there IS a problem and we must take immediate action to save our natural world before it disappears. The Dark Hobby, a compelling new documentary film, exposes the ugly truth behind a hobby practiced by so many people globally - the aquarium hobbyist. This film sheds light on the secrets of wildlife trafficking through the corrupt commercial extraction of our most precious species occupying the world's coral reefs.

Aquariums are certainly beautiful and enjoyable for humans, but they come at a huge cost to other living things involved in this "hobby" industry. The Dark Hobby highlights some alarming statistics within this captive industry that are sure to shock those that admire these artificial habitats. The film takes us to Hawaii's Kona Coast where Robert Wintner, the film's executive producer and long time marine activist, educates us on the dismal journey of marine life from capture to captivity. Several other activists and research scientists offer additional evidence on this ever so cruel hobby. Plucked from their natural habitat, 99% of marine wildlife die within the first year of captivity - only to be replaced following their death. The continuous demand to replace aquarium life drives many "aquarium collectors" into the business, causing great devastation to marine ecosystems. The Dark Hobby refers to fish keeping as a "global travesty demanding the world's attention" and this film is sure to change minds.

The Dark Hobby takes us underwater to some of the richest marine habitats in the world. This exclusive footage is outstanding and beautifully captured by the film's cinematographers. The Hawaiian ecosystems shown in this documentary are so diversified and viewers get a firsthand look at what could be lost if we continue to allow wildlife to be stolen. The scenes with including Native Hawaiians speaking out to save their culture are especially powerful and a great addition to the film.

The message in The Dark Hobby is about the need to open our eyes and think critically about all that is involved in human entertainment. Humanity can be driven at times by greed and selfishness, which can cloud reality. Humans are taking away marine life's most prized possession - their freedom - and this film gives us the information and education we need to speak out about giving that freedom back.

I give The Dark Hobby 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults, especially animal activists, will also love this documentary. The Dark Hobby makes its debut May 21, 2021 on a variety of digital platforms. Please spread the word, it's critical that this film's message be heard.

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

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


FROM CRADLE TO STAGE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FROM CRADLE TO STAGE
PARAMOUNT PLUS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Description - Directed by Dave Grohl and inspired by his mother, Virginia Hanlon Grohl, and her critically-acclaimed book, From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars, the Live Nation Productions FROM CRADLE TO STAGE is a dynamic personal exploration of the special relationship between successful musicians and their moms. The six-part series will debut exclusively on Paramount+.

Honest, humorous and emotional, each episode features a famous performer and their mother, alongside Dave and Virginia, as they take an impassioned journey home and explore each artists' upbringing and the tools they received as a young talent to survive the turbulence of success.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From Cradle To Stage is the ultimate music documentary series! From rock, to country, to pop, we learn so much about our favorite musicians and the women that raised them. A plus is that we get to see their adorable baby pictures.

This new series is based on the book by the same name written by Virginia Hanlon Grohl, mother of David Grohl, drummer of Nirvana and guitarist for the Foo Fighters. The two discuss what it was like raising and being raised as a rock star. They also team up with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, Pharell Williams, Miranda Lambert and their mothers to talk about the childhoods of these incredible artists. The show answers a loaded question, "What was it like to raise a musician?"

This show is so creative. Virginia's and David travel around the United States to learn more about their musical friends. It's so interesting seeing rare videos and pictures of the stars, along with first-hand stories about their formative years. From Cradle To Stage shows how the love of music runs in the veins of these artists from an early age. You see how Virginia's love of music spread to David, who grew up surrounded by music. It's very insightful to watch how a mother's love and support encouraged her child to pursue a mutual love for music. Although worrisome, these mothers always encouraged their children to pursue doing what they love. It's heartwarming to gaze upon the mothers' collection of framed platinum records and Rolling Stone magazines.

The moral of the series is to always have your child's back. In the music industry, where some become famous Grammy winners and others are not as lucky, these mothers always supported their children. Whether or not the parents supported the rock 'n' roll lifestyle and fame their child pursued, they always put their child's happiness first. Always asking, "How can we help?" There are some warnings for this series in regards to adult language and mentions of alcohol and drugs.

I give From Cradle To Stage 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for older teens plus adults. It is available on Paramount+ May 6, 2021.

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

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


JUSTICE SOCIETY: WORLD WAR 11
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUSTICE SOCIETY: WORLD WAR 11
WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11 - 18
Description - The Justice Society of America , a group of heroes aiding the allies in World War 2, acquire an ally from the future who sends them on an adventure that changes history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What could possibly go above and beyond the Scarlet Speedster himself? Justice Society: WWII! This new action-packed, animated feature film packs much more than a super-sonic punch; showing crazy character development and fascinating emotional exploration. The film relives a classic art style that will not only make you feel nostalgic, but continuously make you feel like you are on the edge of your seat, dying to find out what will happen next. The movie extinguishes any sense of repetitive stories; providing new never seen before action.

Justice Society: WWII follows everyone's favorite speedster, the Flash (Matt Bomer), as he accidentally uses his speed to travel to WWII, finding himself in a cluster of situations. When he meets Wonder Woman (Stana Katic) and proves his loyalty, the Flash must fight his way next to the Justice Society to defeat the Nazis and find his way home. Every character exceeds expectations, yet Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru) and Hawkman (Omid Abtahi) are truly the "scene stealers," demonstrating remarkable chemistry that you will never forget.

Justice Society: WWII pushes the boundaries for modern day 2D animation. The action scenes really display the power of animation and how real it can seem. At times you forget you are even watching a movie because the animation is so immersive and hypnotizing. Another exquisite subtle detail about the movie is the writing. Jeremy Adams and Meghan Fitzmartin wrote a story exploring new angles of these classic characters that we have never seen before. Although the writing is extremely on point; the time period falls short. Throughout the film the WWII time period feels a little sugar-coated and doesn't really demonstrate the impact of the violence during that time. Justice Society: WWII soars faster than Jay Garrick does, checking all the boxes with extravagant character development and extraordinary animation you will never get tired of.

The film has themes of friendship, and the idea that you can do anything you want if you work as a team. It is rated PG-13 for violence and some bloody images. The WWII time period brings with it many sensitive topics, animated violence and some mild curse words. The film can be intense at times, really targeting its viewership to older DC fans.

Justice Society: WWII is clearly one of the best DC animated films, therefore I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can find Justice Society: WWII on Blu-Ray or your nearest digital retailer, so make sure to check it out!

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

Justice Society: World War II is a good film because it mixes the superhero genre with real life. The film features some classic heroes like Wonder Woman (Stana Katic), Superman (Darren Criss) and Flash (Matt Bomer) and has them in a real life time period. The animation is a little different from what I expected with Flash appearing older than Superman and Wonder Woman's face not as soft, her voice deeper and her mannerisms more robotic.

The story follows a group called the Justice Society of America aiding the allies during World War II. While on the mission they meet a hero from the future, Flash, from and team up with him in order to end the war and help him return home. As they work to assist the allies and rescue innocent citizens, another unexpected war erupts. This all happens as Steve Trevor keeps proposing to Wonder Woman and she keeps saying no because it is not the right time.

This film has a great idea and introduces some retro characters with an updated plot line to a new generation of DC fans. All of the film's voice over actors are terrific. In addition to Stana Katic, Matt Bomer and Darren Criss, we get Omid Abtahi as Hawkman, Elysia Rotaru as Black Canary, Matthew Mercer as Hourman and Chris Diamantopoulos as Steve Trevor. It helps with continuity of these films when some of the same voice actors are used as they are here, especially when other characters are introduced and those characters mirror ones that we already know. In this film, Flash is my favorite character. It was good to see him in a more serious role, even though he still has some classic Flash silliness. Stana's take on a more "take-charge" Wonder Woman is the star of this film. Since this version of Wonder Woman hasn't been around humans as much, she is a bit more aggressive in her tactics.

The message of this film is to not wait to live your life even when other things are going on in the world. Tomorrow is not promised so don't be afraid to do things that make you happy. You can fight for good causes and live your life at the same time.

Justice Society: World War II gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults who love superheroes can watch this as well. Justice Society: World War 11 is available now on digital platforms and Blu-ray/DVD.

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

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


CEREBRUM
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CEREBRUM
SP DISTRIBUTION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - An artist agrees to help his estranged father work on a memory-transfer technology that would help Alzheimer's patients. However, when his dad dies under mysterious circumstances, he sets out to unravel the truth and further his research.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The new movie Cerebrum is a sci-fi film that gives viewers a sense of what a path to insanity looks like. With an interesting concept, deception and lies, and the pursuit to uncover the truth, Cerebrum will keep your eyes glued to the screen until the end. For thought-provoking, mind-altering entertainment, this is the movie to watch.

Cerebrum is about a man named Tom (Christian James) who returns to his father's home despite their tough, unfavorable relationship. Not long after arriving, Tom finds that his father Kirk (James Russo) is working on creating digital brains so that Alzheimer's patients would never lose their memory. Enticed by a monetary payoff, Tom gives in to his father, agrees to become a guinea pig for this secret, untested procedure, and ends up committing a crime that he can't remember. Working with Chloe (Alexxis Lemire), he has to uncover the truth before it's too late.

This movie has a well-executed tone. The story is chaotic and dangerous, and is complemented by darkness and dusky colors. The setting for most of Cerebrum takes place in a dark and messy lab. This creates tension and gives the movie an eerie feel. Along with the settings, the characters' wardrobe also matches the film's tone. Tom always wears dark colors that match his character's personality and the film's plot. The background music, arranged by Edward Antonio, enhances the sense of conflict. For instance, in one scene where Tom and Andy (Anirudh Pisharody) are fighting outside, the music keeps building and building until the end of their fight. It emphasizes what is going on, which makes the scene more memorable. Although Cerebrum intends to highlight the process of sharing memories between people, the parts of the storyline where people actually exchange minds is somewhat confusing. Even if you are paying close attention, if you miss one thing, you could be thrown off entirely. Despite this, the film kept me interested until the end.

The message of Cerebrum is that the truth will always come out. Even though many people accuse Tom of committing the crime, he still perseveres to uncover what really happened and eventually, others learned the truth as well. There is some profanity, so a parent should be aware of that.

Cerebrum is a captivating film, especially for fans of science fiction. It's definitely unlike anything I've ever seen before. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Cerebrum releases to VOD May 4, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

Reviewed by Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


CRAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CRAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
UNCORK'D ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Three generations of women come together on Mother's Day. Things don't go as planned.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Crappy Mother's Day is sure to get some laughs out of you and it comes out just in time for Mother's Day.

If you think your family is crazy, think again. When three generations of women, Sarah (Kristen Krak), Totie (Jackie Debatin) and Grandma (Vivien Landau) attempt to celebrate Mother's Day, things go from bad to worse - immediately. From a senile grandmother to whacky uncles to a grandpa who is buried in the backyard, keeping the family together for a single day proves a difficult task, especially when Sarah brings her fianc� into the mix. You don't need to be a master chef to figure out that this is a recipe for a really "Crappy Mother's Day."

Director Dan Karlok lets go of the reins and allows slap stick comedy to insert itself at every turn of the movie. Though the comedy is hilarious, some of the scenes are a bit longer than needed and a bit random. The acting is wonderful, making this family look absolutely wacky and wild. None of the relationships seem normal. Kristen Krak, as Sarah, really appears to be the only normal person in the family. Addison Anderson, as James, plays a very fun character that breaks out of his shell as the movie develops. Bill Rutkoski, the crazed fianc� of Totie, is very believable. I certainly wouldn't want him for a stepdad. Vivien Landau plays the perfect mean, old grandma. John Rutkoski and Mike Rutkoski, as Uncle Lenny and Uncle Donny respectively, nail the Planet of the Apes-obsessed uncles. My favorite characters are Grandma and Aunt Sonny (Marie Lenzie) because they are the most entertaining. They are always arguing and fighting in humorous ways, like two old, senile bats that love tormenting each other.

The message that is your family is the only family you have and, as crazy as you think they might be, they love you. Also, when getting married, be prepared for your newly expanded family and find something in common, even if it's just Planet of the Apes boxers. There is profanity, some mature topics and heavy drinking.

I give Crappy Mother's Day 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film releases on VOD May 4, 2021

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


CITY OF GHOSTS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CITY OF GHOSTS
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-8
Description - A group of kids discover stories around their city by communicating directly with the ghosts who inhabit it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What could possibly be clever, charming and also refreshing? The new short series City of Ghosts! displays a new authentic animation style that is really pleasing to the eye and will make you want to watch the show more and more. The show delivers a very creative plot that makes you fall in love with both the show and its characters.

City of Ghosts follows a group of children that love ghosts. Together they decide to make a homemade show discovering different ghosts around the city. The children go to various places meeting new people and new friends.

City of Ghosts has a very different animation style than most other shows. The physical characters are animated, but the environment around them is real world settings. This seems odd at first, but over time you start to adore it. The animation really stands out because of this creative new angle of animation it delivers.

The show has many themes of friendship, family and exploration. City of Ghosts also has many morals. It teaches children the importance of creativity and the concept that you can do anything you put your mind to.

I give City of Ghosts 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This was definitely a highlight of the New York International Film Festival and is available now on Netflix.

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


TINY WORLD
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TINY WORLD
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - A look at the world through the eyes of the tiniest creatures and witness the extraordinary things they do to survive.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wondered what if it would be like if you were tiny? Well, the documentary series, Tiny World, explores the world of tiny creatures, some of which live right beneath our feet.

This series takes an unforeseen look into the world of minuscule animals and looks into the advantages and disadvantages of being such a small size in a massive world. Each episode follows the lives of multiple species in the same habitat and what they must do to survive and thrive.

Writers Tom Hugh Jones and Pamela Ribon have created a perfectly comical and intriguing script that Paul Rudd (Ant Man, What If) so ironically narrates. The macro cinematography, shot at such a small scale with such detail, had my mouth down to the floor. All the intricate details are captivating with their up-close perspective along with the sounds of these miniscule critters. My favorite part about this show is when the audience gets a real glimpse of what it is like to be so small! The message of this show suggests that, while you may be small, what makes you unique makes you necessary in this big world. This series is educational and enlightening.

I give Tiny World 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. It is streaming now on AppleTV+.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST!

Are you ready to die of pure cuteness?! The documentary Tiny World is filled with fun and education. It has so many things to see and learn about, while also entertaining the viewer.

This nature documentary showcases tiny creatures, from the desert to the ocean. It features rare footage of tiny animals from all over the planet. Be prepared to be amazed. There are twelve episodes with six in each season.

Tiny World is full of life, excitement and especially color. All the animals are interesting to watch and learn about. It makes you appreciate Earth and its incredible biodiversity. I learned so much about animals I've never heard of. The cinematography will blow your mind. The macro photography is very unique and the quality is the best I have ever seen. For example, there is a scene showing baby crabs that are as small as a single grain of sand; they are as clear as you might see an elephant! It still escapes me how such remarkable camera work can be a thing. Kudos to executive producer, writer and creator Tom Hugh-Jones, cinematographer Simon De Glanville and their team for creating this wonderful show. The music is always cheerful and fits the mood of the various scenes. Paul Rudd narrates and his voice is clear, crisp and calming; he uses simple words, making it easy for the whole family to watch. It's hard to choose a favorite episode, but I really like "Jungle" because it has the cutest little monkeys, called pygmy marmosets, that fit in the palm of your hand.

The message of this show is sometimes the tiniest things have the biggest impact. We should get out and enjoy nature. Even looking in your backyard will amaze you. This show will definitely inspire future explorers.

I give Tiny World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. This is a great family-friendly show. Both seasons of this show are available now on Apple TV, so look for them!

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

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


MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES, THE
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a must-see animated, action packed, comedic film! It's complete with robots, evil smartphones and one crazy unexpected family adventure to save planet Earth. The fight scenes and special effects are literally out of this world.

The storyline follows protagonist Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider who is looking forward to meeting "her people" at her new film school. Her dad, who just wants to keep his family together, decides to go on a cross-country road trip to take her there instead of Katie flying, so they can bond one last time. On the way, the family ends up in the middle of a robot uprising and now it's up to the Mitchells to work together to save the world.

The main characters in this film are Katie, her dad Rick (Danny McBride), little brother Aaron (Michael Rianda), mom Linda (Maya Rudolph) and family dog Monchi (Doug the Pug). This film is all about connecting. Its director, Michael Rianda, uses every part of the creative process to make sure the audience relates to the characters. The storyline and the Mitchell's road trip are based on a real road trip some of the staff took while not using cell phones and just connecting. I love how the film combines both an illustrative, hand-painted approach and realism animation style to help develop the characters. Rianda helped develop Katie's character by making her love for filmmaking a focal point throughout the movie. There are hilarious freeze-frame moments where Katie is writing on a screen, it's almost as if she is the narrator. One of my favorite scenes is when Linda turns into a "super" mom and takes on the robots to try to protect her kids. I also like that Rick and Katie's family song "Live Your Life" by T.I. and featuring Rihanna is used to represent their relationship and wrap up the theme of the movie.

The message of this film is that everyone in a family has their own personality and you should just let people be themselves and focus more on understanding and connecting to them. In this film, Katie is considered a "weirdo" because she isn't like everyone else. The film shows how you should embrace your "weird" qualities, because that's what makes you unique.

I rate The Mitchells vs. The Machines 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases April 30, 2021 on Netflix.

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


EARTH AT NIGHT IN COLOR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EARTH AT NIGHT IN COLOR
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10-18
Description - The moonlit dramas of animals at night, revealing new insights and never before seen behaviors.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Earth at Night in Color stands apart from many documentary series. The latest camera technologies that are used in this series deliver a documentary with a fresh look at nature.

This show documents the lives of various species across the world in different habitats, during nighttime. However, even in the low light, the cinematography we see is in full color!

The photography and camera team for this series must be commended for their astonishing and brave work filming these dangerous and majestic creatures in the dead of night. All of the habitats are so well colored and clear, to the point that I could not differentiate night to day. Narrated by Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Avengers: Endgame) who adds a youthful and professional voice. My favorite part is at the end of each episode when we get a behind-the-scenes look into how a particular episode was shot in the dark. It leaves the audience no questions about how this was filmed; a question many have after watching documentaries about nature.

The film's message challenges the idea 'there is more than meets the eye." While the dark may seem scary and unpredictable, the sun always shines back in the morning.

I give The Earth at Night in Color 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it on AppleTV+ now. By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST!

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


TRUFFLE HUNTERS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRUFFLE HUNTERS, THE
SONY CLASSICAL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle-which to date has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - With all of the chaos in the world, this down-to-earth film, The Truffle Hunters, is perfect to sit down and watch with a bag of popcorn and enjoy. There are dogs, adventure, scandal and more-what's not to like? The Truffle Hunters is a documentary any dog lover will particularly enjoy, as well, since dogs feature prominently in the search for these underground delicacies that mainly grow in woods.

The Truffle Hunters follows four truffle hunters: Carlo Gonella, Sergio Cauda, Aurelio Conterno and Angelo Gagliardi about their work finding truffles along with their dogs. This documentary takes viewers on a journey into the behind-the-scenes process of sniffing out truffles. It is an analytic and emotional exploration of how this indulgent treat is procured. These four truffle hunters are in their older years in life, but still carry an inspirational passion for what they do. Their dogs are no less amazing: Birba, Biri, Charlie, Fiona, Nina and Yari. There are so many elements to this film that make it unique, for example, the cinematography, done by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw. The different camera angles and perspectives allow you to get a bird's eye view from atop a tree of a man and his dog charging on the snowy terrain or you could be seeing from the POV of a dog hunting and sniffing for truffles along with your human. These different perspectives allow audiences to really embody some of the characters.

The Truffle Hunters was really fascinating to me, because I had no idea what truffles taste like, but after watching this documentary I can't help but imagine. Before the truffle ends up in a wealthy person's mouth, we are shown what happens along the way: the unbreakable bond between hunter and dog; the questionable transactions between hunter and seller; the selling itself, and oh-so-much sniffing by wealthy people looking for an expensive treat. My favorite part of The Truffle Hunters is with Carlo, and his loyal dog Titana. Every scene with them in it is sure to pull on your heartstrings.

Perhaps "enjoy the finer and simpler things in life" is what everyone will take away from The Truffle Hunters. Or maybe the message is, "sometimes it is good to stop and smell...the truffles." This documentary does contain some description of mild violence, smoking and drinking.

I give The Truffle Hunters 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST!

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


FAMILY REUNION (SEASON 2)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FAMILY REUNION (SEASON 2)
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 9-18
Description - When the McKellan family moves from Seattle to Georgia to be closer to extended family, the transition is like being a catfish out of water.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The NAACP award-winning series Family Reunion is back for another season, featuring new characters, fresh plots and musical interludes that will hook viewers from the start. Family Reunion Season 2 is definitely binge-worthy!

Season 2, Part 3 of Family Reunion is about ex-NFL tight end, Moses McKellan (Anthony Alabi), and his wife, Cocoa (Tia Mowry-Hardrict), as they and their four children continue living with Moses' parents M'Dear and Grandpa (Loretta Devine and Richard Roundtree.) After finding out about their financial issues, Moses and Cocoa attempt to get everything back in order. With that comes conflict, challenges in faith, and hardships, but they lean on each other to figure everything out.

Fans of Family Reunion will notice right away that Part 3 sets itself apart from the previous season - for example, by highlighting the vocal ability of the cast. In addition to being an actor, Cameron J. Wright, who plays Mazzi, is a singer in a band. Previously, we saw a bit of singing from him; however, this season we see him performing a lot of musical numbers and his singing has improved. Also, the wardrobe team has stepped up their game and really understands each character and chooses outfits that are vibrant, stylish and satisfy the personalities of each of the characters. The topics they discuss in Part 3 are much more mature as well. For example, there is a death of one of the characters, which is something many people can relate to. The writers and actors convey the story in such a way that people will have an emotional response to that episode.

The message of Family Reunion is to keep your faith even when things get tough, and remember you can always count on your family to be there when you need them. The members of the McKellan family have their ups and downs. But when they remain strong, connected to one another and rely on God, everything eventually falls into place. There are sensitive topics such as death and race relations, but, other than that, it's a family-friendly show.

Family Reunion is a great series that has a lot of potential to be a family favorite. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 plus adults. Family Reunion season 2 premiered on April 5, 2021 on Netflix. So go check it out!

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

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


LIVE FROM MOUNT OLYMPUS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LIVE FROM MOUNT OLYMPUS
PRX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: PODCAST, AGES 8-12
Description - Combining the talent of contemporary theater with the power of Greek myths, this podcast is an audio adventure for audiences of all ages. When young Perseus makes a rash promise to save his mother from the clutches of an evil king, he has to strike out on a dangerous quest. Hermes, god of luck and thieves (Hadestown's Andr� De Shields), is the host for this tale of terrifying monsters, powerful gods, and a brave girl who will change our hero's life forever. This is a production of the Onassis Foundation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Live from Mount Olympus is entertaining because it teaches Greek mythological lessons to tweens and makes it more digestible, appropriate and action-packed.

The podcast is perfect for tweens that are interested in Greek mythology and find the exciting stories entertaining. Hermes, the god of luck and thieves, is the host and acts as the messenger between the gods and humans. Throughout each episode, the listener learns about Perseus trying to save his mother from an evil King by using his power and perseverance. Each episode begins with a recap, presents a quest that Perseus goes on, a lesson he learns, and ends with an ad for similar podcasts.

The podcast is very well produced and is highly entertaining, while simultaneously educating tweens about Greek mythology. The episodes range from approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length. The sound effects, voices and overall soundscape made it seem like I was really there in the midst of the action. At some points, I closed my eyes and could easily picture the interactions between the characters playing out in my head, due to the great attention to detail pertaining to the spatial awareness. I recommend listening with earphones to get the full effect. Another interesting component of this podcast is that the listener can take a quiz to see what Greek god they are.

The message of this podcast is that anyone can be their own hero; in other words, believe in yourself.

I give Live from Mount Olympus 5 out 5 stars and recommend this for ages 8 to 13. You can listen to this now on TRAX at: https://www.trax.fm/live-from-mount-olympus.

By Tor F., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Live from Mount Olympus is a fresh take on effervescent Greek mythology with witty narration and amazing production quality that is sure to hook any and all listeners and spark an interest in these ancient stories.

This TRAX podcast, backed by the Onassis Foundation, centers around Perseus (Divine Garland), our young hero who you may know from the Medusa myth. Perseus makes a rash promise to save his mother from an evil king and embarks upon several crazy adventures along the way. The show is narrated by Perseus' sibling, another son of Zeus, Hermes (Andr� De Shields), god of luck and thieves. The podcast has everything mythology fans will love: terrifying monsters, rich plot lines, powerful gods, the quintessential Greek theatrical elements of family, love and discovering oneself and your capabilities.

Live from Mount Olympus is produced by the Onassis Foundation. Many of the individuals on the podcast's team are Tony award-winners or Peabody-award winners, and their prowess shows. The brilliantly-designed audio blends rich, mellifluous background music with spry, enthralling and engaging narration. Perseus' and Hermes' witty repartee also invites even those who loathe mythology (who could?) to listen to the podcast. Even though it's a podcast, I could visualize all the characters right in front of me, especially the Gorgons and other monsters. Overall, the voice acting and production quality combine to make this podcast an even more fun and enriching experience!

Live from Mount Olympus promotes messages of perseverance, courage and exploration - three key elements to any Greek hero. It's a great podcast for young kids to listen to in their free time for entertainment purposes; they'll surely pick up some positive qualities from the podcast.

I give Live from Mount Olympus 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. Adults will enjoy this podcast as well. You can listen to Live from Mount Olympus on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/live-from-mount-olympus

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

Live From Mount Olympus is an interesting podcast retelling the Greek myth of Perseus with a few flaws, but plenty of mythical elements, characterized voice acting, and nice sound effects. This is a great podcast for kids and young teens who love myths!

This podcast follows Perseus (Divine Garland) as he braves the quest of collecting the gorgon Medusa's head. In addition to this mission, the episodes reveal some interesting relationships as Perseus journeys home. If you always wanted to know what happened from the time Perseus gets Medusa's head to when he returns to his island, this podcast is for you.

Many traditional stories include mythical elements and Live From Mount Olympus uses plenty of these, including sea serpents, gorgons, gods, royalty and so much more. Along with these elements, realistic sound effects are used to pull you in so that you can't stop hitting the next play button! Sound effects are vital because there is nothing on the screen to guide you. Natural sounds like birds, rushing water and wind are often in the background, making it more realistic. Sometimes podcasts only have background noises when it is important to the plot, but that is Live from Mount Olympus makes full use of them throughout each episode. Voice acting is the key aspect when creating podcasts and the actors have to use the tone of their voices to help the audience understand what's going on. Most of these episodes have plenty of characterized acting, but in some action scenes it is hard to understand exactly what is happening. Sometimes the suspense level is low because I was not sure what was going on. For example, in Medusa's cave, it is supposed to be a very breathtaking moment. I found that, because I was unsure where everyone is or what they're doing, it lost some excitement. The characters are noticeably different in this podcast than in the original stories. This could be disappointing if you're hoping for more character connections to those stories. Perseus does not have as much pride as his character originally had, and has other personality differences.

The message of this podcast is do not let your pride get in the way. Showing how bravery is rewarded is another component.

I give Live From Mount Olympus 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. Listen to Live From Mount Olympus on Trax at https://www.trax.fm/live-from-mount-olympus

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

The Live from Mount Olympus podcast is great. It's really engaging and it follows one of my favorite topics -- Greek mythology. The introduction introduces Perseus and it's amazing how they bring this story to life! -- even in the introduction.

The storyline follows Perseus, son of Zeus and princess Danae. Baby Perseus, due to a prophecy of him killing his grandfather, is locked in a wooden crate along with his mother and pushed out to sea. The crate lands on Seriphus, where Perseus grows up, oblivious to his destiny. When King Polydectes tries to force Danae to marry him, Perseus makes a crazy vow to save his mother from the evil king and it leads him on all sorts of quests. Medusa? Sea monsters? The titan Atlas? Bring it on!

I've read a lot of mythology and know that when a God has a child with a mortal, that child is considered a demigod. Demi means half, which means that person is half-god. The most famous demigods in Greek Mythology are Heracles and Perseus. This is a great introduction to the myth of Perseus. When I read about Perseus, his story is barely mentioned, because there was so much else to talk about. This podcast is a really nice presentation of Perseus' story. It's super engaging. I love how writers Alexie Basil and Nathan Yungerberg wrote it so it is very lifelike and you feel as if you are actually there watching it all. I also like the accent of Andromeda; when I heard that, I sort of perked up. It makes you pay attention. Tony Award-winner Andre De Shields voices Hermes, messenger of the gods and narrator of the show. He just makes you want to keep listening! The only issue I have is that sometimes the tone of the voiceovers doesn't match the words they are saying. The entire podcast is super engaging. I don't think I could imagine a better adaptation of the myth of Perseus.

The podcast teaches multiple lessons - think before you speak; listen to your parents; don't make rash promises are a few.

I really like Live from Mount Olympus and rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It's engaging; it's amazing. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18, plus adults. If a person enjoys Greek mythology, this podcast is a must. Even my five-year-old brother was hooked! You can listen to Live from Mount Olympus on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/live-from-mount-olympus

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The podcast Live From Mount Olympus tells an intriguing tale filled with action and adventure, that is sure to leave you itching to hear the next episode.

The podcast is based on Greek mythology, narrated by Andre De Shields as the voice of Hermes, the ancient God of thieves, luck and much more. Divine Garland plays the role of a boy named Perseus, who is the son of Zeus, God of the sky and leader of the Olympians and Jullian Walker plays Danea. Perseus makes a rash promise to an evil king to save his mom and ends up embarking on a dangerous journey.

This podcast is about characters from Greek mythology that go on a new quest which is not from the original Greek myths. The voice actors all make this feel like a story that is taking place. We hear a range of emotions in their voices from fear to annoyance, and more. They make this new story something that makes history believable. The sound effects are excellent and really enhance the story. This is a podcast where sometimes things get really fast and intense, but you can easily figure out what is happening - especially if you are into Greek mythology. It is an amazing podcast which I hope will have a sequel.

The message is to be careful what you promise to do and take things seriously when you are considering doing something. In this story, Perseus makes a rash promise without knowing what he has to do to save his mom. He ends up getting a task that some people think is impossible. If he had thought more about what he said, he might not have been stuck with the situation that he was.

I give Live From Mount Olympus 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to18, plus adults. I also recommend you review the original story of Perseus before you listen to this. This is an adventure you will not want to miss. You can listen to Live From Mount Olympus on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/live-from-mount-olympus.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


RK/RKAY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RK/RKAY
101 STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 15-18
Description - RK is a filmmaker, making a new film, in which he also plays the lead character of Mahboob. Its a quaint film, like a tribute to the cinema of the sixties. People close to him are not really sure why RK wants to make this film.. Edit begins and RK has a sinking feeling that this film is not going to come together, that this time he has really screwed up. His nightmares warn him of an impending disaster. Sure enough, one afternoon RK gets a call from the edit room- something terrible has happened. Mahboob has run away, run out of the film. Nobody can really understand why would he leave, where would he go. But he is not there anymore in the rushes- missing from the film negative as well. The fact is Mahboob was running away from his killers, and somehow he left the film and arrived in our world. RK finds him, brings him home- but Mahboob has no idea where he is from, or that he is any different from people around him. Slowly, he is told. They must convince him to go back to the film, so that RK can finish his film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A mind-bending film, RK/RKAY is a multi-layered film, shot and edited with care for small details. You'll be tuned in, trying to figure out where the plot will go next, throughout the duration of the film.

The storyline follows filmmaker RK (Rajat Kapoor) who is in the process of directing and starring in his film. He plays the lead character of Mahboob. The film opens with a nostalgic vignette for 1960s Bollywood films - the clamor on set, a high-maintenance actress as the female lead Gulabo (Mallika Sherawat) and a slight sepia tone. Everything seems to be going just fine when the editing for the film begins, but RK gets a call from the editing room. Mahboob has run out of the film and has somehow entered the real world, fleeing from the film's cartoonish killers when RK finds him and brings him home to sort things out. RK must convince Mahboob to go back into the world of the film, as that is where he belongs.

RK/RKAY is a crowd-funded film, but you cannot tell from the incredible production quality. Director Rajat Kapoor is an experienced short and feature length film director and his expertise, even with a low budget, is evident. I am blown away by the cinematography, script and overall production quality. The film-within-a-film premise requires clear dialogue to avoid confusion, and RK/RKAY delivers. Even though it is a Hindi film, the subtitles are clear and you can easily follow what's happening. I also love the cinematography; the film makes amazing use of light and shadows as well as colors. The film that RK is producing has a bit of a sepia or golden tint to it, as does Mahboob when he enters the real world. Depending on their mood, characters may be placed halfway, completely, or not at all in the shadow. Though the film tends to drag a bit in the second half, the whole production effort is impressive enough that one gets pulled back into the film.

RK/RKAY promotes messages of finding yourself, being dedicated to your projects, and staying true to love.

I give RK/RKAY 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15-18, plus adults. RK/RKAY premieres in the US and Canada on May 14, 2021, in theatres and virtually.

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

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


SECRETS OF THE WHALES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SECRETS OF THE WHALES
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTATY, AGES 8-18
Description - Filmed across 24 locations over three years, this saga ventures into the world of whales to reveal life and love from their perspective and explores the cultures of orcas, belugas, narwhals, sperm whales, and humpback whales.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever been told that our oceans are very mysterious and that they hold many secrets that are likely to be hidden forever? Well, that's certainly true - our oceans are indeed mysterious and some of the most amazing secrets hidden deep within our oceans have recently been discovered and are ready to be shared with the world in a new National Geographic four-part documentary series. Secrets of the Whales spotlights four species of whales and uncovers their secrets and stories of survival with "first time" evidence and never-before-seen coverage. This series is epic and one you are going to want to witness!

Secrets of the Whales brings alive the visions of both Academy Award winning filmmaker and conservationist James Cameron and acclaimed National Geographic Explorer and Photographer Brian Skerry as they share their knowledge and research finding of some of the most intelligent giants living on our planet. Filmed across three years and in 24 locations, this documentary series, narrated by award-winning actress Sigourney Weaver, takes viewers on an amazing journey into the lives of orcas, humpbacks, belugas, and sperm whales. From Cameron and Skerry's work we gain such an expansive understanding and appreciation of whale family dynamics, social bonds, communication and tradition. It's the "secrets these mammals share which help them prevail."

This series has me completely captivated throughout all four episodes. Seeing the variety of marine life within their natural habitat is just jaw-dropping. With such stunning photography and action-packed video footage, the cinematography in Secret of the Whales is the best I've ever seen. As each scene is presented to viewers, you get a sense of being right there and consumed within each moment. To pick a favorite episode within this series would be impossible, since each episode is so unique with new secrets of the whales being unveiled to viewers.

The common message within all four episodes of Secrets of the Whales is centered around culture. These whale families must work together in a sophisticated manner if they are going to survive and be successful as a species. Whales are highly evolved creatures that have the complexity of family bonds, language, feeding patterns, emotions and interesting secrets. It is critical that these traditions be taught to offspring and passed down throughout the generations.

I give Secrets of the Whales 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults, especially those interested in marine ecology and conservation will certainly appreciate these films as well. Secrets of the Whales will begin streaming on Earth Day April 22, 2021 on Disney+. What a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Don't miss this series!

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

If someone came up to you and asked whether you liked reading facts or fiction, chances are you'd probably say fiction. And I can relate. Let's face it, the real world can be boring, but Secrets of the Whales definitely is not. Its pictures and views are absolutely outstanding; it has pretty unknown facts; and, best of all, it hooks you in! Kudos to the creators of Secrets of the Whales for making it something I can't stop watching.

This show is a classic documentary series that gives an inside look into the lives of whales. From raising their young, to getting them food, to teaching them to swim and where they live, Secrets of the Whales is an in-depth show that doesn't miss a fact.

The show is amazingly entertaining; it's like a dramatic show, but with a little less drama and featuring whales instead of humans. We learn that whales feel emotions and grieve as well. Drama like this is definitely a factor that got me hooked into the show. One thing I need to call attention to is the images and cinematography. National Geographic Explorer and Photographer, Brian Skerry brings expansive knowledge and research to the film. Cinematographer Brian Armstrong's images are clear and relevant, always providing a highly appreciable visual match to the story. Narrator Sigourney Weaver also has a clear voice and talks slowly as well as loudly, so we can hear her and understand her well.

When I watched this show, I definitely learned a lot about the lives of whales. They are a lot smarter than we think. This was a very educational experience. It is definitely a family-friendly show.

I recommend Secrets of the Whales for ages 6 to 18, plus adults and give it x out of 5 stars. Secrets of The Whales is produced by National Geographic and releases on Disney+ on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Be sure to check it out.

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ARLO THE ALLIGATOR BOY
NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Arlo the Alligator Boy is an American 2D animated adventure musical film by Ryan Crego in his directorial debut. Arlo is a young humanoid alligator that travels to the big city in hopes of reuniting with his estranged father and meets a colorful cast of characters along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Arlo the Alligator Boy is a new movie that grabs your attention with fun characters and catchy songs. Talented actors and singers, combined with great writing make this a movie you don't want to miss!

The storyline is about a half-boy/half-alligator named Arlo (Michael J. Woodard), who was abandoned as a baby. He is raised by a woman named Edmee (Annie Potts) that protects him from the world and gives him everything he needs. But as Arlo gets older, he yearns to find his family, and figure out who he really is. So, Arlo sets out on a journey to find his father in the Big Apple (New York City) and meets Bertie (Mary Lambert) and some new friends that help him along the way.

My favorite element of this film is the music. The casting team, led by Ruth Lambert and Robert McGee put together a wonderful cast. I can't tell if they cast good actors that could sing, or good singers that could act, because they are equally talented in both. My favorite song is "Better Life" performed by Ansel (Vincent Rodriguez III). It's upbeat and there are some high notes that make it memorable, really setting it apart from the other songs. All of the characters are very different, each with its own special qualities. The animation has subtle and unsubtle parts for each character. My favorite character is Marcell whose random outbursts and fragmented statements are hilarious and relatable. If I was in the same situations he was in, I would probably respond in similar ways. The voice actors really surprised me with how terrific their performances are. They made this a movie something I would definitely watch more than once.

The message of Arlo the Alligator Boy is that it's okay to let go of whatever is holding you back, and sometimes letting go is the best thing for you. Arlo has to let go of Edmee if he wants to find his dad; and Bertie has to let go of her unfortunate past if she wants to embrace a new, better version of herself. There is some mild violence, but it contributes to the comedic aspects of the film.

Arlo the Alligator Boy is a great movie! I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Adults will also enjoy watching this with their kids, as it's a great family film. Arlo the Alligator Boy comes out on April 16, 2021 on Netflix worldwide. Check this new movie out, you're in for a treat.

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



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


YEAR EARTH CHANGED, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
YEAR EARTH CHANGED, THE
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 718
Description - Narrated by David Attenborough, never-before-seen footage shows how our living in lockdown opened the door for nature to bounce back and thrive. Across the seas, skies, and lands, Earth found its rhythm when we came to a stop.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Perfectly timed for Earth Day, The Year Earth Changed is a mesmerizing portrait of the natural world in a year of lockdowns and quarantine. It's a must-watch for nature lovers, and even if you aren't a nature lover, you'll love the cinematography!

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, The Year Earth Changed is a documentary featuring exclusive footage from five continents that shows you a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic - the planet was given a much-needed break! The BBC Natural History Unit compiled film from Jalandhar, India of the Himalayas on the horizon, of clear skies in polluted places like Los Angeles and China, of birdsongs in San Francisco, of whales in Glacier Bay and of hippos walking to the gas station in South Africa, among many others. The crew even got the chance to film a leopard, which adapted from its nocturnal routines to hunting in the daylight, within feet of their camera.

The Year Earth Changed is a beautifully constructed film, and the care taken in creating it and obtaining accurate facts is evident. There's little I can mention that would detract from the glory of elephants and humans living side-by-side, of Japanese deer running across the city to their old grazing patch, and of capybara finding new pastures in the homes of Argentina's suburban families. This is simply an amazing family watch.

The Year Earth Changed puts forth perhaps the most convincing argument that the pandemic has actually had an upside to it, showing real evidence of natural change and organisms thriving in their habitats, unbothered by humans. The message of the 48-minute film is to respect nature and recognize that after this pandemic, we need to do all we can to be kinder to the Earth.

I give The Year Earth Changed 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids age 7 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it now on Apple TV+!

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST!

Over the past year, humans across the globe have had to adapt while taking a pause due to the pandemic lockdown. Interestingly so, while our lives were a bit on hold, something very interesting and exciting has happened right under our noses. The absence of humans in a variety of ecosystems around the world has had a profound effect on the natural world. The Year Earth Changed is a compelling new, one-hour documentary that takes us on a journey to over 30 cities across five continents, detailing nature's response to the global pandemic. The film highlights for viewers that this global experiment is our "call to action" in making positive change for Mother Nature.

The Year Earth Changed is a magnificent documentary emphasizing the immediate need for reducing man's footprint on the natural world. The film shows us firsthand how we are able to transform the health of the planet by making adaptations in the way we live our lives. David Attenborough, narrator of the film, explains how striking changes on and below the surface of the earth, as well as within the atmosphere, can take place when humans allow more of a balance between them and nature. One year's worth of amazing research for this documentary displays how simple things such as the reduction of travel, crowds at beaches, and people within cities can improve our fragile ecosystems. The Year Earth Changed is a timely film and critical for us all to see!

This film is so uplifting and has a great deal to rave about. The beautiful photography, drone shots and elusive video footage are incredibly captivating. The flourishing habitats that are captured in this documentary certainly give us something to smile about. Executive producer Alice Keens-Soper and director Tom Beard have given the world something very special - a new appreciation for what humans can do to help preserve our global ecosystems. Every example we are presented with in The Year Earth Changed is inspiring and heartfelt. I can only hope that this story of change can be globally presented for all to witness.

The message in The Year Earth Changed is simple - man and nature must find a balance. If we are to share our planet with the variety of species that occupy it, we must live harmoniously. Modest changes in the way we live are vital for the future of our natural world. The speed at which nature is disappearing is alarming and, if we are unable to coexist, species will be lost forever. The Year Earth Changed is a "wake up call," and it's critical that its message be shared.

I give The Year Earth Changed 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults would also love this documentary. The Year Earth Changed begins streaming on April 16, 2021 on Apple TV+. A great way to celebrate Earth Day is to encourage everyone to watch this film!

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

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


DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 14-18
Description - Brian Dixon (Jamie Foxx), successful business owner and bachelor, just became a full-time father to his teenage daughter Sasha (Kyla-Drew). Determined to be the best father he can be, Brian's going to need all the help he can get from his dad (David Alan Grier) and sister (Porscha Coleman) -- and Sasha's going to need all the help she can get learning how to deal with her new, lovingly chaotic. Full of heart and humor, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is inspired by Foxx's real-life relationship with daughter Corinne Foxx, who also serves as executive producer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is a fun, humorous show for teens, with great sets and talented casting, as well as some endearing imperfections. It's a great show to just kick back and watch, keeping your brain to the side and embracing the madness of the plot.

Speaking of the plot, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is all about teen Sasha Dixon (Kyla-Drew), who moves back to Atlanta after her mother's passing to spend time with her father, Brian Dixon (Jamie Foxx), who is the heir of the cosmetics empire Bay Beauty. She has to adapt to her father's unique personality and lifestyle, and the show follows the father-daughter-duo as they navigate the complex landscape of their relationship. The show is supplemented by Pops (David Alan Grier), Sasha's happy-go-lucky grandfather, and Manny (Valente Rodriguez), the hilarious handyman. Zia Williams (Miracle Reigns), Sasha's enthusiastic yet comedically bumbling friend; Stacy (Heather Hemmens), Brian's significant other; Johnny (Jonathan Kite), a misfit cop, and Chelsea (Porscha Coleman), Sasha's lively aunt, also play important roles in moving the plot forward.

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me has a multi-camera setup, which aids in providing a great cinematographic experience, with various angles and types of shots. However, there are times where I wish the viewers could see more of the great city of Atlanta, given how much it's hyped up in the first two episodes. The script also takes advantage of the multi-camera setup by allowing characters to break the fourth wall every so often, and speak to the audience directly. This was funny the first few times it happened, but one soon realizes it's used as a comedic device in somewhat not funny scenes. Moving to the cast, I love Jamie Foxx's performance as Brian and Kyla-Drew as Sasha, but the supporting characters really shine. Pops, Chelsea and Stacy especially are strong characters. Grier, Hemmens and Coleman truly show their talent. The most important aspect is that the cast's dynamic is truly like that of a family, and this translates beautifully on screen. Though the show has some hiccups, what is a comedy show if not just that - imperfect? That's what makes it funny, right?

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me promotes positive messages of sticking up for each other, responsibility, resourcefulness, making the most of what you have and being committed. Parents should know there is some mild profanity and some references to drugs and sex. It's rated TV-14, so it's best if you're an older teen watching this show.

I give Dad Stop Embarrassing Me 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It premieres April 14, 2021 on Netflix.

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

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! is a humorous TV series for older teens and adults that will make you think about and laugh at all those embarrassing family moments and family members in your life. It combines comedy with different issues facing people today. Each character has its own unique personality that creates a family that many people will relate to. The humor and drama in each episode kept me entertained.

This series is about a girl named Sasha (Kyla-Drew) who comes to live with her dad (Jamie Foxx) who is very overprotective and uptight about his daughter, while she is extremely outgoing and independent. They are always disagreeing with each other and arguing but they still love each other at the end of the day. Her aunt (Porscha Coleman), grandfather (David Alan Grier) and family friends are also a big part of their lives and the show. Each episode tackles a new problem typical of teens and parents today and we see those problems addressed as they work through them as a family.

My favorite scene is when they are all having a cookout where Pops and his siblings compete to see who can prepare the best meal and they keep sabotaging each other's foods. They keep trying to outdo each other to win the competition. Both the lines and the actions are hilarious. This scene had me laughing out loud and anticipating what was going to happen next. I also like how the actors break the fourth wall sometimes by speaking their thoughts out loud into the camera, so we get to see how they feel in that scene. The way the characters dress fits perfectly with their personalities. The dad is a businessman; Sasha is a typical teen; and Pops is a laid-back grandpa. The theme song at the beginning is very catchy and upbeat. The lyrics represent what many teens think. They like their parents, but don't want to be embarrassed. I also like that the show is a modern multi-generational family that is learning to accept each other's differences as the episodes continue.

This show shows us the importance of family and how they're always going to be there for us. Families may not be perfect, but they want what is best for you, even if it may not seem that way in the moment. It also highlights the importance of forgiveness, especially if there are good intentions. You should be aware that there is mild profanity used frequently and there are also some mature topics such as talking about sex and weed.

I give Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! 5 out of 5 stars. It has humor and gripping storylines with current topics that will keep your undivided attention in each episode. I recommend this for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! releases on Netflix April 14, 2021.

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

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


GIGANTOSAURUS: SEASON 1, VOL.2
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIGANTOSAURUS: SEASON 1, VOL.2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description - Life is an adventure for 4 dinosaurs - new volcanoes are popping up all the time, long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratopses roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky and the big bad Gigantosaurus reigns over it all!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Vol.2 is such an upbeat and fun series and has the most delightful and beautiful color palette. The friendship between the dinosaurs seems very genuine.

The storyline follows a group of dinosaurs that take off on adventures and deal with struggles such as planning parties and combating seasonal allergies. These dinos have fun together and their friendship is exceedingly strong. Some of the other dinosaurs claim that Gigantosaurus is the biggest and baddest of them all, but through their adventures together they realize that Giganto is not so bad after all.

Young children will enjoy this because of the fun, different-looking dinosaurs that are also spunky and likable. Of course, the adventures are fun and definitely relatable. Most importantly, various life lessons are woven into their dialogue, making it easy for kids to grasp. Each episode flows well and certainly makes sense. The structure goes as follows: the dinosaurs encounter a problem (whether it is losing an hour of daytime or dealing with the sniffles), then the group faces obstacles, but ultimately Giganto helps them solve their problem. The material and vocabulary are suitable for the intended age group. For example, instead of using the word allergies, they call it the sniffles, since children can grasp the action of sniffling and sneezing better than the word allergies. The animation is great. The color scheme is always vibrant - light blue, green and yellow, which is also calming. The DVD cover shows a big jungle that is also shown in the episodes. The backgrounds are whimsical and vast and incorporate small details such as volcanoes and big trees. The visuals most definitely relate to the dinosaurs' jungle adventures. The user can select any episode they want, fast forward through them, or drag the buffer button across the screen. It also remembers where you left off.

The show focuses on problem-solving and not jumping to conclusions. For example, while planning a party, everything seems to go wrong, but through communication and problem solving, the dinosaurs are able to create a fun party and Giganto makes them realize, all the elements of the party do not matter, it's being with friends that makes a party. Two takeaways for children are "never judge a book by its cover" and "do not jump to conclusions."

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Vol.2 gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Younger children will enjoy the beautiful visuals and cool, vibrant looking dinosaurs. Older ones will understand the messages, while also appreciating the visuals.

By Tor F., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 2 will bring much entertainment to young dino-lovers. The animation is colorful, the storyline is full of adventures and the message is always positive.

This DVD follows the travels of four young dinosaurs named Rocky (Dylan Schombing), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Tiny (Aine Sunderland) and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell), who live in the Cretaceous period. Episodes include The Floating Stone, Racing Giganto, A Tiny Favor, Crying Wolfasurus, and How Giganto Got His Roar. This DVD has four hours of fun with 26 episodes.

I found the animation very appealing and really unique. It has vibrant backgrounds and a distinctive style that looks like the characters are hand drawn, but also look 3D. The voice work is very well executed. Mazu, voiced by Nahanni Mitchell, is a clever Ankylosaurus that always has a plan. Rocky, voiced by Dylan Schombing, however, just goes for it. Even his voice sounds adventurous. Aine Sunderland has a peppy and bubbly voice that fits Tiny's character perfectly. Bill, who is a shy Brachiosaurus, is voiced wonderfully by Nicholas Holmes. My favorite character is Tiny, the playful Triceratops, because she has a fun personality and I think I would be most like if I was a dinosaur in the Cretaceous period. My favorite episode is An Artist is Born, which is about Tiny's older brother finding a new passion. The award-winning series is produced by Cyber Group Studios in France and directed by Olivier Lelardoux.

There are many positive messages throughout this DVD, including the benefit of helping others and having patience, learning from trying new things and, of course, the power of teamwork and friendship.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 2 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Dinosaur-lovers will really enjoy is. This DVD is available now, so look for it!

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 2 is a very unique DVD, based on the TV show. It has four main characters, plus Gigantosaurus, who does not speak.

This show is about four little dinos, Rocky (Dylan Schombing), Tiny (�ine Sunderland), Bill (Nicholas Holmes) and Mazu(Nahanni Mitchell) who go on all sorts of adventures together such as frozen party and finding a flower. Gigantosarus is a dino that does not talk; he only growls and roars and is generally seen as a big, mean, scary and green dino. Once you get to know him he is not such a bad guy, but he often gets blamed for things he didn't do.

This DVD is amazing. This show has truly fascinating characters and storyline. All the voice actors are really terrific. They are all adult actors yet, in the show, they sound like kids. If you listen to them and then see what they look like in person, you would be surprised. This show has lots of cool animation. It is very clear and cool looking. The background scenes are like nothing I have seen before. All are unique to this show and include scenes that show us jungle where the dinosaurs live. The growls and roars made by the dinosaurs are really amazing. They sound like a real dinosaur made them.

The message of this show is that friendship is what matters. In the end, friends will always prevail and you can count on them for anything. If you can't, they are not real friends. You should always be able to trust your friends and rely on them.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 2 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 2 to 8. The DVD is available now, so look for it. This could also be a fun family show to watch with younger kids.

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

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 2 is a beautifully animated, lively and positive DVD that kids will surely enjoy! With crisp voiceovers, sweet messages and lovable characters, you'll find it difficult to tear yourself away from the screen.

The show follows the life and times of four dinosaurs - Rocky (Dylan Schombing), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Tiny (�ine Sunderland) and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell), who live in the adventurous Cretaceous period. And of course, the title character - Gigantosaurus. Known by the four as Giganto, this seemingly scary, yet actually kind giganotosaurus aids the four dinosaurs in their efforts. This DVD includes 26 "Dino-mite" episodes that, in total, span four hours. Episodes include "The Shortest Day," "The Best Crest," "Coco Bill" and "Patchy Sees the Light."

This DVD has some amazing, vibrant animation that goes perfectly with the tone of the episodes; that's my favorite part of the whole viewing experience. All elements are intricately drawn, including details like water droplets, nostrils and even skin texture. The voice actors show their talent in their portrayal of the various characters; you feel the emotion in the characters' voices throughout the show. When Tiny is dejected, you too feel sad. When Rocky is off on another adventure, you feel like you're along for the ride with him, and are absorbed by his happy-go-lucky tone. My favorite character is Mazu, because he's pragmatic and a great role model for kids. That's one clever Ankylosaurus! I love all the episodes, but one of my favorites is "The Best Crest," because it encourages perseverance and resourcefulness, and promotes the message that even things that seem disadvantageous have an upside.

This brings me to the values and morals that Gigantosaurus promotes. Each episode has a different focus, but courage, teamwork, friendship, perseverance, kindness and selflessness are just a few of the amazing lessons that kids are taught in this DVD.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 2 gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 2 to 7. This DVD is great for dino-lovers and is available now.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 286 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MILK
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MILK
CELIA JASPERS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - When she sees an old man unable to pay for his milk, a young girl has a change of heart.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

GODZILLA VS. KONG
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GODZILLA VS. KONG
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Legends collide as Godzilla and Kong, the two most powerful forces of nature, clash on the big screen in a spectacular battle for the ages. As a squadron embarks on a perilous mission into fantastic uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans' very origins and mankind's survival, a conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Godzilla vs. Kong and rate it as the best action movie of 2021 so far. It keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat. I really like the amazing graphics and the computer generated image effects.

This movie is about two strong titans who won't back down from their throne. It happens that Godzilla's and Kong's ancestors were enemies centuries ago. While Kong is captive in a semi-artificial environment dome, Godzilla comes out of the ocean and walks in the city destroying everything that crosses his path. This is not the heroic Godzilla we watched from his last movie. No one understands why Godzilla is so angry. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), who takes care of Kong and Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) helps Kong find a safe place to live, which is the core of the Earth. While Kong is being transported on a huge ship, Godzilla senses Kong in the ocean. That's when the first extraordinary and intense battle of these two titans begins.

This film has amazing CGI. Godzilla's rough skin and red eyes make it look like he is real. Kong looks like an actual gigantic ape. You can sense his soul in his eyes. He surprises the audience by having a special bond with an orphan named Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the only person able to communicate with him. The sound effects are amazing. The cast are all outstanding including a more mature Millie Bobby Brown who plays Madison Russell and a funny Julian Dennison who plays Maddie's friend Josh.

The moral of this movie is that greed and excessive pride lead to an unnecessary rivalry situation. We need to leave the past in the past and start fresh. Unity is the key in this film.

I give Godzilla vs. Kong 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Godzilla vs. Kong opens March 31, 2021 on HBO Max and in theatres.

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

Godzilla Vs. Kong pits two cinematic titans against each other in a fight for the ages but one that relegates its undercooked human characters to the sidelines, as it should, in favor of spectacular clashes, monster to monster, in all their big-budget glory.

Following the events of 2017's Kong: Skull Island and 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla has become the alpha to the similarly-powered titans roaming the earth. Meanwhile, Kong has left his island home with one of its natives, a little girl named Jia (Newcomer Kaylee Hottle), as he is monitored and researched by a team of specialists trying to keep him from Godzilla's grasp. Well, you read that title, so you know that's not happening, and indeed it doesn't! Godzilla begins attacking after years of stability between humanity and skyscraper-sized creatures. Kong's greatest champion among the researchers, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), is approached by an old colleague (Alexander Skarsg�rd) and is convinced to take Kong to an underground world called Hollow Earth. Hopefully, in this habitat he can thrive and find more of his kind, free of the threat of Godzilla and others like him. It's not before long on this journey that Godzilla senses his primate competitor and arrives to dispatch Kong.

There've been several Kong/Godzilla solo efforts in recent years in the lead-up to this face-off, and somehow it is all worth it. Although there are flaws--the two main plotlines feel disconnected and previous story developments abandoned--they don't compare to the immense joy it is to watch these titans go at it. That would be enough: a mildly enjoyable large-scale romp, the cinematic equivalent of smashing two well-loved action figures together. However, Adam Wingard's direction elevates the action sequences. Consistently satisfying and, better yet, consistently surprising--watching Kong leap from building to building, dodging Godzilla's atomic breath, or Godzilla getting Kong's ax launched at him doesn't grow stale.

Godzilla Vs. Kong humanizes Kong as someone who's lost his family and now the home he protected. I didn't expect to feel emotionally attached to a 400-foot ape, but there you go. Whether you're team Godzilla or team Kong, I have no doubt, you'll find some enjoyment in the shenanigans they unleash. I was entertained--and if this matchup means anything to you, I think you will be too!

I give Godzilla Vs. Kong 3 out of 5 stars and an age rating of 12 to 18 for mass--and I mean, mass--destruction, some mild language, and the injuries each of the titular creatures sustain. Godzilla Vs. Kong is out March 31, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES
ATLAS ENTERPRISES INC. Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Unlike most people, young Sara Hopkins is willing to take God at His word. So when she hears a preacher say faith can move mountains, she starts praying. What begins with a mysteriously healed bird leads to people suddenly cured of their misery and misfortune all over town. But the overwhelming crush of notoriety and press attention soon takes its toll on Sara. Will her family be able to save their miracle girl before it's too late?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth commens
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Girl Who Believes In Miracles is a lukewarm Christian movie with a weak storyline. The few heartwarming scenes aren't quite enough to keep this film afloat. With a strong performance by the ensemble's youngest actress, the movie does not have enough storytelling to deliver a wholly satisfying movie experience.

The Girl Who Believes In Miracles centers around a little girl named Sarah (Austyn Johnson) who has seen God and can grant miracles. She helps cancer patients, and even blind and paralyzed teens. All the while, Sarah's fame increases, with people knocking on her door to grant miracles. Sarah's health declines, too, but she keeps up her faith.

The movie makes it clear from the beginning that Jesus is praised, and that this is not a modern version of the Messiah's story. It is unclear, though, why Sarah holds this power to grant miracles as she has done nothing significant except have faith. The Girl Who Believes In Miracles is confusing in this way and may leave the audience wondering, "Can anyone be a Messiah?" However, the actors deliver empowering performances. In the scenes in which Sarah's health weakens, her suffering is absolutely heartbreaking. Austyn really has the audience pulling for her. Sarah's grandfather, Sam (Peter Coyote), also has a heartfelt monologue in which he talks to God and says he would rather die than Sarah. His love shines through, along with his pain, creating a tear-jerking scene.

The moral of this film is to always let faith guide you. Even as Sarah's health declines, she never loses her faith. She stands by God and understands that everything happens for a reason, unlike her family who try to fight the ticking clock. As a Christian, I did find the film somewhat offensive in its message that anyone with faith can perform miracles.

I give The Girl Who Believes In Miracles 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters April 2, 2021.

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

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


SPACE DOGS: TROPICAL ADVENTURE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPACE DOGS: TROPICAL ADVENTURE
EPIC PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - When a mysterious and dangerous whirlpool appears in the tropics of the Atlantic Ocean, astronauts Belka and Strelka are sent to investigate. With the help of their good friends, Belka and Strelka must once again act heroically and complete a daring mission to save the planet along with the distant home of their new alien friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is the final film in the Space Dogs trilogy. It's an eventful and distinctive movie! When I watched it, what I expected to happen didn't happen, but it has a great plot that definitely works well. Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure also represents diversity and has a great message.

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is about two astronaut dogs named Belka (Maria Antonieta Monge) and Strelka (Mauriett Chayeb-Mendez) who are sent to Earth on a mission to investigate a suspicious anomaly in the Atlantic Ocean. Belka always takes control and is the leader of the missions. But with that, she is constantly getting blamed by the General when things go wrong and is always at fault. Now, both Belka and Strelka have to step up and work together with their friends to solve this mysterious case and save the planet.

One of the factors that makes Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure special is the diversity in the characters. Even though this film is about animated animals, there are many different types of animals that all play a major role. For example, besides the two main dog characters are a rat and a fly. The settings are well detailed. Everything that surrounds the characters emphasizes and gives context to each situation. So when Belka, and Strelka are trapped in the underwater dump, around them you can see pieces of wood, skeletons and trash. My favorite character is Belka because she reminds me of myself. She loves to be the leader, and always ensures that everything goes according to plan. The voice acting was done very well because it suits the characters. However, sometimes the words don't align with the movement of the characters' mouths. Also, if you aren't paying close enough attention, this movie can be a little hard to follow. Aside from these things, Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is pretty fun.

The message of Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is that teamwork can solve any problem. Belka and Strelka repeatedly attempt to complete assignments their own way, with one trying to take control from the other. But this approach never works. When their friends assist them, they finally realize that the only way they will succeed is if they work together. This movie is totally kid-friendly, and there are no red flags.

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is an interesting movie. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure releases in theaters on April 2, 2021, and on video on demand on April 6, 2021. If you're having a family movie night, pop some popcorn and check this out!

Reviewed by Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is the third film of the Space Dogs franchise which includes Space Dogs, and Space Dogs: Return to Earth. This is a fun and up-beat film with amazing animation and catchy songs! The cast are incredible and the story is great. The characters are unique, all in their own way.

When the water from the Atlantic Ocean suddenly starts disappearing, Space Dogs Belka and Strelka are sent to investigate. With help from their friends they try to discover the cause of this. Will they figure out where all the water is going? Watch Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure to find out.

Written by Mike Disa and directed by Inna Evlannikove, the characters and cast of this film are incredible. Belka (Katerina Shpitsa, Breakfast at Dad's, Brothel Spites) is the more sensible of the pair of dogs. Belka is very smart and looks before jumping. She always has great plans to get Strelka and herself out of situations. Strelka (Irina Pegova, The Stroll, Super Bobrovs) is a very lovable character. She is funny and definitely jumps before looking. The rat Yenya (Yevgeny Mironov, The Spacewalker, The Idiot) is a very dramatic and funny character. We watch him go on a rollercoaster of emotions, but still come through to help his friends. My favourite character is Thomas the Cricket (R�mulo Bernal). He is Yenya's assistant and is very lovable and brave. He is my favourite for those reasons. He is also smart and has lots of great ideas. My favourite part of the film is when Yenya is expecting his uncle to be a famous sailor, but he turns out just to be a photographer that takes pictures of famous sailors and famous boats. The animation in the film is amazing and the music is very catchy.

The message of the story is that sometimes to find the truth it just takes a little leap of faith.

I give Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. It comes out in theatres on April 2, 2021, and on VOD April 6, 2021.

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

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


FRANCESCO
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FRANCESCO
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Through his work on climate change, immigration, religious tolerance and other issues, the Pope has embodied the meaning of inspired leadership.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Francesco is a wonderful and complex film that showcases one of the world's most famous figures. The audience has a clear visual of Pope Francis's thoughts about modern issues. With exclusive interviews and audio recordings, this documentary is not to be missed.

Francesco is a documentary composed of rare videos, interviews, tweets and audio tape recordings about Pope Francis and his ideas about contemporary problems. The issues addressed are refugee camps in Lesbos, migrants and he also talks about his ideas on homosexual marriage.

There's so much to learn from this film. It really gives insight on how the Pope thinks and how he has changed ideas for the Catholic religion. Giving his opinion on homosexual marriage is a huge statement; he believes they are entitled to have a family like any other person. This shows how he has come to embrace everyone with open arms. Pope Francis stands out from popes before him, which is why this documentary is so important. He isn't just a figurehead; this film shows how relatable he is as well. He is well aware of his impact on the world, such as how he helped the Muslim refugees in Greece. The film shows that Pope Francis doesn't see religion, race or sexual orientation as barriers, he just sees people. I loved seeing so many never before seen videos and recordings in this film. We see the Pope in Lesbos helping out whoever he can, and see how a woman thanks him for his help.

This film shows that not everyone is as they first appear to be. The media often portrays the Pope in a godly manner. In this film we see that he does not think that of himself. He seems to be like any other guy, just doing the work of God. There are no triggers for this film, but mature topics discussed include immigration, religion and homosexual marriage.

I give Francesco 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages (13 to) 18 plus adults. It releases on DVD March 28, 2021.

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

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


US AGAIN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
US AGAIN
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - An elderly couple regain their youth in the rain.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Us Again is a beautiful and lively animated short film that will surely have you up and dancing! The choreography of the animated characters, the intricate details, and the underlying message all combine to make this a lovely watch.

The seven-minute short film follows an elderly man and his young-at-heart wife living in a vibrant metropolis with echoes of New York City. The man is ever-tired and only wants to sit on his lounge chair reading the newspaper, while his wife yearns to explore the world outside. One rainy, magical evening, their ages truly seem just a number, and the couple re-discover their passion for dancing, salsaing their way across a landscape of memories. It's a beautiful story told through rhythm and movement.

The animation in Us Again is truly stunning; the design taps into emotions, encapsulating the excitement and hubbub of a huge city, with neon lights, beautiful textural details on the water, and even on the tiny black umbrellas people carry walking down the street. Us Again shows us Disney's future; extreme detail in animation. The two main characters of this short also have lots of expressive features, and you can tell that Disney's animation technology has gone to the next level when light details like crow's feet are added in. Even their dance steps convey emotion! Speaking of the dancing, acclaimed choreographers/dancers Keone and Mari Madrid were crucial to the process of creating Us Again because they came up with all of the dance steps, which flow so smoothly and naturally in animated form. There are no jerky movements at all, and it's as if you're watching an animated version of Dancing With The Stars. The background score (though it really does push its way to the foreground) also adds so much to this short. Something I noticed in the seven-minute film: Keep an eye on the puddles, because the characters' reflections show the characters as their older selves throughout the film, even in scenes where the characters traverse through memories from ages ago. This demonstrates the incredible attention to detail in Us Again.

The message of Us Again is to never let go of your passions (and your youth), and, if you do, be sure to make an effort to rekindle the fire in your heart. It's an apt message for a time like the one we're living in now, when we have the time to follow our passions and pursue new hobbies.

I give Us Again 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Us Again will be shown before Disney's latest film, Raya and the Last Dragon, only in theatres, and it will be available on Disney+ in June of 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MIGHTY DUCKS, THE: GAME CHANGERS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MIGHTY DUCKS, THE: GAME CHANGERS
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 7-18
Description - After failing to make the cut to join the now powerhouse Mighty Ducks junior hockey team, 12-year-old Evan's mother encourages him to form a new team of underdogs with help from Gordon Bombay, the Ducks' original coach.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is super enjoyable to watch! This beloved movie franchise now has a new series that all Mighty Ducks fans can enjoy. It has comedy, a creative storyline, great messages and of course plenty of Mighty Ducks hockey action.

The next installment of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers follows a boy named Evan (Brady Noon) who loves hockey and plays for the Mighty Ducks. However, the Mighty Ducks are not what they used to be, as the team has become a bunch of kids who want to win at all costs. Since the team moved to the 12 to 14-year-old bracket, only the best will stay on the team and, unfortunately, Evan is not one of them. After being devastated from being cut, Evan's mom (Lauren Graham) decides that they should make their own team, but the deadline is in a few days. Can they find a rink, a coach, players and equipment to play in the league? It's a lot of fun to watch their journey.

Since this new series is based on the previously released Mighty Ducks movies, you might want to watch some of those movies just to know some of the references and backstories of various characters. The characters include a diverse set of kids, parents and coaches that are very relatable and entertaining. Emilio Estevez reprises his role as a "cranky" Gordon Bombay being coaxed into coaching. Sound a bit familiar? My favorite character is Nick (Maxwell Simkins), because he is sweet, has a love of hockey, is not very good and has the best one-liners.

The message of this show is to remember that, just because you are not the best, does not mean you should not bother to try. And it would not be a Mighty Ducks movie without demonstrating the importance of teamwork. There is a tiny bit of mild profanity.

I give The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Adults, hockey fans and Mighty Ducks movie fans will enjoy it, too. The first episode of this show comes out on Disney+ March 26, 2021.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


A WEEK AWAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
A WEEK AWAY
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Nowhere left to go, Will Hawkins finds himself at camp for the first time. His instinct is to run, but he finds a friend, a father figure and even a girl who awakens his heart. Most of all, he finally finds a home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Week Away is a total breath of fresh air! This film is set to be the feel-good teen rom com of the year with hilarious one-liners and catchy tunes. This is definitely a new Netflix knockout.

A Week Away follows juvenile delinquent Will (Kevin Quinn) as he goes to camp Aweegaway as a way to escape juvie. At the camp, he meets Avery (Bailee Madison). Soon, Avery tears down Will's walls and shows him the ropes. The two of them, along with the rest of the campers, breakout in song and dance. The large dance numbers and intimate ballads balance out the storyline perfectly.

The cinematography is absolutely breath-taking. The shots of the early morning at the camp and the gorgeous dancing between Avery and Will at the dock are stunning. The sun shines down on the two as they dance together. The choreography is spectacular. The upbeat dance numbers with large groups make you want to dance with them. The songs are also incredible. After watching this movie, you'll definitely want to add the whole soundtrack to your playlist. Along with this film's spectacular visuals, the performances stand out. The intimate scenes between Avery and Will leave you rooting for these young teens from the lovely garden scene where Avery confesses how she's exhausted of trying to be perfect, to Will's vulnerable moment as he comes to terms with being loved and accepted.

The moral of the film is that your past doesn't define your future. Once the truth about Will's checkered past comes to light, he runs away, believing that Avery would reject him. She, on the contrary, accepts him with open arms. Over the week that the film takes place, Will's character develops dramatically, as he learns to love himself and learns how God and faith guides souls.

I give A Week Away 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It is available on Netflix March 26, 2021.

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

A Week Away is a teen rom-com musical. It has attractive, lakeside outdoor settings, amazing choreography and solid faith-based messages.

This movie follows a teenage boy named Will (Kevin Quinn) who is a bit of a troublemaker. He takes his actions a bit too far by stealing a police car, and when caught has the choice of going to a juvenile detention center or going to a faith-based camp with one of his foster families. He chooses camp Aweegaway, a place where some of the teens are only a week away from a life-changing experience. While at camp, Will meets Avery (Bailee Madison), who may very well be the catalyst for that change.

At several points during the storyline, A Week Away can be a bit cheesy and predictable, but this is a rom-com musical so it can only go in so many directions - and it's still fun! On the musical front, this movie has an impressive soundtrack. Kudos to the songwriter, Adam Watts, for the original songs in this movie. The choreography is splendid as everyone has a dance during the singing, and it is perfectly in sync with everything else. The setting for this movie is beautiful! The cabins have so much attention to detail; the forest is very realistic; and the lake is gorgeous. Now I want to go to Camp Aweegaway! Kevin Quinn, who plays Will, possibly drew inspiration for this role from his character in Bunk'd, also about a camp. Bailee Madison is so believable as sweet and faithful Avery, who becomes Will's love interest. My favorite character is Avery's dad (Dave Koechner) because he is kind, silly and pretty inspiring. He is such a good dad role model.

The two primary messages for this movie are that nobody's perfect and always keep your faith. There are a couple of examples of bad behavior in the movie, like someone stealing a car and running away from home.

I give A Week Away 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. It comes out on Netflix March 26, 2021.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, THE
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV, AGES 11-18
Description - Following the events of 'Avengers: Endgame,' Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities -- and their patience.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready to fly into nonstop action? Are you ready to watch a show that will belly laugh and also immerse you in an emotional ride of a lifetime? Well if so, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the show for you! Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return in iconic roles, delivering mind-blowing action choreography and creative new ways to show action like Marvel hasn't achieved before. This will definitely bring a smile to long time Marvel fans, and it will also be extremely enjoyable for first time Marvel viewers.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, establishing the current status of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Sam (aka the Falcon) is still completing missions fighting crime left and right. Bucky (aka the Winter Soldier), on the other hand, is lying very low. He is dealing with mental health issues, trying to make peace with himself and the world. When the terrifying villain Zemo makes his reappearance from the events of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky and Sam must team up and defeat this foe.

In Captain America: Civil War, we get a taste of the Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan duo. Everyone loved it. Now to satisfy our lust for more, we have The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Their chemistry is outstanding. You laugh consistently throughout the show, making you want more and more. The visual effects and writing departments each deserve a lot of credit for the extremely creative route the show takes, demonstrating to the world what beautiful effects Marvel can produce.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is intense at times. A good portion of the show is pure action that some parents might not be comfortable with their younger children seeing. Some episodes contain mild cursing. The show does offer many morals and lessons. It explores themes such as teamwork, love and friendship. It also teaches the lesson that, even though you might have lost someone you love, they would have wanted you to move on and continue to live the life you want.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier soars higher than the Falcon does in the show, delivering plenty of great laughs and action-packed scenes. The show does contain intense action and cursing. Therefore, I give The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Every Friday a new episode releases on Disney+ starting March 19, 2021, so make sure to check it out!

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

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the action-packed series everyone needs! With explosions, story-telling and two Avengers, we explore the backstories and lives of our favorite superheroes. This show is definitely a Marvel world-class adventure.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame. We catch up with the two heroes and see how much has changed in the last five years. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is still fighting crime as the Falcon, as he hangs up the Captain America shield. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes tries to move on from the wars, as his past as the Winter Soldier haunts him. Soon, the two Avengers must team up against their latest villain, Baron Zemo (Daniel Br�hl).

Marvel yet again delivers with the cinematic spectacular they're known for. The series starts off doing what Sam knows best - fighting and flying. With explosions and swift movements, Sam saves a prisoner. This series really gives insight to characters that never took center stage. It showcases why their skills and mindsets make them valuable assets and Earth's mightiest heroes. It's so exciting to see them on their own. It's beautiful to see the two heroes be actual humans and people, not just aliases. We also see how comfortable the actors are in their respective roles. Sebastian really dives in deep into how Bucky has changed and faces these emotions head on. Anthony also merges with Sam. It's so hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. They're both hilarious and their performances offer comedic relief. I can't wait to see both Sam and Bucky reunite. These two characters have been teased to be a comedic duo in previous Avengers films.

The moral of the series is that there's always a way to help heal all kinds of wounds. Sam desperately tries to help his sister with finances and tries to gain back the time he lost. Bucky, on the other hand, goes to therapy to help deal with his trauma and pain, trying to erase all traces of the Winter Soldier.

I give The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It starts streaming on Disney+ March 19, 2021.

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

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


HERO DOG: THE JOURNEY HOME
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HERO DOG: THE JOURNEY HOME
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Chinook, the Alaskan malamute, must lead a shipwrecked blind man out of the wilderness while the man's children launch a rescue mission of their own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hero Dog: The Journey Home is a new family-friendly adventure that will warm your heart. Directed by Richard Boddington, this film is sure to tug at your heartstrings as it follows the journey of a shipwrecked blind man who is courageous enough to attempt to find his way home through rugged terrain led by "man's best friend." This breathtaking journey is filled with a great deal of suspense and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Blind Royce Davis (Steve Byers) and his newly appointed seeing-eye dog Chinook are en route to his sister Susan's (Natasha Henstridge) house deep within the Canadian wilderness. He boards a boat to cross the lake to get there. Royce's sister Susan (Natasha Henstridge) and his two children Erin (Morgan DiPietrantonio) and Max (Zackary Arthur) await his arrival but the boat never arrives. The boat's captain has suffered a heart attack and Royce and Chinook set out to find their way home while Royce's children launch their own mission to find their dad.

It's hard not to enjoy a movie where the lead role is played by "man's best friend." Chinook steals the show with his courage, knowledge and ability to become the eyes for his human. Although Chinook doesn't belong to Royce Davis, this dog knows his role and his instincts are put in place right from the beginning of the film. Chinook surely has the star power in this film. Since I am a huge nature lover, I truly appreciated the cinematography in this film. The landscapes are amazing, especially during the fall months in which the movie is filmed. The nature scenes are spectacular and the wildlife within them are well appreciated. I also enjoyed Max's survival skills and his will to want to put those skills to use in helping to find his dad.

Hero Dog: The Journey Home provides viewers with the strong message about hope and strength. Many people struggle with a variety of disabilities which can be life threatening at times. These challenges can certainly be overcome when you allow hope and strength to lead the way. Of course, Royce Davis has significant help from his furry friend Chinook, but without his will to survive, he may have fallen victim to his disability.

I give Hero Dog: The Journey Home 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18; adults will love it too as this is the perfect family movie. Hero Dog: The Journey Home will be available on Digital, On Demand and DVD March 23, 2021. This is a great film so don't miss it!

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

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



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