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Recommended age 5-12
70 minutes
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Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: 'Twas the Night Before Liftoff is a wonderful DVD that is educational and interesting and still very funny and entertaining. In it, some very colorful characters have a very important and exciting adventure. It also has an educational, original music video at the end of each episode.

This DVD contains six seasonal episodes of Thomas Edison's Secret Lab that create one special holiday story. It features four kid geniuses who help a virtual Thomas Edison to solve every day and unusual problems using science. In the first episode, Stranger in a Strange Lab, the kids learn about wormholes from Albert Einstein so they can help Thomas Edison's Friend, Bob, with an urgent, top-secret project. In the following episodes, which include Sturm und Drag, All the Heavy Lifting, Twas the Night Before Liftoff, Von Bolt Meets Santa, and And to all a Good Flight, they help him solve problems with his project using their scientific knowledge, scientific theories and the help of historic geniuses such as Isaac Newton, Pythagoras and George Cayley. Meanwhile, Thomas Edison's steampunk robot, Van Bolt, digs deeper into Bob's secrets to reveal his true identity and the real reason his project is so urgent.

This film is very funny and educational, teaching science, history and vocabulary in a very entertaining way. It also contains loads of cool fun facts. I really like how all the scientists that help the four kids are real scientists from history such as Albert Einstein. From watching this DVD, I learned that George Cayley created one of the first flying machine, how airplanes fly and the amount of time you can be in freezing temperatures before getting hypothermia or frostbit. I also learned that batteries die quicker in cold temperatures and how space suits work. My favorite part of the DVD is the original music videos at the end of every episode. They are funny, cool, and catchy and actually help to remember the facts!

I give this DVD five out of five stars because there was nothing I didn't like about it. I recommend it for children age 5 to 13 and I think it would make great holiday viewing for kids that are interested in science and engineering. It is available on DVD now so go check it out.

By Rohan Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

My overall thought about this film is very positive. It is a very fun interactive movie that various kids will enjoy due to its learning experience. While watching, I felt as if I was being taught something new while celebrating the Christmas spirit. You will definitely not be bored throughout the film.

The story is about a secret lab developed by Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor) in a world that no one knows about. In that lab, a virtual version of Thomas was built along with a robot named Von Bolt. A long period of time passes and a young girl named Angie (Philipa Alexander) discovers the lab. An old friend of Edison comes to town and asks the Secret Lab Kids to help him. The viewer is invited to join the cast of Thomas Edison's Secret Lab in solving the mystery of the secret project and the mysterious friend.

My favorite scenes would have to be the sudden sing along tunes. Each tune has a new lesson that is introduced at different times. Science is taught with touches of the Christmas spirit as well. I really admire how the writers create similarities between science and Christmas for kids to get them into the spirit of the holidays. For example, a song explains the scientific history of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, but the characters also talk about what they want to do for Christmas. Another example is when Von Bot teaches the kids about the magic of Christmas and what it is really about. I felt as if I was being taught new information and opinions about science by the characters in the film, which I found positive and enjoyable.

Without giving away the ending, the moral message is to focus on the task at hand and work together as a team to get things done. At first, the characters have trouble realizing that they were given a special mission that needed to be completed by a certain time because they were so focused on the fact that Christmas was coming soon. I really like how the writers tried to not to make the message so repetitive since many children's movies are. It really is a fun and calm, interactive movie to watch. I recommend this film for children ages 5 to 12 due to its childish, yet mature message and educational information. I also think parents would enjoy watching this along with their kids and they may even learn something new like I did. I rate this 5 out of 5 stars because of its merry Holiday spirit and interactive learning experiences. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This is a fun ?DVD with a mystery to solve which makes it more interesting than the typical holiday type ?of ?show. I like that this is family friendly, engaging and fun to watch. I also like that this isn't just for the little kids but is appropriate for ages 5? to 12. The characters are my favorite part and they will appeal to kids ?in this age range. I give this 4 ?out of 5 ?stars for ?its entertainment value?. ?I am not sure if it will keep all 12-year-olds interest?ed? but they may ?enjoy ?watch?ing? it with their younger siblings. It's a fun holiday film? and available now on DVD. ?Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison built a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a steampunk robot named Von Bolt. Years later, Angie, a twelve-year-old science prodigy, discovers the lab. When an old friend of Edison's visits the lab and asks the Secret Lab Kids to help him with an urgent, top-secret project, they have to follow him through a wormhole to get to his own secret lab. Who could this mysterious friend be and what is this top secret project during the holiday season?
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