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What to know: Funny, thought-provoking and courageous.
Recommended age 5-12
70 minutes
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LION KID, THE cover image Click to play video trailer
This is very appealing, due to its excellent production and storyline. Children will enjoy the animated animals talking and being expressive. There's also a wild western location they will enjoy.

There are honest characters that I wanted to root for. The villainous characters entertain, but I still want them to be exposed. The content and language is suitable for its target age group. Some words might be a bit advanced for some kids, but are not at all inappropriate. The main villain, Mr. Tucker expresses hope for continued inequality and uncivil treatment. His comments are more thought-provoking than violent.

The storyline involves problem solving and is thought provoking. There are plenty of lessons to be learned that most will find relatable. I like the message that it doesn't take experience to recognize and protest against unfair treatment.

The Lion Kid is one of my favorite new films. I found it funny, thought-provoking and courageous. Kidd Mane is sure to become a fan favorite, because he has the heart for any job. He stumbles upon a town called Tuckerville. Oddly enough, this town is without a sheriff. Kidd is nervous, but he accepts the job with honor.

There are important messages in this film about facing fears, being an honest and hard worker and standing up for equality. Kidd Mane (aka The Lion Kid) is awarded the chance to transform a shattered community. He has support from his fellow animals, especially deputy Tibbs. Manipulation and rumors threaten Kidd's mission to transform this oppressed western town.

I recommend The Lion Kid for ages 8 to 12, as they would really appreciate the continuous learning and acts of courage throughout this film. Most will find the problems addressed easy to relate to. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It will be released July 2, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The animated film The Lion Kid is full of surprises. The story focuses on a lion named Mane who is looking for a job. The first surprise is that he is not what we think when we think of in lions: He's nice, not mean, and he's friendly.

Mane is traveling alone in a new town and meets a member of the town council who wants him to become the sheriff. Mane is interested in the job, but he doesn't realize that becoming the sheriff will bring him problems. Not everyone in the town is happy about this idea. There is a man who is running the town, and everyone is too scared to stand up to him. The problems Mane has to face will teach him that he is able to be strong and brave.

The animation is basic. There are not many special effects in this movie, and it doesn't look as real as some animated films. The cinematography is like the town: simple. I have to say that the movie is a bit slow at times. I was looking for more action and adventure, since it is set in a Western town. I thought it might have a little more violence, but I'm glad that it doesn't because a lot of kids' movies have too much.

I will say that I learned a lot, though. Some of the things I learned, I already knew, like that sometimes life is a big challenge. At first Mane faces challenges because no one wants to hire him without experience. That is why I was surprised when he becomes the sheriff. It is almost like he is forced into becoming the sheriff, and when he does, Mane promises to do his best and makes rules for people to follow.

Another good thing The Lion Kid teaches is that we should believe in ourselves. This is when the film shows that we should always have courage. For example, Mane doesn't back down to the people who try to run him out of the sheriff position. He stands up to them and for what is right. He shows that doing what's right is the best thing to do. I was happy to see that Mane does not back down and doesn't run away.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 8. The Lion Kid releases July 2, 2019, so give it a shot and watch it because there's always something to learn.

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

This wholesome movie really made me smile. My mom strictly monitors the TV and movies that my siblings and I watch. There are actually a few PBS shows that my mom has banned. She says "they promote negative social behaviors." This film, however, exudes the positive qualities most parents want to teach their children. We are now allowed to watch anything written by B.C. Furtney without mom's prior approval.

Old-fashioned Western music introduces us to this high-flying town. This old west desert is complete with a general store, a showdown at high noon and, of course, a new sheriff in town. Animals from land, sea and air all live and work together in this oasis in the clouds. The town is run by a sinister donkey that plans and plots to turn the hard-working citizens into slave laborers. Hopefully, the new Sheriff, Kid Mane and his deputy can keep the inhabitants of "Skytern" free and happy.

Director James Snider and writer, B.C. Furtney join to bring us this CGE animated film. The two have teamed up for more than ten of this new film director's 18 animated movies. K.J. Schrock and Simon Hill give the main characters believable Western accents. Unfortunately, the voiceover and the animation is inconsistent. The movement of the character's mouths do not match the words being said. Young children will definitely enjoy the variety of talking animals, though, the dinosaur adds a lack of continuity. Some of the vocabulary and idioms give us older children a welcome challenge. I really enjoy the idea of different animals living peacefully together. It makes me hopeful for a time when all humans can do the same

Despite the needed improvements with the CGI, the lessons in this film make it extremely worthwhile. This movie teaches us to welcome change and encourages us to try new things and stay open to opportunities. It warns us against the perils of listening to gossip. Most of all, it exemplifies the Golden Rule: Do unto others as we would have them do unto us. There's a bit of borderline profanity, but it could be used as a teachable moment. After all, a donkey by any other name is still a donkey.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 13. You can find this movie on DVD July 2, 2019.

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

This animated, unique, funny and creative film tells a imaginative story that will keep you interested the entire time. This film takes you through the eyes of a fearless leader who is brave. This film was created by B.C. Fourteen (BC Furtney).

This film follows Kidd Mane who is a Lion Cub without a home - that is until he wanders into the western settlement of Tuckerville, which happens to be a town without a sheriff. As he searches for a place to settle, he comes across a helpful citizen named Tibs. Tibs suggests he find a job. Since Tuckerville had no sheriff, he applies for the job and is surprisingly hired. Unfortunately, this puts Kidd Mane at odds with the notorious town founder, Mr. Bucktook Tucker.

The lead characters in this film are the protagonist Kidd Mane, his helpful Deputy Tibs and Mr. Bucktook Tucker. My favorite character is undeniably Kidd Mane, because during Mr. Bucktooth Tucker's evil plan to turn every citizen of Tuckerville against Kidd, he stands by his word and tries to persuade each individual person into believing he wasn't apart of Tucker's evil plan. I also love how Kidd Mane cares about his new city and wants to protect it and everyone who lives in Tuckerville.

My favorite scene is unquestionably when Kidd Mane's problem becomes resolved and everyone realizes they were wrong. It brings peace to the community and is a very enjoyable moment.

This film does have some bad language, also some things kids might try to imitate. There are important messages in this film about how you should never stop believing in yourself, even when others don't, facing fears, being honest and working hard.

I'd give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 15. This film is available on DVD July 2, 2019. Make sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Nathalia Marie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

My grandfather would be so happy that they are bringing westerns back and I am to wear to my "Howdy Sheriff" hat and my horseback riding. On top of that, I absolutely love westerns and the innovation in this film.

The animation in this film is actually very dimensional and very colorful. Both combine to make a brand new world, filled with animals that can talk such as aardvarks, elephants and lions (of course). Oh my! And on top of that, flying high are sky-high balloons that can float up into the air, evil villains and so much more, which is a brand new twist on the Western tale. Speaking of villains, we have Tucker the evil villain, who wants to take over the whole town and the Lion Kid comes in to save the day. He's my favorite character in this film. He's not only kind and courageous; he's adorable. All characteristics of good lions of course. He's also the character who tells the moral of this story, which is that you need to stand up to the villains and, of course bullies, and tell them that they can't take over your town or your life. I actually love this character because of that.

I would have to say that one of the off things about this film is that when the characters talk, some of their mouths move a little weird and it seems dubbed. Other than that Dream Machine Animation, which created this film and James Snider, who directed it, did a terrific job.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 10, because of the lessons that we learn and the animation will captivate the audience. They will love the characters and the animation. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This movie comes out July 2, 2019. Be sure to look for it.

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

This animated tale tells of a lion that comes to the town of Tuckerville to take on the job as the sheriff. The town readily accepts Sheriff Mane as their new law enforcer. But some local politicians, such as Mr. Jeb Tucker, are envious of this young, new sheriff and he attempts to sabotage Mane's good name with falsified orders. The setting is of the Old West with the narrow, wooden, two-story buildings, old-fashioned carriages and outfits reminiscent of that time period. The only thing disconnected from the Old West setting is the airborne (Argonaut) carriages. In the end, Mr. Jeb Tucker's feelings' about Sheriff Mane come full-circle for very good reason.

The production quality of this film is excellent. The CGI visuals are of a Dreamworks' animation quality. The sound quality is clear and suitable for most people, as is the soundtrack. The animated location of The Old West is pretty accurate for its time, as are the costumes. The dialogue is appropriate for its target audience. There is no overly complicated jargon.

Taking all that in consideration, this production could be a bit more sophisticated. The scenes are a bit long and drawn out at times. As an adult viewer, I wondered if a young child would notice that and lose interest in some scenes. The Lion Kid appears to be modeling a Dreamworks' production such as Shrek, but its humor and overall liveliness isn't quite on the same par, although it is still entertaining. I would love to see more wit to the characters' repartee. The plot is rather straightforward and suitable for a young audience.

Parents should know that there are a couple of places when a character calls the donkey bureaucrat a "jackass," as a play-on-words. Unfortunately, this "blurs the line" in terms of mild profanity.

I recommend this for ages 7 to 12 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars as I did enjoy the themes and animation of this film. It releases July 2, 2019 so, check it out. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Kidd Mane is a lion cub without a home - that is, until he wanders into the western settlement of Tuckerville, which happens to be a town without a sheriff! Meeting folks and making friends, Kidd applies for the job and, with a little help from the long-suffering town council - Judge Ryker, Miss Scarlet, and Miss Clarabelle - he becomes the new sheriff of Tuckerville! Unfortunately, this puts Kidd at odds with the notorious town founder, Mr. Bucktooth Tucker! With a new sheriff in town, Tucker's crooked schemes are in jeopardy - until he resolves to run Kidd out, just like he did to the previous sheriff. Teaming with his devious lawyer, Jeb Easton, and recruiting two brutish thugs, Cliff and Gnash McGavin, Mr. Tucker pulls out all the stops to retain control of Tuckerville! On a collision course with the town's old guard, it's up to Sheriff Kidd and his loyal deputy, Tibs, to stand strong and turn back Mr. Tucker's threat - or lose Tuckerville forever!
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