KIDS FIRST! has endorsed 967 total FeatureFilm titles

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KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
80 FOR BRADY

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80 FOR BRADY
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80 FOR BRADY - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - 80 For Brady is inspired by the true story of four best friends and New England Patriots fans who take a life-changing trip to Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady play, and the chaos that ensues as they navigate the wilds of the biggest sporting event in the country.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 80 for Brady is a perfect movie to watch with a best friend, family member and sports fan. What I love about this movie is that it successfully connects the importance of being courageous, while trusting those closest to you to overcome your biggest obstacles in both sports and in life. Also, what else would you expect from Tom Brady (producer), but an inspiring movie about the power of attitude and belief to pull off miracles.

The story follows four best friends, Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field) and Maura (Rita Moreno) who, for 16 straight years, loyally followed Tom Brady's career. After watching the Patriots' 2017 AFC Playoff win, Lou asks her friends to join her for an unforgettable adventure - "Let's go to the Super Bowl LI."

The movie is hilarious with scenes of dancing, funny sports superstitions and includes live action and original sound from the Super Bowl LI experience. Several scenes include live audio of player commentary on the field that you've likely never heard before. One of my favorite scenes is when Lou finally has the chance to talk to Tom Brady in an emotional speech, which inspires us to never give up. The game brings us back to the greatest comeback, both in Patriots history, and in Tom Brady's incredible sports career. The love of football connects us as Americans and the true story of four loyal women, who followed Tom's career for 16 years to finally make it to the Super Bowl, is inspiring for us all - even if you're not a Tom Brady fan. To see Lou, Trish, Betty and Maura having a great time attending exclusive parties, dancing with Gugu's (Billy Porter) dance crew, eating in Guy Fieri's spicy hot wing contest and gambling with high rollers really brings one hilarious scene to another. This film shows that both your age and life challenges can't stop you if you believe you've still got it. I can't wait to have the chance to go to a Super Bowl myself someday with my best friends and family. What an adventure.

The message of the movie is about the importance of friendship and courage to overcome obstacles and embrace the unknown together. The film reminds us to trust in our loved ones; never let fear stop us; and live life to the fullest.

I give 80 For Brady 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters beginning February 3, 2023.

By Keila V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

80 for Brady is a hilarious movie. It has amazing acting and an amazing cast. Funny moments are around every corner with its hysterical plot.

The storyline follows four women all around age 80 who all idolize legendary football quarterback, Tom Brady. After Lou (Lily Tomlin) wins tickets to the 2017 Super Bowl, the girls are off on a crazy trip to Houston. Along with her best friends Betty (Sally Field), Trish (Jane Fonda) and Maura (Rita Moreno) they fly to Houston to watch their favorite team, the Patriots, on the trip of their lives. Nothing goes as planned and when Betty loses the tickets during a hot wings contest, the girls don't know how they'll ever make it into the game.

Along with an all-star cast, this movie has hilarious jokes throughout. All of the shenanigans the girls get into are unbelievably crazy and insanely fun to watch. I love when Betty signs up for Guy Fieri's hot wings contest because she ends up winning and, after it's over, she tells them that her taste buds aren't very good so she can barely taste anything. The scenes from the Super Bowl are amazingly. Everything seems so real, like you're actually there watching it. My favorite character is Betty because she's so sweet and wants to do something exciting for once in her life. The funniest scene is when Maura is kind of out of it and stumbles into a poker game and wins lots of money thinking she can buy more tickets after Betty loses them, but after she cashes out she finds out it was a charity game.

The message of 80 for Brady is that you're never too old to have fun. These women are all over 75 and think they're destined for a life of sitting at home until this one great adventure. Parents should know that there are a couple of things to be wary of. They accidentally take some drugs at a party and there's some profanity.

I give 80 for Brady 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theaters February 3, 2023.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The film, 80 for Brady, directed by Kyle Marvin, is amusing, engaging and fresh. This film equally balances the elements of comedy and drama while still maintaining real life situations and grounded characters. Not only does this film include familiar celebrities, such as actress Rita Moreno, this film is produced by 7-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady.

The story follows best friends in their 80's, Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field), Moura (Rita Moreno) and Lou (Lily Tomlin) as their yearly tradition of watching the Super Bowl finally arrives. They decide to attend it live this time, encouraged by the quarterback of the friend group, Lou, who is dead set on this adventure after discovering there's a possibility of her cancer returning. Throughout her time battling chemo, Lou gains the strength and courage to fight it by following the resilient and brave story of Tom Brady--watching his games weekly becomes something for her to look forward to, a sentimental tradition. So whether it means breaking out of retirement homes or joining a spicy wings contest, these four ladies are destined to step foot inside that stadium, no matter what obstacles are in their way.

My favorite character is Betty, who evolves from the beginning to end in an engaging way. Betty is known as the problem solver, not comfortable with confrontation and constantly changing her own wants and needs to benefit others, especially her husband. She doesn't know what it is like to make decisions without needing validation. Their goal to attend the Super Bowl is finally Betty's opportunity to experience that freedom and delivers many hilarious moments. Going from editing essays at home to partying all night long with college students has to be the greatest character development! My favorite aspect of 80 for Brady is how scenes jump from the perspective of Lou to that of Tom Brady. At times of difficulty, Lou often looks at her Tom Brady bobble head figurine, or speaks to herself as if she asking Tom questions about her dilemma. The perspective then switches to Tom expressing his opinion on how to help the situation. Throughout the film, Tom and Lou are not aware of each other until the end, but the instant cuts from Tom to Lou immerse viewers in their conversations.

This film provides a significant message: It is never too late to discover the wonders and experiences of life you may have missed. Happiness has no age limit--it is never too late to discover new interests and act on them.

I give 80 for Brady 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film releases in theaters February 3, 2023. Enjoy!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ISLAND OF ILUS,THE
ISLAND OF ILUS,THE - RICARDO PODESTA
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - he movie " The Island of Ilus" brings comedy and adventure inside a magic and intriguing story. You'll know how is the origin of word Stork, why ostriches hides it heads into the ground, from where comes the ugly duck legend and why duckbills are so weird! The movie will make imagination flow pretty like the birds that deliver puppies on earth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The animated film, The Island Of Ilus, from Brazil, is so fun to watch. It has magical creatures, a villain, and a diverse group of rejected animals who end up saving the day! What more could you want?

The storyline follows the magical Ilus who start out life as blue blobs and become animals when they are transported to the outside world. One Ilus is transformed into a dog, and when he is in the outside world he is unable to find his family so he joins a group of rejected animals. An evil reptile and evil cat want to destroy the Ilus, but the plot is foiled thanks to a new friendship between the cat and dog.

The film is very engaging; the plot is filled with so many twists and turns that it keeps your attention. The animation is awesome -- the animals are amusing caricatures of real animals and are very fun to watch. The backgrounds are amazing; the images are clear; and the colors are vivid.

The background music fits the story line and effectively helps set the mood of the film. The voiceover actors exactly fit their characters. My favorite part is when the group of rejected animals realizes that they have a lot in common and work together to save their world.

The film's message is that, even though we may be different from each other, we can learn to work together to make the world a better place to live.

I give The Island Of Ilus 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. The film is fun, engaging, and tells a wonderful story. By Pamela L., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The animated film, The Island Of Ilus, from Brazil, is so fun to watch. It has magical creatures, a villain, and a diverse group of rejected animals who end up saving the day! What more could you want?

The storyline follows the magical Ilus who start out life as blue blobs and become animals when they are transported to the outside world. One Ilus is transformed into a dog, and when he is in the outside world he is unable to find his family so he joins a group of rejected animals. An evil reptile and evil cat want to destroy the Ilus, but the plot is foiled thanks to a new friendship between the cat and dog.

The film is very engaging; the plot is filled with so many twists and turns that it keeps your attention. The animation is awesome -- the animals are amusing caricatures of real animals and are very fun to watch. The backgrounds are amazing; the images are clear; and the colors are vivid.

The background music fits the story line and effectively helps set the mood of the film. The voiceover actors exactly fit their characters. My favorite part is when the group of rejected animals realizes that they have a lot in common and work together to save their world.

The film's message is that, even though we may be different from each other, we can learn to work together to make the world a better place to live.

I give The Island Of Ilus 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. The film is fun, engaging, and tells a wonderful story. By Pamela L., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ALICE IN CYBERLAND
ALICE IN CYBERLAND - FABRICIO BITTAR
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Alice in the Cyberland tells the story of Alice, a girl who is one of the biggest YouTubers in the country, famous for her videos and personality, although, in reality, she is a spoiled and arrogant girl. She is close to reaching the mark of 40 million followers and intends to make a special event on her channel to celebrate the record of the channel "The Rabbit Hole". Then everything changes when she is sent to the digital world and needs to face all her fears to save the day and return home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Alice in Cyberland is a terrific allegory for kids and adults, in the computer age. The mix of "real life" and animated sets explodes with imaginative characters and artistic designs. The story-line uses savvy inside jokes for those who understand "computerese." The characters struggle with values -- friendship, betrayal, forgiveness and social media ethics throughout the story, so the audience witnesses the evolution of conscious learning from naughty to nice.

Like Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Cyberland falls down the rabbit hole, but this time, into her computer. She visits the "trash bin," the motherboard and the "forget it" folders, each time with a new challenge and all without remembering her password. "Alice Admin" is guided by new fans and friends along the way, until she gets a few tough lessons about friendship and the cost of fame.

This film is an extraordinary feat. The acting coaches and director should be congratulated, as well as the editors and production staff. At first I didn't like the way Alice related to others; she is disrespectful. But the awakening that her experience gives her while inside the computer engaged me and made me want to see how things evolved. The theme of this film is digital engulfment, so the animation, production and editing give viewers a smooth show using a mouse, memes and imaginary bosses such as Queen of the Motherboard, or the evil Virus. It's adorable and clever. The costumes are true to the genre, and the characters that Alice meets are total archetypes, with appropriate, spectacular costuming. The sets are all animated and very interesting. Remember that they are digitally created to represent the inside of a computer. This film did not have a big budget, but it is so creatively laid out that it can and will hold the interest of most young viewers. There are five or six songs that are sung by different characters, and many times in a lively Brazilian style. As a composer, I was impressed and delighted by the songs. The underscore is crisp and feels appropriate throughout. The special effects are fun! They are not always believable, but the whole film is a fantasy that brings a smile to one's face. One scene that I just loved is when her fan, Lucas, sends hundreds of emails to help Alice climb up to the rooftop. Confused? Sound crazy? Yup, that's because it is completely crazy and imaginative. That is part of the film's genre -- somewhat slapstick. Alice (Lorena Queiroz ) is appropriately cast as a cute little YouTuber, as is her friend/rival, Raisa (PietraQuintella). The film is well cast and the level of professionalism with this group of pre-teen actors and adult actors is spot on. My favorite part is the climax when Alice had to release all of her blooper photos onto her channel, becoming totally vulnerable and authentic to her fans and subscribers. She does it for a good cause - humility - and the lessons she learned, similar to "do unto others as you would have them do to you." The film is experimental and clever. The film is from Brazil with dialogue in Portuguese and English subtitles. I love that it gives us insight into another culture.

The film's message is that you have to be careful not to sacrifice everything for your advancement in life via career or work. Be true to you friends and family and stay balanced.

I give Alice in Cyberland 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. By Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Alice in Cyberland is a terrific allegory for kids and adults, in the computer age. The mix of "real life" and animated sets explodes with imaginative characters and artistic designs. The story-line uses savvy inside jokes for those who understand "computerese." The characters struggle with values -- friendship, betrayal, forgiveness and social media ethics throughout the story, so the audience witnesses the evolution of conscious learning from naughty to nice.

Like Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Cyberland falls down the rabbit hole, but this time, into her computer. She visits the "trash bin," the motherboard and the "forget it" folders, each time with a new challenge and all without remembering her password. "Alice Admin" is guided by new fans and friends along the way, until she gets a few tough lessons about friendship and the cost of fame.

This film is an extraordinary feat. The acting coaches and director should be congratulated, as well as the editors and production staff. At first I didn't like the way Alice related to others; she is disrespectful. But the awakening that her experience gives her while inside the computer engaged me and made me want to see how things evolved. The theme of this film is digital engulfment, so the animation, production and editing give viewers a smooth show using a mouse, memes and imaginary bosses such as Queen of the Motherboard, or the evil Virus. It's adorable and clever. The costumes are true to the genre, and the characters that Alice meets are total archetypes, with appropriate, spectacular costuming. The sets are all animated and very interesting. Remember that they are digitally created to represent the inside of a computer. This film did not have a big budget, but it is so creatively laid out that it can and will hold the interest of most young viewers. There are five or six songs that are sung by different characters, and many times in a lively Brazilian style. As a composer, I was impressed and delighted by the songs. The underscore is crisp and feels appropriate throughout. The special effects are fun! They are not always believable, but the whole film is a fantasy that brings a smile to one's face. One scene that I just loved is when her fan, Lucas, sends hundreds of emails to help Alice climb up to the rooftop. Confused? Sound crazy? Yup, that's because it is completely crazy and imaginative. That is part of the film's genre -- somewhat slapstick. Alice (Lorena Queiroz ) is appropriately cast as a cute little YouTuber, as is her friend/rival, Raisa (PietraQuintella). The film is well cast and the level of professionalism with this group of pre-teen actors and adult actors is spot on. My favorite part is the climax when Alice had to release all of her blooper photos onto her channel, becoming totally vulnerable and authentic to her fans and subscribers. She does it for a good cause - humility - and the lessons she learned, similar to "do unto others as you would have them do to you." The film is experimental and clever. The film is from Brazil with dialogue in Portuguese and English subtitles. I love that it gives us insight into another culture.

The film's message is that you have to be careful not to sacrifice everything for your advancement in life via career or work. Be true to you friends and family and stay balanced.

I give Alice in Cyberland 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. By Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
THE QUILT: A LIVING HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC
THE QUILT: A LIVING HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC - SEAN KITHAS
Series: FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - At the historic Carver Center in San Antonio, TX, aunt and niece explore the history of African American music. Aunt Cynthia teaches her niece Lauren about music formed by African American history and culture, exploring music from the times of slavery, Negro spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, Harlem renaissance, gospel, civil rights, soul, R&B and hip hop. Aunt Cynthia uses the metaphor of a quilt to explain how African American music from the past connects to contemporary music. Produced by Musical Bridges Around the World, a performing arts nonprofit in San Antonio, TX.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a terrific documentary! This is exactly the type of film that our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival venue partner love. Educational and entertaining! Ever wonder about how African American music evolved? The Quilt: A Living History of African American Music provides an entertaining and engaging way to learn about the history and influence of Black music.

This beautifully illustrated documentary teaches about the evolution of African American musical styles from slave songs to spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, music of the Harlem Renaissance period, gospel, music of the civil rights movement, R&B and hip-hop. It is written and narrated by author Cynthia Freeman Gibbs and her 14-year-old niece Lauren Anya Hunter.

This film is truly a joy to watch. The information is presented in a clear and concise way that will leave you wanting more.. The filmmakers utilize a wide range of media to tell the story - graphic art, photography, dance, recordings, movies, and videos of live performances. It is easy to be swept away by the music; it is outstanding. The cinematography and camera work are also excellent. I am amazed by the crispness of the old photographs, especially those from during the Civil Rights era. The documentary was filmed at the Carver Community Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas where many of the famous musicians featured in the film performed. The film includes excerpts of performances by leading figures in Texas music including jazz scholar and performer Aaron Prado, pianist Arlington Jones, vocalist Beverly Houston, mezzo-soprano Veronica Williams, trombonist Ron Wilkins, blues singer and guitarist Marc "Mockingbird" Smith and Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson, a musician and San Antonio poet laureate. The metaphor of the quilt is used, according to the director Julya Jara, to illustrate "the interconnectedness of all the people and cultures and how big an impact African American culture has made." My favorite part is the use of an African American dancer, shot in black and white, weaving dance and music with the history of slavery.

The film's message is to emphasize the importance of African Americans and their cultural influence on music throughout history and today.

I give The Quilt: A Living History of African American Music 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This documentary is an entertaining way to learn about the various styles of African American music and its connection to history and culture. By Pamela L. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a terrific documentary! This is exactly the type of film that our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival venue partner love. Educational and entertaining! Ever wonder about how African American music evolved? The Quilt: A Living History of African American Music provides an entertaining and engaging way to learn about the history and influence of Black music.

This beautifully illustrated documentary teaches about the evolution of African American musical styles from slave songs to spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, music of the Harlem Renaissance period, gospel, music of the civil rights movement, R&B and hip-hop. It is written and narrated by author Cynthia Freeman Gibbs and her 14-year-old niece Lauren Anya Hunter.

This film is truly a joy to watch. The information is presented in a clear and concise way that will leave you wanting more.. The filmmakers utilize a wide range of media to tell the story - graphic art, photography, dance, recordings, movies, and videos of live performances. It is easy to be swept away by the music; it is outstanding. The cinematography and camera work are also excellent. I am amazed by the crispness of the old photographs, especially those from during the Civil Rights era. The documentary was filmed at the Carver Community Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas where many of the famous musicians featured in the film performed. The film includes excerpts of performances by leading figures in Texas music including jazz scholar and performer Aaron Prado, pianist Arlington Jones, vocalist Beverly Houston, mezzo-soprano Veronica Williams, trombonist Ron Wilkins, blues singer and guitarist Marc "Mockingbird" Smith and Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson, a musician and San Antonio poet laureate. The metaphor of the quilt is used, according to the director Julya Jara, to illustrate "the interconnectedness of all the people and cultures and how big an impact African American culture has made." My favorite part is the use of an African American dancer, shot in black and white, weaving dance and music with the history of slavery.

The film's message is to emphasize the importance of African Americans and their cultural influence on music throughout history and today.

I give The Quilt: A Living History of African American Music 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This documentary is an entertaining way to learn about the various styles of African American music and its connection to history and culture. By Pamela L. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INTERGALACTIC CAMP
INTERGALACTIC CAMP - FABRICIO BITTAR
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Ronaldo believes in the existence of aliens. When he and his little sister win a place to attend Intergalactic Camp, they discover something extraordinary.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Intergalactic Camp makes a terrific addition to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival with its blend of comedy, fun characters and music.

Ronaldo (Ronaldo Souza) believes in the existence of aliens. When he and his little sister (Marianna Santos) win a place to attend Intergalactic Camp, they discover something extraordinary. This feature from Brazil has all the elements of a terrific film for kids with its charming protagonists, Ronaldo and his sister, and an intergalactic mission. Young Ronaldo from the opening scene morphs to an older Ronaldo as he and his spunky sister audition for Intergalactic Camp, and burst into song. They are adorable and, once they get to the camp, prove that their superpower is just being who they really are. Everyone is quite well cast, especially Dr. Helium (Blota Filho), who is hysterical. I love that the language that everyone can understand is music!

The film's message is that we have to be true to our dreams, even if it involves speaking with aliens. Note that there is some mild profanity scattered throughout.

I give Intergalactic Camp 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. By Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Intergalactic Camp makes a terrific addition to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival with its blend of comedy, fun characters and music.

Ronaldo (Ronaldo Souza) believes in the existence of aliens. When he and his little sister (Marianna Santos) win a place to attend Intergalactic Camp, they discover something extraordinary. This feature from Brazil has all the elements of a terrific film for kids with its charming protagonists, Ronaldo and his sister, and an intergalactic mission. Young Ronaldo from the opening scene morphs to an older Ronaldo as he and his spunky sister audition for Intergalactic Camp, and burst into song. They are adorable and, once they get to the camp, prove that their superpower is just being who they really are. Everyone is quite well cast, especially Dr. Helium (Blota Filho), who is hysterical. I love that the language that everyone can understand is music!

The film's message is that we have to be true to our dreams, even if it involves speaking with aliens. Note that there is some mild profanity scattered throughout.

I give Intergalactic Camp 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. By Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE
TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE - JONATHAN MIRIN
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 2-12
Description - "To Bee or Not to Bee" tells Farmer James' comic, tragic and ultimately hopeful story - complete with puppetry, clowning, dance, live music and lots of audience participation. Piti created the show to raise awareness about the honeybee's plight and gives children and adults tools for helping pollinators thrive in their communities.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - To Bee or Not to Bee is an amazing, interactive, and educational film about bees, suitable for all ages. Not only does it tell us why we are not seeing many bees these days, it also provides information on things to do to encourage the survival of the bee population.

This feature length documentary explains the factors that have caused the decline in bees; how using pesticides and growing a single crop year after year on the same land and not growing plants or trees that attract bees contributes to the disappearance of bees. It also gives guidance as to what can be done to bring back the bee population.

The topic is relevant to all ages and is suitable for people that live in both rural and urban environments. The film inspires the audience to use their imagination and encourages them to make sounds, speak, and move around during the film. The camera work is well done -- the close-ups of the actors, who use props to create multiple characters, is very effective in stimulating the audience's imagination. The music is very catching and helps tell the story. There are no special effects per se, but the use of superimposed animation of bees and birds adds to the story line. The characters are very engaging and made me feel as if I was part of the story. Not only are there adults telling the story, there are children participating, which inspires the audience to play along. My favorite part of the film is when the actors are doing a fun dance to imitate how bees who have found sources of nectar tell the other bees where to find it.

The film's message is that money and greed are impacting the environment, but that humans can help restore things back to normal.

I give To Bee or Not to Bee 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Pamela L., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To Bee or Not to Bee is an amazing, interactive, and educational film about bees, suitable for all ages. Not only does it tell us why we are not seeing many bees these days, it also provides information on things to do to encourage the survival of the bee population.

This feature length documentary explains the factors that have caused the decline in bees; how using pesticides and growing a single crop year after year on the same land and not growing plants or trees that attract bees contributes to the disappearance of bees. It also gives guidance as to what can be done to bring back the bee population.

The topic is relevant to all ages and is suitable for people that live in both rural and urban environments. The film inspires the audience to use their imagination and encourages them to make sounds, speak, and move around during the film. The camera work is well done -- the close-ups of the actors, who use props to create multiple characters, is very effective in stimulating the audience's imagination. The music is very catching and helps tell the story. There are no special effects per se, but the use of superimposed animation of bees and birds adds to the story line. The characters are very engaging and made me feel as if I was part of the story. Not only are there adults telling the story, there are children participating, which inspires the audience to play along. My favorite part of the film is when the actors are doing a fun dance to imitate how bees who have found sources of nectar tell the other bees where to find it.

The film's message is that money and greed are impacting the environment, but that humans can help restore things back to normal.

I give To Bee or Not to Bee 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Pamela L., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 2-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CUPCAKE GUYS, THE

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CUPCAKE GUYS, THE - THE ROKU CHANNEL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - When former NFL teammates Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo decided to dip their toes into entrepreneurship, they knew they wanted to go about it differently. The former Pro Bowlers saw the hands-off, detached approach some athletes take in their investments and recognized they needed to be more attentive about the steps they took to ensure success. Prior to being cupcake guys, Griffin and Orakpo played for the Tennessee Titans as safety and linebacker respectively. It was in Tennessee that the men ate and fell in love with Gigi's cupcakes which was based in Nashville and was the largest cupcake franchise brand in the country. After finishing in the league, Griffin opened a franchise of Gigi's Cupcakes in Austin, alongside Orakpo and their longtime friend Bryan Hynson. The Cupcake Guys shows how our cast goes from Football stars to Cupcake Kings.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the Pro Bowl to the mixing bowl, Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo adjust to an unexpected chapter in their lives. As someone who is interested in baking and the process of owning a business, watching this series was an enlightening experience that sparked even more interest in these topics.

The Cupcake Guys is a creative new TV series with a combined focus on baking, business, football and family life. The Cupcake Guys follows Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo as they navigate the ups and downs of their business, Gigi's Cupcakes, with their close friend Bryan Hynson, after retirement from the NFL. Aside from focusing on cupcake-making and the business aspects of it, the series also shows the personal lives of each of the characters, including their relationships with family and friends. Each of the six episodes has a primary business focus and a primary personal focus for the three main characters. This provides a good balance and generally kept me engaged.

This TV series is so much fun and perfect for a family binge-night. The Cupcake Guys has consistently interesting storylines, with some being geared towards adults; some towards teens; and some towards kids. This is accomplished by including elements of humor for all ages and conflicts that everyone can relate to. For example, Michael Griffin's daughter, Mya, wants to play football at her school but worries a bit about how the boys on the team might react with her being the quarterback and only girl on the team. Many kids are probably able to relate to this in some way, whether it be the aspect of youth sports or feeling alone within a group of people. With all of this being said, the series can be a bit slow moving at times, with the same point getting too much screen time. However, The Cupcake Guys is still entertaining and I would be very interested in a second season. One of the best parts is when they show the actual making of the cupcakes and how the business works behind the scenes. As someone who is interested in baking and the process of owning a business, watching this series was an enlightening experience that sparked even more interest in these topics.

The Cupcake Guys has many important messages that address various business and family conflicts. The series focuses on teamwork and cooperation. However, with many different workers, there are often disagreements about business opportunities or personal situations. The Cupcake Guys also emphasizes equality among races and genders and highlights the importance of parents maintaining an even distribution of time spent on business and time spent with family. There is some very minor inappropriate language.

I give The Cupcake Guys 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can stream The Cupcake Guys on the Roku channel for free beginning January 18, 2023.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING

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MISSING - STAGE 6 FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - From the minds behind Searching comes Missing, a thrilling roller-coaster mystery that makes you wonder how well you know those closest to you. When her mother disappears while on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend, June's search for answers is hindered by international red tape. Stuck thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, June creatively uses all the latest technology at her fingertips to try and find her before it's too late. But as she digs deeper, her digital sleuthing raises more questions than answers...and when June unravels secrets about her mom, she discovers that she never really knew her at all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing is absolutely breathtaking. There are many suspense films, but the way this one is made is so new and different. It's a new era of filmmaking because we never see a real shot; it all takes place on a computer.

The storyline follows Junes' (Storm Reid) mom, Grace (Nia Long) who goes on a trip to Colombia and mysteriously goes missing.

This film has a lot of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat, plus I cried because there is a very touching mother and daughter relationship.

This film will most likely become a fan favorite because it has a really good cast and the story line is amazing. I saw some of them coming but I was still shocked at things that happen. It is also super funny. There is a lot of Gen Z slang and different inside jokes that Gen Zers understand. The best part is how the characters look and act in their respective ways. We see a side of different people but we really don't know if it's really them or just an act until the end. There is also a lot of suspense and I got scared a lot. It's also crazy seeing how much Storm has grown up and it's really cool seeing her appear in more mature and darker roles. She is a great actress who is not afraid to take risks.

The message of this film is that everyone can know absolutely everything about you from the internet so really look at what you say and post. This movie definitely is on the more dangerous and darker side because it addresses kidnapping and there are parts where we see some hostages and some inappropriate behavior and words such as someone getting shot and other physical violence.

I give Missing 4.5/5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Missing comes out in theatres January 20, 2023.

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST!* Film Critic, age 13


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LIVING

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LIVING - SONY CLASSICAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Living is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the eleventh hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Living illustrates that films are not just a source of entertainment. They can make us examine social awareness, consciousness and our values. This film tells a heartbreaking story about a bureaucrat who learns he has a terminal illness and is then galvanized to make a difference in his life and in those around him.

Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy) is a civil servant in 1950s London whose life is one of dull routine. Once he is notified that he has roughly six months remaining, he realizes that he no longer knows how to enjoy life and has become trapped in a meaningless existence. He attaches himself to others to observe life and thus makes changes from his friendship with his subordinate, Ms. Harris (Aimee Lou Wood) who notably adds spark to the movie and his life. He enjoys her appetite for life and remembers what it is to be alive. This realization motivates him to return to work and make important changes. His colleagues in the Public Works Department notice his dramatic change and he sets an example for his team to follow.

Living is a historical drama with splendid costuming and detailing in all the various sets used throughout the film. Every minute detail under director Oliver Hermanus provides the viewer immersion into this period piece. Costume designer Sandy Powell, along with the various artists who work on hair and make-up support the depth of this story. Bill Nighy gives a compelling performance as a man who resurrects his life and I particularly enjoyed his singing in this movie. The cast is very good in this film and it was a pleasure to watch him interact with all of the various actors as they portray various work stereotypes.

The film's message is that it is never too late to change the direction of your life and to influence those around you. Mr. Williams remembers not to push things under the rug and not to shy away from responsibility. It is an important message and reminder to us all to live life to the fullest. There are no scenes that younger viewers cannot watch, but the seriousness of the film and topic does not lend itself to younger viewers.

I give Living 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in select theaters January 17, 2023.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
A MAN CALLED OTTO

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A MAN CALLED OTTO - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES12 TO 18
Description - Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed A Man Called Otto. Tom Hank's portrayal of an aging man whose love of his life was taken way too young haunts his character Otto, but thanks to the persistent love of his new neighbors he emerges from his shell as he finds a new extended family.

The storyline follows Otto, a grumpy old man who thinks of himself as the quintessential rule enforces in his neighborhood and elsewhere. The film is filled with flashbacks which reveal the backstory of Otto's life and how he came to become the grumpy old dude he is.

The character, Otto, is played so well by Tom Hanks that you semi-hate him for his persnickety personality, yet as the story evolves and we learn about the tragic events of his past, the "what and why" become clear. When new neighbors move in across the street, the wife (Mariana Trevino) is persistent in not letting Otto escape her kindness, whether it means bringing him wonderful Mexican food, which Otto begrudgingly loves, or inviting him to spend time with her children. The tragedy of Otto's love story, which began and ended with his lively and beautiful wife, it is, no less, still a love story. It makes you ache for poor Otto who truly found his soul mate and lost her way too soon. He is bent on taking his own life, but constantly drawn away by his neighbors Marisol and her hubby.

Directed by Marc Forster, the film is beautifully produced with eloquent shots of the landscape of suburban Pennsylvania and sets that show middle class America in its simplest form. My favorite scene is a toss-up between the one with Otto and his neighbor buddy, during friendlier times when they compete for who has the coolest car and when he teaches Marisol how to drive; the speech he gives her about how she is not an idiot is awe-inspiring and afterwards, she loses all fear and drives like a warrior.

What I love most about this film is character. So many mass market films, particularly comic based ones, lack depth of character and this one delivers it in Otto, but also in Marisol and Anita, even Malcolm and Jimmy. Everyone evolves here and becomes more substantial than they are at first glance. Be forewarned that there are suicide attempts shown and some profanity.

I give A Man Called Otto 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It's rare to find a film with such substance. We laughed and cried, then did it again and again. By Julie S, KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I didn't love A Man Called Otto as much as I thought I would. It has a lot of funny parts even though it is a really sad movie. The funny parts are where they include different Latinx things and different things we say and do. As a Latinx myself, I had a good laugh, but my eyes did water up.

First we meet Otto (Tom Hanks), who is a grumpy old man that loves to follow the rules and fights with everyone. Everything is annoying to him and he really doesn't like people. He'd much rather be alone; he tries to do something many times and, along the way, he meets many people. We see a lot of flashbacks with Otto and his late wife.

This move is sad and, the way they use dark colors to really make the mood, makes it sadder. Tom Hanks excels in his portrayal of Otto. This film really addresses equality and how much things have changed. There is a LGBTQ+ character in it and Mack Bayda portrays him very well. The costumes are really cool thanks to Mariana Trevi�o. Not only that, but she brings a Latin feel to the film like in all the different Latino food that is featured.

The film's message is that just because someone else's life ends, yours doesn't have to. There are so many beautiful and wonderful people on this earth. The one thing parents should be aware of is that there is some self- harm and suicide.

I give A Man Called Otto 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out in theaters January 13, 2023.

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST!Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

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I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - A joyous, emotional, heartbreaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest female R&B pop vocalists of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Loved this film. Naomi Ackie knocks it out of the part with her portrayal of Whitney and brings you right into the center of Whitney's lives, loves, hopes, dreams and foibles. I watched this with a friend and, since both of us were long time fans of Ms. Houston, we were a bit anxious that it would take jabs at her faults (we all have them). It doesn't, rather it really shows her innocence as she makes it big in the complicated world of music stardom. Stanley Tucci, as her agent also plays Clive Davis to a T! We love Stanley and can easily imagine him as the person behind this super star.

This film is so well produced from its visuals to the audio track to the costumes. I can't speak to the authenticity of her costumes, but as my friend and I walked out of the theater we both said, "I want her costume designer."

As far as the message of this film goes, it really shows the vulnerability of a young women who is taken advantage of by many people as she reaches for stardom, including those who led her into drug abuse. However, there are also a lot of upsides to this, like the love she shows for her daughter and the loving support of her agent, Clive.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. There is some profanity and drug use, so be forewarned. By Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I Wanna Dance With Somebody is a new film about the life of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest voices of any generation. It portrays Houston in a new and exciting way that all audiences will love to see.

Raised by famous singer Cissy Houston (Tamara Tunie), Whitney Houston (Naomi Ackie) had a powerful voice from the time she was little. After being discovered while singing in her mom's place by record executive Clive Davis (Stanley Tucci), Whitney quickly became a huge singer all across America and around the world. This movie follows her life from the beginning to the end and shows what happened behind the cameras, closely following her relationship with her husband, family, and friends.

Naomi Ackie's performance as Whitney Houston is breathtaking. You can tell she studied Houston very closely. Whitney's relationship with her best friend, Robyn Crawford (Nafessa Williams) is focused on very heavily in this film, and I loved it. There is lots of tension between the actors and it definitely makes the film better in so many ways. Another relationship that is focused on in this film is Houston's relationship with Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders). Ackie and Sanders both put lots of effort into their roles and it pays off. The film I Wanna Dance With Somebody does an astounding job when it comes to Whitney's performances. It feels like you're really there watching her perform. My favorite scene -- and it's really breathtaking to watch it.

The message of I Wanna Dance With Somebody is that fame can change a person's life for good and for bad. Whitney Houston got lots of money and fame from her singing career, but it also messed with her in horrible ways. A few things for parents watching with children to be aware of is that there is lots of swearing in this movie and drugs are used towards the end of the film.

I give I Wanna Dance With Somebody 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters December 23, 2022.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MATILDA THE MUSICAL

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MATILDA THE MUSICAL - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Matilda the Musical is full of nostalgia and catchy songs, giving a new generation the chance to experience Matilda and her magic. Besides, who doesn't enjoy being a little naughty sometimes?

Matilda the Musical is the retelling of the classic 1996 film, Matilda. Matilda (Alisha Weir) is a young girl with a brilliant mind and a vivid imagination. After meeting a kindhearted and loving teacher named Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch), Matilda finally gets to go to school and get relief from her neglectful parents. It isn't all sunshine and rainbows, however, as she soon finds herself fighting back against the merciless principal of the school, Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson.)

Matilda the Musical is a musical whose songs will stick in your head all day. The casting for this musical is perfect for the characters and the story, especially in the roles for Alisha Weir and Lashana Lynch. They are both able to convey the delicate and innocent personalities that are Matilda and Miss Honey. When they are on screen together, the only thing the audience thinks about is how they want everything to work out for them. Matilda and Miss Honey are the definition of lovable characters. The process of Matilda developing telekinesis seems somewhat rushed, though -- it is such an important factor to the original story, and it might feel random or as though it came out of nowhere for some. We don't see Matilda building up her skills, so that is rather abrupt. The choreography, by Ellen Kane, is intricate and advanced. One of the concluding songs, Revolting Children, led by Hortensia (Meesha Garbett) and Bruce (Charlie Hodson-Prior) has choreography that has already become a fan favorite. The moves--combined with the talented dancers--capture everyone's attention.

The message of Matilda the Musical is that if there is something in your life that you believe is detrimental, or not adding value, it's okay to move on. Matilda the Musical shows the audience that you don't have to feel bad for choosing something better for your life.

I give Matilda the Musical 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Matilda the Musical comes out on Netflix in the U.S. and in cinemas in Ireland and the U.K. on December 25, 2022. Make sure you check it out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WILDCAT

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WILDCAT - AMAZON PRIME
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Wildcat follows the emotional and inspiring story of a young veteran (Harry Turner) on his journey into the Amazon. Once there, he meets a young woman (Samantha Zwicker) running a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, and his life finds new meaning as he is entrusted with the life of an orphaned baby ocelot. What was meant to be an attempt to escape from life turns out to be an unexpected journey of love, discovery, and healing.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Prepare to be inspired by a new documentary, Wildcat, directed and produced by Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost, which leaves viewers in a whirlwind of emotions and can turn your heart from empty to full at the drop of a dime. This is a film that you are not going to want to miss.

Struggling with depression and PTSD as a result from his time spent as a British soldier in Afghanistan, young Harry Turner attempts to escape his world in order to restore peace to his troubled life. That escape lands him deep within the Peruvian Amazon where he teams up with American scientist Samantha Zwicker, and together they work diligently to save injured and orphaned wildlife at Hoja Nueva Rehabilitation Center. The film focuses mainly on the duo's efforts to rehabilitate and "re-wild" orphaned ocelots, and their work seems to put purpose back into their lives. Harry continues with his mental struggles throughout the film and, although his efforts at Hoja Nueva are helping him overcome these challenges, the film highlights for us that these struggles may never truly be defeated.

There is so much to love and appreciate in Wildcat. The cinematography is terrific as it takes us to one of the most remote and biodiverse places on our globe, allowing viewers to get close up views of some incredible species of animals. The story demonstrates that beauty can indeed be woven into the lives of those who have dark days. And since I absolutely love cats and our family has been involved in cat rescue for many decades, I commend Harry and Samantha for their efforts in wildcat conservation and highlighting for us how difficult yet rewarding this line of work can be.

Wildcat is a true masterpiece. There are so many important thoughts to take with you after watching the film, and yet the film's most important message is about hope and courage. Mental illness is a life threatening disease, but, with some hope and a whole lot of courage, someone suffering from this condition can learn to cope with their disorder. There is certainly also the message about the importance of conservation and the willingness to volunteer in order to protect and restore our fragile ecosystems. We need more wildlife warriors and this film just may be a call to action for those conservation minded people. Parents need to be aware of some adult language throughout the film and at times some of the scenes display some very dark moments for Harry.

I give Wildcat 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12-18. Adults will also absolutely love this film. Wildcat releases on December 30, 2022, on Prime Video.

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER

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AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the extrasolar moon Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na'vi race to protect their home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Avatar: The Way of Water is a breathtaking adventure film that is just as magical, and show stopping as its predecessor and completely blew me away. The film gives the audience a magical experience into the world of Pandora.

Avatar: The Way of Water takes place 14 years after Avatar and follows the lives of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), his wife Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their four children. When a familiar threat comes back to take over Pandora, Jake and his family leave their home to explore different regions of Pandora preparing to fight to protect both their family and their world.

Avatar: The Way of Water is unlike anything I've ever seen before. The visuals and imagery far surpassed my expectations and made the movie incomparable to any other sci-fi film. The underwater scenes are my favorite and the interaction between the sea creatures and the Na'vi help make the ocean almost like a character in the story. Although the special effects and imagery are incredible, the plot is a little predictable. Using some popular themes and overused tropes, makes the plot not very original. The first movie, Avatar, came out nearly 13 years ago, and it might be advisable to watch or rewatch the first film in order to fully understand this sequel. The film is also quite long, with a run time of 3 hours and 12 minutes, and there are many scenes that I wish were shorter to cut down the run time. The acting is phenomenal, with Sam Worthington giving an exceptionally heartwarming performance. I love all the new additions to the cast and found the adaptations of the reef Na'vi a smart touch that makes the world of Pandora even more realistic. James Cameron (director) is without a doubt an incredible storyteller, and his ability to create the world of Pandora is amazing.

Avatar: The Way of Water promotes friendship and the importance of family; most of all it promotes respect. We see this through Jake Sully's relationship with his kids, but most importantly through showing the lack of respect that the "sky people" have for Pandora and the negative effects that has on the planet. Parents may want to know that there are a lot of fight scenes, many of which involve weapons and blood and also some profanity.

I give Avatar: Way of Water 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It will be released in theaters December 16, 2022.

By Emma D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Fans have been waiting since 2009 to see the sequel to Avatar; eager to see what new adventures await. Audiences are in for a treat, because Avatar: The Way of Water is full of adventures that makes the wait worth it.

Avatar: The Way of Water follows Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their family as they settle in Pandora. This period of peace doesn't last long due to the return of a familiar enemy of Jake's. The family now has to move to a different region where they have to learn to fit in, and learn the way of water. As disaster and surprise continues to strike, Jake is given the task of defeating his enemies in order to save himself, his family, and his people.

Avatar: The Way of Water is a dynamic, engaging story perfect for a night at the movies. It is a long movie, running three hours and twelve minutes' some scenes where Jake and his family are learning the ways of the Metkayina feel too long and they overpower the villain subplot. However, the scenes aren't anti-climactic, so they held my attention. The CGI in Avatar: The Way of Water stands out from the minute the film begins. The characters have high quality, unique features, and the underwater scenes and animals are astonishing. The ground-breaking new CGI techniques used give it a fantastical tone that is distinct from other films. I love the representation of a sibling bond. Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo'ak (Britain Dalton), Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li) and even Spider (Jake Champion) don't always get along. However, when it comes down to a life or death situation, protecting one another is always the most important. These relationships have the power to make the audience laugh and cry.

Avatar: The Way of Water carries the message that family is everything, whether they are related by blood or not. Jake clearly cares about his biological children and is willing to do anything for them. But even with Kiri, Spider and both the Na'vi and Metkayina people, you see his protective nature and the protective nature the family has over each other.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Avatar: The Way of Water releases in theaters December 16, 2022, so make sure you check it out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Avatar: The Way of Water is an action-packed sci-fi film that I thoroughly enjoyed. You don't have to be an Avatar fan to be entertained the whole time while watching this movie. This movie is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and is definitely a film you want to see on the big screen.

The storyline follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who has found a home with the forest clan on the moon Pandora. He lives there happily with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their four children until he realizes he and his family are in danger of being attacked by the humans, led by an old enemy, Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang). In order to protect his family and the lives of his people, they must leave their home and learn to live life away from the forest.

The CGI in this film is honestly one of the key factors that make this movie so engaging. The majority of the CG character animation is filmed with new motion-capture techniques using live actors, so the characters and various settings look so realistic. I especially like the vibrant colors of the underwater scenes. Watching the fighting scenes in 3D made me feel like I was part of the battle. The emotions the actors convey in this film are another component that makes this movie so good. When the scenes are intense, you can see the different emotions on their faces and in their body language. Whether it is anger, sadness, or determination, the emotions in the characters' voices help you get into what is happening. My favorite character is Lo'ak (Britain Dalton) because he is very relatable. He portrays normal teenage behavior, but also loves his family very much. Even though he gets into his share of trouble, when things go wrong, he tries his best to fix it in every way he can.

The message of Avatar: The Way of Water is that family is everywhere you go. Even though Jake and his family have to leave their home to stay out of trouble, they stick together. They help each other when times are tough and they always look out for each other, and sometimes have to risk their own life. Parents should be aware that this movie includes violence and some inappropriate language.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Avatar: The Way of Water opens in theaters December 16, 2022.

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

If you can believe it, Avatar: The Way of Water, the movie a decade in the making, tops the visual masterpiece of the original, Avatar. Be warned that this movie is a commitment as it is over three hours long!

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), the human transformed into a Na'vi person, and his wife Ney'tiri (Zoe Salda�a) are back and now have four kids. With the unexpected return of the wicked Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who is brought back as a Na'vi impersonator along with his crew, the Sully's are forced to flee the forest and explore what other places on Pandora, their home planet, have to offer.

Since this is the sequel to the mega-hit film, Avatar, I recommend watching the first film before viewing this one, as there are many important references and details that are key to following this film. The storyline leaves us with some more questions than answers; however it sets up moviegoers for the next installments. Viewing it on a big screen, especially in 3D - which I recommend - makes you feel like you're right beside the characters in the world of Pandora. Speaking of Pandora, the world building is absolutely remarkable. It expands our view of this amazing foreign planet. And as the name suggests, it focuses on the islands, oceans and reefs of Pandora. The aquatic plants and animals are majestic and gorgeously iridescent. The reefs and oceans are eye popping and staggering. Everything is so glowy and vivacious. If you thought the animation of the original film was awe-inspiring, wait until you watch this one! The animation is hyper-realistic. When looking closely, you can see the ultra-detailed textures of the characters and settings. The movement almost looks like it is from a cut scene of a video-game (it's honestly the best way I can describe it). Stephen Lang's performance as the Colonel is so powerful, and makes you hate his guts even more than you did in the first film. Sam Worthington as Jake and Zoe Salda�a as Ney'tiri seem to have developed even better chemistry than in the first movie.

The message of this movie is to always fight to protect loved ones. This movie also has strong messages about the bonds with family and friends. Be forewarned that there is violence and violence involving animals.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases in theaters on December 16, 2022.

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

I absolutely love Avatar: The Way of Water by James Cameron. It is suck a heartfelt and family film.

The story line starts back in Pandora following Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri's (Zoe Salda�a) family - two boys and two girls, who are quite wonderful kids. We also see that some people have been turned into avatars. We also see that the "air people" are coming to Pandora to completely destroy it and make a new world for humans, since Earth is dying. You will have to watch it to find out what actually happens.

Although the film is very long, at over three hours, it's absolutely worth it. It is a very emotional movie and definitely will make you cry. The CGI is absolutely unbelievable and you actually think that the avatars are real, because they look so realistic. I cannot believe that Avatar is finally back on the big screen with this long-anticipated sequel. I have watched the first film many times and can honestly tell you that this film is even better than the first one. The characters in this film are absolutely amazing and the actors portray them so well. For example Zoe Saldana portrays the mom in a believable way; she really shows how much she loves her kids. She is definitely a loving mom because, even in the worst battles she decides to risk her life so her kids can have one. I also cannot believe that Susan Sarandon's portrayal of a 17-year-old, since she's 70. The plot has a lot of ups and downs and what puts you at the edge of your seat is all the fight scenes and battles they face as a family -- and they still stick together. The special effects are out of this world; I truly can't believe that they actually filmed the mob underwater -- that's actually crazy cool. It definitely left me wanting more with its cliffhanger ending.

The message of this movie is about how family sticks together, no matter what happens or who tries to come between you and your family. You should be aware that there is a lot of rough behavior, fighting and a lot of blood. We see people going underwater for a long time, so a kid might be tempted to try it on his or her own. The avatars aren't fully clothed, but you don't see anybody fully nude.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters December 16, 2022.

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FANTASY FOOTBALL

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FANTASY FOOTBALL - NICKELODEON ONLINE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - In this hilarious and heartwarming father-daughter sports fantasy, everything changes when Callie A. Coleman (Marsai Martin) discovers she can magically control her father, Bobby's (Omari Hardwick) performance on the football field. When Callie plays as her dad, a running back for the Atlanta Falcons, in EA SPORTS Madden NFL 23, Bobby is transformed from a fumblitis-plagued journeyman to a star running back bound for superstardom alongside his daughter and wife Keisha (Kelly Rowland). With the NFL Playoffs looming and the pressures of Callie's new commitment to her friends on the robotics team mounting, the two must forge ahead to keep the magic a secret as they juggle the highs and lows of their newfound success, all as they rediscover what it really means to be a family.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fantasy Football is a film that has the potential to become a favorite. Since American football is one of the most popular sports in the world, what could be better than to combine a seasoned cast with beloved sport in a new movie?

The storyline follows Bobby Coleman (Omari Hardwick), an NFL running back constantly hit with misfortune on the field. As his life fills with questions, he and his daughter Callie (Marsai Martin) argue and Callie's discovers she can control Bobby's playing through a video game. You have to watch the film to find out if Bobby is able to use this to his advantage, or if it creates more trouble for everyone.

Fantasy Football is a comical, family friendly movie. Bobby's big problem is that he cannot keep the football in his hands long enough to land himself a starting spot or make a positive impact on any team. Although actual NFL players may not be in the exact same circumstance as Bobby, this movie nicely represents what their real experiences may be like. For me, it was fascinating to see what the life of a professional athlete might look like. The actors express multiple emotions, and their ability to drop hilarious lines and make faces that catch the audience's attention is what makes this so much fun. The dynamics and banter between Bobby and Anderson (Rome Flynn) helps carry the movie, and make it one that I would watch more than once. Led by Sekinah Brown, the costume designs display dedication and attention to detail. The uniforms that Bobby and the players wear look identical to actual Atlanta Falcons' uniforms.

The message of Fantasy Football is that nothing worth having comes easy. Bobby has had the worst luck in the NFL, after not breaking the rushing record, but all of his struggles become worth it when he finally gets his opportunity to shine.

I give Fantasy Football 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Fantasy Football is available now on Paramount+. Make sure you check this out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY'S

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SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY'S - AMAZON PRIME
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Nothing compares to the magic and excitement of the holidays in New York City, where the streets blaze with lights, windows dazzle, and a special box from Tiffany could change the course of a person's life -- or several lives. Rachel and Gary (Zoey Deutch, Ray Nicholson) are happy enough, but not quite ready for that big commitment. Ethan and Vanessa (Kendrick Sampson, Shay Mitchell), the perfect picture, are just about to make it official. When a simple mix-up of gifts causes all of their paths to cross, it sets off a series of twists and unexpected discoveries that lead them to where they're truly meant to be. Because love-like life-is full of surprises, in the holiday romance Something from Tiffany's.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - On a cold winter night, Something from Tiffany's will melt your heart and have you dreaming of blue boxes with sparkly surprises.

Love isn't always perfect, like a Tiffany's diamond. Rachel Meyer's (Zoey Deutch) life suddenly changes on Christmas day when she receives a surprising gift from her boyfriend, Gary (Ray Nicholson), and he is just as surprised as she. That same morning Ethan Greene (Kendrick Sampson) watches his future fiance Vanessa (Shay Mitchell) open a gift box only to discover the engagement ring he purchased has turned into earrings. This unintentional gift exchange sets off a series of humorous and heartfelt events encouraging Rachel and Ethan to find their true happiness and love.

I love how well this movie quietly integrates the magic of New York City during the holidays to highlight romance and self-discovery. Zoey Deutch's strong performance as Rachel has you rooting for her to set boundaries and find a healthy, loving relationship. And Kendrick Sampson's performance as Ethan Greene exudes a warm and charismatic personality which makes him the perfect choice for the right girl. The chemistry between the key characters creates effortless attraction, making you forget the complications in this romantic comedy. Ray Nicholson as Gary, Shay Mitchell as Vanessa, and Leah Jeffries as Daisy all play supporting roles with depth and honesty to the reality that love isn't always easy. Director Daryl Wein keeps the romantic moments authentic and light-hearted.

We often hear "everything happens for a reason" and in Something from Tiffany's, this is a huge understatement. Taking the risk to find love and cherishing the love between friends and family are themes celebrated throughout the film. Plus, it reminds us to follow our dreams and not fear failure.

I rate Something from Tiffany's 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Something from Tiffany's premieres on Prime Video December 9, 2022.

By Calee N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE FOOT 3

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LITTLE FOOT 3 - WOW NOW ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATUREM, AGES 5-8
Description - Say it isn't so! Little Foot has a foot odor problem! Will King Arthur defeat Little Foot's crawly, stinky, creepy foot cooties just in time for the Yeti Snow Party? Join the adventure and find out in Little Foot 3!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found Little Foot 3 entertaining, especially for its target age. It is a funny and heartfelt story about a Yeti named Little Foot who has a foot odor problem. He embarks on a journey to cure it in time for the Yeti Snow Party. This film is all about how you should never give up. I really enjoyed the animation of this film and the vibrant colors for the characters. It is amazing that the film's 14 voices are all made by five voice actors. I give Little Foot 3 - 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. It releases on DVD and VOD December 6, 2022. By Elizabeth V., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Foot 3 is a fun, family-friendly mystery - full of adventure and definitely grabs your attention.

Little Foot 3 follows Little Foot the Sasquatch who goes into space with his snowman friend. While he's there, he visits Santa, who reveals to him that he's suffering from something called shadow toes. This is when your feet have a terrible odor, making you, and every room you enter smell. Throughout the film we follow Little Foot as he undertakes a journey to end his shadow toes.

Something that I really enjoy about the movie is its adventurous storyline. Little Foot's expedition is a constant process. He is always meeting fun new characters, some of which are helpful, and some -- not so much. Either way, it's entertaining to see Little Foot interact with all these different personalities. Additionally, the picture quality stands out. All the colors are very vibrant and fun. However, I will say that the audio track isn't always in synch with the characters' lip movement. At times it's very noticeable and can be quite distracting. This takes away from enjoying the film, because viewers are distracted. Lastly the storyline has a lot of creativity. They take already well-established characters like Snow White and Santa Claus, and put their own twist on them, by giving them different personalities or traits.

The message of the film is to never lose hope in finding a solution.

Little Foot 3 gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 8. You can watch Little Foot 3 on DVD and VOD beginning December 6, 2022.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Little Foot 3 is one that I think younger kids would enjoy. The storyline is very unique, maybe a little repetitive. However, it is a funny story with many different and diverse characters.

This storyline is about a Yeti named Little Foot (Simon Hill) who has a foot odor problem. He treks all over the galaxy in search of King Arthur (Kelsey Painter) who can cure his sickness. He needs his foot to be odor free for the Yeti Snow Party. On his way he meets many characters in faraway parts of the galaxy including Santa (KJ Schrock) and Mr. Fox (John Thompson) from Robin Hood. It is a standalone sequel to Little Foot 1 and 2.

Little Foot 3 has a very impressive cast of voice actors. One thing that is so amazing is that there are only five voice actors, yet there are 14 voice parts! However, until I watched the credits I had no idea some actors voice multiple characters. The storyline is quite repetitive; every scene mostly involves Little Foot meeting someone and finding out where King Arthur is. There is one character that simply made me laugh every time -- Misty the Snowman; he never speaks and only makes sounds. Yet somehow Little Foot understands every sound he makes. The animation style is very unique; it uses a blurred background and the animated characters have very big heads.

The message of this film is to never give up and keep on searching as you may find what you are looking for.

Little Foot 3 gets 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8, plus adults. Little Foot 3 releases on DVD and VOD December 6 2022.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ELVIS THE PIG

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ELVIS THE PIG - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Description - A young girl learns she may have to sell her beloved pet pig Elvis to a local farmer to save the family farm. Unbeknownst to her, the farmer is planning a pig roast and not a forever home. The whole family bands together to save Elvis, uniting to reclaim their farm, proving that love is worth more than money.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Elvis the Pig has a wonderful message and gives a child plenty of issues they can relate to. The story is well written and delivered.

The story follows a family that has to move from their farm to the city due to financial stress and a young girl's beloved pet, Elvis the pig, has to be left behind. The farmer who buys the pig only wants it for food. With sheer determination, the girl tries to save Elvis from that terrible fate, and it motivates her whole family to join her adventure, ultimately proving that family relationships are worth more than anything. I found Elvis the Pig appealing in many ways and the message is evergreen. A favorite scene is the one at the market scene when Elvis hears the air horn and rushes towards it, wreaking havoc on the market, which is quite comedic. The ending is also very funny when the two antagonists are in the pile of waste. There are some scenes that are less than appealing, such as the negotiation of moving to the city and when the two antagonists first show up to buy the pig for food. It is very atypical for introducing villains.

The structure of the story is divided into very simple pieces -- girl gets the news of their move; she tries to convince her father to take Elvis with them; she takes matters into her own hands; finally, everyone joins in and, with their help she accomplishes her goal. The characters are well developed, especially the father as he changes from moving to the city and back to the farm, in spite of the hardships he has to deal with. I can understand the father, as the head of the household, does what he does. The young girl is the heroine of the story, as she remains undeterred in reaching her goal of saving Elvis. We are empathetic with her as it's hard to say goodbye to a pet or anything we've been attached to for a long time. The locations are very realistic, from farm to city. The easy-to-follow storyline is very suitable for its target audience, including the humor. In a good way, it emphasizes the importance of family bonding and the importance of determination. Although the father wants to move to the city, in the end he decides to stay at the farm for his daughter.

The message of the film is that sometimes, family love is more than anything.

I give Elvis the Pig 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It releases on DVD and VOD December 6, 2022

By Tom W., KIDS FIRST! .
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How far would you go to save something you love? Many people have been faced with a dilemma such as this and, no matter how old you are, your love for something can run so deep that your heart involuntarily leads the way. Elvis the Pig is a film that allows viewers to appreciate the concept of deep love for family, even if that member is not human.

This drama film is about a young girl named Riley (Aggie Bell) and her beloved pet pig, Elvis, who live a great life on the farm they love until the family is forced to sell their home due to financial hardship. Riley's life is soon turned upside down when she learns that her best friend Elvis will not be moving to the city with their family. A local farmer makes a deal with the family to give Elvis a good home but his intentions are deceitful as his real plan for Elvis is to host a pig roast with Riley's best friend as the main course. Riley and her older sister, Nylee (Camryn Macdonald) make it their mission to find their missing family member and reunite him at the farm.

What I really like most about this film is the dedication the family has for one another and their willingness to bond together when they need each other the most. Riley and Nylee don't appear to have a close sister bond, but when Elvis's life is in danger, Nylee is not going to let her sister's best friend fall victim to a horrible fate. The film is very relatable as many families have pets which seem to be the glue holding families together. Elvis the Pig is a bit slow to get going and some of the scenes tend to be drawn out, but overall the storyline is enjoyable and it is a wonderful family movie. The set location of the family farm with its variety of animals is a dream come true for many kids and the talking animals give the film a special touch.

You don't have to be a big animal lover to connect to this film's message. Elvis the Pig is about love, friendship and special bonds. Love runs deep, no matter if that love is between family, friends, or pets; many people will go to great lengths to protect those bonds. Elvis isn't your "usual" pet, but one thing is for certain, he has won the hearts of his family and their lives would not be the same without him in it.

I give Elvis the Pig 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Elvis the Pig releases on December 6, 2022 on DVD and video on demand.

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

Elvis The Pig is such an exciting film; it keeps you on your toes and puts you in a good mood as you watch the show. Elvis' constant remarks lighten the mood of the film.

The film is about Elvis, a funny character with a good sense of humor that he portrays even in difficult moments. We witness quite a bizarre relationship between a young girl named Riley and Elvis the pig who are best friends. However, Riley's family struggles financially and has to sell their family farm and leave Elvis behind. Little does the family know that the new owner has plans to roasting a pig (Elvis), but this leads to new adventures and a better understanding between all the family members.

The theme of the film revolves around family and friendship. I enjoyed seeing the quality time that the family spends together and how they are able to put aside their differences and come together solve the issue at hand. The story is really beautiful and demonstrates how unity can help overcome our difficult moments. Elvis captured my attention from the start, especially with his humorous comments. He motivated me to continue watching the film. What really stands out in this film is how involved the animals are and how they are personified they are in communicating their thoughts. It gives you an insight of how you will imagine animals talking. I particularly enjoyed the voice of Elvis, by Ryan Coates, which is brilliantly done. From the beginning of the film, through the end, you are drawn to Elvis' comments.

The message assures kids that things always work out regardless of the situation you find yourself in. It also showcases the importance of family relationship. Lastly, it reminds you that "a man's best friend" doesn't only apply to dogs, but can be any pet.

I give Elvis The Pig 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It releases December 6, 2022 on DVD and VOD.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIFRST! Film Critic, age 16

Elvis The Pig is an incredible film, full of life lessons that will influence audiences. I loved this beautiful story from beginning to end.

The storyline follows a little girl named Riley (Aggie Bell) who is unsatisfied with moving to another city and being away from her best friend, little Elvis, a pig. Something wrong happen and she and her sister help to rescue the pig from the hands of two silly bad guys.

The story is well written. I especially enjoyed the characters and their development during the film. They are special. My favorite parts are when the bad guys appear. Their scenes are so funny, because every time they plan to do something bad, they fail in a funny way. I also like the part when the parents are watching old family videos and they are emotional. I was emotional too during those scenes. The scene transitions are good and everything happens naturally. I love everything in this film. Congratulations to the production team!

The film's message is that love is above everything and, with teamwork, we can do things easier.

I give Elvis The Pig 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film releases on DVD and VOD December 6, 2022.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DISENCHANTED

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DISENCHANTED - DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - It's been fifteen years since Giselle and Robert wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city. They decide to move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life - unfortunately, it isn't the quick fix she hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe, who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn't been easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale, placing her family's future happiness in jeopardy. Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disenchanted is a magical combination of part musical, part fairy tale and part adventure. The acting, singing and animated segments make the film truly shine as a worthy sequel to Disney's beloved Enchanted.

Disenchanted follows Giselle (Amy Adams) and her family as they move from New York City to suburban Monroeville to find a new "happily ever after." However, they are met with many challenges, specifically Giselle's daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) has trouble fitting in at her new school. When Giselle makes a wish to try to solve all of their problems, it backfires, and they are left in a fairytale mess once again. Who knew that Malvina (Maya Rudolph) had the potential to be an evil queen? Will Andalasia disappear altogether? Or will Giselle find a way to save both worlds?

Featuring the entire original cast, Disenchanted is an excellent sequel. Although it includes all the same core pieces as Enchanted, it is more than a rewritten version. There's more music, with plenty of songs spread throughout the entire film. These upbeat and intense songs grabbed my attention; the ballads help tell the story and the softer pieces bring out the character's emotions. The dancing and animation help bring out the best in each song. One thing I noticed is that the songs are slightly repetitive. Sometimes, the song you're listening to sounds very similar to one you heard just a few minutes ago, which detracts from the musical aspect a bit. However, the singers are very talented. Specifically, Idina Menzel brings a lot to the table whenever she sings. The acting is also incredible. Amy Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino and Patrick Dempsey (as Giselle's husband, Robert) create a relatable family dynamic. The switching back and forth, between animation and live-action, is so cool. It makes the distinction clear between Andalasia and Monroeville, which could otherwise be a very confusing transition.

The message of Disenchanted is that you should be careful what you wish for. It may seem like there are so many problems that need to be fixed, but sometimes people need to solve them for themselves. Giselle wants to help Morgan fit into her new home, but her wanting to do that is unclear and causes more problems than before. Disenchanted also emphasizes the importance of family. Note that there is some very minor inappropriate language and some violence.

I give Disenchanted 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. You can watch Disenchanted on Disney+ now.


Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIRITED

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SPIRITED - APPLE TV
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Each Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) selects one dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits. But this season, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) turns the tables on his ghostly host until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future. For the first time, "A Christmas Carol" is told from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical twist on the classic Dickens tale. From Director Sean Anders ("Daddy's Home," "Instant Family"), written by Sean Anders and John Morris, with original songs by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ("La La Land") and production numbers choreographed by Chloe Arnold ("The Late Late Show with James Corden"), this modern retelling is a sweet and spicy holiday treat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Spirited is a fresh new take on Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol, paired with beautiful visuals and comedy. The film is incredibly entertaining, but misses the mark a bit in regards to the music and storyline.

Spirited follows the story of the Spirit of Christmas Present (Will Ferrel), on his mission to reform Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) and his heartless ways. With the help of Past (Sunita Mani) and Future (Tracy Morgan), the spirits hatch a plan to teach Briggs about the error of his ways. Through a series of events, Briggs turns the tables on the Spirit of Christmas Present and together they re-examine their past in order to live the lives they always dreamed of.

Spirited is a fun and upbeat film, but the music leaves much to be desired. Ferrel and Reynolds are excellent comedic actors and every scene that they are in together is super entertaining and funny. Although they are great actors, neither of them is particularly musically inclined, so unfortunately, many of their songs and musical numbers fall flat. However, one musical number that I really enjoyed was the "Good Afternoon" scene as it is filled with great choreography and energy, which makes it really fun to watch. The concept of the film is so clever and refreshing, but its downfall is that the plot has a lot of holes in it. There are a lot of plot-lines that are introduced, but never followed up on, which leaves the audience hanging with questions regarding the storyline. Plus, the consequences that Clint Briggs has to his "cancel culture" concept lack impact. Spirited has a lot of jokes relating to current pop culture and news, which makes it lose its timeless quality, as many of the jokes may be funny today but will not make sense for future viewers. It also has a lot of curse words and adult jokes, which makes it a little less family-friendly. The visuals in the film are all beautiful, especially in the scenes with the Spirits and their office and also in the "transitions."

Spirited addresses the negative impacts of social media and finding yourself. The scenes regarding social media and cyberbullying are very impactful, especially for teenagers and younger audiences. Parents should be aware that the film has a lot of curse words and adult jokes, which may be inappropriate for younger viewers.

I give Spirited 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available now in select theaters and will be available on Apple TV+ beginning November 18, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE, THE

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CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE, THE - RA VISION PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Podcast host Laura Ross and her longtime friend and producer Paul are challenged to re-examine their personal and professional relationships when a listener submits the daily "Christmas Challenge" that promotes togetherness to their ambitious "Modernly Independent" podcast.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Christmas Challenge is the perfect holiday romance film to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy. With a humorous and engaging script and great performances, you'll love watching the dynamic between Laura and Paul evolve in this heartwarming film.

The Christmas Challenge follows two enterprising media professionals. Podcast host Laura Ross (Jennica Schwartzman) and her close friend and producer Paul (Zack Gold) are challenged to re-examine their personal and professional relationships when well-wishing friends pose as listeners and submit the daily "Christmas Challenge" that promotes togetherness to their ambitious "Modernly Independent" podcast. And when corporate representative Michale (Galadriel Stineman) enters the foray to assess their podcast, matters grow even more complex.

The writing by Ryan Schwartzman is one of the best parts of the film. With its natural dialogue and banter between Laura and Paul and the well thought-out plot, The Christmas Challenge doesn't miss a beat. Jennica Schwartzman steals the show as Laura; she captures the angst of a woman both desperate to be independent and desiring companionship with delicacy. And you have to love Zack Gold; as he plays Paul, the "nice guy" trope -- he's 100% invested in winning over Laura at all times and that wishful glint in his eye adds so much to the film. Overall, a wonderfully made film!

The Christmas Challenge promotes togetherness and love. For those who are especially focused on their work and intent on being independent, this film is a reminder that it's perfectly okay to: (a) succumb to your feelings and (b) spend time with those you love.

I give The Christmas Challenge 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The Christmas Challenge on streaming platforms starting November 22, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DEVOTION

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DEVOTION - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Devotion, an aerial war epic based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the inspirational true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots who helped turn the tide in the most brutal battle in the Korean War: Jesse Brown, the first Black aviator in Navy history and his fellow fighter pilot and friend, Tom Hudner. Their heroic sacrifices and enduring friendship would ultimately make them the Navy's most celebrated wingmen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Devotion is an epically inspirational, heartbreaking and high stakes, action-packed war movie based on actual events. It's an emotional roller coaster that will fly you high into the sky and then crash you down into the ground.

Devotion is based on the inspiring true story of the first African American aviator in the U.S. Navy, Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and his friendship with another aviator, Tom Hudner (Glen Powell). It follows them as they help change the course of the Korean War.

This movie is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, written by Adam Makos. The cinematography is profoundly marvelous. The scenes of the pilots flying are intense as you feel the pilots' bravery and the dangerous situations they find themselves in. I highly recommend watching this movie on the biggest screen possible to appreciate the film's full effects. This movie takes place in the 1950s and the sets, locations, props and costumes perfectly capture the era, making you feel as if you are transported back in time. Jonathan Majors (Jesse), Glen Powell (Tom) and Christina Jackson (Daisy) have the best performances. Jonathan Majors' embodiment of Jesse is truly so realistic and believable. Glen Powell seems to have a knack for playing airmen, and once again executes his role wonderfully. Christina Jackson is such a strong mother and wife in this movie, and she and Jonathan Majors have so much chemistry that they really create a real family dynamic.

The message of Devotion is to never give up, even when the odds are against you. This movie has violence, war and death, as well as tobacco and alcohol consumption. It also has profanity.

I give Devotion 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out in theaters November 23, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STRANGE WORLD
STRANGE WORLD - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Walt Disney Animation Studios' original action-packed adventure Strange World introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures. The voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Dennis Quaid as Searcher's larger-than-life explorer father, Jaeger; Jaboukie Young-White as Searcher's 16-year-old son, Ethan, who longs for adventure; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher's partner in all things; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, Avalonia's fearless leader who spearheads the exploration into the strange world.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Strange World certainly is strange! This sci-fi adventure is full of surprises, highlights the dynamics of a modern family, and is filled with diverse characters and strong messages.

Strange World follows the Clades - Jaeger and Searcher - legendary explorers of the city of Avalonia who could tackle any challenge and adventure. However, when Jaeger goes on a mission and doesn't return, Searcher stops exploring the outside world and finds an energy source called "pando" that greatly affects Avalonia. But when pando suddenly starts dying, Searcher must go on an important mission to fix the problem and explore the untraveled and "strange" lands.

My favorite part about this movie is the production quality. The world building of the "strange world" is so detailed - it's phenomenal. The new and weird creatures that they discover look like they could be straight out of Dr. Seuss or Avatar, and they fit right in. All of the places they discover are so exotic. This movie also intentionally focuses on representing a diverse and inclusive set of characters and shows us what the world is actually like. My favorite voice performances are by Jake Gyllenhaal (Searcher), Gabrielle Union (Meridian) and Dennis Quaid (Jaeger). Jake Gyllenhaal is perfectly cast as Searcher, the protective and caring dad and husband. Gabrielle Union portrays her character, Meridian, as a wise and admirable role model. Dennis Quaid's voice really fits the big and booming Jaeger Clade. The first half of the storyline is strong. However, closer to the end, there is a big plot twist that younger kids may find confusing as it is a bit complex.

The message of the movie is to remind parents not to put too many job and profession expectations on their kids and allow them to make their own choices. It also has environmental messages about respecting and caring for the Earth and its resources.

I give Strange World 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. This movie releases in theaters on November 23, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FABELMANS, THE

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FABELMANS, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The Fabelmans is a 2022 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written and produced by Tony Kushner and Spielberg. It is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg's adolescence and first years as a director, told through an original story of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, with Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch in supporting roles. It is dedicated to the memories of Spielberg's real-life parents Arnold Spielberg and Leah Adler.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments below
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Fabelmans is a touching and mesmerizing film that celebrates the acclaimed director Steven Spielberg while recounting his origins as a filmmaker. The film provides an absolutely emotional experience--it's mainly about the vicissitudes of family interaction while paying homage to cinema.

As a kid, Sam Fabelman learns an important lesson from his father, one of the basic principles of filmmaking: retinal persistence. Like magic, films are a simple succession of still images, which give the illusion of movement. When Sammy attends his first movie projection, the event turns into a life-changing experience. The story follows his life while he discovers his passion for movie-making supported by his family: his dad Burt (Paul Dano), his mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams), his three sisters, and his uncle Ben (Seth Rogen). His father is an electrical engineer, his mother a concept piano player--and this fusion of technicality with art certainly shaped his craft. The family's dynamic is beautiful yet cloudy at times; a source material turned into melodrama, perfect for great storytelling.

I love the humanity that The Fabelmans displays. And I loved the way the film shows and captures Sam's life overall, in the sense that it doesn't just feel like you are watching a story. As the audience I can really understand and feel the emotions Sam is feeling. Characters are the core of the storyline and the relationships between them. Despite that the Fabelmans are not a perfect family, they stand out in their unity and the bond between them. The relationship between Sam and his mom, masterfully performed by Michelle Williams, is mesmerizing to watch. There's a complicity that is put to the test, generating wonderful conflict. Williams' scenes are like study material for an actor. And yet every cast member is great at their craft in this film. The camera moves fluidly from the family dinners, to the action scenes contained in Sam's early films, through the corners of the houses where the family moved and the places that hide the deepest family secrets. Janusz Kaminski's photography brings the era alive visually and has the perfect warmth, and the score of John Williams stays in our hearts. The Fabelmans deserves Oscar nominations.

My favorite scenes are Sam experimenting and reproducing the train crash he watched in his first movie experience and Mitzi watching herself in her son's family movie. My favorite quote: "Guilt is a waste of an emotion" which I consider profoundly meaningful in terms of what this movie is telling its audience. The message of the film is to be able to find balance in adversity. Families are not perfect, but true bond should prevail. The Fabelmans is rated PG-13 due to mature thematic elements and brief violence and drug use.

I give The Fabelmans 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for audiences 13 to 18, plus adults. The Fabelmans opens in theaters November 23, 2022.

By Zo� C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LIMITLESS WITH CHRIS HEMSWORTH

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LIMITLESS WITH CHRIS HEMSWORTH - DISNEY+
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A different way we can live better for longer: regenerating damage, maximizing strength, building resilience, shocking the body, supercharging memory and confronting mortality.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This six episode docu-series is entertaining to watch, and, at times, educational - in a very fun way. Limitless With Chris Hemsworth tests the limits of the human body and finds what may lead to a longer life.

Limitless With Chris Hemsworth follows -- you guessed it -- Chris Hemsworth, occasionally with his friends and family, on a six-episode journey to find ways to boost longevity and quality of life.

It's fascinating to see some unexpected ways we could achieve longevity and a better life. Of course, not all of these actions can and/or should be imitated by the average person, but there are ways that you can modify what's in the episodes and apply it to your own life. Examples include fasting for one day a month or turning the shower on cold for the last 30 seconds or spending time in a sauna - these practices can help lead to a longer life. Some of the episodes include Stress-Proof, Memory, and Strength. My favorite episode is Acceptance, where Chris gets to experience firsthand what it's like to be old and how to accept that. I really found it interesting to watch Chris Hemsworth outside of the MCU and be just himself. It adds something more personal and makes the audience feel connected to him in a new way.

The message of Limitless With Chris Hemsworth is to accept aging because it's a part of life, and yet there are ways to make life healthier and longer lasting. There are some very risky things done in this show that should not be done without expert supervision.

I give Limitless With Chris Hemsworth 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This series comes out on Disney+ November 16, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BLUE'S BIG CITY ADVENTURES

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BLUE'S BIG CITY ADVENTURES
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BLUE'S BIG CITY ADVENTURES - NICKELODEON
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Blue's Big City Adventure follows Josh (Josh Dela Cruz), who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to audition for Rainbow Puppy's (Brianna Bryan) Broadway musical, and Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) as they skidoo to New York City where they meet new friends and discover the magic of music, dance and following one's dreams. The entire "Blue's Clues" crew is reunited for this special movie event, with the beloved animated friends and all three hosts--Josh, Steve (Steve Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton)--together for the first time in the Big Apple.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Blue's Clues & You cast takes a bite out of the "Big Apple" to follow their dreams in their new hit movie musical, Blue's Big City Adventures! This film has something for the entire family -- from big dreams, superb dance numbers, multi-talented guests appearances -- all while still managing to fit in Blue's clues to help along the way. While watching this magical film, you feel the joy and entertainment you always get from the Blue's Clues franchise!

Blue's Big City Adventures follows Blue's Clues & You host, Josh, (Joshua Dela Cruz), as he heads to New York for a dream audition for Rainbow Puppy, (Brianna Bryan), who is following her own dream of creating her first Broadway musical. As Josh and Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) start on the adventure of a lifetime to the big city, Josh realizes he left his handy-dandy notebook with the audition information and now has to uncover clues to help him get to the audition before three o'clock.

I love how well this film highlights all the incredible things that make New York, New York. From the busyness, its famous pretzels, Times Square jumbotrons, street performances, taxis and even, being known as the place where dreams are made true. This film is the perfect tour guide to New York. There are sensational cameos such as B.D. Wong, who helps Rainbow Puppy cast for her musical. The camera angles and the music are special features and contribute to keeping the storyline interesting and flowing, especially for younger viewers. Fun Fact: Joshua Dela Cruz's real-life story is very similar to his character Josh's in this film, in that he moved from Dubai to America to fulfill his dreams of being on Broadway the way Josh travels from Storybook World to New York to be on Broadway.

Of course, keeping with the Blue's Clues' theme of teaching life's lessons, Blue's Clues Big City Adventures, is packed with different messages. The biggest takeaway is how you should never give up on your dreams, otherwise, how will you know if you can make them a reality? Josh faces different obstacles while trying to pursue his "big break," including being nervous and losing his handy-dandy notebook, but he stays focus on his goal and ready to show what he can do.

I give Blue's Big City Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults who will love it too. This is truly the perfect movie for a family. Blue's Big City Adventures is available on Paramount+ beginning November 18, 2022

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



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