KIDS FIRST! has endorsed 104 total TV titles

Below are up to 26 of them

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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHAT A DISASTER!

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WHAT A DISASTER! - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 7-18
Description - PBS SoCal, Southern California's home for new PBS program premieres, debuts an entertaining new spin on emergency preparedness with the special What A Disaster! The fun new game show hosted by Jay Jackson (Parks & Recreation) challenges three Southern California families to test their emergency readiness plans in the event of the next wildfire, earthquake, flood or other disaster. Viewers will follow the contestants' progress through a series of fast-paced, exciting tasks that include comical twists designed to educate and teach critical, lifesaving guidance.

The competition-themed special seeks to raise awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness as well as equip viewers with an understanding of the "do's and don'ts" in emergency situations. Produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, each family's strategies will be judged remotely by two disaster response experts: El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center in San Bernardino's Lulu Lopez and LISTOS National Program Director Liliana Encinas. The family with the most creative and resourceful solutions will be rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize. The other families with the least number of successes will be receiving a Disaster Preparedness Kit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review below
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What A Disaster! is an enjoyable family watch, after which you'll be prepared for any disaster that might come your way. The unique format, engaging challenges and crucial message all make this an amazing movie to watch over Thanksgiving!

What A Disaster! is a game-show style program hosted by Jay Jackson, centering around three Southern-Californian families (The Yang family, the Smith family and the Luna family) competing to be crowned the most prepared for any natural disaster that may come their way. They're also competing to receive $1,000. The families are led through a series of challenges that include knowing where your utilities are and what to pack if you're running out of a burning building.

As this is a PBS production, the 40 minute film is stitched together quite well. The contestants are spontaneous and bring life to the film, especially the little kids! I also enjoyed Jay Jackson's bubbly hosting. He looks upon these families as his neighbors, and the care he has is evident. There are some points where the contestants' voices seem to echo or reverb, though. It is also a bit obvious that the judges are reading from a script, as their eye line is off-center. But overall, the production value does not drag What A Disaster! down.

As its title would give away, the film promotes disaster preparedness and staying safe in any situation. Also, this film endorses messages of sticking together, especially with family, and teamwork. This is an especially important message for 2020, given the wildfires that SoCal has suffered, and I'm super glad that PBS produced this program.

I give What A Disaster! 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Adults would enjoy this film as well. What A Disaster! premieres in Southern California this Thanksgiving on Thurs., Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal and encores on Sat., Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. on KCET.

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ANIMANIACS 2020

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ANIMANIACS 2020 - HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - They're back! The Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot, have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. After returning to their beloved home, the Warner Bros. water tower, the siblings waste no time in causing chaos and comic confusion as they run loose through the studio, turning the world into their personal playground. Joining Yakko, Wakko and Dot, fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain also return to continue their quest for world domination. Animaniacs is an American animated television series developed by Steven Spielberg for steaming service Hulu. It is a revival of the original 1993 television series of the same name. The new series sees the return of the Warner Brothers, Yakko and Wakko and their sister Dot (voiceovers by Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Tress MacNeille), and of Pinky and the Brain (voiceover by Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche). The first season is set to premiere on Hulu November 20, 2020.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Animaniacs is back giving us tons of entertainment! Don't expect to see reruns with this rebooted animated series. Showrunner Wellesley Wild nails the creation of fresh and relevant content, while keeping the same hilarious craziness of the original series.

The series is about the Warner siblings Wakko, Yakko and Dot who are crazy and wild characters found on the Warner Bros. Studio. The episodes follow them as they get into trouble running around the Warner Bros. Studio lot and while meeting other characters. The new season picks up 22 years later, after they were locked away. Now we get to see their new adventures as they learn more about the current world around them and all the changes that have happened.

Director Steven Spielberg brings back the same characters and many of the original voice actors. The main characters are the Warner brothers and sister - Wakko (Jess Harnell), Yakko (Rob Paulsen) and Dot (Tress MacNeille). The setting for the series is the classic Warner Bros. Studio lot and the lot's water tower. It's hilarious to see the characters run around the lot learning about things that didn't exist two decades ago like tablets, climate change, Ubers, cat-fishing, YouTubers and Amazon drones. Ralph the security guard (Frank Welker) even has new tricks he can use to catch the Warner siblings, such as a net connected to a drone. The show was updated to a wide-screen format and to make it more gender balanced and diverse. In the premiere episode, Dot points out that Warner Bros. now has a Black female CEO. Shorts like The Warner Kids and Pinky and The Brain also return with new content. It's a clever way to see how the other characters are doing after meeting the Warner siblings.

The Warner siblings and the rest of the cast always find a way to have fun in each episode. The message of this series is to find a way to stay fun, positive and happy despite the craziness in the world. I will note that there are some scenes or jokes that viewers may not get unless they followed the original series, but you will still laugh.

Animaniacs is a great mix of kid-friendly education and slapstick comedy, deserving 5 out of 5 stars and a recommendation for ages 5 to 18. Adults are sure to love it too especially if they are fans of the original series. The new season of Animaniacs debuts on Hulu on November 20.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOUG UNPLUGS

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DOUG UNPLUGS - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-9
Description - Hailing from DreamWorks Animation and based on Dan Yaccarino's "Doug Unplugged" book series, "Doug Unplugs" follows a young robot named Doug who senses there's more to life than just the facts. While other robots plug in for their daily download, curious Doug unplugs and journeys into the human world, and with his best friend Emma, experiences its wonders firsthand. "Doug Unplugs" is executive produced by Jim Nolan, Aliki Theofilopoulos and Dan Yaccarino, and stars the voice talents of Brandon James Cienfuegos, Kyrie McAlpin, Eric Bauza, Mae Whitman, Leslie David Baker and Becky Robinson.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the animated series Doug Unplugs because it blends fun and education. I like how vibrant the characters are and how I learn something new from each episode. Every episode also has music incorporated into it, which adds another fun element to the show.

Doug Unplugs is an AppleTV+ series about a six-year-old robot named Doug (Brandon James Cienfuegos) who unplugs to visit the human world to learn about things. He gets together with his best friend Emma (Kyrie Mcalpin), who teaches him about a bunch of stuff from her world--whether it's explaining what table tennis is or describing what people do at a beach. Doug is full of curiosity, while Emma is always excited about what she can show her friend next. They have a bunch of new experiences together and always seem to be having a good time.

My favorite character is Emma because she is super outgoing and gets excited about everything. She reminds me of myself, since I'm outgoing too. I also like how there are songs in the episodes. They mostly are upbeat songs that help you remember something special about the episode. Sometimes they get stuck in your head because they are pretty catchy. The animation of this series is full of color and is really cute. Brandon (who voices Doug) and Kyrie (who voices Emma) have perfect voices for their characters. They both have good energy, which makes you want to watch the next episode to see what adventure they will go on. If you like learning about things, you'll enjoy watching this series.

The message of the film is to always be curious about things and don't be afraid of trying something new. Just because you are unfamiliar with something doesn't mean you should be scared of it. You might learn something and have fun doing it. I know I was a little scared to try snow skiing, but once I tried it, I had so much fun--even thought I might have fallen a few times.

I give Doug Unplugs 5 out of 5 stars and recommend the series for ages 2 to 9, although adults will probably enjoy watching this series with their kids because they might learn something, too. Doug Unplugs is available now, so check it out on Apple TV+.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 2-9 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CASAGRANDES, THE: FAILS FROM THE CRYPT/BAD CLUCK
CASAGRANDES, THE: FAILS FROM THE CRYPT/BAD CLUCK - NICKELODEON
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - With All In: The Fight For Democracy, documentarians Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes weave a compelling account of the history of voting rights in the U.S, a long, winding path through many of the most pivotal moments and movements of the past--through triumph and tragedy--bound to infuriate audiences just as much as it'll invigorate them. The story of voting rights in this country is not brief, nor simple. The movie opens with a primer on Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. From there, the film documents the vast journey from the dawn of our nation when the only people who could vote were white, male landowners to where we are today, with voting rights for all citizens over 18. It's remarkable just how much Garbus and Cortes are able to encompass within the film from Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregationist practices, and the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, up to the present day. The pacing is impressive and gives the viewer a lot to take in and take away from the film, but the film is never overwhelming in its scope or ambition. Garbus and Cortes even include footage as recent as the Wisconsin primary depicting voters donning facemasks at the polls. It's slightly surreal to see a story being told that is so heavily informed by the headlines of today. The film's most engaging perspective comes not from that of a voter, but a politician in that of Stacey Abrams. Her point of view anchors the film as living proof of the consequences of voter suppression. The importance of voting demonstrated throughout gives urgency to All In, and I commend the editing, considering how much the situation surrounding voter suppression and the fight for voting rights was still developing in the months leading up to the film's release. All In: The Fight For Democracy affirms the power of one's vote and shows how much traction has been gained in establishing wider voting rights. The film also demonstrates the degree to which the ever-present threat of voter suppression has grown and the ways in which it plagues the elections of today, illustrated by the gubernatorial race between Abrams and Kemp. Michael Waldman utters a sentence early on in the film that encapsulates nicely the film's thesis: "History is never a straight line, it's always a fight." History repeats itself just as often as it progresses and that notion is crystallized within this film at various points where the film jumps back in time to show how the past has informed the present. All In closes with a crystal-clear message to go vote. An acute reminder that All In can't close the door on its story precisely because the fight referred to in the film's title is still ongoing. Much work has been done in the realm of voting rights, but much more still remains to be done-- the film doesn't lose sight of that. I give All In: The Fight For Democracy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 for some brief violent images from newsreels and archives. This is timely, illuminating documentary filmmaking covering a pressing issue and definitely a must-see, not just for the information it contains, but the skill with which it's presented. All In: The Fight For Democracy is available to Amazon Prime subscribers starting September 18, 2020.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Casagrandes is just the show to get you into the Halloween spirit! Its spooky new episodes, "Fails from the Crypt" and "Bad Cluck" bring chills and frights to anyone watching. It's a great family fun adventure.

Casagrandes follows the Mexican/American family the Casagrandes on their wild journeys and is a spinoff on the Nickelodeon show The Loud House. Season two kicks off with "Fails from the Crypt" where Ronnie Anne (Izabella Alvarez) and her friends try to break a local record for staying in the cemetery overnight. They try everything in their power to not be scared, and the challenge is harder than it seems In "Bad Cluck" a spirit chicken appears and haunts the family. The Casagrandes band together to get the ghost out of their home.

Definitely the best parts of these episodes are the crazy twists and turns, with some surprises. I found "Bad Cluck" to be less exciting than "Fails from the Crypt." The topic was not as funny. "Fails from the Crypt" is perfect for the spooky season, and really brings out all things Halloween. The tone is dark and freaky, like a graveyard, which is wonderful.

Throughout both episodes, the Casagrandes family comes together and faces many issues they have as a family. There a little bit of haunting that might be fearful for children under the age of 10.

I give Casagrandes "Fails from the Crypt & Bad Cluck" 4 out of 5 stars and recommend these episodes for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It is available October 9, 2020 only on Nickelodeon.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SIMPSONS, THE: SEASON 31
SIMPSONS, THE: SEASON 31 - DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 9-18
Description - Everyone's favorite family is back for the 31st season of the longest running scripted primetime show in television history, "The Simpsons." With an all-star lineup of guests including Bill Porter, Jane Goodall, Jason Momoa, Cate Blachett, and Kevin Feige, special musical performances from the likes of Weezer and John Legend, and fan-favorite episodes "Thanksgiving of Horror" and "Treehouse of Horror XXX," the latest season joins Disney+'s comprehensive collection of more than 600 episodes, "The Simpsons Movie," and animated shorts "Maggie Simpson in 'Playdate with Destiny'" and "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Simpsons Season 31 is charming, funny and, as always, the writing on Matt Groening's long-running animated satire is witty and hilarious. I love how in the first episode Homer gets rejected on a sports show so he starts his own, and how they poke fun at how sports shows never get to the point. I also love how they throw in the message of feminism when Marge gets her anger out by chopping wood and becoming a lumberjack in episode six. It is very funny when Superintendent Chalmers says, "I know who would do anything for money as long as it does not involve kids. TEACHERS!"

The Simpsons is an animated series about a family that includes Homer, a conservative alcoholic dad, Marge, a stay at home mom who takes care of everyone, Lisa, their genius, liberal daughter, Bart, their troubled son, and Maggie, a baby who can't talk but sucks on her pacifier. It's also about the town of Springfield and its citizens, which really represents any small town in middle America. The Simpsons uses satire to comment on social issues and politics. They make heavy issues funny and easy to digest. Like giving Homer, who is pretty dumb, an important job at a nuclear power plant.

I love all of the characters' voices. A few of my favorites are Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith), Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright), and Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner). One of my favorite Simpsons moments is when the family dog, Santa's Little Helper, is reunited with his mother in episode 22. It's heartfelt and sweet. The animation is colorful and really brings the characters and the town to life while creating its own world.

One positive message in The Simpsons is acceptance of diversity. There are characters of different races, religions and political views, and they all find a way to get along. The Simpsons does have a lot of adult themes and may not be appropriate for younger kids. There is sexual language and suggestive situations. Homer is a major drinker and goes to a bar called Moe's Tavern, nightly.

I give The Simpsons 5 out of 5 stars. I definitely recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The Simpsons Season 31 on Disney+ starting Oct. 2.
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HELPSTERS

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HELPSTERS - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - Cody and the Helpsters are a team of monsters who love to solve problems. Whether it's planning a party or mastering a magic trick, the Helpsters can figure anything out - because everything starts with a plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An entertaining and educational show, Helpsters will keep preschoolers glued to the screen when it is on TV! This Sesame Street-esque live-action show with unique plotlines and lovable characters also teaches kids problem-solving skills and the basics of coding!

Helpsters follows five friendly monsters who love solving problems. They are Cody (Stephanie D'Abruzzo), Heart (Ingrid Hansen), Mr. Primm (Martin Robinson), Scatter (Tim Lagasse), and Jackie (Jennifer Barnhart). Each episode consists of two parts; the Helpsters solve two sets of problems from two sets of people. And everything starts with a plan, as they like to say... or rather, sing! The fun five devise a plan of action and then use sequences (here's where the coding basics begin) and specific, simplified instructions to execute that plan and help their friends, like Astronaut Amrita and Robbie and Rhonda Runner.

As a toddler, I loved puppet-based shows; they seemed so real! And, even as I've grown older, I've grown to recognize the skill of the puppeteers in creating the illusion of life. Sorry if that spoiled the magic for anyone... No, but seriously, the puppeteers behind Helpsters show great prowess. Also, the production value of Helpsters is very high--the sets are intricately designed and the amount of thought that went into something as small as the transition scenes is jaw-dropping. Kudos to Alex Fox, Rachel Lewis, and Michael J. Cargill ! I would lastly like to highlight two superb characters, whose performances I really enjoyed. Heart (Ingrid Hansen), the massive orange monster, is so endearing, despite his massive size. His simple style of speech belies his massive heart -- thus the name, I guess! Scatter (Tim Lagasse), the scatterbrained dude in blue, fulfills his role of comic relief well, and I definitely laughed at several parts. And a third character also entertained me! Cody--the ringleader of the bunch--is super caring and sweet; Stephanie D'Abruzzo channels her inner child in acting the part.

Helpsters is a super cute and, actually, a really educational series! I can guarantee you that your preschooler will definitely learn some great problem-solving skills from this show. Besides its innately educational nature, Helpsters also spreads a message of helping your friends whenever possible and having patience throughout trying times.

I give Helpsters 4.5 out of 5 stars and would recommend this show for ages 2 to 5. Helpsters is coming to Apple TV+ on October 2, 2020.

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GHOSTWRITER: SEASON 2

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GHOSTWRITER: SEASON 2 - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Description - When a ghost haunts a neighborhood bookstore and starts releasing fictional characters into the real world, four kids must team up to solve an exciting mystery surrounding the ghost's unfinished business.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Though it has incredibly intricate plots and will provide children with much knowledge about literature, unfortunately Ghostwriter doesn't hold viewers' attention past a few episodes. I'll explain why very soon... but first--the story!

Ghostwriter follows four middle-schoolers (Ruben, Chevon, Donna, and Curtis) who team up to solve a mystery haunting their neighborhood. The ghost of Ruben's grandmother haunts his grandfather's bookstore; she has some unfinished business and communicates with her grandson and his friends via a typewriter. She releases the characters of several notable books to help them piece together the puzzle of her last wish. And it's up to the group to solve the mystery. That's all fine, but each episode is a part of a story: Episode 1 is Part 1 of "Ghost in Wonderland", Episode 2 is part 2 of that story. Episode 3 is Part 3 ... well, you get the gist. The show consists of three main plotlines which are split into two or three parts by episode. When I watched the show, I felt the script could have been tightened and each storyline could have taken up just one episode; there were parts that dragged on and parts that felt unnecessary to the development of the story. This is the one big drawback that I found in the series.

There were many strong performances. I especially enjoyed the performance of Isaac Arellanes as Ruben and Amadi Chapata as Chevon; Isaac Arellanes is skilled at emoting and delivers his lines clearly. Chevon's character is almost a trope by now--the bookworm who has a super fun personality, but I love the character nevertheless! Amadi Chapata especially shines in high-tension scenes, where she delivers lines naturally and with poise. Also, Neil Patrick Harris is super fun, energetic and entertaining as The White Rabbit! His performance will have you hopping! The music by Erica Procunier and set design by Jef Silver, Mark Jaworski, and Robin Hinter both caught my ear and eye, respectively. The suspenseful, deep intro of the show sets the mood, and the sets provide for an immersive visual experience. There are also some awesome special effects!

Ghostwriter promotes messages of teamwork, learning through exploring fictional worlds, and helping your friends out. There are some things parents should look out for: at two or three points in the film, Curtis yells at his sister Donna. One time, his parents yell at Donna. The topics of parental separation, as well as death, are brought up several times throughout the film. Also, considering the film is called Ghostwriter, there are a lot of ghost-y things in this show, like haunting, invisible forces typing, people roaming attics, and so forth.

I give Ghostwriter 3.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults may enjoy this show as well. Ghostwriter: Season 2 debuted October 9, 2020, Exclusively on Apple TV+
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
UPSIDE -DOWN MAGIC (2020)

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UPSIDE -DOWN MAGIC (2020) - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - In "Upside-Down Magic, a Disney Channel Original Movie, 13-year-old Nory Boxwood Horace discovers she can flux into animals, and her best friend Reina Carvajal can manipulate flames. Together, they enter the Sage Academy for Magical Studies. Reina's expert ability to harness the power of fire lands her at the top of her class of "Flares," but Nory's wonky magic and proclivity for turning into a "Dritten"-a half-kitten, half-dragon-lands her in a class for those with Upside-Down Magic, otherwise known as UDM. While Headmaster Knightslinger believes the UDM's unconventional powers leave them vulnerable to dangerous and evil "shadow magic," Nory and her fellow UDM classmates set out to prove that Upside-Down Magic beats right side up
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This adventurous movie Upside Down Magic is about a girl named Nory and her friend Reina, who are accepted to the Sage Academy for Magical Studies (think Hogwarts from Harry Potter meets Auradon Prep from Descendants). And no wands at this school for sorcery--all the magic comes from within. Plus there are five different schools of magic for Flyers, Flickers, Floaters, Flares and Fluxers. Nory is a Fluxer which means she can shape-shift into animals, but, during her first-day demonstrations of her powers, Nory's not-so-perfect magic turns her into a "Dritten" (a half-kitten, half-dragon) that puts her into a class for the kids with "wonky" (or broken magic) called "upside down magic" also known as UDM. Nory's BFF Reina is a Flare which means she can create heat or fire or sparks from her hand. Reina has amazing abilities, but is tempted to make her powers even stronger when she comes across a book of Shadow Magic, a type of dark black magic that can turn you from good to evil.

Throughout the movie, Nory is convinced that the UDM's can be just as powerful as the rest of the school and, with the help of her teacher Scriff, all the UDM kids learn how to focus to turn their upside down magic...into right side up magic, even if it's not quite perfect.

Like most Disney Channel movies, this is fun, colorful, and full of unique characters. But...not a lot of singing in this one, surprisingly. And I can't spoil from whom and when the singing does come--you'll need to see the movie to find out! It is a little dark and scary at times, but the scariest moments come towards the end of the movie. Otherwise it's full of comedy, friendship, and, of course, lots of magic!

The messages of this film are to sometimes let kids be kids and also to never give up on what you believe you can achieve. Nory wants to be an official Flexer so bad but gets put into UDM. Yet does she settle and give up? Well, you'll have to watch to find out. (Wink.)

If you love movies like the Harry Potter series or Disney's Descendants, then you'll love Upside Down Magic. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to18 and adults will absolutely love it too. Upside Down Magic debuts on Disney Channel on July 31, 2020. Don't miss it.

By Lindalee R., KIDS First! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WIZARDS: TALES OF ARCADIA

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WIZARDS: TALES OF ARCADIA - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-15
Description - Tales of Arcadia is a trilogy of American computer-animated science fantasy television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro and produced by DreamWorks Animation and Double Dare You. The series comprising the trilogy follows the inhabitants of the small suburban town of Arcadia Oaks, which is secretly home to various supernatural creatures and the young heroes who fight against the forces of evil that lurk in the shadows. Currently, the first two installments of the trilogy, Trollhunters and 3Below, have been released worldwide. A third and final series of the trilogy, Wizards will August 7, 2020 on Netflix.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Guillermo del Toro's new series Tales of Arcadia: Wizards will enrapture its viewers because of its high-quality animation, detailed emotional rollercoaster plot and strong script. The eight-time Emmy award-winning team behind this production creates a whole new fantasy world to dive into with the intricate CGI in this show--the mesmerizing floating castle of Camelot, incredible flying contraptions and futuristic technology complete the look. Designed with the utmost care, the many characters of this show are illustrated with clear lines and realistic coloring for skin, whether human or monstrous, hair, fangs and even fingernails--now that's detail-oriented!

Now to the plot of Tales of Arcadia: Wizards. The main character in this TV show is Hisirdoux or Douxie, our favorite clumsy wizard-in-training. After a stand-off with the Arcane Order - an evil band of magicians led by the wily Morgana - goes wrong, the group of do-gooder wizards (Merlin and Hisirdoux, along with the Guardians of Arcadia: Claire, Toby, and Steve, as well as Archie and Jim) set off on a time-twisting adventure to the times of 12th-century Camelot. The control of magic, the nature of all the supernatural worlds, and Hisirdoux's status in his mentor's eyes all lie in the balance.

The plot is intricate and crafted carefully - there are several plot twists along the way, and all of the characters are nuanced and lifelike. Well, the ones that aren't monsters are lifelike. I found it very hard to peel my eyes away from the screen throughout the ten episodes! Surprisingly, for a fantasy series, I was unable to predict what would happen next!

A highly talented and vaunted figure in television series lore, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, one of the many executive producers of the film, is well-known for his expertise in the industry. It shows in this TV series as well. Throughout the series, I found myself going through tears of joy and sadness, and cracking a super-wide smile at several parts. The script of Wizards, written by Andie Bolt, Ian Rickett and Lila Scott, was truly feature-film quality.

Colin O'Donoghue plays Hisirdoux; I found "Douxie" to be possibly the most nuanced of all the characters, and O'Donoghue is excellent at portraying all the facets of his personality. Steven Yeun plays Steve on the show, and he portrays the clumsy jock with comedic genius. Lena Headey plays the conflicted Morgana with finesse. Those are my three favorite characters on the show, with Archie as a runner-up - you have to love the cat/dragon's sarcastic commentary and incredible portrayal by Alfred Molina. Toby seems like an accessory character in this show and does not have much importance in lines or scenes.

There are several sweet messages incorporated throughout the show--messages of acceptance, perseverance, camaraderie and believing in yourself. The emotional development and maturing of Hisirdoux surely will cause you to shed a few tears as well, and you can't help but be proud of Callista, a troll with an interesting secret, for stepping up and casting aside what other trolls thought of her.

I rate Tales of Arcadia: Wizards 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it to children aged 10 to 15. Tales of Arcadia: Wizards is coming to Netflix August 7, 2020!

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GUEST, THE
GUEST, THE - STEPHAN LEEPER
Series: STUDENT ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 13-18
Description - An award winning animated Music Video. This UPA-style animation is set to the music and lyrics of Bill Burnett's hilarious song as a husband and wife anticipate a very special arrival. Once our couple realizes who, or what, they've invited into their home. . . it's too late.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my gosh, this is absolutely delightful. Any parent would truly find this hitting home with a hilariously sarcastic bent. It's beautifully animated, exquisitely sung by Bill Burnett and just delightful in every way. I am so impressed with what these students have created, under the tutelage of a highly qualified instructor. My only regret is that I wish it was longer. But, that being said it is a perfect short animated film. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus Adults. Adults will love this, as will teens. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Guest is a funny, animated musical and animated film! The song is very catchy. The film illustrates in a funny way just how a baby, or guest, can turn your world upside down. The animation keeps your attention throughout. This animated short film is about a husband singing to his wife why they should not have a baby, and he refers to the baby as The Guest. I love the music, which is mostly an accordion playing with the husband. He is a pretty good singer and the only one singing throughout the film. There are no special effects and the graphics are pretty good. Yes, this would make a fun film to include in a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. My favorite thing is the music because it is very unique and catchy. The message is to think twice before you consider to have a baby, or a guest, as the husband refers to the baby. Babies are a handful to take care of and to raise. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18 plus adults. Teenagers and adults should consider the consequences of having a baby. This film makes that point. Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MIRA, ROYAL DETECTIVE

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MIRA, ROYAL DETECTIVE - DISNEY JUNIOR
Series: SERIES, AGES 4-9
Description - A CGI-animated mystery-adventure children's television series inspired by Indian culture and customs. It debuted on Disney Junior channel the United States on March 20, 2020. Set in a fictional kingdom called Jalpur which resembles a late 19th Century India, the series follows the brave and resourceful girl Mira, a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective by the queen and travels throughout her kingdom to help royals and commoners alike. Joining Mira are her two mongoose sidekicks Mikku and Chikku.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Chalo, chalo, let's go (!) solve a case with Mira and her friends! Mira, Royal Detective is so enchanting with its brilliant animation, authentic South Asian culture and positive messages.

Mira, Royal Detective is about a young girl, named Mira (Leela Ladnier), who lives in the mystical land of Jalpur (a fictional place based on India and the South Asia region). She is appointed by the queen as the official Royal Detective, and she's the first girl ever to have this position. We follow her while she solves mysteries with her best friends.

Mira, Royal Detective is fun to watch because she teaches us to solve our own mysteries. The animation is super beautiful, the colors are so vivid and the outfits are gorgeous! Every little thing in every nook and cranny is very detailed and the dancing and music is reflective of traditional Indian culture. The music is light-hearted, happy and very catchy. The cast, which is all South Asian, is outstanding. Leela Ladnier has an extraordinary voice for a kind, little girl like Mira. Karan Brar (Prince Veer) voices a perfect practical prince and Kamran Lucas (Prince Neel) has a "sweet inventor" tone to his voice. My favorite character is (of course) Mira because she is so charming, but Mikku and Chikku are also memorable characters because these snack-loving mongooses are both funny and adorable.

There are many positive messages throughout the show, including never give up, pay attention to the little things, girl power and always lend a helping hand to a friend in need. Since Mira depicts a strong female character in a traditional male role, she serves as a good role model as well. Every character is kind to one another and inspires each other, including the audience.

I give Mira, Royal Detective 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 9. This show is available to watch now on Disney Jr.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 4-9 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOST ON BARDUINO
LOST ON BARDUINO - KARI THOMAS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - They had to get lost in space...to find what really matters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Nicely executed. This student production delivers a great story taking place in space through the use of great costumes and visual effects. The youth actors are quite good, the storyline is imaginative and the editing is excellent. This would make an excellent addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially one that features student productions. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nicely executed. This student production delivers a great story taking place in space through the use of great costumes and visual effects. The youth actors are quite good, the storyline is imaginative and the editing is excellent. This would make an excellent addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially one that features student productions. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2

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Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-15
Description - The continuing adventures of Seabrook High students Addison and Zed, whose budding romance is threatened by the arrival of werewolves.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AMERICAN MARRIAGE
AMERICAN MARRIAGE - GIORGIO FONTANA
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Description - Leonardo, an Italian immigrant who lives in New York, marries a Latina woman, Nikki, to obtain the American green card. Through the comedy of it all Nikki and Leo fall in love "for real" but it looks like "Uncle Sam" will be the one to have the last laugh.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this short film, which addresses the issue of immigrants marrying just to get their green card, but end up finding true love instead. When I first read the synopsis of the film I expected it would be fairly political and, in a way, it is. However, it has a sweet underlying story about finding love when you least expect it. The cinematography is quite good, with bright and vibrant the colors. The costuming is very good, as is the set, especially in the apartment. The locations are also very beautiful. I found the actors quite sweet and the one who steals the show is the young boy, who is unequivocally the essence of sweetness, especially when he steps in at end to rescue his mom. The immigration office, played by Lori Hammel, is a little over-the-top, but they can be that way in reality, so I let it go. And the two principal actors that play the supposedly married couple are straight out of central casting, and quite believable. The message of this film is about finding "true love" when you least expect it. There is a bit of mild profanity. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18, plus adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EMBARKO
EMBARKO - KAILEE HAGUE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - When two delivery dogs on a job discover buried treasure in the mountains, their conflicting interests lead to dire consequences.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is adorable and pretty unique. I really enjoyed that there aren't any words, yet it is so clear what the animals are saying to one another. I also love the twist and resolution. It appeals to me because it has lots of action and adventure, while not overpowering the storytelling. Another aspect is the unexpected ending which is surprisingly happy. Embarko flows extremely well. After the first 30 seconds, I found myself engulfed in the film and loved it. The ending is my favorite part, due to the twist. The story doesn't have any plot holes and makes a lot of sense. The only thing that took me by surprise is the scene showing the raccoon's revolver. Having a gun included raises the audience age. The soundtrack is really appealing, it helps shift your mood in the various scenes and increases your engagement. The animation style is pretty unique. I love the way the animals are portrayed. The 2D characters are simply illustrated, but effectively so. The mixture of unusual animation, cohesive storytelling, and a well-written plot about delivery dogs finding treasure in the mountains makes this a great film. I adore that the story has no dialogue, clearly defined characters, an unpredictable ending, and plenty of action and adventure. It is the perfect amount to keep a short film exciting and entertaining. My only concern with Embarko is when the antagonist raccoon pulls out a gun, it raises the maturity level of the film. I recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals due to its unique animation and great storytelling. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
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
MY GRANDPA KNOWS KING KONG
MY GRANDPA KNOWS KING KONG - PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-12
Description - An incredulous Grandfather and his excited granddaughter go to the cinema to see a film of King Kong. The film is from when King Kong was in the grandfather's town. From Spain with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Delightful and imaginative piece of animation. I love the little girl and her persistence to get her grandpa to take her to the movies. The animation is wonderfully executed. The voice over talent is outstanding. The storyline is engaging and fun. The dialogue is in Spanish with English sub-titles, so I recommend this for ages 7 to 12. If playing at your festival, you may want a reader so younger children can follow along. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. It's quite lovely. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 7-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DRAGON RECIPES
DRAGON RECIPES - MARIA PAVLOU
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 4-9
Description - Dragon Recipes is a sweet story about friendship and acceptance, for the whole family to enjoy. The protagonist, a young apprentice witch, idolizes a really scary, green witch from magazine clippings and posters. She dreams of becoming a grand witch like her icon and of having her own fierce, fire-breathing dragon. Spontaneous as she is, our little hero decides to create her own dragon, using an old recipe and magic spells. But the inexperienced youngster will surely make mistakes; magic mistakes that will eventually get her a dragon, but not the fire-breathing one she has in mind. Instead, she gets a dragon with a big heart and a special, magical skill. The little apprentice is about to learn a very important lesson about tolerance and personal sacrifice.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my gosh, this is so adorable. The animation is delightful, with bright colors and clearly defined and cute characters. It has just the right amount of suspense for a preschool or early elementary child and a wonderful message of love, even for a little girl who wants to make a dragon for herself. It is from Cyprus, but there is no dialogue, so no problem understanding it. There are a couple of sub-titles, to identify objects, but one can understand it even if you don't know exactly what they are. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 4-9 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:

RAISING DION

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RAISING DION - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - A single mother must hide her young son's superpowers to protect him from exploitation while investigating their origins and her husband's death.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed Raising Dion because there are lots of themes about finding your place and bullying that are well represented. The story tries to deal with so many different elements that it loses focus, especially during the first episodes. Still, I'm curious to see what will happen in the second season, and that is a good thing because I ended up wanting to see more.

Netflix delivers a TV series with a little bit of everything for the whole family: Raising Dion. As its name states, it's about family. This is a story of a single mom, Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) raising her son Dion (Ja'shia Young) with superhero-like powers. For Nicole, to be the mom of a kid with powers is a struggle, more than being just fun. The series centers on Dion's journey of adapting to a normal life. The series is produced by actor Michael B. Jordan who plays Marc, Dion's father, a scientist who passed away tragically during a storm. Pat, Marc's best friend, becomes a best friend for Nicole and Dion's mentor.

The series is a mix of genres: drama, fantasy and sci-fi. Through the evolution of the series or each "issue" (what each episode is called), audiences learn more about Dion's father and where his powers come from. The first episodes are more family-oriented, but the sci-fi elements and supernatural aspects increase toward the later episodes in the first season. Getting close to the end of season one is when it becomes really exciting.

The series has a very realistic look, and the special effects are well done. I love the work of the actors: their performances are natural. The kids' acting is quite well done. Ja'shia Young makes Dion a very believable superhero. He is a good son and a good student and that will be very relatable for so many kids. Sammi Haney plays Esperanza, Dion's best friend. She is smart and sweet, and she doesn't feel "less than" because she in a wheelchair. In real life and in character Sammi has brittle bone disease, and supports awareness, acceptance and love for people with disabilities. Kudos to the creators of the show for including actors with disabilities.

Raising Dion is very good for young audiences. The message of the series is to find the powers within yourself, learn how to use them wisely and embrace them.

I rate Raising Dion 4 of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and adults as well. You can find it on Netflix.
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLLY OF DENALI

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MOLLY OF DENALI - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-8
Description - Molly of Denali is an American-Canadian animated television series created and produced by Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Kids for PBS Kids and CBC Television. It premiered on July 15, 2019. The series is the first ever nationally distributed children's show to feature an Alaska Native as the main character and protagonist. Thirty-eight half-hours have been ordered. Between the two 11-minute story segments, there is a special live-action segment filmed in Alaska. The series follows 10-year-old Molly, an Alaska Native girl from the fictional village of Qyah, and her family, friends Tooey and Trini, her dog Suki, and other residents. Her family runs the Denali Trading Post. It was created by Dorothea Gillim and Kathy Waugh and stars Sovereign Bill. The Molly of Denali theme song is sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller. KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Molly of Denali is an animated TV series featuring a strong Native American 10-year-old girl from Alaska. The show I watched has two 11-minute episodes: Grandpa's Drum and Have Canoe will Paddle. The focus is on problem solving, while incorporating literacy and technology skills.

Alaskan Native values are modeled including respect, sharing, team work and honoring elders, family and cultural awareness.

The program highlights a Native American community in Alaska. The lead character Molly is a strong, energetic young girl, full of life and an inquiring mind. In Grandpa's Drum, she and Tuli find an old photograph of her grandpa when he was young together with a young girl. They discover he doesn't like to sing anymore, because he no longer has his drum. They go on a quest to find the girl and his drum by using their research skills. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, Molly, Tuli and Trini get resourceful once again with their literacy skills to learn how to paddle a canoe. With their friendly social skills, they find an appropriate coach to teach them, so they can enter a race. With their friendly social skills, they find an award winning coach to teach them how to canoe so they can enter a race. They are all terrific role models for young children to get excited about learning!

Native Alaskan children will proudly see themselves and their way of life and a broader audience will be introduced to a new culture. They will experience adventures with the lead characters and see their contemporaries problem solving, learning and having fun. In Grandpa's Drum, they will see Molly and Trini singing and their Grandpa remembering songs with his drum and teaching them. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, they will see the steps Molly and friends make to learn how to canoe and master the race. They will learn to know that we are more alike than different. Viewers may be motivated to explore their own cultural backgrounds as a result.

This is a very engaging show with fun characters that are eager to learn. Each episode flows well, incorporating literacy and technology skills that young children can relate to. It encourages them to go out and learn the skills they need to problem solve and have fun while doing so.

Young children, parents, teachers and caregivers alike will learn about the Native Alaskan culture and learn new Native vocabulary, as well as the difference between now and then. In Grandpa's Drum, we learn that when he was a young boy, he had to go to boarding school and was not allowed to celebrate his culture at school. Today, we find out that this does not happen. Children are at home going to school and can celebrate their culture. This animated show is truly delightful and quite authentic in portraying three generations - grand parents, parents and children. The images are true to form and culture.

In addition to the two animated shorts in each episode, there is a live action piece. In this episode, Molly answers questions about life in Alaska. We see children who live there at the river comparing old photographs of a similar place and see what it looks like today. They learn a traditional song from an elder. One girl says, "When I am dancing with ancestors, I connect with the past."

Molly of Denali has all the benefits of inviting the viewer to question, probe and problem solve as described above, while introducing the viewer to a new culture and environment. It encourages one to look into situations such as in Grandpa's Drum when it helps him to reconnect with his youth, re-learning the songs he loved with his new found drum, and then teaching and passing them on to the younger generation. Viewers will be motivated and encouraged to explore their own cultural backgrounds. Similarly in Have Canoe Will Paddle where it shows how one can learn a new sport, if they so desire. The role modeling of determination is inspiring.

The moral of the series is: if there is a will, there is a way as it models problem solving to get the results you want, gaining new skills and having fun while doing it! Molly and her friends are terrific, inspiring role models for young children to get excited about learning!

I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 8. This airs on PBS Kids and CBC Television now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES

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GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - A girl finally finds her moment to shine when she inadvertently lands an out-of-this-world job to baby-sit an unruly group of very important extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on Earth with their families, disguised as everyday kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gabby Duran & The Unsittables is entertaining! The transformation between alien and human is unpredictably funny. The green Gorman had me anticipating the next alien. I am ready for the next episode.

The story is based on the novel by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners. Kirby Buckets' Mike Alber and Gabe Snyder serve as showrunners as well as executive producers alongside Just Add Magic's Joe Nussbaum.

The series focuses on 12 year old stylish and confident Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who constantly feels like she's living in the shadows of her lucrative mother and brainy little sister. Gabby lands an out-of-this-world job as a babysitter to a group of peculiar, extraterrestrial aliens who are hiding on Earth disguised as everyday kids. Resourceful Gabby steps up to the challenge to protect these aliens and their secret identities. She proves to be the best sitter ever.

I was committed to the visual effects waiting to see what Jeremy, played by Callan Farris was going to morph into. Without giving too much away, whatever Jeremy eats he turns into. No doubt my favorite character is Gabby Duran played by YouTube sensation Kylie Cantrall. She is definitely setting trends in this episode. Her outfits from the neon orange distressed jacket to the aloha knee length shorts gave a 90's vibe most definitely. One of my favorite scenes is when Gabby meets Jeremy for the first time and beats him up with a rake. There were so many funny scenes, but you will have to watch it.

Beside the message that I need some knee-length purple camo shorts in my life... having a good attitude is crucial. Making the best of where you are is a game changer. It's emphasized the importance to always be yourself, because the right people will like you. I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. My mom actually enjoyed watching this and she laughed along with me. Be sure to watch Gabby Duran & the Unsittables beginning October 11, 2019 on the Disney channel.

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
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
GROWN BOY
GROWN BOY - TYLER KNUTT
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Robert must open up to his young son about the truth behind his divorce, and the man he really is.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short narrative film tackles a subject that is sorely in need to addressing within the LGBTQ community. That is of explaining a non-heterosexual lifestyle to your child. For those who grew up in the "Dick & Jane" world, explaining that there are different ways to have adult relationships outside of the traditional "mom and dad" role models, this film offers a short introduction to the topic.

The one issue I have with the film is that the audio level is too low and I had a difficult time hearing the dialogue, especially when they are whispering. I hope the filmmaker can provide a copy with better audio so that it plays better in exposition.

Other than that, it is very well produced with excellent video quality that will project well onto the big screen. The actors all perform quite well. The little boy is particularly charming, but also the two men perform equally well in their roles.

I recommend this for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially those with a LGBTQ focus. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STAR WARS RESISTANCE

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STAR WARS RESISTANCE - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot for the Resistance, is tasked with a top secret mission to investigate the First Order, a growing threat in the galaxy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Get ready for a high-flying adventure. Star Wars Resistance is back - the animated TV version, that is. I am beyond excited! Who doesn't love Star Wars? Disney's newest series is inspired by Japanese anime. This astounding, well-intentioned, well-crafted and powerful series is executive produced by renowned Lucasfilm animation veterans Dave Filoni, Brandon Auman, Athena Yvette Portillo and Justin Ridge with Art Direction by Amy Beth Christensen.

The series centers on Kazuda (Kaz) Xiono (Christopher Sean), a young pilot with big dreams, adventurous and a bit overconfident, who is recruited by Poe Dameron to join the resistance and spy on the forthcoming threat of the First Order. Kaz is the son of a wealthy senator from New Republic and also serves in the New Republic military. The time period for the show is set just months before the events of The Force Awakens, so the First Order hasn't shown their destructive power yet and General Leia Organa's resistance is helping to secure the galaxy.

The lead characters are Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean), Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), Jared Yeager (Scott Lawrence), Hype Fazon (Donald Faison), Jim Rash (Bobby Moynihan) and Torrance Dona (Myrna Velasco).

My favorite character is definitely Kazuda Xiono. He is the new character who has this fierce attitude dealing out some serious damage. Christopher Sean makes a great protagonist. He brings out his character by showing his passion for flying and his confidence in his own skills as a pilot. I absolutely love his determination.

The animation in Star Wars Resistance is extremely beautiful, vibrant, engaging colors and charming. The visuals provide clear and effective impressions. I also fell in love with the music. As a fan, it brings a feeling that draws me in and made me enjoy the first two episodes that I watched. Lucasfilm Animation has excelled in creating a real organic 3D world that looks undoubtedly like the galaxy. It looks so modern and fresh and definitely makes a great impression with its outstanding visual effects.

I give episodes one and two 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this series for ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. The series far delivers what fans have come to expect from Disney in terms of the humor and style of art. You don't want to miss it! You can find this series on the Disney Chanel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD. Streaming airings will also be available on Disney XD. The next how airs October 14, 2018. Look for it!

Reviewed by Nathalia Marie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES
FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - Period drama set in stylish 1920s Toronto, following the female-only agency Drake Private Detectives led by the eponymous Frankie Drake and her partner Trudy Clarke, as they investigate mysteries and crimes that either the police refuse to take on, or that their clients cannot take to the police at all. Set against a backdrop of social change, radical politics and jazz music, the series is immersed in both the real Toronto of the 1920s and the world of mystery and suspense conjured by creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This 30 minute mystery series is new to the PBS line-up this season. Private Detective Frankie Drake, along with fellow detective Trudy combine their skills to solve distinctive cases within each episode. Frankie Drake is head of her own detective agency located in Toronto, CA in the 1920s. The pilot episode, involves a case of a wealthy man whose pearls are apparently stolen from the safe at his residence. In its place is a mysterious white feather. A policewoman notifies Frankie and brings the feather along to tell her that the feather was the trademark of her father, Ned Drake, a con-man who passed away ten years prior. While investigating the case, Frankie finds out that the wealthy man's wife is Frankie's mother, Nora Drake. This is shocking for Frankie, as she thought her mother had been long dead. Nora Drake is a hustler in her own right, as she married rich men and left them not long after, simply for the payday. Frankie is the total opposite - choosing to work for a living, which is very avant garde for the time. By the end of this premiere episode, it is clear that Frankie is stuck with Nora in Toronto for awhile, whether she likes it or not. As the series develops, I believe Frankie and Nora will learn to tolerate and inevitably like each other. I believe Nora will be some sort of ally to Frankie in helping to solve cases.

The Frankie Drake Mysteries is a very female-friendly program, set in the Roaring 20s, the era when one of the first big Feminist Movements occurred. Young girls, in particular, can look up to Frankie as being ahead of her time. Young black girls can also look up to Trudy as being equal to Frankie at the detective agency. She will also be considered ahead of her time, working as a professional private eye. In this era, many black woman could only find servitude work, as Nora Drake assumes Trudy for when she first visits Frankie's agency.

As a serial drama, the Frankie Drake Mysteries is straightforward and flows easily from beginning to end - the set-up of the mystery; Frankie and Trudy notified of the case; the who, what, where, when, how; the conflict, climax, and conclusion of the case.

Based on watching this pilot, I would guess that the rating would be TV-PG or TV-G. It is witty and the humorous dialogue will hold your attention. The setting and costumes make it interesting for the viewer, especially children, since most are unfamiliar with the timeframe. There appears to be little or no bloody violence. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed this mini-series and will remind myself to catch an episode or two whenever I can, on PBS this season.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


TASHA NON-STOP (2018) - NATASHA HANINA
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - Tashi Non-Stop is a TV pilot comprising short, educational comedic skits geared towards 3 to 6-year-olds. During the show, kids are introduced to an array of colorful characters from around the world. Think 'Blue's Clues' meets 'Tracey Ullman.' The show combines live action and animation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tashi Non-Stop has good intentions with its "Never Giving Up" theme. It just doesn't quite deliver. There are parts that I do not believe will be entertaining for children of the target age, 2 to 5. Tashi takes on various characters such as Ms. Wallaby and Tashi the Vampire. She raps and, although it isn't completely inappropriate, I don't see the point of many of the lyrics. It shows that Tashi isn't great at rapping and makes its point about never giving up. Basically, from watching this a child might learn how to rap, eat spaghetti and learn the proper way to sneeze. The humor is a bit annoying, especially for adults. I recommend it for ages 4 to 7, but I'm not sure how likable the character's various roles would be for this age. Although I admire the theme, the different skits don't quite deliver. I feel this needs a rewrite to bring in more age appropriate humor for ages 2 to 5. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

This pilot reflects the overall spirit of the program, if it is developed into a series. This reflects some revisions which the producer made after KIDS FIRST! expressed concerns about safety issues in a segment, which has now been deleted. Therefore, I give them credit for listening to constructive criticism. I believe that the rapping kangaroo segment would be engaging to many young viewers. I particularly like that it teaches children manners. The pilot is simply okay. The Dracula segment could be seen as too scary for preschool viewers. The talent's name, Tashi, is original and likeable. The vocabulary is basic enough to be understood by the intended viewer. The live action visuals are clear, big, colorful and bright. This is good for the intended audience. The segments are structured well. The show basically features Tashi throughout each episode, without any additional cast members. In one segment, she shows children how to cover a sneeze correctly as to not spread germs. This concept is appropriate for the target audience. The other entertainment elements include the rapping animal, a vampire, and a cook. Overall, it is entertaining and educational show for young children. I recommend it for ages 4 to 8 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.


KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for educational entertainment made for kids! Get ready to enjoy some humor, exciting, over-the-top, friendly, meaningful topics with animated storytelling. Tashi Non-Stop is the perfect animated story for you and your kids. There's so much merriment in the scenes that will have you eager and attentive in what's happening on screen. Each scene deliveries important lessons in a fun way.

This TV pilot is filled with pleasure and lots of giggles. Each episode will have you experience an unforgettable adventure. This family entertainment pilot follows a very joyful, fun, unique, sweet lady named Tashi, who takes you on a journey on her show Tashi Non-Stop, a show for kids for preschoolers that shows them how much fun it is to be creative. You will experience different scenes with Tashi such as the jungle, the granny gym, the Italian restaurant and you even get to teach a vampire how to sneeze properly. How fun is this?

What an outstanding job Natasha Hanina does who plays Ms. Wallaby, Agnes Mcmonagle, an Arabic instructor, a chef and Tashi the Vampire? Tashi ( Natasha Hanina) is very pleasant, charming and speaks with a British accent that really stands out and sounds beautiful. Natasha Hanina is an actress and producer. I appreciate Tashi's ( Natasha Hanina) distinct take on using entertainment to help refresh the imagination and encourage creative play.

I must say the animation is fantastic. I mean the jungle is standardized. It looks just like a real jungle. The restaurant looks like any other restaurant you walk into. And, the vampire and the gym are just amazing.

My favorite part is clearly when Ms. Wallaby and the Kangaroo perform a humorous rap song together. I declare this part my favorite because it made me start dancing and at least trying to sing. It had me giggling for sure! I also love this part because it's the funniest scene of all.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this TV show and hope it gets produced. It is a program designed with love. The message raises a positive message through kid-friendly humor. Never give up is the lesson and it encourages you to overcome every obstacle that comes you way. Never, never give up. This is certainly a series of entertaining and educational scenes with self-expression and independent thinking. It has a positive message that promote positive social behavior. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Tashi Non-Stop is a playful, comedic educational series that has lots of fun scenes that are silly and have a positive message to offer younger kids. The message of this episode is "Never Give Up" and, with practice you can get better.

In this short pilot (under 9 minutes), there is a funny narrator who introduces each scene, played by the talented comedian, Natasha Hanina. The different scenes include a zoo wildlife caretaker called Ms. Wallaby who introduces us to the forest and her trying to hip hop. There's also a scene with a French chef teaching us about how to eat spaghetti and another with a vampire teaching the proper way to sneeze to avoid germs.

My favorite character is Ms. Wallaby because she is awkwardly funny as corks dangle from her hat all over her face and she talks about wildlife. She also attempts to hip hop dance with a kangaroo (in costume). I also really like the French restaurant scene where Tashi dresses up as a chef with a long mustache. It's cute seeing the animated penguins delivering food to the chef in this spaghetti scene. The sound affects also add to the enjoyment of the production. For example, in the restaurant scene we hear Tashi slurping her spaghetti. The point being that Tashi needs to learn the proper way to eat spaghetti and, with practice, she will.

The background music in the production suits the individual scenes quite well, with its upbeat and childlike arrangements. I also like the simple animation. My favorite part of this pilot is the animals that pop up in the window behind Tashi as she narrates. Tashi's ability to speak with different accents also makes the different characters she plays more believable and enjoyable.

I like the positive message to "Never Give Up" and "with practice you can get better." Little kids will like watching this show because of the fun skits, colorful backgrounds, animation and upbeat music.

I recommend this for children ages 2 to 5 as it deals with simple topics like eating spaghetti and how to correctly sneeze. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TALKING GOLDFISH, THE
TALKING GOLDFISH, THE - ROGER AN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - Rodrigo, a charismatic talking goldfish, has had enough of his hapless owner Conner. Tired of performing tricks for snacks, our scaly hero sets his sights on Bianca, a beautiful marine biologist. The Talking Goldfish is a comedic short film merging live action with CG animation to bring a photo-realistic talking 3D goldfish to life. Almost nine years in the making and self-funded by director Roger An, The Talking Goldfish, is a funny, thought-provoking journey into the minds of one of our most innocuous but personable of pets. The Talking Goldfish is the children's version of the Alpha Fish short.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this short film. It's beautifully executed. The blend of animation and live action is pretty seamless. The live actors are charming and suitable for their roles. The voice actor for the goldfish is simply outstanding. Great background music, plot. It's a perfectly constructed short film that I would love to see expanded into a longer piece. It leaves you wanting more. Nemo watch out! You've got competition!!! Highly recommended. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 8 to 18. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
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
BOY AND HIS TEDDY BEAR, A
BOY AND HIS TEDDY BEAR, A - B-TV LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - This is a silent film in the slap-stick comedy genre about a boy and his special gift - a teddy bear.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this little live action student short about a boy and his teddy bear. It's done in a very very quirky slap stick comedic style with no dialogue and is absolutely charming. The storyline is about a boy who receives a teddy bear for his birthday, loves it very much and takes it everywhere with him. Created by teenage filmmakers, I commend their production values, which are pretty good - from the camera work to the background music and editing. Some of the costumes are quite silly such as giant wigs and fake beards that aren't realistic, but they are fun. There are no spoken words, but there are some written captions like old silent movies have. The storyline will appeal to anyone who may feel that they are getting too old for their favorite toys. The story is easy to follow and enjoyable movie to watch. The most appealing thing is how much the boy loves his teddy bear, like I do. Kids would like this film because most children have a favorite stuffed toy. The message here is to be true to yourself even if you get teased for it
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



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