KIDS FIRST! has endorsed 142 total TV titles

Below are up to 26 of them

KIDS FIRST! has linked to external websites through which you may order many of the KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SCHMIGADOON!

Click above to view YouTube video of
SCHMIGADOON!
open in new window
SCHMIGADOON! - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - A couple, Melissa and Josh, go on a backpacking trip in an attempt to patch up their failing relationship, only to find themselves still arguing. They then discover a magical town called Schmigadoon, which is perpetually trapped in a Golden Age-style musical, and slowly realize that they cannot leave until they find true love. The title and concept is a parody of the 1947 Broadway musical Brigadoon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Schmigadoon! is a fun-filled musical comedy perfect for theatre kids and musical lovers! The cast of this new series has some famous faces like: Keegan-Michael Key, Dove Cameron, Kristen Chenoworth and many more!

On a bonding trip, lovers Josh and Melissa accidentally find themselves in the 1940's musical town of Schmigadoon. Josh and Melissa see everyone bursting into song and dance and soon discover that they can't go home until they find true love. Do they have it? Will they find it? Watch Schmigadoon! to find out!

The cast of Schmigadoon! stands out and so do the sets Josh Skinner (Keegan-Michael Key) is not excited about this musical town and tries everything he can to get away from all the singing and dancing. Josh experiences many emotional highs and lows: engagement, break-ups and drama. Melissa (Cecily Strong) is the one who decides on the bonding trip which leads them to Schmigadoon! She does enjoy the musical town and, eventually, joins in on the fun.

The scary Mrs. Mildred Layton (Kristen Chenoworth), wife of Reverend Layton, is the leader of the "Mothers of the Future" organization and isn't very fond of Josh and Melissa's arrival. As well as Josh, Mildred is also trying everything she can to get them to leave, as she thinks they are ruining "her" town. Betsy (Dove Cameron) is a young waitress who takes a quick interest in Dr. Skinner and tries to be his true love. Enchanting and wise school teacher Emma Tate (Arianna DeBose) doesn't care much for love and focuses on teaching the children, but all that changes when she meets Josh.

The set replicates a genuine theatre stage set, creating a definitive boundary between the real world and Schmigadoon!'s stage set--I love that. The music is all taken from mid-1900s musicals, but the words have been changed. You'll spend all day singing the tunes in your head, trying to figure out what the original songs are. I love the contrast in costumes from Josh and Melissa's modern day clothes to the town's 1940's outfits.

While there is more than one message to the story, the main one is that when hope looks lost don't give up (and maybe add a bit of song and dance).

I give Schmigadoon! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults, but strongly recommend this for theatre kids. This series does contain strong language and some slightly inappropriate scenes. You can find Schmigadoon! starting July 16, 2021 on Apple TV. I'm looking forward to a season 2 already!<
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CENTAURWORLD

Click above to view YouTube video of
CENTAURWORLD
open in new window
CENTAURWORLD - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 7-18
Description - Centaurworld follows a war horse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. Desperate to return home, she befriends a group of these magical creatures and embarks on a journey that will test her more than any battle she's ever faced before.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - CentaurWorld is a humorous, animated show geared to older kids and young teens. The plot is definitely its strongest point because each episode has unique storylines episodes despite being an ongoing story. Along with that, the acting, impressive characters and music combine to make an unusual, yet intriguing show.

This ten-episode series follows Horse (Kimiko Glenn), her name representing her appearance. She touches a magical artifact that transports her to a new world, called CentaurWorld, where magic and singing are encouraged. Along the way, they meet many challenges, including facing comedy competitions, a trial that could result in being stuck in jail forever and plants that grant tricky wishes. Can Horse find all parts of the key along the rainbow road to make her way home to Rider (Jessie Mueller)?

CentaurWorld has an incredible storyline. The concept is new and unique. Each episode has an individual story that's carefully written to not be the same as others. The voiceover acting is also magnificent. Josh Radnor, as Durpleton, and Parvesh Cheen, as Zulius, deliver amazing performances. The characters are well developed so the acting and writing make an excellent combination. My favorite part is probably the music, although the other fabulous aspects are great. The songs drew my attention every time; the melodies and lyrics create an emotional environment, shifting with the moods, which always left me in awe. Then there are the impressive singers with their enjoyable resonance and beautiful solos. Their harmonies are perfectly executed and make the songs more enjoyable. The music truly takes the show to the next level.

The message of CentaurWorld is about bravery. Horse and her centaur friends need to find all of the pieces to the key and this journey isn't easy. Oftentimes, Horse encourages her friends to 'be bold,' like when the rainbow road leads them to a hole, going down one side and up the other. Horse shows bravery by jumping down, realizing this is the only way to not give up on their journey. Parents should note that there is some violence and some mildly inappropriate dialogue.

I give CentaurWorld 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. CentaurWorld begins streaming on Netflix July 30, 2021.

Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Centaurworld is a creative kids' show with colorful, memorable and funny characters. The show is different from other shows for children, because most of its characters are animals with human attributes. The simple dialogue and colorful characters serve to keep kids' attention.

Centaurworld is about a hardened war horse, named Horse (Kimiko Glenn) that gets separated from her rider (Jessica Mueller). Horse ends up in Centaurland, a land filled with silly, singing unique creatures with both animal and human features. Horse is quickly heralded as their new friend and inspires Wammawink (Meagan Hilty), Zulius (Parvesh Cheena), Durpleton (Josh Radnor), Glendale (Megan Nicole Dong) and Ched (Chris Diamantopoulos) to follow her and explore the area as they try to help Horse get home.

Centaurworld has some fun comedic moments with simple jokes that kids can follow and are age appropriate. In terms of the animation, the series makes good use of its characters and they are quite different from other animated shows. For example, viewers can't help but focus on the big human-looking eyes and human faces of the colorful characters. Another positive is that the show has the unexpected twist of making a horse the main character. This further serves to engage younger audiences. What kid wouldn't be intrigued by a horse that talks and has other talking human/animal hybrid friends? One thing kids may not notice, but adults will, is that, besides being able to speak, Horse doesn't have any other human features. Still, the inhabitants of Centaurland are accepting of her. This is a good lesson on acceptance.

The message of this film is that the world is not always full of war and conflict. It's also filled with friends and memories. Also, it's ok to have some silliness and fun in your life. Plus, don't limit yourself to what you think you know or what you become used to.

I give Centaurworld 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults can enjoy this with their kids. Centaurworld
Juror Recommended Age: 7-13 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WE THE PEOPLE

Click above to view YouTube video of
WE THE PEOPLE
open in new window
WE THE PEOPLE - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Description - Learn the basics of rights and citizenship with upbeat songs by popular artists like Janelle Mon�e, H.E.R., Adam Lambert, Brandi Carlile and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love the catchy tunes, the perfectly rhyming lyrics, the animation and the lessons of the new ten episode series, We the People. I love how it includes animations such as women and men united, jumping above the clouds, almost like collecting all the facts as they jump in the air.

Created by Chris Nee, the award-winning creator of Doc McStuffins and Vampirina, and executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, We the People takes civics lessons to a whole new level for kids like me.

This series is a call to action to rethink civics as a living, breathing thing as it reframes the understanding of what government and citizenship mean in the modern world. The opening minutes of each episode give you a preview of what's to come, sharing minor facts about the topic the episode addresses before it plunges into the specifics. Each topic is covered thoroughly, which helps young viewers grasp the importance of each topic and not simply focus on the catchy tune that accompanies it. For example, instead of just talking about the federal vs. state power, a song explains how choices by the feds or the state affect our daily lives and how we have a choice in who holds positions of power. The songs included are all upbeat original songs performed by popular contemporary artists such as H.E.R., Janelle Mon�e, Brandi Carlile, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Lambert, Cordae, Bebe Rexha, KYLE, Andra Day and poet Amanda Gorman.

A huge part of this series is the animation which, as a visual person, attracts and holds my attention. When the facts are played out in powerful pictures with great colors and cool designs, I'm immediately hooked! Ten of the world's leading animation directors contributed to this show - men and women, LGBTQ+ and various ethnicities, including Oscar winner Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Jorge R. Gutierrez (Netflix's Maya and the Three), Trisha Gum (The Lego Batman Movie), Jorge R. Gutierrez (The Book of Life), Victoria Vincent (A Dog That Smokes Weed), Benjy Brooke (Teen Titans Go! To The Movies), Mabel Ye (Kid Cosmic), Tim Rauch (Mushroom Park), Daron Nefcy (Star vs. the Forces of Evil), Everett Downing (My Dad the Bounty Hunter) and Kendra Ryan (We the People). I love that this film practices its message of inclusivity behind the scenes as well as on-screen. My favorite episode is most definitely episode three, "Taxes."

The message of this film is that we are the future and we have a voice! Let's continue to educate ourselves and our peers and speak up for the right, against the wrong. Let's make a difference and help one another. We are the people.

I give We the People 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It releases July 4, 2021, on Netflix. Look for it!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

We The People is a very innovative way to learn about history and social studies. Most importantly, it helps us understand things that are part of our everyday lives that we either take for granted or don't fully understand or appreciate. These things help us to live better in our community and society. I also love that the show also explores a new way to incorporate music videos and listen to music with a purpose.

I didn't know what to expect from this ten part series; I love that the episodes are very short, because they are just the length of a song. Each composition has a different style in terms of animation and color palette; all according to the story. We the People consists of ten eye-candy episodes with captivating lyrics, contemporary rhythms, lots of creativity and fundamental storytelling.

We The People is produced by accomplished children's television writer Chris Nee who began her career at Sesame Street International and has been honored with a Peabody, Humanitas, NAACP and Emmy awards. In this project she teamed up with Barack and Michelle Obama with whom she previously worked pm other educational and fun projects. This is the content we need and our generation should appreciate it. The production company Higher Ground which produced the series was created with the purpose of creating not only entertaining programming, but informative and inspirational as well. I can affirm that this content positively impacted me and I am happy to spread the word and recommend it. The series proves the great power of music in establishing strong and effective connections with audience. The inclusion of the artists that participate is brilliant and includes some of the top music artist such as H.E.R, Cordae, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Janelle Monae. The powerful poet, Amanda Gorman, is also an important voice in this series. Each episode has a different director and the topics range from "Active Citizenship," to "Taxes," "Immigration" and more.

I give We The People 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Although the themes are more appropriate for late elementary and middle school kids, really everyone in the family will love the music, the message and the beautiful images.

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE

Click above to view YouTube video of
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE
open in new window
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: ANIMATED SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - It's a dark time in Gotham City. Held hostage by the powerful Falcone crime family, the city is rife with crime and corruption. Adding to the chaos is the mysterious Holiday killer, who has been targeting the underworld and leaving a trail of terror... and body bags. Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent race against the calendar as it advances toward the next ill-fated holiday. Based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins a twisted chain of events that will forever change the Dark Knight.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One offers a decent take on Batman's early years before Batman evolved into the great detective he is now. Like the other Batman films, Gotham does not appear to be the best place to live. This film stands apart from other animated Batman films because it shows Batman as a novice detective.

The story begins with a brutal murder on Halloween, which prompts Batman (Jensen Ackles) to team up with the two uncorrupt lawmen Police Captain James Gordon (Billy Burke) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel). They team up to take down Roman, the head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. As the team works together, something unexpected occurs. There is a string of deaths that occurs on holidays; then the three realize that they are dealing with a holiday killer. After some investigation, with Batman following the clues, he thinks he knows who the holiday killer is, but he discovers the high cost of being wrong.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One incorporates settings that are typical in a Batman film. Since the film takes a look at Batman in his earlier years, it helps viewers to understand why he feels compelled to over analyze things. The film's lack of transition between holidays, which is integral to the plot, is a little confusing; the story moves swiftly from one holiday to the next and only when something occurs related to the holiday do we know when it is taking place. The animation is reminiscent of Batman the Animated series - nothing too exciting, but workable. The images have lots of straight lines, which gives a different look to the characters, but not so much that it distracts from the plot. Batman is still my favorite character and I like seeing his evolution in the film; as the seasons come and go, he grows.

The message of this film is that sometimes you have to rely on others to help you overcome big problems. Another reminder is to not be afraid to question the evidence before assuming someone is guilty.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One gets 3 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This is available now on DVD and on demand.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GHOSTWRITER 2021

Click above to view YouTube video of
GHOSTWRITER 2021
open in new window
GHOSTWRITER 2021 - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, 8-16
Description - Ghostwriter follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature. Ghostwriter, garnered an historic Daytime Emmy Award win for Outstanding Children's or Family Viewing Programming for season one, and recently debuted new episodes from season two on Apple TV+ which follows the young heroes working to save their bookstore and discover the true identity of their ghostly companion. By the end of this season, Episode 13, the students have bravely completed their missions, closing the book on this adventure! The award-winning show is currently in production for season three with a new group of curious, intelligent children on another unbelievable literary journey.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wanted to have tea with the Mad Hatter, battle the Frankenstein monster or solve a mystery with Sherlock Holmes? Welcome to the lives of Ruben Reyna (Isaac Arellanes), Chevon Redmond (Amadi Chapata), Donna Palmer-Moreno (Hannah Levinson) and Curtis Palmer-Moreno (Justin Sanchez). With some of the best storylines, creative incorporation of literary elements and beyond impressive acting, Ghostwriter is an absolute must-see for all kids and teens!

Ghostwriter follows four kids on a fantastical mission to solve a mystery and figure out what unfinished business the ghost wants them to complete. Along with mysteriously dropping random clues left and right, the 'ghostwriter' releases characters from different books. Although these fictional people can only be seen by the four kids, they do cause disruption while helping solve the mystery. After the characters have served their purpose, the middle-schoolers work to return them to their appropriate book and take the next step in figuring out the ghost puzzle. In the last few episodes, the kids actually dive into the world of a book rather than having the characters from the book come to them, which adds excitement to the already fabulous TV series.

Ghostwriter is one of the most creative shows that I've ever seen. The prospect of fictional characters coming to life and interacting with young teens and kids is a wonderful one and I can't imagine it being done any much better than it is in Ghostwriter. The show is very written well. The inclusion the literary characters is woven naturally into a normal teenage drama, creating a fun environment that doesn't seem forced in any way. Realistic dialogue is peppered with the fantastical elements. To go with this incredible dialogue, the actors portraying the kids all deliver relatable and funny performances that grabbed my attention. The delivery of their lines, together with their physical motions and facial expressions are seamless. The actors that portray the book characters are also above and beyond. Each one uses accents, slang and behavior that are a little out of the ordinary. Cameron Brodeur, as the Camarillo Kid, displays a range of emotions for his complex character. His accent and cowboy-style actions add to this interesting and entertaining character. Another actor whose performance shines is Jeff Joseph, who plays Frank. Frank shows up in multiple episodes as an older man from a poem. His old country accent is superb and really enhances his character. Frank makes a return appearance in the most recently released episodes. These characters from different time periods and worlds need costumes that show us where they are from and who they are. The costume designers deserve a big tip of the hat for their superb work. Sets and props are well-executed. Although many of the episodes are based around real people coming to life, there are a couple of scenes where imaginary animals are the focal point. The animators make the transitions between animation and live action seamless, without it being obvious that a fantastical creature is alive.

The message of Ghostwriter is to value your friends and know that unlikely friendships will occur, but that doesn't mean they won't be good ones. There are a couple of minor intense scenes, such as battling monsters and a crime mystery, and several suspenseful episodes. For example, the "Frankenstein" and "Jungle Book" episodes and the last few in the second season are more intense.

I give Ghostwriter 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16. Ghostwriter is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-16 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIGHTY ONES, THE: SEASON 2

Click above to view YouTube video of
MIGHTY ONES, THE: SEASON 2
open in new window
MIGHTY ONES, THE: SEASON 2 - HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-12
Description - The adventures of a gang of tiny creatures -- a pebble, a strawberry, a twig and a leaf -- who are best friends and live in a terribly unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans. This band of diminutive heroes calls themselves the Mighty Ones, and while they may be the smallest things in the yard, they're determined to live big lives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Our favorite mighty tiny creatures - Very Berry, Leaf, Twig and Rocksy - are back for a new round of adventures in The Mighty Ones Season 2. This animated series is fun and colorful, with a nice mix of hidden educational messages. Each episode presents an obstacle for the Mighty Ones crew, which they usually create themselves, but they always find a way to get out of it. This series is very bubbly and enjoyable!

The Mighty Ones is about a group of four friends: Very Berry (Alex Cazares), Twig (Josh Brener), Leaf (Jimmy Tatro) and Rocksy (Jessica McKenna). They live in a messy backyard of humans that they call giants or gods. The messiness makes for great new adventures on every path. While they are the smallest things in the yard, there is no obstacle they can't overcome because they always work together and have each other's backs.

The main characters are Very Berry, a fun and adventurous strawberry; Leaf, a laid-back and cool leaf; Twig, a smart and nervous stick; and Rocksy, a considerate pebble, who is also the group leader. I love how each character has huge goals and its own personality. My favorite scene is from the "Home Touchers" episode when Rocksy is trapped in the humans' house. Kensington (Janina Gavankar), one of the "giants," is listening to a podcast about murderous ghosts. The show describes the signs of a ghost being in the house and, each time Twig and Berry make that exact noise to capture Rocky's attention, it scares Kensington.

The message of The Mighty Ones is to trust your friends because they have your best interest at heart and you can do more together than alone. There is also a hidden message throughout the series about how humans affect the lives of other living things. The "Mighty Ones" are affected by all the things the humans keep in their backyard, which correlates to how humans affect climate change and the lives of other species.

I give The Mighty Ones 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 12. You can find Season 2 streaming on Peacock and Hulu beginning July 1, 2021.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PENGUIN TOWN

Click above to view YouTube video of
PENGUIN TOWN
open in new window
PENGUIN TOWN - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - You've never met penguins like these before. Forget ice and snow, this rowdy colony of African penguins are hitting the sun-drenched beaches and breaking all the rules. Every summer, these tuxedoed birds vie for prime real estate on the sandy shores of Simon's Town, south of Cape Town, and stir things up. While humans apply sun block and wax their surfboards, these endangered little guys, who have adapted to heat and can travel long distances, are causing traffic jams in the streets and bringing mayhem to this tropical paradise. Their mission: find a mate, make babies and not go extinct! Filled with boisterous shenanigans and loads of adorable penguins -- from the troublemaking "Car Park Gang" to the sweet and cuddly newlyweds Mr. & Mrs. C. -- this eight-part series about the real lives of African penguins brings flipper-flapping fun and drama. Join the ride ... this town is going to get painted black and white!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love Penguin Town! It has great narration, interesting stories and is educational. You will laugh and you will cry in this eight-episode docu-series.

This show follows the rowdy colony of endangered South African Penguins in the beautiful beach town, Simon's Town, who forget the snow and flock to the sun. We follow the lives of newborns as they grow and then raise families of their own.

There are eight episodes in this show, each running about 25 minutes. Penguin Town is narrated by Patton Oswald, an excellent narrator who is goofy at some points and serious at others. The writing is very comedic, relatable and personifies the penguins. There are cliff-hangers at the end of episode, so you can't wait to watch the next one. All the penguins have very clever names, based on where they live such as Car Park Gang, the Courtyards and the Wheelbarrows. My favorite penguin family is the Bougainvilleas because they would do anything for their kids.

The messages here are: 1. protect and conserve wildlife, and 2. with the power of family, you can do anything. Of course, having kids is a LOT of work. There is some on-screen mating, sad parts and intense fights and deaths, so sensitive people may not like this.

I give Penguin Town 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8-18, plus adults. This show will be available on Netflix beginning June 16, 2021.

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

Penguin Town is far beyond just another penguin docu-series! It's hilarious as well as being educational. After all, it is narrated by comedian Patton Oswalt. This film shows just how human-like penguins' lives are when it comes to survival, searching for food and protecting their children. The only difference is that they are in a more hazardous environment.

Penguin Town is an 8-part documentary about the African Penguins, which are an endangered species of penguins that live in Africa. Each part of the series shows the experience of one of the penguin families named: The Bougainvilleas, The Courtyards, The Culverts and even Junior the "misfit" penguin. You get a close up view of how the penguins live, love, learn and grow.

This series is very heart-warming but can also be heartbreaking due to some of the events in the penguins' lives. My favorite thing about Penguin Town is how the filmmakers named the families based on their homes. For example, the Wheelbarrows live under a wheelbarrow; the Car Park Gang is a group of penguins who are loners, pick on other penguins and actually live in a car park. The camerawork in this film is astonishing. There are mind-blowing close-ups of the penguins, underwater scenes and lots of really cool shots of the penguins in their natural habitats. They truly incorporate plenty of human-like scenes, such as when a group of penguins walk into frame to some hip music as if they are a crew of cool penguins or when a female penguin shakes her head as if she is swinging her hair.

The message of Penguin Town is to not to give up; even if you fail the first time or are nervous, it's okay! In the series, the penguins might fail at trying to swim the first time, but they keep trying and eventually succeed! A hidden message is how climate change and human activities such as fishing endanger the lives of the African Penguins. Parents should be aware of mild profanity and some intense fighting scenes.

I rate Penguin Town 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, plus adults. If you are someone that loves penguins and want to know more about how they live, this is for you! Penguin Town premieres on Netflix, June 16, 2021.

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


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

The second season of Home Before Dark starts off the summer after journalist Hilde Lysko (Brooklyn Prince) uncovers a huge break in the Richie Fife case. Hilde, still haunted by the year before, continues to move forward and continues searching, and you won't believe what she finds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The message I took away from the series is to be resourceful and determined. The series gives the viewers a sense of accomplishment through Hilde, and inspires them to be like her. She works so hard and never gives up on her goals. Hilde is an admirable character that the viewers look up to. My only concern with this is that some of the actions Hilde performs are dangerous for her age, such as visiting abandoned areas and sneaking out of class. As long as children who are around Hilde's age don't imitate her then it is safe.

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

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

Home Before Dark Season 2 has a storyline filled with many unexpected twists and mysterious happenings this season that will capture viewers' attention. We follow alongside Hilde Lisko (Brooklyn Prince) and her family and friends as they try to discover the secrets of the past. This alluring series will have you mesmerized with surprises you won't see coming.

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

My favorite scene is when Hilde and her friends, along with her dad, Matt (Jim Sturgess), and Lt. Briggs (Michael Weston) venture onto a nearby island to look for more clues. While waiting for Hilde's dad and Lt. Briggs, they decide to use a drone to explore. The drone crashes, and they go into the forest and look for it before the adults come back. It's very eerie and suspenseful because we don't know what or who lurks in those woods. The choices of settings fit well with the scenes, such as the island and the harbor that show life in a small town near the water. The clothing for the characters is modern and goes well with their personalities. Hilde has a more sophisticated look then most kids her age, which goes with her character. It is also nice to see a family that works together and supports each other. Overall, the series is remarkably interesting and entertaining--it is fascinating to see the story unravel in each episode.

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

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

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES

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

The storyline is about a young girl named Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who gets picked by Principal Swift (Nathan Lovejoy) who is an alien and wants Gabby to babysit aliens. This job is so important and, if anyone finds out aliens are real, then that would destroy the earth. Principle Swift needs Gabby to keep this a secret from everyone; she can't tell anyone about aliens or her baby sitting job. Keeping that big of a secret might be a little hard for Gabby.

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

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

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

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

By Makena P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAUNCHPAD

Click above to view YouTube video of
LAUNCHPAD
open in new window
LAUNCHPAD - DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, 8-18
Description - A collection of 6 short films. Six filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds were selected and provided with the opportunity to share their perspectives and creative visions that will show audiences what it means to be seen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Launchpad is an emotional and uplifting collection of Disney short films that are great for teens and adults. Every one of the six movies features excellent acting, impressive cinematography, great special effects and storylines with meaningful themes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Rosemary K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CITY OF GHOSTS

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

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

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

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

I give City of Ghosts 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This was definitely a highlight of the New York International Film Festival and is available now on Netflix.
Juror Recommended Age: 2-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TINY WORLD

Click above to view YouTube video of
TINY WORLD
open in new window
TINY WORLD - APPLE TV
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - A look at the world through the eyes of the tiniest creatures and witness the extraordinary things they do to survive.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wondered what if it would be like if you were tiny? Well, the documentary series, Tiny World, explores the world of tiny creatures, some of which live right beneath our feet.

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

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

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

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST!

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

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

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

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

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

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES, THE

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

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

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

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

I rate The Mitchells vs. The Machines 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases April 30, 2021 on Netflix.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EARTH AT NIGHT IN COLOR

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

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

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

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

I give The Earth at Night in Color 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it on AppleTV+ now. By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FAMILY REUNION (SEASON 2)

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

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

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

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

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

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 9-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPACE DOGS: TROPICAL ADVENTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MIGHTY DUCKS, THE: GAME CHANGERS

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 11-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUNKY BREWSTER (2021)

Click above to view YouTube video of
PUNKY BREWSTER (2021)
open in new window
PUNKY BREWSTER (2021) - PEACOCK
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - A follow-up series to the 1980s sitcom about a young foster child named Punky. Punky Brewster (Soleil Moon Frye) is now a successful photographer with a gaggle of her own adopted kids, both inspired by her beloved adoptive dad Henry. Her savvy teen daughter Hannah (Lauren Lindsay Donis) is helping her learn online dating after a recent divorce, while her younger sons Daniel and Diego (Oliver de los Santos, Noah Cotrell) can't stop bickering. She's still best friends with Cherie (Cherie Johnson), who runs the orphanage and hopes the Brewsters can help out with Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a troubled kid with a running-away streak, not unlike young Punky.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Punky Brewster is so much fun to watch! This iconic show from the 1980s is now rebooted with ten new episodes and even includes some of the original cast.

The new Punky Brewster is about the original Punky Brewster (Soleil Moon Frye) who is now grown up, with kids of her own, living in Chicago. While photographing the children at her old adoption center, she meets a girl named Izzy (Quinn Copeland) who reminds Punky so much of herself. Punky's long-time friend Cherie (Cherie Johnson), also from the original show, asks her to watch Izzy until Cherie finds her the perfect family. Once they find the "perfect" family, will Punky let her go?

Knowing that this show is a reboot, I recommend watching the original series to appreciate all of the comedic references and become familiar with Punky's backstory. Although it's not necessary to do that and still enjoy the show. I love that the show maintains all of the original characters, while also adding new characters, primarily Punky's children. Punky's family reflects the reality of today's diverse family structure including divorced parents, biological and adopted children, different races as well as a very diverse set of personalities. The show includes not only the original star of Punky Brewster, Soleil Moon Frye, but also her best friend Cherie Johnson. Soleil Moon Frye provides so much energy and fun by displaying a more carefree nature and frequently screaming "Punky Power" (my favorite).

The importance of family, acceptance and having a place to call home are the key messages in this show. Like the original series, Punky Brewster covers several serious topics such as child abandonment, divorce, bullying and gender nonconformity.

I give Punky Brewster 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults will enjoy it, too. Punky Brewster is out now on Peacock, so look out for it!

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

Punky Brewster is an amazing show with great messages and entertaining concepts. It's a show that makes you laugh, and gives you an old familiar feeling, especially if you are a fan of the original show. This new Punky Brewster has the potential to be a favorite!

Punky Brewster is a reboot of the '80s sitcom Punky Brewster. It focuses on a now grown-up Punky (Soleil Moon Frye), who is a single parent of three kids after her divorce from Travis (Freddie Prinze Jr.). At the local children's adoption center, Punky meets a little girl named Izzy (Quinn Copeland) who reminds her of herself when she was younger. When Punky's best friend Cherie (Cherie Johnson) asks Punky to look after Izzy while she searches for the right family to adopt her, Punky grows very fond of Izzy and finds it hard to let her go. Izzy makes a connection with Punky as well and finally feels like she has a family.

I really like how they use some references from the original show, such as Punky wearing two different shoes, and her catchphrases "Holy Macanoil" and "Punky Power." Even though the show is a reboot, you don't need to watch the original show to know what happened with Punky because they bring it up in a couple of episodes. I also like how the set is made to look like the rooms in the original show, such as the tree house from the original series. Punky's oldest daughter, Hannah, has a room that looks just like Punky's old bedroom. My favorite character in the show is Izzy because, even though she is a foster kid and doesn't have much, she is very humble and, in each episode, we see how she teaches the family lots of things. In one episode, the kids feel like there is not enough room in the house for Izzy, but with Punky's help, they decide Hannah will share her room with Izzy and they learn to be grateful for what they have.

Each episode has a great message; the one that stands out the most is that it's okay to be different and to be true to yourself. You should know that in a couple of scenes Punky and Cherie are drinking adult beverages.

Punky Brewster is an incredible show to watch! I give it 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Punky Brewster is out now on Peacock. Go check it out!

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
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
BODY BROTHERS SEASON 2; ANIMALS
BODY BROTHERS SEASON 2; ANIMALS - TOM JOHNSON
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - The Body Brothers - Cormac (Cormac Mohally) and Cian (Cian Kinsella) - love to find out more about the world around them and then literally make a song and dance about what they've learned! Luckily, they have a friend who can help. Auntie B (Laura O'Mahony) is an inventor with a workshop packed with models and machines and just about anything she needs to explain things, including �na, her voice-activated computer, and a TV screen made from an old video game console!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This episode of the Body Brothers combines science education with music, comedy and physical exercise, which appeals to a wide range of youth audience. I like the educational facts and comedy in this episode. I got to learn and laugh at the same time, which makes learning fun. Including dancing physical exercise is great to follow along and try.

This series features the Body Brothers who love to explore the world and its inhabitants. They make songs and dance about what they've learned about the world. Their friend Auntie B (Laura O Mahony) is an inventor with a workshop who helps them better understand the new facts they find out.

The part I like in this episode is when it provides "Brittany Animal Facts." I liked learning that when ostrich run at full speed they can run at 70 KPH The camera work here is quite good. It's clear, well lit and easy to watch. I love the young cast, especially the Body brothers. The choreography is creative and fun, trying to represent how ostriches move. The costumes worn in the dance scene are hysterical; one brother dresses up as an ostrich! There are a few locations in this episode. My favorite is Aunty B.'s workshop because of her voice-activated computer and a TV screen made from an old video game console. Fota Wildlife Park is another location which is interesting to see. The background music is okay; it's pretty invisible but definitely adds energy to the episode. The stars of the show are the Body Brothers, Cormac (Cormac Mohally) and Cian (Cian Kinsella). Both of them are well suited for their roles and give a fresh and innovative approach to the show. There are also cut aways to actual children that comment on the show and these kids are well chosen.

The message of this show is that the world is filled of lots of animals and we have lots of things to learn about them and how they fit into our world. This episode taught me more about ostriches, from learning how ostriches use their wings as brakes to how fast they run.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 5o 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Rosabella P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This episode of the Body Brothers combines science education with music, comedy and physical exercise, which appeals to a wide range of youth audience. I like the educational facts and comedy in this episode. I got to learn and laugh at the same time, which makes learning fun. Including dancing physical exercise is great to follow along and try.

This series features the Body Brothers who love to explore the world and its inhabitants. They make songs and dance about what they've learned about the world. Their friend Auntie B (Laura O Mahony) is an inventor with a workshop who helps them better understand the new facts they find out.

The part I like in this episode is when it provides "Brittany Animal Facts." I liked learning that when ostrich run at full speed they can run at 70 KPH The camera work here is quite good. It's clear, well lit and easy to watch. I love the young cast, especially the Body brothers. The choreography is creative and fun, trying to represent how ostriches move. The costumes worn in the dance scene are hysterical; one brother dresses up as an ostrich! There are a few locations in this episode. My favorite is Aunty B.'s workshop because of her voice-activated computer and a TV screen made from an old video game console. Fota Wildlife Park is another location which is interesting to see. The background music is okay; it's pretty invisible but definitely adds energy to the episode. The stars of the show are the Body Brothers, Cormac (Cormac Mohally) and Cian (Cian Kinsella). Both of them are well suited for their roles and give a fresh and innovative approach to the show. There are also cut aways to actual children that comment on the show and these kids are well chosen.

The message of this show is that the world is filled of lots of animals and we have lots of things to learn about them and how they fit into our world. This episode taught me more about ostriches, from learning how ostriches use their wings as brakes to how fast they run.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 5o 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Rosabella P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
COUNTRY COMFORT, SEASON 1

Click above to view YouTube video of
COUNTRY COMFORT, SEASON 1
open in new window
COUNTRY COMFORT, SEASON 1 - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - When her career and personal life get derailed, an aspiring young country singer named Bailey takes a job as a nanny for a rugged cowboy named Beau and his five children. With a never-give up attitude and loads of Southern charm, this newbie-nanny is able to navigate the family dynamics and be the mother figure they've been missing. To her surprise, Bailey also gets the band she's been missing in this musically talented family who help get her back on the road to stardom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Country Comfort, Season 1, because this family comedy show has drama, romance and family situations filled with comedy. I like that this show brings realistic family events to the table. If Season 1 is this great, I cannot imagine how Season 2 will be.

This show is about a widower cowboy named Beau (Eddie Cibrian) who has five kids, a girlfriend and a nanny. This show reminded me of an old show named The Nanny. In every episode the nanny, named Bailey (Katharine McPhee), worries about not getting fired. The kids are somewhat mischievous and very talented. Each one sings and plays a different instrument. The young boy, Dylan is a manager or wants to become a celebrity manager and plays the piano and the drums. The 15-year-old boy, Brody is a singer, a dancer and plays guitar. The oldest boy, Tuck plays guitar and sings too. The older girl, Cassidy misses her mom the most. She is a strong and stubborn little girl. The youngest girl, Chloe, who is five is really funny and mature for her age. The dad's girlfriend, Summer is jealous of how Bailey takes better care of the kids than she does and of how much the children love Bailey.

My favorite episode is when famous singer, LeAnn Rimes, comes to their house and surprises Cassidy. Cassidy has a recording of her mom singing a LeAnn Rimes song on her phone and when she plays the song, LeAnn sings along. This show is very funny. The cast is very talented, especially the kids, who are multi-talented. There is lots of music. Almost every episode has either Bailey or one of the other children playing the guitar and singing. Each episode is approximately 25 minutes long. The show takes place inside their southern home and outside at their barn.

There are many morals in this show. Telling the truth is the most important one. In one episode the dad lies and so do the kids, but in the end everyone learns not to lie.

I give Country Comfort 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Remember to mark your calendars as this premieres March 19, 2021 on Netflix.

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

Watching Country Comfort, Season 1 was an absolute treat. This wonderful new series will leave you in tears from laughing and crying, while giving you a warm feeling of family, love and music. Be prepared to fall in love with every character in this new heartwarming show.

Country Comfort is a new Netflix series premiering this spring. It is filled with entertaining episodes such as Crazy, Teardrops on My Guitar, Sign, Sign, Everywhere a sign, My Girl, Blue and Summer Lovin'. Each episode follows the story of how a failing country singer, Bailey, is taken in by a large family, only to learn to love each and every one of them. The music, laughter and spirit of the show will make you root for love, togetherness and success for our clumsy protagonist. This is a show I highly recommend.

While watching Country Comfort, Season 1 a few things really caught my eye (and ear!). To start, the actress who plays Bailey, Katharine McPhee, has both an amazing voice and a fantastic stage presence. When she sings, she is unlike many country singers. She really got me into her songs, especially when she sings for her audition for the CMA concert. I also absolutely love her comedic timing. Shows may be written as comedies, but it is up to the actors to make their lines funny and make audience laugh. That she does. I found myself laughing out loud many times when she gets into one sticky situation after the other. This show is a comedy, but it has something different than many other family sitcoms on TV today - a country setting. It is very refreshing to see a change of location.

The message of this show is: when you don't at first succeed, try, try, again. Bailey has many situations thrown at her, such as dealing with a breakup, losing something very important to one of the children, and finding feelings for new love. She always overcomes these obstacles with a little more spunk each time. She sets an example that, even when life shoves things in your way, you will make it through.

I give Country Comfort, Season 1, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 15. This series premieres on Netflix March 19, 2021.

By Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ARCHIBALDS NEXT BIG THING

Click above to view YouTube video of
ARCHIBALDS NEXT BIG THING
open in new window
ARCHIBALDS NEXT BIG THING - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 3-7
Description - Archibald's Next Big Thing is an American animated comedy streaming television series created by Tony Hale for Netflix. The plot revolves around Archibald Strutter, a positive chicken who often goes astray from home, but eventually always finds his way back home. Season 3 debuts on the Peacock Channel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Archibald's Next Big Thing is a unique animation series filled with adventure and kid-friendly humor.

In this season of Archibald's Next Big Thing, Archibald goes on all kinds of wacky adventures with his siblings, Loy, Finly and Sage. Being a chicken and living in an egg shaped house with neighbors of all different species, Archibald finds himself making multiple mistakes and learning valuable lessons through his experiences. From damaging a doctor's office to body switching and even shrinking himself, you never know what situation Archibald will be in. Now matter what, with the help of his friends and family he is able to solve his problems in unusual ways and also with a happy ending.

Tony Hale's, Archibald's Next Big Thing is the next chapter for Archibald Strutter. Producers Eric Fogel and Tony Hale continue to make Archibald a likable character with a great sense of humor. The talented voice-overs of the lead characters Archibald (Tony Hale), Loy (Chelsea Kane), Finly (Jordan Fisher) and Sage (Adam Fally) make the characters believable and bring life to the series. The music, produced by Matthew Janszen, seamlessly transitions the scenes and creates a silly and fun atmosphere. The art director, Sierra Lewis and visual effects directors, Karla Monterrosa and Jessica Oh, are to be commended for designing an animated series adapted from the book and staying true to the original book. The animated drawings and visual effects easily tell the stories of Archibald's never-ending curiosity while being visually engaging.

This cute series makes it okay to be curious and encourages children to learn from their mistakes. Archibald is far from perfect, but the theme of acceptance and compassion guides him through the process of solving his problems. Being a silly chicken turns out to be a lot of fun.

I rate Archibald's Next Big Thing 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Archibald's Next Big Thing premieres on Peacock February 18, 2021 and can be seen on Netflix as well.

By Calee N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 3-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE
OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE - ANNA LUDWIG
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-15
Description - Ole's friend Benni has Down syndrome. But that never bothered Ole. Until the big swimming leisure time is approaching and the other children in the club don't want Benni to come with them. Because now Ole has to choose one side. The fact that Ole is in love for the first time doesn't make things any easier ...That his friend Benni has the Down syndrome, Ole (11) has never disturbed so far. But now - on the threshold of childhood to youth - their friendship is changing. Ole is in love for the first time and suddenly it's no longer easy to stand by his friend ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A beautiful coming-of-age story, Ole, Benni and the rest of the universe presents a unique perspective to including everyone and to fight off social pressure.

Ole is an 11-year-old kid who has to face the decision of staying friends with Benni, who has Down syndrome, or distance from him to stop being bullied by his swim class mates. Added to this is that he also has fallen in love with Lucy, which makes his decision of being friends with Benni even more complicated.

The continuity of the story is great because it shows what a good relationship Benni and Ole have and all the activities that they do together. But this changes as Ole becomes bullied and shamed for being friends with Benni, just because he has Down syndrome. There is a struggle, but the ending highlights the message of the film, and it shows character growth from Ole.

The camera work in this film is very high quality. All the colors are vibrant and vivid, and the camera angles show the various elements of each scene which helps the continuity of the movie. The locations vary throughout the film. We see that Benni and Ole are neighbors, and that they dream of becoming astronauts someday. They visit an abandoned building where they have built their own spaceship. We also see them interact in their swim class and in at school. The background music is well selected, enhancing scenes, such as when the boys are playing in the spaceship. The music becomes soft and dreamy, adding to the overall tone of the scene with them dreaming and thinking they are in space. So, in the moments of conflict, the music becomes stronger and louder to add to the drama of the moment. The main character of this film is Ole (Leopold Schill); the story centers on him and his experiences during that time of his life. I love the camera work of this film. It is such in high quality that it brings out all of the details and colors in each scene. The scene in which they first show the spaceship is an example of this, because every single element in the object feels vibrant and I could appreciate all the details that went into making the spaceship.

The message of the film is that we should not give into social pressure, and definitely not sacrifice friendships or relationships just because other people may not like it or make fun of them. You should know that it contains some mild profanity. There are scenes where Benni is referred to with the r-word, which is a slur toward people with developmental disabilities. Also, Ole says the s-word many times in the movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. This movie shows a reality that many children may face if they interact with someone who has Down syndrome. They may be bullied or feel like outsiders because of that. People with disabilities are still humans and deserve the respect and the opportunities that we all have and deserve. Showing this film to youth and families can serve as a reminder to not give in to social pressure and to learn about quality in friendships. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A beautiful coming-of-age story, Ole, Benni and the rest of the universe presents a unique perspective to including everyone and to fight off social pressure.

Ole is an 11-year-old kid who has to face the decision of staying friends with Benni, who has Down syndrome, or distance from him to stop being bullied by his swim class mates. Added to this is that he also has fallen in love with Lucy, which makes his decision of being friends with Benni even more complicated.

The continuity of the story is great because it shows what a good relationship Benni and Ole have and all the activities that they do together. But this changes as Ole becomes bullied and shamed for being friends with Benni, just because he has Down syndrome. There is a struggle, but the ending highlights the message of the film, and it shows character growth from Ole.

The camera work in this film is very high quality. All the colors are vibrant and vivid, and the camera angles show the various elements of each scene which helps the continuity of the movie. The locations vary throughout the film. We see that Benni and Ole are neighbors, and that they dream of becoming astronauts someday. They visit an abandoned building where they have built their own spaceship. We also see them interact in their swim class and in at school. The background music is well selected, enhancing scenes, such as when the boys are playing in the spaceship. The music becomes soft and dreamy, adding to the overall tone of the scene with them dreaming and thinking they are in space. So, in the moments of conflict, the music becomes stronger and louder to add to the drama of the moment. The main character of this film is Ole (Leopold Schill); the story centers on him and his experiences during that time of his life. I love the camera work of this film. It is such in high quality that it brings out all of the details and colors in each scene. The scene in which they first show the spaceship is an example of this, because every single element in the object feels vibrant and I could appreciate all the details that went into making the spaceship.

The message of the film is that we should not give into social pressure, and definitely not sacrifice friendships or relationships just because other people may not like it or make fun of them. You should know that it contains some mild profanity. There are scenes where Benni is referred to with the r-word, which is a slur toward people with developmental disabilities. Also, Ole says the s-word many times in the movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. This movie shows a reality that many children may face if they interact with someone who has Down syndrome. They may be bullied or feel like outsiders because of that. People with disabilities are still humans and deserve the respect and the opportunities that we all have and deserve. Showing this film to youth and families can serve as a reminder to not give in to social pressure and to learn about quality in friendships. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CREW, THE

Click above to view YouTube video of
CREW, THE
open in new window
CREW, THE - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 13-18
Description - Life in the garage goes off track for a NASCAR crew chief and his racing team when a new boss shakes things up.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Crew is an enjoyable watch that teaches you in equal measures about racing and being there for your friends. Even for those who aren't NASCAR fans, this ten-episode show will grip your attention and sweep you up into a riptide of emotions.

Honestly, there's not much technical detail given about racing; the deepest the show gets into the subject matter is describing the inner workings of a muscle car engine. But viewers will not be disappointed. The Crew follows a group of coworkers - Kevin, Chuck, Amir, Jake and Beth - at Bobby Spencer Racing (a small NASCAR team out of North Carolina) through their daily lives - their highs, their lows and their in-betweens. Catherine Spencer, Bobby's daughter, takes over the company within the first episode. The high-and-mighty Stanford graduate right out of Silicon Valley is tasked with completely revamping the company. Careers are put in jeopardy, game hunting goes wrong (no animals were hurt in the making of this show) and we see exactly how much NASCAR teams love steak in all forms.

This rip-roaring show is led by the comedy powerhouse Kevin James, a true legend, who plays Kevin. He's the 'personality' of the office, a former racing driver who retired to the garage after an injury. Gary Anthony Williams plays the fix-it man, Chuck. Dan Ahdoot is the socially-awkward and anxious Amir. Freddie Stroma plays the slightly slow, but incredibly adorable Jake. Sarah Stiles is the curly-haired, sweet, Southern Beth. The femme-fatale of the show, Catherine Spencer, is played by Jillian Mueller. Of all the characters, I love Kevin (obviously) as well as Beth and Catherine. Both of the women have such layered characters, especially Catherine. We are only given hints at her childhood - save for the frequent mention of her Stanford degree, which is turned into a drinking game by Kevin and Frank. The cast is incredibly talented, especially in terms of their comedic timing. Their chemistry is visible on screen. You can tell that they would be the best of friends on set. The sets of The Crew are also so realistic!

The Crew is truly a show about community, friendship and sticking together. All of the members of the NASCAR team featured in the show are, as the High School Musical jingle goes, "all in this together." They bear their new boss Catherine together, and help each other through their problems. There's slight profanity at certain points in the show, and there are hunting scenes, but they're not graphic.

I give The Crew 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The Crew will be available on Netflix on February 15, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOOPY SHOW, THE

Click above to view YouTube video of
SNOOPY SHOW, THE
open in new window
SNOOPY SHOW, THE - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-18
Description - The world's most iconic dog is ready for his close-up. Dive into new adventures with the happy-dancing, high-flying, big-dreaming beagle, who's joined by best friend Woodstock and the rest of the "Peanuts" gang.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Time to break out the classic Peanuts dance moves because today we are celebrating the new hit series, The Snoopy Show! The Snoopy Show has everything a classic Peanut's fan will enjoy. The show looks incredibly like the original comic series, as if the animators took an old comic strip and put it on your home television! In addition, the writers made an outstanding effort to make every character stay true to their original passions and personalities. Instead of making the characters go on the same repetitive adventures (like a lot of cartoons do), The Snoopy Show brings brand new adventures sure to make you want more and more.

The Snoopy Show follows everyone's favorite beagle, Snoopy (Terry McGurrin), with each episode including different stories surrounding him. Episode stories range from Snoopy writing his own autobiography to exploring the origin story between Snoopy and Woodstock. Just when you think there can't possibly be another amazing adventure, The Snoopy Show consistently delivers new and original stories that all ages can enjoy.

The primary component of this creative revival that made me smile is the animation and art. The art director, Joseph Holt, surpassed any expectations of the show living up to its classic art style by making it authentic and original. The Snoopy Show is also extremely well voice cast because of how each character's voice sounds like its predecessor. Out of all the Peanuts film content over the years, like The Peanuts Movie, The Snoopy Show really impresses me because of how writers can continue to find new angles to explore the characters and always put them in new entertaining scenarios.

The Snoopy Show is the perfect new show for kids. It has a lot of comedic content in an appropriate way, fun adventures, and lessons and morals for viewers to learn every episode. The show explores themes such as family, friendship, and gratefulness. One of the key morals taught in the show is to always be grateful for the people around you, and to never take people for granted; it also communicates the message that sometimes you just need someone you love to make you smile.

The Snoopy Show soars higher than Charlie Brown's kite with a miraculous, nostalgic art style and new adventures all ages can enjoy. Similar to how Peppermint Patty scores five out of five goals in hockey, I am giving The Snoopy Show 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18 plus adults, because who doesn't love Peanuts? The Snoopy Show premieres Feb 5, 2021 on Apple TV+, so make sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 4-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



NEW SEARCH

All content ©Copyright 1991-2021 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media

Database search interactivity by NET MAN