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Archive for the 'Jury Updates' Category

Transformers: BotBots * Transformers Are Back Like You’ve Never Seen Them — Smaller Robots Than Usual, But They Are More Than What Meets The Eye

Monday, April 18th, 2022

When the lights go out at the mall, the BotBots come out to play. Meet a fun-loving crew of everyday objects that morph into robots at closing time.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “A cheeseburger, soccer ball, flashlight and even a plunger … the Transformers are back like you’ve never seen them! They may be smaller robots than what we usually see, but these bots are still more than what meets the eye…” See her full review below.

Transformers: BotBots
By Tiana S. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

A cheeseburger, soccer ball, flashlight and even a plunger … the Transformers are back like you’ve never seen them! They may be smaller robots than what we usually see, but these bots are still more than what meets the eye in the upcoming new series, Transformers: BotBots, named and based off the toy line of the same name.You’ll enjoy relatable characters, hilarious adventures and great friendships in the first comedy in the Transformers franchise.

Transformers: BotBots follows everyday objects that turn into mini robots at night after a substance called Energon hits the mall. Things get interesting when “The Lost Bots” from the lost and found section of the mall run into the mall guard as they strive to get back into their original squads. Will they be able to prove that they are worthy of being part of their original groups or will they stay lost forever?

Burgertron (James Harnett) is the main protagonist of the Netflix series Transformers: Botbots. He is a burger transformer, the former leader of the Food Court Squad and leader of the “Lost Bots.” The rest of the “Lost Bot” team are Kikmee the soccer ball (Lisa Norton), Dimlit the flashlight (Deven Christian Mack), Cloggstopper the plunger (Christian Potenza and Bonz-eye the Bonsai plant (Louisa Zhu). Most of the adventures take place as the “Lost Bots” try to avoid the flesh being, Dave the Mall Guard (Mark Little).

I love how, throughout the entire series, each episode is a new adventure and picks up where the previous one left off — almost like a movie. One of my favorite characters is Bonz-eye because she is fierce, carries a cool Katana and is the perfect representation of girl empowerment. The series is really funny, especially when Bonz-eye tries to slingshot Burgertron to save another bot and does it with enough force to cause his toppings to spill out. 

Transformers: BotBots is about not focusing so much on the negative or changes that happen in your life. The “Lost Bots” were so focused on reconnecting with their original squads that they forgot to take time to appreciate the new friendships they had with each other. Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy what life gives you.  

I give Transformers: BotBots 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13, plus adults. It really has something for everyone, and you can stream it now on Netflix.

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The Stray Story: A Dogumentary * Pulls At Your Heart Strings In Every Which Way

Monday, November 15th, 2021

In a consumerist society where everything, including man’s best friend, is treated as disposable, everyday people aiding stray dogs remind us what being human(e) is all about. Through their experiences, successes, difficulties and dilemmas, the documentary exposes the problem and its solutions, while tackling the human condition in the western world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “The Stray Story: A Dogumentary will have you in tears. All audiences will have their heart strings pulled in every which way and, by the end of the film, you’ll want to get up off your couch and advocate.” See her full review below.

The Stray Story: A Dogumentary

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Stray Story: A Dogumentary will have you in tears. All audiences will have their heart strings pulled in every which way and, by the end of the film, you’ll want to get up off your couch and advocate.

The Stray Story: A Dogumentary is a documentary pieced together by multiple advocates of stray dogs. They all spread their messages to aid abandoned dogs, and to limit the number of dogs on the street. Clips include protests and interviews of ambassadors for the cause.

This film is heart wrenching and motivational. The advocates make everyone aware that they have a voice and encourage us to help those that don’t. Their compassion for this cause makes us want to help any way we can. The film is also incredibly educational. Title cards with statistics help those that are not as aware about abandoned animals learn the truth about these animals. The movie serves as a master class. At the end of the documentary, you have a huge load of knowledge that you probably didn’t know before. It’s the perfect package to encourage anyone who wants to stand up for strays, but doesn’t know how to start. The movie provides problems – some major and some that go unnoticed – while including the solutions. They share the achievements and progress of these groups, while adding how they’re still not done advocating.

The lesson audiences learn is an awareness of how large the stray population is, how to help out, and how to limit that population. We’re taught how every voice matters and how to use it for good. The film serves as motivation for everyone to do their part, and help all the dogs we can.

I give The Stray Story: A Dogumentary 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18 plus adults. Playing at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival November, 2021.

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Americanish * Hilarious Movie While Tackling Huge Problems That Muslim-Americans Face

Sunday, November 14th, 2021

In Jackson Heights, Queens, career-driven sisters Maryan and Sam and their newly-immigrated cousin Ameera must navigate the consistent and sometimes conflicting demands of romance, culture, work, and family. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “Americanish is a perfect and unlikely rom-com! It’s hilarious, has incredible representation, and it gives all audiences a great laugh. You’re sure to find yourself in fits of hysteria.” See her full review below.

Americanish

By Heather Suarez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Americanish is a perfect and unlikely rom-com! It’s hilarious, has incredible representation, and it gives all audiences a great laugh. You’re sure to find yourself in fits of hysteria.

Americanish is the first of its kind, romantic comedy following Muslim-American Sam (Aizzah Fatima) and her sister Maryam (Salena Qureshi). Both sisters navigate life in America, while trying to find romance and learning the meaning of being an immigrant in the USA. Maryam finds herself falling in love with handsome Shahid (Shenaz Treasury).

This is a completely hilarious movie with perfect comedic lines, while tackling huge and extremely relevant problems that Muslim-Americans face today. It is such a grand breath of fresh air to have a rom-com following a couple that we’ve never seen before – Muslim-Americans. The characters learn to speak their truth, face stereotypes and their parents’ expectations. To have these actors on screen representing their culture is beautiful in its authenticity.

The film gives audiences a break from the usual on-screen couples, while providing a platform for Muslim-American actors. The best part is the wonderful storyline of the relationship between Maryam and Shahid. The two of them find themselves having an adorable relationship. They help one another feel comfortable in their own skin, learn how to be themselves, and learn how to maintain a healthy long distance relationship. Their engagement scene is beautiful; showing the love of their family surrounding them as they appear dressed in incredible outfits. Shahid and Maryam face their troubles while putting on a brave face, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats.

The lesson Maryam learns is to always follow her heart. She’s trapped in the decision to stay and get married and follow tradition, or head for Harvard to attend medical school. She chooses what will make her happiest, putting herself first.

I give Americanish 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18 plus adults. It is playing now at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival.

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Soundtrack To Sixteen * Love Yourself And Soon You’ll Find People Who Will Love You

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

Soundtrack to Sixteen is a coming-of-age film about two anxious teens growing up in London in the 2000s. Maisy is self-conscious and constantly overanalyzing. She is obsessed with having her first kiss this year, before she turns seventeen, but stalking the boy next door doesn’t seem to be working. Meanwhile Ben, a boy from a nearby school, is happy being a nerd and thinking he’s better than everyone else until his grades start plummeting. For the first time he must come face to face with the idea that he might, in fact, be average. When the two meet each other on the night bus things get even more confusing for them as they attempt to navigate their first potential romance under the stress of exams that will define their future.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “Soundtrack To Sixteen is a film every teen can relate to! Simple and easy to connect to watching these teens experience what it’s like to fall in love and go against the status quo. You’ll fall in love with these relatable characters.” See her full review below.

Soundtrack To Sixteen

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Soundtrack To Sixteen is a film every teen can relate to! Simple and easy to connect to watching these teens experience what it’s like to fall in love and go against the status quo. You’ll fall in love with these relatable characters.

The storyline follows teens Maisey (Scarlett Marshall) and Ben (Gino Wilson), two socially awkward teens navigating the world and trying to find their place in it, while falling in love with one another. The film is accompanied by rock music and voice overs provided by the main actors as their characters’ thoughts.

This film accurately represents the lives of teens for which finding their place in the world is difficult and they feel awkward and out of place. It’s so refreshing to watch two characters go through their daily life experiences, and watching ourselves in them. The soundtrack is incredible. It’s as if the songs represent the thoughts and emotions of the characters – all wild and crazy. The romance between Ben and Maisey is something very peaceful to watch, almost comforting. In society, it’s rare to have a Romeo and Juliet romance. Watching these two characters have a calm relationship, get to know one another and still have insecurities is so beautiful because it’s the relationship the majority of us experience. I really love the opening credits; they’re a perfect way to open up the movie. It gives a wonderful introduction to the actors, and the unique sketches of the characters set the tone for the rest of the film. The perfect way to describe this movie is hilarious and definitely a feel-good flick. 

The moral of the story is to love yourself and soon enough you’ll find people who will love and relate to you. Maisey was always left out of her friend’s group and, once she stopped worrying about trying to fit in, she meets Ben, who loves her for who she is. Ben, on the other hand, feels as though he needs to pretend to be someone he’s not. His worries are quieted when he meets Maisey.

I give Soundtrack to Sixteen 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Playing at Fort Lauderdale Film Festival November, 2021.

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Diary Of A Future President: Season 2 * I Couldn’t Stop Watching It! Great Message

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

The second season of Diary of a Future President returns to Disney+ with all ten episodes available for binge-worthy streaming. Continuing the origin story of Cuban American and future leader Elena Cañero-Reed as she enters the seventh grade and recounted through excerpts from 13-year-old Elena’s diary, this coming-of-age series follows Elena through the ups and downs of middle school which sets her on the path to becoming the President of the United States. 

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “Season 2 has lots of fun things to talk about. First is the theme song at the beginning of every episode. I love the way it starts as her middle school diary and ends as the president’s book. It kind of shows her journey. Second, there are lots of relatable new things in this season, such as having a crush that doesn’t feel the same way you do and having your friend get a girl or boy friend and not having time for you. Third, there are lots of cool sets such as Elena’s bedroom. The way that the bathroom is in between Bobby and Elena’s room is so cool.” See her full review below.

Diary Of A Future President: Season 2
By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Diary Of A Future President: Season 2 is very different from other Disney Channel shows. It has a very inspiring message which makes it a show that I would want to keep watching to find out what happens next.

The storyline follows young Elena (Tess Romero) finding her way through middle school as she starts 7th grade and begins a journey to becoming the president. Her brother Bobby (Charlie Bushnell) is having some problems with starting high school and managing his crush. Their mother Gabi (Selenis Levya) is dating Sam Faber (Micheal Weaver) and has just decided to have him move in. All in all, there is lots of fun new changes in the second season.

Season 2 has lots of fun things to talk about. First is the theme song at the beginning of every episode. I love the way it starts as her middle school diary and ends as the president’s book. It kind of shows her journey. Second, there are lots of relatable new things in this season, such as having a crush that doesn’t feel the same way you do and having your friend get a girl or boy friend and not having time for you.

Third, there are lots of cool sets such as Elena’s bedroom. The way that the bathroom is in between Bobby and Elena’s room is so cool. One of the sets is at the school and added this season is a theater which is a fun set. Fourth, this show uses lots of fun camera angles to enhance the viewing experience. Last, this show and its cast have been nominated for five different awards in 2020 and 2021. Most notable is winning a Gracie Allen Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role to Selenis Layva.


Diary Of A Future President: Season 2
gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This premieres August 18, 2021 on Disney+. So be sure to check it out.

The message of this TV show is to always include others, be yourself even when that is hard, and always be honest.

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Joey and Ella * An Adventurous Comedy That Has It ALL, And Reminds Of To Take Care Of Our Planet

Monday, July 26th, 2021

A mysterious diamond causes a baby kangaroo named Joey to grow quickly and gain the power of speech. When two bumbling thieves try to retrieve the magical gem, a teen and her new boyfriend try to get Joey to safety before it’s too late.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ella M. comments, “I love Joey and Ella! It is an adventurous comedy that is perfect for the whole family. This movie has it all – boy meets girl, girl likes boy, a mysterious jewel heist, an adorable kangaroo and a reminder of the importance of protecting our planet. So, buckle up and get ready for an action packed, fun filled family adventure that will inspire you.”  See her full review below.

Joey and Ella
By Ella M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I love Joey and Ella! It is an adventurous comedy that is perfect for the whole family. This movie has it all – boy meets girl, girl likes boy, a mysterious jewel heist, an adorable kangaroo and a reminder of the importance of protecting our planet. So, buckle up and get ready for an action packed, fun filled family adventure that will inspire you. 

This modern-day movie opens with two criminals stealing and then losing the Mazinski Diamond, which is a rare alien diamond.  This unique gem is unknowingly swiped by a baby kangaroo from a traveling circus. Ella, a young girl who just moved to her grandfather’s countryside house, discovers a cute kangaroo, Joey, hiding out in her grandfather’s barn.  Quickly, Ella discovers that the Mazinski diamond is not only rare, but magical. The diamond’s magic allows Joey to grow rapidly and gives him the amazing power to speak! Word gets out that Joey has the Mazinski Diamond and soon everyone is on the chase for this special kangaroo. Ella and her new friend from school, Luke, have to work together to save Joey.

This cast is filled with many talented actors – Jennifer Michele (Ella), Angela Tran (Joey) and Jude Manley (Luke). Each one really connects with their character and delivers strong performances throughout the movie. My favorite part is when Joey and Ella meet for the first time in the barn, because it is such a heartwarming and sweet moment.  You can really feel the bond between the two of them. And, I absolutely love the animation for Joey. It is so realistic. You think that he is a real kangaroo throughout the movie.

The intent of this film is to spread awareness about the effects of climate change and encourage us to work together in our communities to protect our planet.  Climate change has negatively impacted Australia where there are many wildfires and droughts that put the kangaroo population at risk. This movie inspires us all to help keep our environment and animals safe by playing an active role.

I recommend Joey and Ella for ages 7 to 18. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It releases on DVD and Digital July 27, 2021. So, hop to it! This is a movie you don’t want to miss. ELLA OUT! 

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Who Are You, Charlie Brown? * A Blast From The Past; Intriguing Background On The Peanuts Comic Universe

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Follows interviews with friends, family and more of the iconic comic strip to create a portrait of the late Peanuts creator. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “A deeper look into an integral part of American childhood, Who Are You, Charlie Brown? provides viewers with a blast from the past and some intriguing background information about the creation and nuances of the Peanuts comic universe.” See his full review below.

Who Are You, Charlie Brown?
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

A deeper look into an integral part of American childhood, Who Are You, Charlie Brown? provides viewers with a blast from the past and some intriguing background information about the creation and nuances of the Peanuts comic universe.

Packaged in documentary format, the show centers on Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, and his life. Using animated vignettes from Charlie Brown, the viewer learns how Schulz’s childhood and many parts of his own life plus the lives of those near and dear to him influenced several prominent characters and motifs in the award-winning Peanuts series. Some examples include the Little Red-Haired Girl, Franklin Armstrong, Lucy and Pig-Pen. Interviews with Schulz’s widow, his close acquaintances, famous viewers and the people who brought Charlie Brown to life on-screen help paint an enthralling picture of the pensive and talented Schulz, as well as the context and subtext behind his legendary series.

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? is exactly what a biopic should be. Its length of about 50 minutes is perfect; its storytelling seamless; its animation immaculate. The interviews with people such as Drew Barrymore, a longtime Peanuts lover, and the archival footage and voiceovers of Mr. Schulz himself add great depth and emotion to the film. The sequence with Mr. Schulz, in his last days whilst battling cancer, describes his reaction to the overwhelming love he received for the Charlie Brown cartoons and will certainly make you tear up a bit.

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? has a clear mission – to answer the question posed in its title. This it does with efficiency, thoroughness and liveliness. However, a deeper message is posed in the framing of Schulz as a man who takes inspiration from both high points and low points in his life when creating art. For artists and non-artists, channeling elements of your life, whether happy or sad, positive or negative, to add poignant emotions to your work is an immensely powerful tool.

I give Who Are You, Charlie Brown? 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Who Are You, Charlie Brown? debuts globally Friday, June 25 on Apple TV+. Check it out!

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Wish Dragon * Heart-Warming, Action-Packed And Magical Film

Friday, June 18th, 2021

Determined teen Din is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend when he meets a wish-granting dragon who shows him the magic of possibilities. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “The film has some of the best animation I’ve ever seen. Characters, objects, settings and beings are flawless, aside from when they need to be flawed. Colorful, detailed animation creates a vivid world that’s full of life. Everything seems to pop off the screen and I feel as though I’ve been transported into this world. Tiana S. adds, “Wish Dragon is a very heart-warming, action-packed and magical film. It is a combination of a love story between best friends, an adventure of trying to keep a childhood promise and a father who wants to give his daughter everything in the world.” See their full reviews below.

Wish Dragon
By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Wish Dragon is an animated film sure to entertain family audiences. This new movie, similar to Soul, has a unique plot with plenty of fantastical ideas. A combination of wonderful acting, animation and plot makes for a delightful movie.

Wish Dragon follows Din (Jimmy Wong) as he struggles to find his long-lost childhood best friend, Li Na (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). A green teapot then shows itself, and Din soon realizes that it’s not your average teapot – there’s a dragon inside. The dragon, Long (John Chu), informs Din that he can make three wishes. With the challenge of finding his friend, avoiding the goons that are trying to steal the teapot and keeping the secret of the wish dragon from the rest of his friends and family, Din’s quiet life soon becomes a flurry of activity and excitement.

The film has some of the best animation I’ve ever seen. Characters, objects, settings and beings are flawless, aside from when they need to be flawed. Colorful, detailed animation creates a vivid world that’s full of life. Everything seems to pop off the screen and I feel as though I’ve been transported into this world. Along with the animation, the stunning performances by the actors add so much to the film. The voiceovers match the characters and the animated expressions change with the actors’ tones. John Cho, voicing Long (the wish dragon), is one of the performances that seems effortless. The dragon’s superb appearance mixes nicely with the deeper voice of the actor. Natasha Liu Bordizzo, as Li Na, and Jimmy Wong, as Din, also deliver excellent performances – the voice acting is true to the animation. These two high points are enhanced by its strong plot. In fact, the storyline of Wish Dragon is detailed, relatable and perfect for a family movie.

Unique ideas, as well as thoughtful messages and themes, are all here. The characters are strong, enhanced with interesting backstories about their noteworthy pasts. Events throughout the film are well-timed and make sense. There aren’t any scenes that seem forced in order to keep the plot going. It all flows well. The only shortcoming that I found is that it is a bit predictable at times. Some of the primary plot points, such as the three wishes and epic battles against the bad guys, are a bit repetitive and predictable. However, it’s nothing a little popcorn can’t help.

The message of Wish Dragon is to understand the importance of relationships and don’t be greedy. The film does a noteworthy job of making the messages noticeable without being completely obvious. There are some action scenes, but they are definitely appropriate for kids.

I give Wish Dragon 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 plus adults. Wish Dragon is currently available for streaming on Netflix starting June 11, 2021.  

Wish Dragon
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Wish Dragon is a very heart-warming, action-packed and magical film. It is a combination of a love story between best friends, an adventure of trying to keep a childhood promise and a father who wants to give his daughter everything in the world. The story is very relatable and humorous. 

Wish Dragon is about Din (Jimmy Wong), a determined teen who wants to reconnect with his childhood best friend, Li Na Wong (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), who moved away when they were kids. Din never forgot about her and always feels like something is missing from his life. During one of his food deliveries, he receives a magical tea pot that houses a wish-granting dragon, Long (John Cho). Long offers Din three wishes which sets in motion an adventure to get his friend back.

The lead characters in this film are Din, Li Na, Long and Li Na’s dad, Mr. Wong (Will Yun Lee). My favorite character is Long, because not only is he hilarious, but I enjoyed watching his character’s journey to find out what life is really about. The animation of the busy city, houses, billboards and people are vibrant, accurate and makes you feel like you are on an adventure in China with Din, Li Na and Long. There are plenty of comedic parts in this film, such as when everyone is watching television and Long is eating his newly discovered shrimp chips and, because he is invisible to everyone except Din, you only see the shrimp chip in the air being eaten.

The message of this film is that there is more to life than just fame and fortune. Friends and family and having people that genuinely care about you are what is most important. The main reason Mr. Wong moves away with Li Na is because he wants her to be able to have everything in the world, but he didn’t realize that by doing that she will never make any real friends and never experience the true meaning of life.

Wish Dragon is a very meaningful, entertaining family film.I rate it5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can find Wish Dragon streaming on Netflix now.

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Hollywood.con * Comedic, Mysterious And Informative

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

An actor steals the identity of a producer, and is hurled into Hollywood’s next Mayan film. In the jungle of Mexico she is mistaken as a member of a cartel. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mikella G. comments, “I like Hollywood.con because it is a comedic film that is very informative about Guatemalan culture. It contains a lot of funny scenes and is very entertaining.” See her full review and interview with director / star Mikella Boorem below.

Hollywood.con
By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I like Hollywood.con because it is a comedic film that is very informative about Guatemalan culture. It contains a lot of funny scenes and is very entertaining.

This film starts off profiling a struggling actress living in Los Angeles. However, after an unexpected turn of events, the protagonist Mika (Mika Boorem) finds herself in Guatemala, working on her first ever producer job. Throughout her time there she experiences many ups and downs, and eventually finds herself. While in Guatemala, Mika and her team encounter some competition in making their film. They must work together to stay competitive, while learning how to respect the values of other cultures.

Something that I really like about this movie is how they include a mix of genres in one film. Not only is it comedic, but it is also mysterious. I love mysterious films and, including humor, makes it that much better. Another thing that I enjoyed are the fun little special effects that are included every so often. They have the right amount to create a fun dynamic, without making it become a live action film.

The message of this film is to always stay true to yourself, even during competitive times. This film does include some profanity.

I give Hollywood.con 3 out of  5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Hollywood.con is available now on Amazon Prime!

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Dreambuilders * Captivating And Unique Storyline That Gives A Twist To How Dreams Are Created

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Minna’s life is turned upside down when her dad’s new fiancée Helena and her daughter Jenny move in. Her new stepsister Jenny turns out to be horrible and Minna is frustrated. She wants her gone! One night, Minna discovers a world behind her dreams in which the dreambuilders create our dreams on theater stages and finds out how to manipulate Jenny’s dreams. But interfering with people’s dreams has dire consequences and when Minna goes too far one night, Jenny can’t wake up. Minna must enter the dream world one final time to face the dreams she has created in order to save Jenny and her new family.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avery P. comments, “The film Dreambuilders is a very creative movie.  It is very whimsical and bright and takes you on a fun adventure behind the scenes of our dreams!” See her full review below.

Dreambuilders
By Avery Peaslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The film Dreambuilders is a very creative movie.  It is very whimsical and bright and takes you on a fun adventure behind the scenes of our dreams!

The plot of this film takes in the concept of modern family issues. When Minna’s (           Robyn Dempsey) life is turned upside down upon the arrival of her new stepmom Helene (Karen Ardiff) and mean daughter Jenny (Emma Jenkins). Minna is able to find the backstage to her dreams and tries to sabotage Jenny’s dreams to stop her from ruining her life. When a dream creation goes wrong, Minna finds herself and her dream worker friend Gaff (Luke Griffin) helping to bring back Jenny.

Throughout the animated movie each scene is colorful and bright. The set designs are so whimsical and creative. I love each design and the idea of our dreams. The dreams are created for each person with actors, sets and scripts. There is a whole new world behind the backstage of dreams. The ideas are super fun. My favorite part of the movie is when Minna finds this hidden world. Each character is very unique and has a certain style that makes them different. The storyline is also quite sad because it addresses family issues. The hardship between the two families eventually wears off until they all learn to love each other. There is beautiful background music playing throughout the film. The songs all have a story behind them relating back to the scenes in the movie. The movie did become a bit predictable at times, but it is still original, entertaining and worth watching.

The message is to be careful what you wish for. Minna wants a specific life with just her dad. When others show up, she is unsure and does not take into account the sadness and harm she would bring to her family by messing with others’ dreams. You should know that this film includes a sensitive topic of families like divorce, fighting and new family members. There are also some frightening and intense scenes.

I give Dreambuilders 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. Available now at select KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals

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