Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Prehistoric Planet * Breathtaking And Majestic With A Musical Score By Hans Zimmer And Rich Narration By Sir David Attenborough

May 21st, 2022

Experience the wonders of our world like never before in this epic docuseries from Jon Favreau and the producers of Planet Earth. Prehistoric Planet combines award-winning wildlife filmmaking, the latest paleontology learnings and state-of-the-art technology to unveil the spectacular habitats and inhabitants of ancient Earth for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. The series is produced by the world-renowned team at BBC Studios Natural History Unit with support from the photorealistic visual effects of MPC (The Lion King, The Jungle Book) applied to concept art created by Jellyfish Pictures (The Book of Boba Fett, Spirit: Untamed). Prehistoric Planet presents little-known and surprising facts of dinosaur life set against the backdrop of the environments of Cretaceous times, including coasts, deserts, freshwater, ice worlds and forests. Travel back 66 million years to when majestic dinosaurs and extraordinary creatures roamed the lands, seas and skies.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Madeleine H. comments, “I love this series!  The scenery in the docu-series Prehistoric Planet is breathtaking and majestic with a musical score composed by Hans Zimmer to match.  The rich narration by Sir David Attenborough tells the stories about dinosaur life based on the latest discoveries from paleontologists.” See her full review and talent interviews below.  

Prehistoric Planet
Madeleine H. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love this series!  The scenery in the docu-series Prehistoric Planet is breathtaking and majestic with a musical score composed by Hans Zimmer to match.  The rich narration by Sir David Attenborough tells the stories about dinosaur life based on the latest discoveries from paleontologists.

One could say Prehistoric Planet is “natural history meets wildlife adventure meets stunning visual effects” in a story about the inhabitants of our planet 66 million years ago.  The wildlife adventure takes place over five episodes featuring five regions of our planet in prehistoric times. You get to see dinosaurs living in their natural habitats, tending to their young, finding food and water and fighting for survival.  You will learn about these ancient relatives of creatures that exist today and how they interacted with each other and their stunning environments: coasts, deserts, freshwater, ice worlds and forests. You will discover your “new” favorite dinosaur each episode as they come to life with expression and emotion in a way you have never seen them do.

Producer Jon Favreau brings to Prehistoric Planet his talent for visual effects from such films as The Lion King and The Jungle Book, together with pioneering stories about the natural world from Mike Gunton, a producer at BBC Natural History, along with the talents of adventure and wildlife filmmaker Tim Walker.  It’s an immersive series that draws you in with its beautiful scenery and life-like dinosaurs, giving you a view of how they lived on Earth.  I had to remind myself that the dinosaurs are animated. 

With each episode we learn so many fascinating facts about dinosaurs, grow to love new ones and not like the behaviors of others.  Just like wildlife, there are prey and predators.  Yet each is majestic in its own way.  As with many wildlife natural history films there are scenes of aggression and violence that may be difficult for some audiences.

I give Prehistoric Planet series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults.  Prehistoric Planet debuts globally on Apple TV+ from Monday, May 23 through Friday, May 27, 2022 with a new episode each day.

Share this page on:

Downton Abbey: A New Era * Brings Our Favorite Characters Together Under Interesting Circumstances

May 19th, 2022

From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the motion picture event Downton Abbey: A New Era. The much-anticipated cinematic return of the global phenomenon reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S., comments, “It’s so incredible to return to the Downton Abbey era and the Crawley family. Each one is out of their comfort zone in this new movie, which is absolutely hilarious. It’s beautiful to see how much the characters have changed since the first time we met them in 2010. This movie focuses on relationships and characters that we haven’t seen that often.” See her full review and talent interviews below.

Downton Abbey: A New Era
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Crawley family returns once more! Downton Abbey: A New Era brings all our favorite characters together again in interesting circumstances. Fans will love what’s in store in this new film. 

Downton Abbey: A New Era focuses on the secret past of the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). She comes into possession of a property in the South of France. Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his family head to France to investigate why the villa was given to his mother. Meanwhile back at Downton, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) hosts a crew of filmmakers and actors who use the estate as a set for their new film. 

It’s so incredible to return to the Downton Abbey era and the Crawley family. Each one is out of their comfort zone in this new movie, which is absolutely hilarious. Lady Mary becomes a voice actress temporarily and seeing Robert hate the film crew for taking over his property is as funny as possible. The Crawleys have seen the times change and preparing for cinema to take over is amazing. It makes audiences realize how this generation saw life change so rapidly.

Tom Branson (Allen Leech) is happily married and some new couples flourish in the film too. It’s beautiful to see how much the characters have changed since the first time we met them in 2010. This movie focuses on relationships and characters that we haven’t seen that often. It’s refreshing to watch the pure relationship Daisy (Sophia McShera) and Andrew (Michael Fox) have and I loved watching fan-favorite Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) chase her love. The wardrobe is as spectacular as ever, even adding some Victorian pieces for the film being made at Downton. The comedy is brilliant and cunning, reminding us why we love Violet as much as we do.

There are many messages to take away here. Lady Mary learns to embrace the new era of filmmaking and life as she gets out of her comfort zone and realizes that it’s okay to try new things. Lord Grantham learns that, even though being Earl and having property is a big part of his life, it is not everything. He realizes how important his family is to him.

I give Downton Abbey: A New Era 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theaters May 20, 2022. 

Share this page on:

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib * The Latest Installment In The Boss Baby Franchise That Entertains Both Kids And Parents

May 19th, 2022

Theodore Templeton is framed for embezzlement and forced to revert back to his old Boss Baby self and crash with his brother Tim and his two nieces, brainy big kid Tabitha and fellow Baby Corp employee Tina. Together, Boss Baby and Tina co-lead a new Field Team fighting to increase Baby Love while keeping a new group of arch-nemeses – The Uncuddleables – from destroying Baby Corp itself.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents.” See her full review and interviews below.

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents.

When Theodore Templeton (JP Karliak) gets framed for embezzlement by his employees, he is forced to turn into his baby self and hide with his brother, Timothy (Max Miittelman) to escape from the FBI. While staying at his brother’s house, he rejoins Baby Corp. and goes on many secret missions and exciting adventures with former characters and a whole new crew.

Since this show is based on The Boss Baby, Boss Baby: Back in Business, and Boss Baby 2: Family Business, I would recommend watching them in advance as the series references characters and storylines from these movies and show, but it is not necessary. And even though there are several different storylines in the Boss Baby franchise, this series still stays fresh and unique. Although it’s not for my age range, it’s is the perfect show for young children and their parents to enjoy.

The strongest performances of the show come from JP Karliak, Mary Faber and Ariana Greenblatt. JP Karliak as Boss Baby is so funny and excellently mimics Alec Baldwin, who voiced Boss Baby originally. Mary Faber voices Tina, and she brings such a happy and sweet mood to the scenes she is in. Ariana Greenblatt in the role of Tabitha has the perfect proportions of clever, smart and caring that a big sister would have. My favorite character is NannyCam No Filter CEO Baby, voiced by Nicole Byer because she is so hilarious and brings a wonderful personality to the long line of Baby Corp CEOs.

The message of The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib to fight for what you believe is right. This show also has great themes of teamwork and friendship, and how everyone deserves love.

I give The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11, plus adults. It comes out on Netflix May 19, 2022.

Share this page on:

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness * Edge-Of-Your-Seat Exciting, Heartwarming, Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Love

May 8th, 2022

Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A., comments, “The thrilling Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writtenby Michael Waldron, keeps you on the edge of your seat—you silently root for Doctor Strange as he embarks on the daunting journey to save America Chavez.” Katherine S. adds, “Right from the start, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration. The movie evolves the depth of these Marvel characters that we already know and love, and it introduces us to new characters that are likely to be fan favorites.”

Tiana S. wraps it up with, “This film pulls you right into the multiverse with action-packed scenes from the opening credits right up until the credits at the end. The visual effects and cinematography will have feeling like you’re traveling through your own multiverse.” See their full reviews below.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

(L-R): Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange and Benedict Wong as Wong in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The thrilling Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, written by Michael Waldron, keeps you on the edge of your seat—you silently root for Doctor Strange as he embarks on the daunting journey to save America Chavez. Not only exciting, this film is also heartwarming, as the characters show the viewers the true importance of love. The acting is emotional and grounded in reality, even though the Marvel world is fantastical. Marvel fans will be fully engaged as they travel through the endless and unknown multiverse with Stephen Strange.

The storyline follows Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he tries to save America Chavez’s (Xochitl Gomez) powers from being stolen by the indomitable Wanda, the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen.) The unlikely duo must travel deep through the uncharted multiverse in order to defeat Wanda, but along the way, how will Strange and Chavez overcome the seemingly impassable obstacles that they will inevitably face? Wanda just wants her children back, but how much is she willing to sacrifice and destroy in order to return to her content family life? 

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

As usual, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Stephen Strange’s beautiful complexity with ease, making his work seem simple. I forget he is even acting. To me he is truly Doctor Strange. Xotchil Gomez, although new to the Marvel Universe, starts off with a bang. She acts in a relatable and comical way, and it is impossible not to root for her with every step. The CGI is scarily realistic and absolutely essential to the story.  The marvelous monsters are gruesome, each universe is unique and colorful, and the fight scenes are powerful—all because of the CGI. The music in this movie, by composer Danny Elfman, makes the action even more dramatic and gives the audience a pump of anticipation and adrenaline. Music even plays a pivotal role in one scene as it becomes a tool and a weapon in battle. My favorite part of the movie is the first time Dr.Strange travels with America to a new universe and experiences wonder and fright and ultimately awe.

The message of this film is that love is the most powerful kind of magic. One may be strong or supernatural, but familial love comes before any other superpower. This message is beautiful, relatable, and uplifting, especially for those of us who miss someone we truly love. The film starts really quickly and immediately draws the viewers into to the plot, but there are many macabre scenes that may be frightening to a younger audience. 


I give Doctor Strange, into the Multiverse of Madness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10-18, plus adults. It released in theaters Friday, May 6, 2022.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Right from the start, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration. The movie evolves the depth of these Marvel characters that we already know and love, and it introduces us to new characters that are likely to be fan favorites.

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) encounters fourteen-year-old America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who has the power to travel the multiverse, but she doesn’t know how. Strange joins his old and new allies to go on a thrilling and perilous adventure that pushes the limits of the multiverse.

The special effects are not just out of this world, they are out of this universe. Everything from intense fight scenes and portals through the multiverse to scary creatures and witchcraft, the CGI lives up to the high standards of a Marvel movie. My favorite performances in the movie come from Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez and Rachel McAdams. Elizabeth Olsen, as Wanda Maximoff, really sheds new light on her character as she displays a more complex personality. Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez and brings a very refreshing yet powerful performance. Rachel McAdams (as Christine) shows the audience an independent girl-boss side to her character. Make sure to look out for some surprise cameos and always stay for the credit scenes at the end.

A scene from Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios 2022. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The message of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is to try to make the most of your circumstances as “multiversal” travel isn’t usually an option. This movie contains violence and some scenes that will be frightening for the faint of heart.

I give Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Marvel fans will love this movie. It released in theaters May 6, 2022.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Tiana S., age 11

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Four Doctor Stranges, epic battles, twists and turns and dimension travel are just some of the thrills you can expect in the new Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness! This film pulls you right into the multiverse with action-packed scenes from the opening credits right up until the credits at the end. The visual effects and cinematography will have feeling like you’re traveling through your own multiverse. 

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), is having dreams about the universe being in danger and him trying to save a young girl, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). The adventure begins when he encounters her in his real-life universe and learns that she has the power to travel dimensions. They run into Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), also known as the Scarlet Witch, who is on a mission to steal America’s powers so she can re-connect with her two sons. It’s an all-out battle between happiness vs. sadness, evil vs. good and even dreams vs. nightmares.     

On left: Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The main characters of this film are Stephen “Doctor” Strange, Wanda Maximoff, America Chavez, and Wong (Benedict Wong). I love the different versions of the characters and learning the backstory of each from their own universe. My favorite part of this film is when America and Doctor Strange are falling through tons of dimensions and pass through one that turns them into paint. America even jokes about how hard it is to eat in that universe. The music battle scene between two Doctor Stranges was hilarious and creative. They use their powers to fight each other with music notes while upbeat piano tunes play in harmony. The Marvel character cameos from films such as The Fantastic Four, Captain America, and even a special appearance from the X-men that, once again, will wow Marvel fans.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness shows us that just because someone stumbles, and falls, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Many of the characters multi-verse versions didn’t always make the best decisions. People deserve to have second chances to become better. Parents should be aware of foul language, gory scenes, some jump-scares, and violence.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is very entertaining. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now in theaters only.

Share this page on:

Snoopy Presents: To Mom (And Dad), With Love *  Funny, Heartwarming Animated Film About How Not Every Family Is The Same

May 7th, 2022

This short film tells the story of Peppermint Patty. All the other kids are excited to celebrate the special day, Mother’s Day. But Peppermint Patty never had a mother, so she decides to celebrate her father instead since he does mother things.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha P. comments, “To Mom (and Dad), with Love is a funny and heartwarming animated film about different types of families and how not every family is the same. This 40-minute story featuring the much-loved Peanuts gang appeals to all ages  — old and new fans alike – and will pull you in with its bright colors and sweet storyline.” See her full review below.

Snoops Presents: To Mom (And Dad), With Love
By Samantha P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

To Mom (and Dad), with Love is a funny and heartwarming animated film about different types of families and how not every family is the same. This 40-minute story featuring the much-loved Peanuts gang appeals to all ages  — old and new fans alike – and will pull you in with its bright colors and sweet storyline. The film has an original point of view on Mother’s Day because the main protagonist, Peppermint Patty, doesn’t have a mom, though the reason isn’t specified. Audiences can only tell that she has a dad, who is very special to her.

The story of To Mom (and Dad), with Love jumps from character to character as each does something original for Mother’s Day. The main character, Peppermint Patty (voiced by Lexi Perri), has to find her own way to celebrate a holiday that has always been hard for her. By the end, Patty figures out how to celebrate her own unique family. This film shows almost every character celebrating Mother’s Day. Lucy (Isabella Leo) tries to make an art project; Charlie Brown (Tyler Nathan) and his sister, Sally (Hattie Kragten), experiment with a lot of ideas; and other characters, including Snoopy (Terry Mcgurrin) and Woodstock (Rob Tinkler) do something creative and unique for their families, too!

To Mom (and Dad), with Love has a theme of embracing differences and being yourself, as well as celebrating moms (and dads) and caretakers in whatever form they take.

I give To Mom (and Dad), with Love 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults. It releases on Apple TV May 6, 2022, just in time for Mother’s Day/Week! 

Share this page on:
Kid movie news & Free DVDs:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook Join KIDS FIRST! on Pinterest