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Archive for August, 2012

‘The Oogieloves’ is Screen Adventure and Audience Action

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

OogielovesBigBalloonAdventure_v2.jpgThe Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure is an adventure in its own right. Producer Kenn Viselman wanted to create for young children a movie experience in line with their natural energies to move and dance and sing aloud, rather than forcing them to sit like little adults in the theater, and KIDS FIRST! youth film critics love it. Morgan Bertsch, age 7, calls the concept “awesome,” and says, “No one tells you to please sit down and be quiet. You get to have fun.” Cheyenne Nguyen, age 8, says, “I can’t wait to watch it again with friends, so we can do the Oogie cheers and dances together.” In addition to reviewing the film the two sat down for one-on-one interview with some of the stars, at the film’s recent red carpet event.

Viselman, an innovative force in children’s TV programming, shares more about the movie on KIDS FIRST! weekly radio show Coming Attractions, which streams on VoiceAmerica Kids.

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch
See her full review on video.)Kenn Viselman, who helped make “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Teletubbies” household names, has come up with a new movie concept for kids, with Matthew Diamond as the director. Scott Stabile is the writer. The concept is awesome.

This is a movie like no other I have ever seen. You actually get to dance, sing and cheer in the movie theater. No one tells you to please sit down and be quiet. You get to have fun. The butterflies tell you when it is time to get up and move around and the turtles tell you when it is time to slow down, take a seat and enjoy the show. Don’t forget to clap for all the little dancers when they are done. The movie is interactive, and you feel like you are part of the movie because you get to participate in the actual show. There is no violence or villains, just a fun, family-friendly movie.

Chazz Palminteri as Marvin Milkshake and Guistina Chirco as Marna make you rethink what you want in your milkshake the next time you order one.

The Oogieloves Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie live in Lovelyloveville, which is a colorful, happy place. When their five balloons fly away, they go on an adventure to retrieve them. Windy Window provides clues to J. Edger (Hoover) to help them on their hunt for the balloons to give to their friend Schluufy for the big surprise birthday party. They must use problem-solving skills at each adventure to solve the many puzzles of how to capture the balloons. The clock is ticking — will they make it in time for the big party?

Along the way they meet a great cast of characters: The fabulous Cloris Leachman plays Dotty Rounder. Jaime Pressly is Lola Sombrero. Christopher Lloyd is the bongo-playing Lero Sombrero. Cary Elwes with his crazy bird is Bobby Wobbly. Toni Braxton is the singer Rosalie Rosebud, and there are many more people you will get to know and love.

The songs are original, creative and you will have the lyrics stuck in your head with a smile on your face.The puppets look real and are very funny. Wait till you see what the raccoons can do.

It is appropriate for all your youngsters. Your children can go see a movie and act like a kid. I would recommend this movie for ages 3 and up.

I give it five ***** twinkling stars.

This movie will be showing nationwide Oogust 29, 2012.

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
See her full review on video.)
Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure is the first-ever interactive movie. I can’t wait to watch it again with friends, so we can do the Oogie cheers and dances together.

The fun characters in this movie are Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie. They go on an adventure to look for the balloons that flew away from Lovelyloveville. They are able to trace the balloons’ locations one by one. However, the Oogieloves need the audience and their friends to help get the balloons. They need to find these balloons before Schluufy wakes up. These magical balloons are for Schluufy’s surprise birthday party.

This movie has so many famous and fun actors. Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, Cary Elwes and Jaime Pressley. These great actors sing, dance and do cheers through-out the movie. All the songs are very catchy and easy to remember.

They explain to us that when we see the butterflies going across the screen, we can stand up and follow the actors’ lead. When we see the turtles going across the screen, we can sit down. I was not comfortable with getting out of my seat at first until I saw the 2-year-old in front of me just go out in the aisle and dance and sing. The songs are so good that I just had to stand up and sing along. I was so surprised that the same 2-year-old in front of me was so focused on the movie and got the cues right away.

Most of the audience interacts with the movie, so it was great being able to do what I feel like doing while watching a movie. All the kids sing, dance and have a great time. It’s like watching a movie with a sing-along and dance at a party.

The costumes in this movie are vibrant with colors and full of designs that kids love to see. The music makes us all want to dance and move around. This movie set is magical.

My favorite character is Ruffy the fish. He has always wanted to do the hard tasks and protect the Oogieloves. He is the funniest character in this movie.

The messages of this movie are lots of love and teamwork.

I rank this movie five out of five stars. 

I give this an age range of 2 to 8.

Photo: The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure poster

Also enjoy interviews with the film’s stars by KIDS FIRST! youth film critics Morgan Bertsch and Cheyenne Nguyen at the Oogieloves red carpet.

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‘Thunderstruck’ – Who’s Got the Talent?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Thunderstruck.jpgWe all love to root for the underdog, when he becomes top dog through a fluke rather than hard work, well, it’s not so satisfying. Brian Newall, who magically acquires the talent of his hoops hero Kevin Durant (who plays himself), eventually finds he’d rather get the talent back to its rightful owner. There are plenty of laughs along the way, from Brian’s klutzy ballplaying in the beginning to what KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Brianna Beaton, age 12, describes as her favorite scene, when Kevin’s agent “is trying to get Kevin his talent back. He is doing all kinds of things, going from holding the basketball together with saying a message to rubbing the carpet and then finally to a stun gun.” Brianna was there at the red carpet to interview cast members, including father and son actors James and Robert Belushi who share how they brought comedy from their own relationship to the script.

Reviewed by Brianna Beaton
See her full review on video.)

Thunderstruck, starring NBA superstar Kevin Durant, is a funny and inspirational film that is definitely enjoyable to watch.

Brian Newall (Taylor Gray) is horrible at basketball. He loves the game, but he just cannot play. Brian is a very big fan of NBA superstar Kevin Durant. While at a basketball game, Brian gets a chance to meet the superstar and supposedly steals Kevin’s talent. Kevin Durant, playing himself, is suddenly horrible at basketball while Brian is the new superstar on his high school team. Kevin is worthless and is on the receiving end of all the bad publicity from fans and sports commentators. Kevin’s agent, Alan Garrett, (Brandon T. Jackson) goes to great lengths to try and get Kevin his talent back.

I really like this film because I just love basketball. It is my favorite sport and I really get into the game. There are a lot of funny moments when Brian is playing with his team and he is showing how really klutzy he is. Coach Amross (James Belushi) and his assistant coach Dan (Robert Belushi) are too funny and will definitely keep you laughing. My favorite scene is when Alan is trying to get Kevin his talent back. He is doing all kinds of things, going from holding the basketball together with saying a message to rubbing the carpet and then finally to a stun gun. This is really funny. I also like the scene with Kevin’s mom in a cheerleader’s outfit.

One great message in this film is that talent isn’t something you get; talent is something that you earn with hard work and dedication.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18 and anyone who loves the game of basketball. If you are a fan of Kevin Durant, then you will not want to miss this one.

I give Thunderstruck four out of five stars because it’s funny, has a good message and is great for the whole family to enjoy.

Thunderstruck bounces into theaters on August 24, so go and get your KD jersey and check it out.

Photo: Thunderstruck poster

Meet the film’s stars as Brianna interviews them for KIDS FIRST! at the red carpet event.

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‘Mia and the Migoo’ a Hand-painted Masterpiece in an Era of CGI

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

MiaAndTheMigoo_2012_213x355.JPGWith this new release of Mia and the Migoo from Entertainment One, director Jacques-Remy Girerd reprises the 2008 film that won him the Grand Prix award for Best Feature Film from the China International Cartoon and Digital Arts Festival and the European Film Award for Best Animated Film from the European Film Awards – and the film is an astonishing achievement created from 500,000 hand-painted cels. KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Julianna Noone, age 12, says it took her a while to get into the movie but has found she loves its overall message: “… you should not be selfish and you should be kind to everyone because sometimes what goes around comes around.” Girerd also has some high-powered names attached to the new release: Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Modine (in a dual voice role) and James Woods add their familiar voices to some of the actors who voiced the earlier version (Amanda Misquez, voicing the title role, and Jesse Corti, Vincent Agnello and John Di Maggio as the film’s major characters).

Mia and the Migoo
Reveiwed by Julianna Noone
(See her full review on video.)

Don’t be so quick to judge, because sometimes true beauty lies beneath the surface.

The film Mia and the Migoo is about a girl named Mia (voiced by Amanda Misques) who has a dream about her father, Pedro (voiced by Jesse Corti), who is away working. This dream is so realistic, she just has to go and see her father, and this sets her off on a grand adventure to find her father because he is the only family she has. However, there is a boy named Aldrin (voiced by Vincent Agnello) who is having troubles with his father, Jekhide (voiced by John Di Maggio). Follow Mia along on her journey and see how her adventure crosses paths with Aldrin and his father.

My favorite character is Mia. I like Mia because she is a very intelligent girl who is brave, strong and fierce. Mia knows what she has to do to find her father and she is determined to find him. She is a fearless young girl.

My favorite scene is the scene when Adrin’s father realizes he is not focusing on his son and he is completely ignoring him. He apologizes to Aldrin and he promises to change his ways, to lose his selfishness and to pay attention to his son more. It’s a touching moment in the movie and I love the overall message that this sends to everyone. I think the message is that you should not be selfish and you should be kind to everyone because sometimes what goes around comes around.

The animation is your basic 2-D animation, which makes the film look like it is hand-drawn or painted. As well, there is minimal CGI, through the snowfall or the rising smoke or the rainfall, to name a few examples. Though it is very minimal, I think this CGI is just enough to compliment the basic animation.

At first, I really did not get the movie, but as it went on, it was much more enjoyable. I also love the great message of the movie and I think a lot of people can learn from this movie.

I think that this movie is for ages 7 to 14 because there are a few scenes that may be a little inappropriate for some of the younger children.

And remember, fighting does not help. Work together and be stronger.

Photo: Mia and the Migoo poster

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‘Space Camp’ Blasts onto HDNet Movies kidScene’s September Programming

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

SpaceCamp.jpgA 26-year-old film about space exploration is bound to have technical aspects that haven’t aged well, but Space Camp delivers on several other levels. “Even though this movie is a little outdated, being made in 1986, I still found myself at the end of my chair wondering what was going to happen next!” says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Jennifer Huntoon, age 14. The film about a miscellaneous group of kids at space camp who find themselves launched in to space for real was nominated in 1987 for the Young Artist Award for Exceptional Feature Film – Family Entertainment – Drama. “I love all the characters,” says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Camille Bajema, age 10, who shares that what strikes her most is when “the kids are put into an adult situation and have to work as a team.” And 11-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Talia Rashba shares another positive – the humor. “The jokes are funny and easy to understand,” she says.

Space Camp, airing throughout September, is one of the many movies brought to your home by HDNet Movies kidScene, a daily programming block specifically for kids and families from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET and every Friday night at 7 p.m.

Space Camp
Reviewed by Talia Rashba
(See her full review on video.)

I thought this movie pretty good. It was entertaining, filled with drama, and there is a lot of good information about space presented in the film.

Space Camp is about a group of kids who come to a camp at the NASA headquarters to learn all about space. Each of the kids is assigned a position in the space shuttle by an astronaut named Andie. When the group goes with Andie to the space shuttle for a simulation, they accidentally get launched up into space, and they have to figure out how to get back home before they run out of oxygen.

Andie (Kate Capshaw) is a famous astronaut who teaches the kids about operating the space shuttle. She is an encouraging and helpful teacher who pushes each one of them to work to the best of their ability. Kathryn (Lea Thompson) is one of the kids attending the space camp. She is very smart and knows a lot about space. She is assigned the position of the pilot and she is expected to do everything right. Tish (Kelly Preston) is another teenage girl at the space camp. She is friendly, pretty, girly and actually smarter then she acts. Rudy (Larry B. Scott) is an older camper who loves science but he thinks he is terrible at it. He is nice, funny and very friendly. He ends up studying very hard and becomes a really good scientist. Max (Joaquin Phoenix, credited as Leaf Phoenix) is the youngest kid in the group, and he actually wasn’t even supposed to be in the camp because of his age. All he ever wanted to do in life is go up in space. When the group gets introduced to a space robot named Jinx, Max steals it and forms a close friendship with it. And lastly, Kevin (Tate Donovan) is a bad teenage boy who doesn’t care about space camp at all. He doesn’t even want to be there, but he has no choice.

What is not that great in Space Camp are the special effects and animation. When the characters go up into space, it almost looks like they are a cut-out picture. Nothing looks very realistic to me at all. I know that technology has come a long way since 1986, so that is why these things don’t look that professional.

What is good in the movie is the humor. The jokes are funny and easy to understand. The characters are also a good part of the movie. You really get to know them and enjoy their performances.

This movie is rated PG, but it does have some bad language in it and some pretty intense scenes. Because of this, I think this movie would only be good for kids who are 10 years old up until 14 years. Since this is a classic movie, the family may enjoy sitting down and watching it together. I am giving Space Camp a three out of five stars. My overall impression is that it is worth a look.

Space Camp
Reviewed by Camille Bajema
See her full review on video.)

Many parts of this film are very suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat!

This film is about five kids — Kevin, Kathryn, Tish, Rudy and Max played by Tate Donovan, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Larry B. Scott and Leaf Phoenix — who go to a camp to train like astronauts. The director of the camp is a strict astronaut named Andie, played by Kate Capshaw. Things get really exciting when they actually explore a real spaceship. A mechanical creature that NASA creates hears Max say that he wishes he could really go up in space, so he controls the spaceship to take off while the kids and Andie are still inside! This is my favorite scene in the movie because the kids are put into an adult situation and have to work as a team. Many exciting, suspenseful things happen while they’re in space!

I love all of the characters. Kevin is a teenage boy who is always on the lookout for cute girls; Kathryn is a very determined young woman who wants to become the first woman shuttle commander; Tish is a girlie girl, yet very smart; Rudy is a super smart and energetic teenage boy; and Max is the youngest of the group, yet very determined to show Andie how grown-up he is. My favorite character would have to be Tish. I like her best because although she’s super girlie, she’s super smart. It shows that girls who are pretty can also be smart, too!

This movie is written by Clifford Green and Casey Mitchell and directed by Harry Winer.

I recommend this film for ages 11 and up because there is some inappropriate language. Also, this film is almost two hours long and might be hard for a younger child to sit through.

I give this film four out of five stars because at some points it gets a little boring and, because it’s an older movie, the special effects are really cheesy! Look for this classic family film on HDNet movies, kidScene throughout September!

Space Camp
Reviewed by Jennifer Huntoon
See her full review on video.)

I just finished watching the movie Space Camp. In this movie, we follow a group of kids that cannot work together who attend space camp! But when they are accidentally launched into space, they are forced to settle their differences so they can return to Earth. The campers we follow are Kathryn Fairly (Lea Thompson), Tish Ambrosei (Kelly Preston), Rudy Tyler (Larry B. Scott), Max (Joaquin Phoenix, credited as Leaf Phoenix) and Kevin Donaldson (Tate Donovan).

Even though this movie is a little outdated, being made in 1986, I still found myself at the end of my chair wondering what was going to happen next! This suspense was delivered from good acting, cool scenes and intense music. There are several scenes that I can’t get out of my head, but these two were my favorite: My first favorite is when Max has to go out in space and help Andie get oxygen. I love this scene because Max is the youngest kid out of his group and he goes out in space all by himself! My other favorite scene is when Kathryn has to fly the shuttle into “white sand” to land and return to Earth.

I would give Space Camp three stars out of five and recommend it to kids around the age 7. I think adults would also enjoy this film with their families. This is an HDNet movie so watch for it with your family all September long on kidScene!

Photo: Space Camp poster

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‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ Is Rooted in Love

Monday, August 13th, 2012

OddLifeOfTimothyGreen.jpgJack planted magic beans and grew a giant beanstalk. What Cindy and Jim Green plant is something more ephemeral – heartfelt dreams and desires – and what grows from that is even more special. “Kids and parents can enjoy htis movie because it shows a lot of imagination and a lot of love,” says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Anthony Aranda, age 10, recommending it for all ages because there’s nothing scary in  it, although the Motion Picture Association of America gives it the mildly cautionary PG rating. Audiences can expect to have their heartstrings tugged. Says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Cheyenne Nguyen, age  8, “This movie emotion is like riding a roller coaster. I am laughing and crying during the same scene.” She give particular kudos to CJ Adams, who plays Timothy Green, calling him “a great actor.”

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
(See her full review on video.)

The main story of this movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, by Disney, is about “love” — and I love this movie and can’t wait to watch it again.

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner play Mr. and Mrs. Green, who are trying to have a baby. However, their doctor tells them there is no hope. They are so sad and decide to move on with their lives. They name their little boy Timothy, then they list characters that Timothy would have on pieces of paper, then put it those into a box and bury it so they can go on with their lives.

A magical thing happens: Timothy comes from the garden where they buried the box. Timothy Green is played by CJ Adams, who is a great actor. His love for everyone is unconditional. I can see all his emotions through his eyes and his facial expressions. This movie emotion is like riding a roller coaster. I am laughing and crying during the same scene.

The cinematography and production design are awesome. The details of the town and the pencil factory are so real. The colors of the fall leaves are so vibrant. They really capture small-town America. Dianne West plays a grumpy old woman, who is so funny with her chin hair.CheyenneNguyen.jpg

My favorite character is Timothy. He’s always positive and wants to give all his love to those around him.

The only part I did not like is the bullying part. I did not see the bullies being punished for their bad behavior.

The messages of this movie are to love as much as possible and never give up.

I rank this movie five out of five stars. 

I recommend this for ages 5 and up.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Reviewed by Anthony Aranda
See his full review on video.)

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is really cool because it has a lot of imagination and is really cool.

This move is all about Mr. and Mrs. Green (Jim and Cindy) who really want to have a baby. They’ve tried for a long time but the doctor tells them that they could not have their own baby, which makes them really sad. So they go home and write some things down on a little notepad that they would want their child to be like. They put each little slip of paper in a box, and bury it outside in their garden. Later that night, there is a strange thunder storm and it starts to rain — only at their house — and all the things that they wanted in their child come true because a child pops out of the dirt and is named Timothy.

The main characters in this movie are Jim and Cindy Green, Timothy Green and Joni. My favorite character is Timothy because he is a really cool kid who is trustworthy and really funny. He has a really good heart and sees the best in people. He is also really good at art. He and Joni get along really well because they are both really different. Timothy has leaves growing out of his legs and Joni has a big birthmark that she tries to hide a lot. By the end of the movie, Timothy makes Joni feel comfortable enough to show off her birthmark.AnthonyAranda_190x250.jpg

My favorite part in the movie is when Timothy’s mom meets Joni. She tries to tell Joni to leave Timothy alone but then sees what Timothy and Joni have been doing. They’ve created a whole new world with lots of art made out of nature. It is really cool, and Timothy’s mom is not mad at Joni anymore and thinks that she is a good friend to Timothy.

I would recommend this movie for all ages because this movie is rated G and is not scary at all. Kids and parents can enjoy this movie because it shows a lot of imagination and a lot of love. Go out and see this movie in theaters on August 15th.

Photos: The Odd Life of Timothy Green poster (top), Cheyenne Nguyen (middle), Anthony Aranda (bottom)

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