Archive for November, 2018

Green Book: Powerful Portrayal Of An Inspirational Journey Promoting Courage, Activism And Always Doing What’s Right

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who’s about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “I absolutely give the film 5 out of 5 stars for its powerful portrayal of an inspirational journey that promotes courage, activism and always doing what’s right in the world…This movie contains a massively wide range of emotions. At times, the story is driven by love, romance and family. At other times, the characters live in racism, homophobia and segregation as it directly addresses and shows the darkness of the 60s in the United States. ” See his full review below.

Green Book
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Sometimes being alone means not being accepted. A fact that some have attempted to convey in the art of cinema, but only a few reach the precision and emotional strength of Green Book which shows not only the complex and dark social issues of the 1960s but also demonstrates the power and emotion of feeling truly alone.

This movie contains a massively wide range of emotions. At times, the story is driven by love, romance and family. At other times, the characters live in racism, homophobia and segregation as it directly addresses and shows the darkness of the 60s in the United States. Yet still, the viewer will be surprised by the amount of humor and wonderfully vibrant moments that are portrayed. They will make you laugh in all the right places, without interrupting truly emotional moments.

Taking place in the 1960s, Green Book follows the highly famous and incredibly successful pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who takes great risks as an African American man touring through the highly racial deep south. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) accompanies Shirley going from his driver to savior to eventually, his close friend. As the tour progresses, the audience goes through many parts of the south where not only racism was prevalent against African Americans and Italians, but also acknowledge the severe homophobia that existed so terribly in the 1960s.

Green Book follows the highly famous and incredibly successful pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who takes great risks as an African American man touring through the highly racial deep south. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) accompanies Shirley going from his driver to savior to eventually, his close friend. As the tour progresses, the audience goes through many parts of the south where not only racism was prevalent against African Americans and Italians, but also acknowledge the severe homophobia that existed so terribly in the 1960s.

Perhaps one of the most lovable aspects of this movie can be attributed to the story itself. Every person in the film has a major character arc in which they become completely reshaped and remolded by the end. The entire cast performs with Oscar-worthy emotional portrayals of their characters. Mahershala once again delivers absolutely heart-wrenching scenes as the audience becomes acquainted with the lonesome and depressed life Don Shirley lives in, despite being unarguably talented and highly intelligent. The complexities in the set design, costume design, and overall tone of the entire world never run out of depth as the entire film feels as if it truly belongs in the 1960s, despite being shot nearly half a century later. Director Peter Farrelly may be seasoned in humoristic comedies, but makes sure his background stays separate for this film.  With his lead, the audience experiences bitter reality and, with the help of cinematographer Sean Porter, view a vivid and colorful picture of United States in the 1960s, from up north in New York all the way to down south in Alabama.

Cinema about musicians would be blasphemy without an impressive soundtrack to follow suit. From music considered modern and pop for that era, to classical pieces hundreds of years old, Green Book promises a highly wide and diverse soundtrack that highlights itself as one of the greatest this year. Furthermore, the music tells the story as it begins with 1960s music, but slowly goes more and more towards classical and orchestral as the story unfolds and the viewer learns more about the conflicts of pianist Don Shirley. Furthermore, despite being over two hours long, the film keeps you captivated for the entire runtime and leaves you satisfied with a natural and beautiful ending.

Instead of a favorite scene, I would like to talk about several sequences present in the film. Since they’re on tour, of course, Shirley and his fellow musicians in his trio are shown playing music. Yet, this varies in emotion, strength and passion as real-life events impact Don Shirley’s craft just as the events impact his actual character. The power of his work never dwindles and always leaves you in awe. During the performance scenes, every aspect of the film shines with absolutely masterful cinematographic compositions that seem to isolate the musicians and truly captures the raw emotions such powerful music creates.

Photos by Universal Pictures - ©2018 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved

Puppy Star Christmas: Touching Delivery of a Very Special Message About The Meaning of Christmas

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

A song-filled new Air Bud ‘Pup Star’ movie that introduces four new pups to the family, who stow away on Santa’s sleigh and find themselves trapped at the North Pole, trying to save the world’s Christmas spirit. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “The movie Puppy Star Christmas is a fun and entertaining holiday family film. It is full of upbeat music, dancing, humor and has a wonderful timeless message. I absolutely loved every second of this movie and would have stayed to watch it a second time right then and there!” Nathalia J. adds, “This film delivers a very special message. It’s not about the gifts; it is about being with family. The pups show that meaning in this film. This touching movie will have you singing Christmas songs on your way to school, work and perhaps your Christmas recital.” Jolleen M. adds, “This is a perfect film for everyone in the family. It not only has a good message, but it also is hilarious and will put you right into the Christmas spirit.” Damon F. wraps it up with, “I am not usually a fan of musicals, but this movie is better than some that I’ve seen. I really like how the dogs are animated in this movie. It really looks as if they are actually talking and dancing. That makes the movie as entertaining as it is.” See their full reviews and cast interviews below.

Puppy Star Christmas
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The movie Puppy Star Christmas is a fun and entertaining holiday family film. It is full of upbeat music, dancing, humor and has a wonderful timeless message. I absolutely loved every second of this movie and would have stayed to watch it a second time right then and there!

This Pup Star story picks up when Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher) and P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) get married and have a very adorable litter of puppies that includes Brody, Rosie, Charlie and Cindy. These four pups are always getting into trouble. Thinking they are on Santa Claus’ “naughty list” for eating the family’s turkey and pumpkin pie, they head to the North pole with the hope of talking to Santa to get back onto his “nice” list. While there, they uncover Bark, Kano, Roland and Julio’s scheme to sabotage Pup Star and control the Christmas spirit. There is a wonderful heartfelt twist at the end with some of the characters that I won’t give away.

My favorite scene is when P.U.P., played by the extremely talented singer, Mackenzie Sol, and Lou’s dad Steven, played by David DeLuise, are awaiting the birth of P.U.P.’s four adorable puppies. They are both so nervous. Steven paces back and forth while giving P.U.P. a “pup” talk. Another one of my favorite scenes is at the North Pole when the elves and reindeer dance to the uplifting musical number, “This is the Best Christmas Ever.”

My favorite character is the ever funny Roland, played by Jed Rees, who is always getting into trouble. Throughout the movie he continually becomes more and more addicted to candy canes. After kidnapping Santa he also begins to look like Santa Claus.

The music, songs and singing voices of Kaitlyn Maher and Mackenzie Sol are pup-tastic and will melt your heart. Listening to the music made me feel as if I wanted to jump up from my seat, start dancing and sing along. The special effects include talking animals and dancing reindeers that look amazingly real.

The heartfelt message of this Christmas story is about the importance of spending time with family, being grateful not greedy and second chances. This joyous fun family film is perfect for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults because of its universal and timeless messages. It will definitely put us all in the holiday spirit and I give it 5 out of 5 Puppy Stars. It’s available on Netflix November 20, 2018 so look for it.

Puppy Star Christmas
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

“It is Christmas in the heart, that puts Christmas in the air!” once said W.T Ellis. Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way. Yup, it’s Christmas time – presents, cookies, family and vacation time. This astonishing, touching, intriguing, heart-warming, well-intentioned and adorable movie is directed by Robert Vince and written by Pier Rae and Robert Vince.

This film follows Tiny and P.U.P whose four new pups take a trip into the dark night sky with a special guest named Santa Claus. Trouble comes with they find themselves with the evil dog Bark and trapped at the North Pole. The pups get saved, but you’ll have to see the movie to know how. This song-filled new Air Bud “Pup Star” movie will have you enjoying the Christmas spirit.

The lead characters in this film are Tiny (voiced by Kaitlyn Maher), P.U.P (voiced by Mackenzie Sol), Lou (Mackenzie Moss), Santa Claus (Richard Riehle), Rosie (voiced by Vivienne Rutherford) and complimented by many more

My absolute favorite part of this film, without giving anything away, is when the Christmas spirit is saved. I love how the four pups set on a quest to find Santa Claus and recover the true meaning of Christmas with the help of their family. I think this part of the film will charm many because of the huge heart the little pups have!

This film delivers a very special message. It’s not about the gifts; it is about being with family. The pups show that meaning in this film. This touching movie will have you singing Christmas songs on your way to school, work and perhaps your Christmas recital.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, as well as adults. This film will release exclusively on NETFLIX on November 20, 2018. Make sure to check it out!

Puppy Star Christmas
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This is a perfect film for everyone in the family. It not only has a good message, but it also is hilarious and will put you right into the Christmas spirit.

In the film, Tiny and P.U.P. get married and shortly after, they have four pups named Charlie, Rosie, Cindy and Brody. Tiny and P.U.P are busy and aren’t able to spend much time with their new pups. The pups become a little rebellious and decide it is a good idea to sneak onto Santa’s sleigh when he visits their parents’ show. This causes them to get stuck at the North Pole and leaves everyone worried. Meanwhile, they don’t know that the real Santa has been captured and replaced by their old enemy who wants to destroy Christmas.

Kaitlyn Maher, Mackenzie Moss and Mackenzie Sol are back again for Pup Star’s fourth film! They excel in showing the pups’ emotions with their voice acting, as always. We also have some new voice actors for the puppies – Dillon Fontana, Vivienne Rutherford, Chloe Coleman and Oakley Bull. They all sound sassy and super adorable! They have the perfect voices for the cute pups.

Since Tiny, P.U.P. and the pups have to go on stage a lot, they wear many different outfits. All of their outfits are very stylish and unique! I wish they sold costumes like those so I could get them for my dog. I love how the costumes match each puppy’s unique characteristics. Even though they all look very similar, it helps to have them in different outfits so you know who is who. The animation of the dogs is amazing. It matches well with the voice of the actors. There are also scenes where the dogs are animated to dance. That is hilarious. They have a lot of talent.

My favorite scene was the one after Tiny and P.U.P. said their vows. The people and the dogs got up and started dancing. The dogs go crazy with their moves. I was really impressed.

The message of this film is all about the meaning of the true Christmas spirit. Some people believe that Christmas is only about getting gifts. People become greedy and only like Christmas for the presents. This film teaches that Christmas is a time of giving, sharing and getting along with others. It is about spending time and reconnecting with your family. Even though this is message is promoted in other Christmas films, it is still an important moral that some people don’t seem to understand.

This is the fourth film in the Pup Stars series and definitely lives up to the other ones. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. If you haven’t checked out the first three films, be sure to check those out as well as this one! Puppy Star Christmas comes out on Netflix on November 20, 2018. Look for it!

Puppy Star Christmas
Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I am not usually a fan of musicals, but this movie is better than some that I’ve seen. I really like how the dogs are animated in this movie. It really looks as if they are actually talking and dancing. That makes the movie as entertaining as it is.

Puppy Star Christmas is a Christmas themed sequel to Pup Star 2 that follows the Pup Star company making a Christmas special right after Tiny has puppies. The movie follows the pup’s parents getting ready for Christmas. It also focuses on the pups as they carry out some crazy ideas and plans that sometimes get them into trouble. For example, the pups decide to go to the North Pole to meet Santa, but while trying to do that, some evil dogs are trying to take over Christmas! Tiny and the Pup Star staff are working on the Christmas special while searching for the missing pups.

The four new members to the Pup Star family are Brody (Dillon Fontana), an adventurous little pup that thinks of something fun to do and his sisters usually follow. Rosie (Vivienne Rutherford) is the pup who always thinks of herself as the star of everything. Cindy (Oakley Bull) is the pup who knows when something will go wrong, but none of her siblings ever listen to her. Last is Charlie (Chloe Coleman), the sarcastic one, who has some of the best lines.

My favorite scene in this movie is when the elves sing “The Worst Christmas Ever,” while the villains think they are singing the same thing as they are – “The Best Christmas Ever.” Another good scene is when the reindeers bring Roland to the Pup Star stage. The reindeers are doing loop the loops, while going as fast as they can, just to be mean to Roland. My favorite character is Brody, because he is adventurous and he loves to eat, just like me. He also comes up with a bunch of crazy ideas that get him in trouble, but I don’t think he will ever learn. For example, in the beginning of the film Brody tries to eat both the turkey and the pumpkin pie. That really gets him into trouble.

The message of this movie is that Christmas isn’t just about the gifts; it is about being with family. The pups show that throughout the entire film. I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, because it is an amusing movie that shows the meaning of Christmas in a great way. I think adults will enjoy watching this film with their children. This movie will be available exclusively on Netflix on November 20, 2018 so look for it!

Photos ©Air Bud Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

Instant Family: Deals With A Heavy Subject And Dives Right In! No Sugar Coating Here.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child, but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hope of becoming a family. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “This movie deals with a very heavy subject – the foster care system. Foster kids go through a lot of terrible stuff, which greatly affects them psychologically. One thing I really like about this movie is that it doesn’t sugar coat the hard reality. It dives straight into the lives of foster kids, without simplifying what they’ve gone through.” See her full review below.

Instant Family
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Now, I must admit that I’m a bit biased. My mom has worked with foster kids for 20 years and I’ve helped out a charity that helps foster kids. So foster children are really important to me and this movie really reflects the truth about this system in an emotional and funny way.

The story follows Pete and Ellie, a couple who feel as though there is something missing in their life. They decide to adopt three siblings from the foster care system. However, they find that raising children is a lot harder than they thought.

This movie deals with a very heavy subject – the foster care system. Foster kids go through a lot of terrible stuff, which greatly affects them psychologically. One thing I really like about this movie is that it doesn’t sugar coat the hard reality. It dives straight into the lives of foster kids, without simplifying what they’ve gone through. I really like this as it breaks the impressions that a lot of people have about raising a foster kid – that it’s not as hard as raising your own kid. That is not the case and the movie perfectly shows this. It may seem like the kids are unlikable because of this, however they grow on you. It took quite a while for Pete and Ellie to grow on me however. They’re very impatient and annoying for a lot of the movie. And, although they get better over time, it kind of takes a while.

This movie is a comedy. So how is the comedic aspect? Pretty good. However at the beginning, there are lots of jokes about foster kids that feel very forced. While they technically have a purpose. They just weren’t funny to me. For example, there is a joke where Pete says one kid looks like she has fetal alcohol syndrome or was chained to a radiator her whole life. While there is a funny pay off, the implications kind of made me uncomfortable and it was part of the reason why I didn’t like Pete and Ellie.

I admit that when the film starts to get really emotional, it really hits hard. The acting is really great in the serious scenes, especially from Lizzy (Isabela Moner). Of course, I need to give a shout out to Octavia Spencer who plays Karen, one of the case workers. I really like Octavia Spencer and she makes every scene she’s in absolutely outstanding!

I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I would also recommend this movie for people who are considering becoming foster parents. If you want to mentor foster youth go to your local group home and help out. This movie is out on November 16, 2018. Look for it.

Photos © Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Fantastic Performances and Visuals. Serviceable Story.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a serviceable entry in the Harry Potter universe despite its many shortcomings. Fantastic performances and visuals complete some truly great and pivotal plot developments.” Jolleen M. adds, “I love all of the stories and plots from J.K. Rowling. She never fails to amaze me with all the different plot twists that she comes up with. Besides having a wonderful follow up story that leaves the audience wanting more, the CGI is very detailed, yet still realistic.” See their full reviews below.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a serviceable entry in the Harry Potter universe despite its many shortcomings. Fantastic performances and visuals complete some truly great and pivotal plot developments. Any Harry Potter fan might want to check this out, but go with lowered expectations.

The story follows the breakout of influential dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) as he seeks to enlist his army of pure bloods. He starts by manipulating the transformation of Credence (Ezra Miller). All sides are divided by this as many find that killing both will fix the issue and many believe that Grindelwald upholds what is right. All except for the moral Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who believes in stopping both but not killing. As a result, a younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists him to work behind the lines as dangerous times approach testing the loyalties and love of all involved.

Eddie Redmayne, as Newt Scamander, is always entertaining with his quirky remarks and unswayable morals. Also, he attempts to reunite with Tina (Katherine Waterston) to humanize his central struggle to find company. Johnny Depp, as Grindelwald, empowers with his powerful voice and fear-inducing actions. His presence holds well even among the likes of Voldemort. Jude Law, as Albus Dumbledore, is my favorite character with a spot-on recreation of a younger Dumbledore even if he’s not in it for long. His wise remarks and enthralling character developments only left me wanting more. Zoe Kravitz, as Leta, is one of the most interesting characters with her fair share of story which leaves us craving for more regarding the mysteries of the lore. Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Ezra Miller return better than ever with twists and turns further developing their characters, even if a little too much time is spent on their side of the story.

David Yates expertly directs with an eye of awe for each of the magical settings visited. It is always a delight to see the early happenings of events and monuments such as Hogwarts. However, my favorite scene comes from the opening escape which rips and roars with wondrous sound design and sets the precedent for a truly epic villain in Grindelwald. Despite this, the movie comparably falls flat resulting in some boring sections of exposition with forced moments of fan service. The movie feels considerably crowded and in need of a more compelling story in some sections. Despite this, the exceptional first few minutes and last third redeem the story from being a total slump.

The message of the movie is to never lose your morals despite what could benefit you. Newt is a great example of this because he chooses what’s right in spite of Grindelwald’s powerful way with words. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of some intense action and themes. The movie releases in theaters on November 16, 2018 so check it out.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I love all of the stories and plots from J.K. Rowling. She never fails to amaze me with all the different plot twists that she comes up with. Besides having a wonderful follow up story that leaves the audience wanting more, the CGI is very detailed, yet still realistic. The sound immerses viewers even more into the story.

The story starts off with a very intense scene that starts the conflict and trouble. No spoilers though. After the introduction, it picks up three months after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them left off. We are introduced to Newt’s brother who works for the ministry and his fiancé who had a childhood crush on Newt. We also discover that Jacob gets his memory back!

Eddie Redmayne comes back to play Newt. He embraces Newts’ quirky and kind side perfectly. Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol (Jacob and Queenie) come back even closer as a couple. They fight just like a real couple too. Ezra Miller (Credence) is back, but as an older, mature and independent adult. His ability to portray his rage while staying calm is impressive and also intimidating.

The CGI is quite realistic, but at the same time out of this world. All the different creatures are so unique. I love how immersive the entire experience is. The animation combined with the acting, sets and music allows everyone to enter a different world.

My favorite scene is when Credence transforms into his black, floaty form because he is angered. In this form, he tries to attack one of the wizards who killed the person he was trying to get information from. He uses all his might and strength to attack. He even damages the entire building they are in with his force. Even though Credence is very powerful, he is still unable to pierce the wizard’s shield. This scene is very intriguing to me because everything is so detailed. From Credence’s liquid, black form to the crushing of the building, everything is very realistic.

There are many different underlying messages in this film. One of them is about family. Newt and Theseus (Newt’s brother) haven’t always been on the best of terms. For a while they worked against each other because of their conflicting views. But inevitably, they ended up on the same side, because they both have good intentions. And even though they might have done some unforgivable things to each other, they still forgive each other.

I love that this film allows you to enter a new world. It is fantastic! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this intriguing film. This film is out now in theaters so go see it!

Photos ©Warner Bros Pictures. All rights reserved

 

Octonauts, Season Two: Whether You Love The Ocean Or Not, This Is Filled With Information In A Fun Way!

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats – above and below the waves!<p>Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines immersive visuals and ‘submersive’ humor to transport young children into a world that is both real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner.<p>In this season set, encounter all types of creatures from the Great White Shark to Lionfish and more! The adventures don’t end there! Embark on an Amazon adventure with the Octonauts as they travel down the Amazon River in search of a lost city and Kwazii’s long lost grandfather, Calico Jack! So come aboard the Octopod for 24 exciting missions! Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10 comments, “The show is based on American-Canadian children’s books by Meomi Design Inc., which make it ideal for young kids! The series is very entertaining and educational. It contains lots of information and if you love the ocean, I definitely recommend this series.” Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer adds, “. One of my favorite things is how, at the end of each show, they give facts about sea animals such as the Great White Shark and Sea Snakes.” See their full reviews below.

Octonauts: Season Two
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Octonauts: Season Two is a very cute children’s television series animated in Ireland and voiced by British actors. The show is based on American-Canadian children’s books by Meomi Design Inc., which make it ideal for young kids! The series is very entertaining and educational. It contains lots of information and if you love the ocean, I definitely recommend this series.

You don’t need to watch Season One to understand Season Two. From the very first episode, you are immersed in a colorful underworld, discovering the adventures of the very likable characters. The intrepid Octonauts travel in nautical space ships and the Octopod and will remind parents of Star Trek and the expeditions of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. I like that they work as a team and how they respect each other. Each character brings something different; they have different specialties and each one is unique.

My favorite characters are Peso, the penguin and Barnabas the polar bear captain which I found very classy. But, all six adventurers are fun to watch – Kawazii (the cat), Inkling (the Dumbo octopus), Shellington (the sea otter), Tweak (the rabbit), Dash (the dog) and Tunip (half animal, half vegetable). They are not only adorable, but it is easy to relate to them. They all have different accents and, by the sound of their voices, they are different ages too.<p>Everything is very interesting in this show. Each episode follows a different mission where you learn fascinating information about the ocean and marine life in a very fun manner. Each episode is based on one particular sea creature or animal and the Octonauts not only explore the ocean but also protect their habitat. The technology in the series is imaginary, but the creatures are based on real ones.

The show’s color palette is beautiful with lots of light blues and greens. It’s quite refreshing and calms you down, which I think is ideal for little ones. I really like the animation, especially the graphic transitions at the end of each episode as it gives a recap (Creature Reports) to the episode and additional information about each animal.  Each episode is also focused on a particular conflict or problem, but you can enjoy them individually since there’s no sequence between them.

Season Two comes with two discs, with 12 episodes each and 12 Creature Reports, which are music videos about the animals featured in that episode. This gives a nice recap on that segment. The message series is “explore, rescue, protect.” There’s a whole ocean out there to discover, but we have to care and preserve our nature for future generations and ourselves. <p>I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, but parents watching with their little ones will enjoy as well. It’s available on DVD now, so look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Octonauts, Season 2
By Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

It’s the Octonauts to the rescue! Well, they actually do more than just rescue, but I really enjoyed the rescue. They also explore and protect and I can add another one – they educate young children.  The characters are extremely likable and engaging. There are so many different adventures in this season’s collection. I especially enjoyed the one about the Great White Shark which the group needed to rescue and at the same time had to be very careful so they didn’t end up as the Great White Shark’s lunch! The underwater scenes are fun to watch. The dialogue is creative. I highly recommend this for ages 3 through 7. One of my favorite things is how, at the end of each show, they give facts about sea animals such as the Great White Shark and Sea Snakes. I give this 4 stars out of 5 stars for its entertainment and educational aspects.  Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

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