Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for December, 2019

The Snowman * A Holiday Classic Unlike Any Other!

Friday, December 13th, 2019

One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, The Snowman is a family classic for generations to enjoy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “…directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement.” Eden T. adds, “This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays.” Morgan B. wraps it up with, “I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning.” See their full reviews below.

The Snowman
By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.

In The Snowman, a young boy James wakes up one morning and finds snow on the ground. He quickly gets dressed and runs outside. He then builds a huge snowman. He gives it eyes, a nose, a scarf and a hat. He even gives it a big smiley face. After building the entire snowman by himself, it is time for James to go to bed. When he wakes up he notices that the Snowman has moved a little, so he runs downstairs and out the door. He then notices that the Snowman is glowing, moves some more and then, totally comes to life. James is flabbergasted to see a live Snowman. The Snowman and James introduce themselves and become great friends. The rest the film shows the two flying around having so much fun and adventure throughout the day.

The Snowman book was adapted for the screen in 1982and earned a nomination for an Academy Award for best animated short film.  The animation of the drawings is just amazing,bringing to life so many memories from the days of movie shorts. There is no dialogue,which makes it even more beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned. 

The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing. It fits perfectly with everything the boy and the snowman are doing.  Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. The songs in themovie are catchy and addicting to sing along with.  I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!

The Snowman is directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement. I recommend this for ages 1 to 12 and give it5 out of 5 stars.

The Snowman
By Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays. For example, when the boy has to scrounge up snow for his snowman, I thought about when I tried to do the same thing!

The detail in this movie is stunning! Even though there is no talking, the artistry makes up for that. Each scene is hand-drawn, which must have been a technical pain for the scenes in motion! These movies are based on Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book. Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate this quality film. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

In the film, a young British boy in a classic 1950s English rural home builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy on a flying trip around the world! The scenes become grander and grander until you think nothing more can happen! After all of this is over, they travel back home. The next morning, the boy…well, you’ll see. The ending brought meaningful tears to my eyes!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6, as well as adults. This movie is available both on DVD now so check it out. Enjoy this winter delight!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kidsages 2 to 6, as well as adults. This movie is available both on DVD now socheck it out. Enjoy this winter delight!

The Snowman
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Holiday movies are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Especially those that have adorable characters and a heartwarming tale. That is what this short film is all about. Add magnificent hand drawn animation and you have the perfect Christmas movie.

I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning. Each piece of music fits the scene perfectly because it made me feel as if I was in the scene myself. Also, the music is superb to relax to. So grab a hot cup of cocoa and put your feet up.

The images in this film are hand drawn with pastels and pencils, which make it special and unique. I like having a break from all the CGI we see and seeing animation as it was made years ago. This is something that many other kids will appreciate as well. This movie never gets old and people from all over the world will absolutely adore it. This DVD has become one I have added to my holiday collection and will watch it every year. Even really young children can watch it because it is so beautiful and the message is all about friendship, love, cheer and what the holidays are all about. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 golden stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18, as well as adults.

Jumanji: The Next Level * Entertaining, Hilarious. Perhaps Surpasses the Original

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But the game is now broken — and fighting back. Everything the friends know about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover there’s more obstacles and more danger to overcome. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “This film is pretty entertaining and hilarious, and a surprisingly impressive sequel. It’s a good example of “stupid fun,” and I mean that in a good way. And it is surprisingly emotional too.” Arjun N. adds, “Jumanji: The Next Level keeps things playable, perhaps surpassing the first. The ensemble cast and direction add newfound levels of entertainment. Anyone interested in the Jumanji franchise must catch this on the biggest screen possible.” Abraham F., wraps it up with, “Jumanji: The Next Level is one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in a while and is an excellent sequel. The movie is funny when it knows to be and serious when called for as well. I do have a concern for this series though, because the entire premise is the same as the original and it could wear out in the near future. Also, some of the tonal switches are really sudden and it throws you off on how to feel in those scenes.” See their full reviews below.

Jumanji: The Next Level
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

This film is pretty entertaining and hilarious, and a surprisingly impressive sequel. It’s a good example of “stupid fun,” and I mean that in a good way. And it is surprisingly emotional too.

Karen Gillan star in Jumanji: The Next Level

This film takes place in an unknown time, sometime after the 2017 Jumanji. Spencer has gone back into the game and the other three players need to go back to rescue him. However, due to the console being broken, Spencer’s grandpa, Eddie and his friend Milo enter the game along with Martha and Fridge, instead of Bethany.

Now, an issue with sequels is the possibility of new viewers being confused and alienated, due to not having seen the first one. However, because Martha and Fridge have to explain the rules of the game to Eddie and Milo, the movie explains the rules to the audience, without it seeming forced.

Speaking of Eddie and Milo, they’re a pretty fun inclusion to this film. As a formula changer they work really well and they easily steal the show. They both have a nice chemistry and, having Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart (of all people) acting like elderly men, makes it even funnier. Honestly, the cast is perfect. Of course, all the returning actors are great, especially Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, since they’re now playing new characters. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Awkwafina is in this film. She’s recently become one of my favorite actresses, so I was really happy when she showed up.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star in Jumanji: The Next Level

Since this film is a comedy, you’re probably wondering how good the comedy is. Overall, this film is pretty hilarious. In the beginning, most of the comedy comes from Eddie and Milo being confused about the game. While this is pretty funny, it does become somewhat repetitive. Thankfully, the film has a lot of really nice details, such as Eddie admiring his tattoos in the game and Fridge freaking out over cake, due to events from the first movie. Plus, the action scenes are really energetic and fun. They are the perfect definition of “stupid fun.” They’re absolutely ridiculous, but you’re still having a blast.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. If you liked the first film I bet you’ll like this. The film opens in theaters nationwide December 13, 2019. Look for it.

Jumanji: The Next Level
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Jumanji: The Next Level keeps things playable, perhaps surpassing the first. The ensemble cast and direction add newfound levels of entertainment. Anyone interested in the Jumanji franchise must catch this on the biggest screen possible.

Dwayne Johnson, “the Rock”

The game has changed as the gang returns to Jumanji to rescue one of their own. The players will have to explore parts unknown, from the salty deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to win the world’s most dangerous game.

All of the returning original cast is great, and there is a longer setup that allows for further characterization. Alex Wolff and Morgan Turner, as Spencer and Martha, continue their budding romance as Spencer struggles to manage long-distance dating. Madison Iseman and Ser’Darius Blain, as Bethany and Fridge, show their maturity and growth since the first, especially Bethany who is more inclusive and less cliquey. Danny DeVito and Danny Glover, as Eddie and Milo, add heart and dynamic as their grouchy and forgetful antics are always a good laugh. As you may know from the trailers, the roster of characters makes it back, but not everyone is in the same avatar they were last time. Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan effectively play this change. Awkwafina makes a debut and standouts among this roster as her signature fast mouth is always hilarious.

Awkwafina, Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan

Jake Kasan directs, as he did the first, and this is even better than the first in terms of stylistic choices and pacing. In fact, it captures the feel of a videogame better than the first. Every sequence feels like a level and the special effects are impressive, especially in the bridge chase which is inspired by the likes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the monkeys add pure adrenaline rush. This is truly my favorite scene in the movie.

The message of this film is about teamwork, as the gang is willing to sacrifice themselves to rescue Spencer and leave no one behind. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 due to action, suggestive content and some language. The movie releases in theaters on December 13, 2019, so check it out.

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Jumanji: The Next Level is one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in a while and is an excellent sequel. The movie is funny when it knows to be and serious when called for as well. I do have a concern for this series though, because the entire premise is the same as the original and it could wear out in the near future. Also, some of the tonal switches are really sudden and it throws you off on how to feel in those scenes.

Jack Black and Karen Gillan

Jumanji: The Next Level takes place two years after the events of the first Jumanji movie. The four friends – Martha, Spencer, Fridge and Bethany – have all gone their separate ways. Over winter break they plan to get back together at a cafe called Nora’s. When Spencer gets home he finds out his grandfather is staying with them as he recovers from hip surgery. The night before the meet-up Spencer is feeling lost and goes to find the Jumanji game console, which we thought had been destroyed. The following morning Martha, Fridge and Bethany show up at Nora’s and wait for Spencer. They call him and he doesn’t pick, which makes them suspicious. So they go to his house where he cannot be found anywhere. Suddenly they hear ominous drumming so they check the basement where a fixed Jumanji console sits.

My favorite part of this movie is the expansion of the already interesting video game world. They keep the video game aspect of the non-playing characters that serve the same purpose as the first film, but give them slight alterations like a classic video game. They also expand on the weaknesses and skills of each of the characters based on what’s coming, as a video game should.

Nick Jonas, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan star in Jumanji: The Next Level

This movie has some amazing star power! My personal favorites are Danny DeVito and Karen Gillan. Danny DeVito is a veteran actor who has starred in films such as The Rainmaker and L.A. Confidential. On the other side of the age spectrum is Karen Gillan, an amazing young actress known for playing Nebula in the MCU and Amy Pond, the companion to the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who.

The message of this movie is the same as the original Jumanji – be yourself because ultimately that’s what matters most. This movie will appeal most to fans of the first installment of the series and The Fast and Furious movies. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, but adults will enjoy it as well. I give Jumanji: The Next Level  3.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters December 12, 2019. Look for it.

The Aeronauts * Visual Effects Are So Realistic You Feel As If You Are There

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. While breaking records and furthering scientific discovery, their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world they have left far below them. But they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “The Aeronauts is absolutely beautiful. I loved it in every way possible. Lately films have been in the time frame of the late 18 and 1900’s and this definitely follows that trend. While watching this movie I felt transported to another world, suspended between reality and fiction and it was very engaging.” Bella B. adds, “I love The Aeronauts because the visual effects are so realistic and you feel as if you’re actually there, living in that timeline! This is such a dramatic and romantic film. It’s so rich in remarkable acting and amazing back-stories of characters.” See their full reviews below.

The Aeronauts
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The Aeronauts is absolutely beautiful. I loved it in every way possible. Lately films have been in the time frame of the late 18 and 1900’s and this definitely follows that trend. While watching this movie I felt transported to another world, suspended between reality and fiction and it was very engaging. 

The storyline is about a scientist named James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) who desires to break the world record of how high someone has flown in the sky. But of course, he can’t do this alone so he brings along Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones), a scientist and passionate adventurer. In their voyage, they try to prove that climate can be predicted, an idea that seemed absurd at that time. They have to overcome multiple obstacles in order to get as high as they as their goal. Despite the complications, they are able to reach their goal, although something goes wrong during the process. The unlikely duo discovers things about themselves, each other and the world around them.

Every scene is enthralling. One of my favorites is when they are in the air and, all of a sudden, a bunch of yellow butterflies come from out of nowhere. It is so fascinating and beautiful. I love that Eddie Redmayne plays one of the main characters. He is one of my all-time favorite actors. He and Felicity Jones have a great chemistry, which is not necessarily romantic. I also love Jones’ performance. I don’t remember seeing her in any film, but I know that she was in Star Wars Forces of Destiny (the TV Series) and Rogue One. She worked with Redmayne before in The Theory of Everything. She is perfect for this role and makes it believable in the most of the out-of-this-world scenes and is very strong and charismatic. She definitively steals the show.

This film is inspired by true events and Rose’s character is loosely inspired by a scientist from the era, while Redmayne’s character is based on the real life meteorologist James Glaisher. One of the things that I really like about this movie is that, while Amelia is in the hot air balloon she gets flashbacks from a couple weeks before the event, so the audience discovers why it is so important for them to embark on this journey. The narrative moves between the past and present in the balloon and, at times, it seems to lose cohesiveness and gets a little lost. This story could have been told in a more serious tone, but I like some jokes that are thrown around throughout the film. The visuals are absolutely stunning and the special effects impeccably achieved.

The message of this film is that everyone has his or her own limits. Another message is that you should push yourself to the best of your abilities, but not too much. The important thing in life is not the way we see the world, but how our actions impact the world.

I give this film 3 ½ out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 8 to 18, and adults as well. Some of the scenes may be too intense for younger viewers. The Aeronauts opens on December 6, 2019. Be sure to check it out.

The Aeronauts
By Bella B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love The Aeronauts because the visual effects are so realistic and you feel as if you’re actually there, living in that timeline! This is such a dramatic and romantic film. It’s so rich in remarkable acting and amazing back-stories of characters. The actors really bring life to their roles, making it seem like they  aren’t actors at all, but actual people in the 1800s.

The storyline is about a young widow Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) and a scientist James Glashier (Eddie Redmayne). Amelia is a brave and courageous woman who wants to make a difference. James is a scientist who wants his ideas to be heard.  They both go into a gas-air-balloon to try to make discoveries which would change the world entirely. In this epic journey, and what seems to be a crazy idea at the time because, James says he wants to try and predict the weather, they learn about themselves and each other. The more you watch the movie the more you learn about the characters’ pasts, which is just one of the reasons why I love this film.

My absolute favorite part of the film is when James goes to visit his father, Arthur Glaisher (Tom Courtenay) and they talk about how beautiful the twinkling stars are at night. The costume designer, Alexandra Byrne has made some amazing costumes. I really love them. They really suit the 1800s setting. An absolutely remarkable detail in this film is that everything done in the balloon actually happened. This film is inspired from a true story and the balloon actually aloft in real life during producing the film.

The message of this film is to live life at its fullest because, life is short. You can’t change in the world if you don’t try.  

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. You can find this film in the theatres December 6 and on Amazon Prime December 20, 2019.

Christmas With Molang * Adorable Stories With Important Messages About Christmas

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It’s the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages.”  Katherine S. adds, “The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters’ hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures.” Tiana S. chimes in with, “One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu’s hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music.” Elizabeth T. wraps it up with, “Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child’s attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters’ antics as well.” See their full reviews below.

Christmas With Molang
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages. The animation is filled with pastel colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

The storyline follows two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu. Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick. They encounter problems throughout the day and, while finding the solutions to these problems, they learn a valuable lesson every time.  Normally Piu Piu is the one who is in distress and Molang finds a way to fix Piu Piu’s problem to cheer him up.

The animation is in a cutesy style from Korea. Molang was drawn by a university student named Yoon Hye Jin and is made to look like a sticky Korean rice cake. Everything is colored in light pastels and all the characters have round figures. Super adorable!

Although the cartoon is from Korea, the characters do not speak in Korean or in any real language for that matter. The fans have named the language that they speak Molangonese or Piupiualish. The audience is still able to understand what they are trying to say by the images shown and the strategic framing. 

My favorite part about Christmas With Molang has to be the messages. Molang and Piu Piu promote the idea that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts. They help out other animal friends in their community and feel complete. Molang and Piu Piu inspire viewers to do good deeds for other people. They are an example to kids that “when you do good it comes around.”

Molang and Piu Piu also show how great it is to have a best friend. Molang and Piu Piu love each other very much and support each other all the time. These besties show how to sympathize and comfort others. These are important things to know to be able to socialize and be a caring person. Molang and Piu Piu promote positivity and love throughout the series.

Christmas With Molang is the perfect cartoon to show kids of all ages during the holiday season. They will love how cute everything is and will be inspired to do kind things for other people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Christmas With Molang is out on DVDs now so be sure to check it out!

Christmas with Molang
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I love this DVD! It is full of cuteness and Christmas cheer! And it is perfect to watch on a cold, winter day.

Christmas with Molang is about a bunny named Molang and a chick named Piu Piu going on fun-filled Christmas adventures. Episodes include A Beautiful Christmas Tree, The Snowman, At The Elves’ House and Santa.

The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters’ hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures. All of the episodes are adorable. My favorites are The Choir and The Frog, because they have the funniest story lines. The episodes are approximately five minutes each, so the total run time is about 30 minutes.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including the value of friendship, helping others and always have fun in what you do. Christmas with Molang has no bad language, but there are a few risky things that kids might try to do such as climb a Christmas tree, bother wild animals and go into houses Santa style.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Christmas with Molang
By Tiana S. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

Christmas with Molang is a cute movie full of all things Christmas! I love it. It’s a movie I would love to watch with my little cousins. The characters are so funny, playful and seem to always have fun.

Christmas with Molang is a DVD with six different short stories about Christmas on it. In each story the lead character, Molang and his friend Piu Piu experience a new lesson related to the spirit of Christmas. They build a snowman, go ice-skating, find the best Christmas tree and even meet a Ninja, back-flipping Santa Claus. Each time they go on one of their adventures, they learn a new lesson.

There are so many funny parts in each of the short stories. One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu’s hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music. Sometimes it is a little weird when the characters speak in animated baby voices. It could be a little annoying for older kids, because you can’t always understand what they are saying. However, because of the great animation, you can still tell what is happening. The scenes are very bright and colorful and full of the Christmas spirit.

The overall message of the DVD is to be kind to others, even strangers. In each story the characters are trying to help someone else or show how much they care about them. Also, it encourages you to show people you care and make new friends. Some day, when you are in trouble you’ll have help because you helped them.

I rate Christmas with Molang 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really cute movie for younger kids so I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Christmas with Molang is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

Christmas with Molang
By Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror

Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child’s attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters’ antics as well.


Christmas with Molang follows a young cotton-ball rabbit and her best friend Piu-Piu, a small chick. Rather than focusing on Christmas itself, either in the religious or secular sense, these episodes take classic bits of the holiday season (skating, making snowmen, caroling, finding a Christmas tree) and give them a story-book feel, full of light-hearted antics and the joys of having a best friend to do everything with. The DVD is a set of six mini-episodes and contains a number of charming adventures and funny moments.

The best part of this series is that none of the characters actually talk. They make vocalizations, like minions, where some of the words are distinguishable, but must are just sounds. Because of this, the viewer is able to imagine their own dialogue, which adds more humor to the characters interactions. On top of this, Piu-Piu and Molang have some genuinely charming interactions, and there is a distinguished personality difference between the two characters, Molang being the imaginative and upbeat, Piu-Piu being a bit more practical and clever. Most children will just find the characters cute and funny. There are plenty of events with good comedic timing (characters getting run over by snowballs, creeping up behind bushes, or trying to avoid kissing a frog). There is a lot of physical comedy (falling, people getting knocked on the head and such), but they are mostly played for laughs. The only serious injury shown is when Piu-Piu takes a rather nasty fall, nasty enough for him to fall unconscious and temporarily lose his memory.

The stories, while simple, make a decent amount of sense, even without dialogue. The only continuity error is that the two are seen decorating the Christmas tree at the beginning of each episode, making the audience wonder whether this is taking place different years or whether something happened to the old tree. The story does include Santa Claus, which isn’t particularly accurate. One episode involves a frog caught in the snow, while real frogs would be hibernating during winter. Another lack of accuracy is that all the Christmas songs the characters sing are secular, with no mention of the original carols used in church.

The animation is pretty basic, with minimal movement and simplistic designs. However, this adds to the charm of the episodes and gives the stories an idyllic, story-book flavor. The voices for the characters are all performed by the same person, but there is a noticeable enough difference to tell who’s talking.

The most beneficial episode involves a snow-man. After Piu-Piu and Molang have build and decorated a snowman, their decorations (hat, scarf, carrot and chocolates) are stolen by some hungry forest creatures, twice. After seeing that the small creatures are in need, the two go back to their house and prepare food and clothing for the creatures in a heartwarming show of forgiveness and compassion. In all the episodes, the characters find creative ways to solve problems and are always ready to help out a friend.

More than anything, the DVD illustrates how to be a good friend, to help out when others have problems, is ready to forgive, and find joy in everyday things. Whatever situation Molang and Piu-Piu find themselves in, they are the best of friends and they are always laughing. These episodes have a lot less to do with Christmas, religious or secular, than they have to do with just being kind to others, regardless of the time or season.

Christmas with Molang is a genuinely funny and charming collection of short stories that illustrate friendship and finding joy in simple, every-day things. Through a simple style of story-telling and plenty of vocal effects, these mini-episodes spark the viewer’s imagination and bring back idyllic memories of Christmas activities. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! * Three Sweet Stories About Friendship And Everyday Kid Problems

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they give gifts, sing songs, and build snow sculptures. It’s a very Merry Christmas indeed! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Beatrice N. comments, “The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!” Tiana S., adds, “Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things – SNOW and GIFTS! It’s really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.” Christine R. wraps it up with, “These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8.” See their full reviews below.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
By Beatrice Nail, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Merry Christmas! The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!

In this new holiday DVD Llama Llama starts his season off with a snow sculpting contest, singing Christmas songs and some secret Santa fun! If you are an imagination filled, wholehearted kid who enjoyed the books, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, this DVD is for you. I would have thought these episodes were so much fun when I was little, and I still enjoyed them as 10-year-old. My favorite episode is when Llama Llama is the judge of a snow sculpture contest and is having trouble deciding who the winner should be, between his friends. When faced with a problem little Llama turns to Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) to help him out. Together, Mama and Llama Llama take you through solving the problem with a little bit of imagination and kindness.

The animation is really cool and unique. The characters are all hand-drawn, while the background is painted. There is also a bonus episode about Llama Llama’s favorite library book that someone else has checked out. This episode really deals with the love of reading and how sometimes we need to try different types of books and we may find something new we enjoy. The setting is mostly in Llama Llama’s friendly neighborhood, though he often goes to many different places during the day, such as school, the library, the park and much more. Llama Llama is voiced by Shayle Simons creates the perfect Llama Llama voice. There are three episodes included in this DVD and it is a little over 30 minutes long. 

The message of these episodes is that, even if you are little, you can solve big problems with some imagination, so always use it!

I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. The DVD is available now, just in time for the holidays. Look for it.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
By Tiana Sirmans KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things – SNOW and GIFTS! It’s really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is based on the book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. The DVD includes three short stories of adventures that the lead character, Llama Llama (Shayle Simmons), goes on with his friends. In the first short story, Llama Llama has to judge a snow sculpture contest between his friends and pick a winner without hurting anyone’s feelings. In the next one, Secret Santa, Llama Llama and his friends are secret Santas and have trouble picking gifts and keeping their secret Santas a secret. In the bonus episode, Llama Llama Loves to Read, Llama Llama and his friends have to pick out books to read out loud to the younger kids. Llama Llama can’t find his favorite book at the library and his friend Gilroy Goat is nervous about reading out loud. In all three episodes, I really love seeing the great friendship between Llama Llama and how they always support each other. They always find ways to make other people feel good about themselves.

The three stories are all quite good and have great animation. One of my favorite parts was watching Llama Llama finish reading and then jumping into a pile of leaves. One cool thing is seeing how they finish things they have to do and are off to do something fun, like sledding. George Gabriel’s music is really catchy and short, which is perfect for the short episodes.

The DVD has two different stories and a bonus story and they all have different messages, but they all have the same theme of friendship! In each episode there is some problem that needs to be solved and gives them a chance to show what good friends should do for each other.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is a great DVD for movie days around holiday break. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 3 to 12. Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is currently available on where DVDs are sold.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

The DVD Merry Christmas Llama Llama! delivers two holiday stories and a bonus story about reading. This series is based on the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. In “Snow Show,” the teacher announces a snow sculpture contest and the judge will be one of the students themselves. No surprise when Llama Llama is chosen, but can he be fair and choose just one winner? Mama Llama, voiced by Jennifer Garner, gives him advice that helps devise a clever way to ensure all his friends are recognized, while still awarding one champion. In the second story “Secret Santa,” classmates must keep their Secret Santa from each other, made especially tricky when they all end up at the same store. The timeless lesson is that giving gifts makes you feel good. Bonus episode, “Llama Llama Loves to Read” highlights the importance of reading practice. Gilroy Goat must overcome his reluctance to read aloud, which he does when paired with the perfect book and many repeated readings. Llama Llama must find a new book when his first choice is not in the library. These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8.

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