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Archive for August, 2020

Wizards: Tales of Arcadia * Guillermo del Toro’s New Series Will Enrapture Viewers

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (or simply Wizards) is an American computer-animated fantasy limited series created by Guillermo del Toro, and produced by DreamWorks Animation Television and Double Dare You Productions. The series is the third and final installment of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, following Trollhunters and 3Below, and was released on August 7, 2020 on Netflix. In the newest installment, wizard-in-training Douxie (Colin O’Donoghue) and the heroes of Arcadia embark for the control of magic that will determine the fate of those supernatural worlds that have now converged.

Tales of Arcadia first launched in 2016 with the Emmy-winning series Trollhunters, including a first-ever Emmy win for del Toro and Rodrigo Blaas for Outstanding Directing, followed by the second installment 3Below in 2018. On the surface, Arcadia appears to be a slice of timeless Americana, but it is no ordinary town. It lies at the center of magical and mystical lines that make it a nexus for many battles among otherworldly creatures including trolls, aliens and wizards. 

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Guillermo del Toro’s new series Tales of Arcadia: Wizards will enrapture its viewers because of its high-quality animation, detailed emotional rollercoaster plot and strong script. The eight-time Emmy award-winning team behind this production creates a whole new fantasy world to dive into with the intricate CGI in this show—the mesmerizing floating castle of Camelot, incredible flying contraptions and futuristic technology complete the look. Designed with the utmost care, the many characters of this show are illustrated with clear lines and realistic coloring for skin, whether human or monstrous, hair, fangs and even fingernails—now that’s detail-oriented!” See his full review below.

Wizards: Tales of Arcadia
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Guillermo del Toro’s new series Wizards: Tales of Arcadia will enrapture its viewers because of its high-quality animation, detailed emotional rollercoaster plot and strong script. The eight-time Emmy award-winning team behind this production creates a whole new fantasy world to dive into with the intricate CGI in this show—the mesmerizing floating castle of Camelot, incredible flying contraptions and futuristic technology complete the look. Designed with the utmost care, the many characters of this show are illustrated with clear lines and realistic coloring for skin, whether human or monstrous, hair, fangs and even fingernails—now that’s detail-oriented!

Now to the plot of Wizards: Tales of Arcadia. The main character in this TV show is Hisirdoux or Douxie, our favorite clumsy wizard-in-training. After a stand-off with the Arcane Order – an evil band of magicians led by the wily Morgana – goes wrong, the group of do-gooder wizards (Merlin and Hisirdoux, along with the Guardians of Arcadia: Claire, Toby, and Steve, as well as Archie and Jim) set off on a time-twisting adventure to the times of 12th-century Camelot.  The control of magic, the nature of all the supernatural worlds, and Hisirdoux’s status in his mentor’s eyes all lie in the balance.

The plot is intricate and crafted carefully – there are several plot twists along the way, and all of the characters are nuanced and lifelike. Well, the ones that aren’t monsters are lifelike. I found it very hard to peel my eyes away from the screen throughout the ten episodes! Surprisingly, for a fantasy series, I was unable to predict what would happen next!

A highly talented and vaunted figure in television series lore, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, one of the many executive producers of the film, is well-known for his expertise in the industry. It shows in this TV series as well. Throughout the series, I found myself going through tears of joy and sadness, and cracking a super-wide smile at several parts. The script of Wizards, written by Andie Bolt, Ian Rickett and Lila Scott, was truly feature-film quality.

Colin O’Donoghue plays Hisirdoux; I found “Douxie” to be possibly the most nuanced of all the characters, and O’Donoghue is excellent at portraying all the facets of his personality. Steven Yeun plays Steve on the show, and he portrays the clumsy jock with comedic genius. Lena Headey plays the conflicted Morgana with finesse. Those are my three favorite characters on the show, with Archie as a runner-up – you have to love the cat/dragon’s sarcastic commentary and incredible portrayal by Alfred Molina. Toby seems like an accessory character in this show and does not have much importance in lines or scenes.

There are several sweet messages incorporated throughout the show—messages of acceptance, perseverance, camaraderie and believing in yourself. The emotional development and maturing of Hisirdoux surely will cause you to shed a few tears as well, and you can’t help but be proud of Callista, a troll with an interesting secret, for stepping up and casting aside what other trolls thought of her.

I rate Wizards: Tales of Arcadia 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it to children aged 10 to 15. Wizards: Tales of Arcadia is coming to Netflix August 7, 2020!

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The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals!

Friday, August 7th, 2020

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat. Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! So let s go, go, go, go on an adventure, we re flying with The Cat in the Hat today!

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Anokhi L. comments, “The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals! is a real treat for kids to watch! On the surface, it looks like seemingly goofy stories filled with silly humor, but when you look deeper, kids can learn a lot about the animals featured and the life lessons hidden within the story. Songs also play a large role and add an extra element of fun to the show. You might catch your child singing along.” Cadence G. adds, “My favorite part is when a fish hops out of the water multiple times and gets mad about it. He keeps getting shaken around and his facial expressions are hilarious. The animation is cute and I love how the characters make pretty much everything rhyme.” Katherine S. contributes, “The Cat in the Hat has been one of my favorite shows since I was very little, and I learned a lot from it. And if your kids are interested in animals, they will LOVE it even more! It is so creative and educational. You can learn about many things – from squirrels, to pandas, to cows!” And Jude A. wraps it up with, “This show is great for kids; it is educational and teaches children the importance of the living creatures on Earth and how to treat them. It also shows off the importance of good manners and using words such as “please” and “thank you.” The show’s plot is not very complex so it can be easily understood by very younger viewers.” See their full reviews below.

The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals!
By Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 17

The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals! is a real treat for kids to watch! On the surface, it looks like seemingly goofy stories filled with silly humor, but when you look deeper, kids can learn a lot about the animals featured and the life lessons hidden within the story. Songs also play a large role and add an extra element of fun to the show. You might catch your child singing along.

Throughout the course of six episodes, viewers are taken on fun adventures with friends Sally, Nick and The Cat In The Hat in his Thinga-ma-jigger. In order to solve problems or learn new things, The Cat takes these kids to places with silly names like bam wama booboo or wobble bobble woods and we meet new animals.

My favorite part of the entire show is the songs. Sally, Nick and The Cat sing a fun go-getter song each time they embark on an adventure and it is so catchy. There is also another song in each episode that relates to the adventure they are on. But the music doesn’t stop there. Often times, The Cat will simply sing and rhyme his dialogue, which I enjoy, because it doesn’t sound forced like rhyming can sometimes sound. The animation in this show, especially the houses at the beginning of each episode, are really funky, which gives a unique texture that makes them look even more animated but enjoyable for kids. What also makes this show fun is how The Cat often appears from weird places such as a potted plant or a backpack. The fish that accompanies the three on each journey on the Thinga-ma-jigger also brings comedy to the show and one can’t forget about Thing 1 and Thing 2 and their mischievousness. All these characters make the show completely entertaining. Honestly, I feel like I am back in my 6-year-old self when I watch this.

The viewer can take away a lot from this show. Each episode teaches something new about a different animal such as how some animals eat, protect their food and themselves or find their way when they are lost. Other life lessons are taught like asking parents for permission before you go on an adventure, being resourceful, finding positive solutions, thanking others when they help you, apologizing for scaring someone and eating vegetables.

I give The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 5 to 10. This DVD is available now so look for it.

The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals!
By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

I like the DVD The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! because all six episodes are super fun and exciting. Every episode features an animal that Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) and his friends, Sally (Alexa Torrington) and Nick (Jacob Ewaniuk), visit. It’s interesting to find out what animal they get to meet. At times, the voices of the kids get a little annoying, but that might be because they remind me of my younger siblings. For the most part, the episodes are entertaining, and I think younger kids (the target audience) especially will love this DVD.

The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! is about the adventures that Cat in The Hat goes on with his two best friends, Sally and Nick. In one episode, Nick has trouble finding his yo-yo, so Cat in The Hat brings him and Sally to a red squirrel named Bucky, who teaches them how to find hidden things. Another story is about Sally wanting to learn how to do a somersault. Cat in The Hat comes back with an armadillo named Louie to help. Although the crew of friends needs to figure out a way to surprise Louie, so he can show how he rolls. You’ll have to watch this episode to find out how they surprise Louie. You’ll enjoy the other episodes as well, since each one teaches you about an animal.

My favorite part is when a fish hops out of the water multiple times and gets mad about it. He keeps getting shaken around and his facial expressions are hilarious. My favorite character in the collection is Cat in The Hat, because he is so funny and has a great personality. The animation is cute and I love how the characters make pretty much everything rhyme.

The message of this DVD is to work together to solve problems. Solving problems with friends is a lot easier than trying to figure them out by yourself. Most likely you’ll learn something that you would have never guessed. An example of this is when Nick gets help from the red squirrel named Bucky to find his yo-yo. Bucky is more of an expert on finding and hiding things, so with his help, Jack has an easier time looking for his lost toy.

I give The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is out now, so go look for it.

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals!
By Jude Adler, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Let me take you on an adventure, an adventure that will take you out of the original Dr. Seuss books and on to your home television. The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! is a new children’s DVD featuring our favorite furry child-hood friend, The Cat in the Hat! This show is an amazing adaptation of the original books onto the big screen, and it incorporates characters that you might not immediately think of when you think of Doctor Seuss. This DVD, has clever dialogue but I found it a bit lacking in enthusiasm.  

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about that! Amazing Animals! features six fun and rhyming episodes. The theme of this show is animals, so throughout the story, The Cat (Martin Short) goes on many adventures, teaching children not only how animals look and act, but also how they help out in our everyday lives. 

The main thing that blew me away in this show (more than my green eggs and ham did this morning) is how accurate and closely the episodes look on screen compared to the Dr. Seuss books. On-screen the show looks exactly as if you were turning the page in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I give major props to the producers at Collingwood & Co., Portfolio Entertainment and Random House Children’s Entertainment for making this show look just like an authentic Dr. Seuss book on-screen. My main criticism with this show is the voice acting. Martin Short voices The Cat, which is great. However, the other voices are a bit non-descript.

This show is great for kids; it is educational and teaches children the importance of the living creatures on Earth and how to treat them. It also shows off the importance of good manners and using words such as “please” and “thank you.” The show’s plot is not very complex so it can be easily understood by very younger viewers.

Although The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! did not quite deliver the green eggs and ham I hoped for, the amazing visual adaption from books to screen excels. I give The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Amazing Animals! 3out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7. It is available now on digital or DVD, so make sure to look for it.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals
Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Here we go go go go, on an adventure! We’re riding with the Cat in the Hat today! This DVD is full of fun! It has magnificent music and adorable animation, which the whole family is sure to love.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Amazing Animals is about two six-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, and their extraordinary adventures with The Cat in the Hat. In this DVD, we learn about some amazing animals throughout six episodes, which include Bamboozled, Squirreled Away, Pretty in Pink, and more.

The Cat in the Hat has been one of my favorite shows since I was very little, and I learned a lot from it. And if your kids are interested in animals, they will LOVE it even more! It is so creative and educational. You can learn about many things – from squirrels, to pandas, to cows! It has the same lovable animation that is unique to Dr. Seuss.  And it stars the incredibly talented Martin Short, as the voice of The Cat. My favorite episode is Surprise Surprise, because it is very creative (but I can’t tell you too much because that would ruin the surprise).

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD, including teamwork, how learning can be fun, and the benefit of helping others in need.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. Adults will think that the DVD is fun and probably learn as much about different animals as their kids will. It is available now on DVD and Digital,  so look for it.

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