Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for the 'Education' Category

Llama Llama Best Summer Ever! – Tons of Fun for Young Kids & Families

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney.  Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat as they explore their safe, friendly hometown and make childhood memories. On this DVD, join Llama Llama as he camps, boats, floats and swims his way through his BEST summer ever!  Adventure and learning awaits with Llama Llama and pals! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever! is so entertaining to watch. It has adorable characters, fun animation, great music and lots vibrant content.  The short episodes are the perfect length to keep young children entertained.” Selene W. adds, “Llama Llama is an animated series full of family values and nature adventures!…There are eight episodes on the new DVD Llama Llama BEST Summer Ever! Llama Llama has exciting adventures with his family and friends which include valuable life lessons at the beach, camping and around the town.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer Jennifer V. wraps it up with, “Through Llama Llama and his friends Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat, kids will learn how to problem-solve, work as part of a team, help others, develop friendship and enjoy their families with awesome summer activities such as making lemonade, camping, boating, swimming and kite flying.” See their full reviews below.

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever!
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever! is so entertaining to watch. It has adorable characters, fun animation, great music and lots vibrant content.  The short episodes are the perfect length to keep young children entertained.

This DVD is about Llama Llama and his friend having the time of their lives on their summer vacation. Episodes include Let’s Go Camping, Beach Day, Boat Float and Last Day of Summer. Wherever Llama Llama goes, there will always be fun.

The Llama Llama animated series is so cool, because they are based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney.  There are several lovable characters including Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu and Luna Giraffe. This DVD is approximately 90 minutes long with eight episodes.  My favorite episode is Last Day of Summer, because it shows that even if the weather is bad you can still have fun indoors during the summer.

There are a lot of positive messages in this DVD including keeping a positive attitude when your plans change unexpectedly and, if you go with the flow and have a positive attitude, the outcome can still be fun.  We also learn that a little bit of practice can make you feel more confident and that if you feel as if you are not getting enough attention from your parents, just know that they still love you. This DVD has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do.  However, there are scenes showing jealously.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend this DVD for your kids.

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever
By Selene Weiss, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever is a DVD filled with episodes that are full of family values and nature adventures!  This heartwarming animated series is based on the beloved children’s books by Anna Dewdney who also illustrated the books.  There are eight episodes on the new DVD Llama Llama BEST Summer Ever!

Llama Llama has exciting adventures with his family and friends which include valuable life lessons at the beach, camping and around the town.  The series features Jennifer Garner as the voice of the loving Mama Llama.  My favorite episode is “Last Day of Summer” where Llama Llama seizes the day with friends and goes to the park to fly kites and ends up using imagination when the weather complicates their plans.  Change can be exciting and fun!

The message of this series is to learn from family and friends and to enjoy  childhood.  Change can be tough but you can always enjoy time with family and friends.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6.  The DVD is available now.

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever
By Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Juror

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever! DVD is tons of fun and will appeal to kids and families. It’s a bright and happy animated series that is based on Anna Dewdney’s books about an adventurous llama and his circle of family and friends. This DVD has eight episodes with an option to play all the episodes or select them one at a time at an approximate run time of 90 minutes of lively entertainment.

The series employs bright colors, fun animals and engaging story lines that align with the daily activities that many kids are involved in, to capture their interest. The cute story lines deliver positive messages. For example, Llama Llama’s kite is torn on the last day of summer and his mom teaches him resourcefulness. There’s no need to buy a new one, we can fix this one and it will be better than before. The writing structure is straightforward and geared towards its target audience. The continuity and style reinforce each episode’s message, teamwork, resourcefulness and helping others. The series uses vocabulary that appeals to young kids. For example, when Llama Llama’s kite is torn his mom states that she will help him make a swirl-o-rama kite!

Through Llama Llama and his friends Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat, kids will learn how to problem-solve, work as part of a team, help others, develop friendship and enjoy their families with awesome summer activities such as making lemonade, camping, boating, swimming and kite flying. The series visually appeals to kids with its bright colors and cute animal friends. The DVD cover is appropriate and appeal as it features Llama Llama and his friends. There is also a listing of each episode included, with a picture next to it representing what the episode is about.

There are educational benefits as kids are taught about problem solving and teamwork. For example, Llama Llama wants to help his friend buy a new bike tire, so he opens a lemonade stand to earn the money. His friends help him improve his product and help with marketing it. Additionally, kids are shown that everyone can be included even if they don’t do the same things. i.e. Euclid the Sheep shows up when everyone’s flying kites. He doesn’t have a kite, but he can make calculations on wind, temperature and time to help the other kites fly. There are several messages in this series about teamwork, resourcefulness, friendship, family and helping others. The DVD menu has an option to watch all the episodes or select them one at a time. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 11.

KIDS FIRST!’s partner, Kidstar Radio Launches Kickstarter Campaign on Labor Day

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

kidstar.jpgKidstar Radio Network, our partner that produces our KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions radio show, is launching a Kickstarter campaign Sept. 1 for a new international program called Voyage Earth.

“I’ve never been so excited in my life,” said Perry Damone, CEO of Kidstar. “International children have been interested and now we have a proper way to introduce them to Kidstar.”

Voyage Earth is Kidstar’s newest program idea. The program will consist of children creating radio packages about current events that will then be used by larger news corporations just like a news wire service.

These packages will include everything from gang violence in the south side of Chicago to even family problems in the London to ‘Foodie News’ from Kid Chef Eliana.

“I think that when we give children a voice to such a large stage, people will listen,” said Damone. “These kids create professional shows and it is about time we get them to the professional limelight. We give the children the tools to create the shows and then we let them be the driver.”

The Kickstarter itself will run from Sept. 1 to Oct. 10.

Some of the rewards include:

•    $25 – A personal thank you letter from the Kidstar staff and kids.
•    $50 – A starter radio kit that includes a headset with a microphone, instructions to start a YouTube account and a tote bag with a Kidstar hat.
•    $3,800 – An annual subscription to the Kidstar Radio Program for your school.Check it out,  https://www.kickstarter.com/

Scholarships Available for Film Critics Boot Camps in Silver Spring and Martha’s Vineyard

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

KFCA.2014_1.jpgIf your child loves films, loves to talk about them and loves to be on camera, we have a camp for you! This “opportunity of a lifetime” experience offers learning and fun all in one. One of our sponsors just made available two partial scholarships for our camp in Silver Spring, MD next week (July 14-18) and another has made two FULL SCHOLARSHIPS available in Martha’s Vineyard for our camp August 11-15. If you can take advantage of these opportunities, don’t delay, do it today!
The camp is open to boys and girls, ages 10 to 15. This unique boot camp helps build self confidence and explores the behind-the-scenes aspects of the film industry while kids critique the latest films, learn to write reviews, practice interview techniques, improve on-camera skills, visit with industry professionals and are coached by seasoned professionals. All campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic team of reporters afterwards.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critic’s program, now in its fourth year, has received acclaim from publishers and educators alike. The reviews, both written and videotaped, by the team of youth reporters reach an audience of more than 7 million monthly through affiliations with broadcast, print and online publishers including Huffington Post, YouTube, Voice America Kids Network, Kidsville News, Working Woman, Kidzworld.com, HDnet Movies KidScene, LA Parent, Westchester Parent and many more.

Leading the KIDS FIRST! teaching team is Ranny Levy, founder and president of KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a former television producer, educator and long-time children’s media advocate. With a life-long interest in film and children’s use of film, Carol Darcy, with an EdD in Education Leadership and Curriculum Development (Boston University) has taught kindergarten, undergraduate and graduate students. She designed a professional development course called Being a Pro-Active Media Literacy Advocate. Carol joins the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camp staff this summer on Martha’s Vineyard.

The week-long boot camps meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Silver Spring and 9 a.m to 2:00 p.m. at Martha’s Vineyard. Locations include:

  • July 14 – 18:  Silver Spring, MD, Discovery Communications (DCE World Headquarters)
  • Aug 11 – Aug 15: Martha’s Vineyard, Martha’s Vineyard Film Center

For more information and to register, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org. Please act soon, because space is limited. Tuition: $459. The partial scholarships in Silver Springs brings the camp down to $225 per child! There are two full scholarships available for kids at the Martha’s Vineyard Camp. For more information visit http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2014.BootCamp.html

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camp is a program of the 23-year-old, national, nonprofit organization,  Coalition for Quality Children’s Media  whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. For more information visit http://www.kidsfirst.org.

“Your efforts to make media a more valuable part of students’ lives is critically important,” John Wilson, Executive Director, National Education Association.

Feb. 28 Last Date to Enter New York Film Critics Search

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgFilm Critics Local Search continues in the greater NYC area through Feb. 28. This local competition is open to all children, ages 7 to 16 living in the greater New York area. You may enter online by submitting your child’s written and videotaped review of one of our official films.

For more info go to http://2013critic.kidsfirst.org
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for your child to audition for the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics who review all the newest films rated for kids, interview celebrities both on and off the Red Carpet and produce the #1 rated weekly radio show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions on Voice America Kids Network.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program takes media literacy to the next level, teaching kids to be critical viewers and users of media. Reviews by the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reach an audience of more than 6 million every month through broadcast and online media companies such as HDNet Movies kidScene, Kidsville News, Kidzworld.com, WorkingMother.com and GrandMagazine.com.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics have made a name for themselves in Hollywood, interviewing talent on the red carpet and off. They have posted more than 800 videotaped reviews on the KIDS FIRST! YouTube channel. Their latest film reviews include:  Wadjda, The Nut Job, Journey South Pacific, Planes, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Saving Mr. Banks, Walking with Dinosaurs, Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United, The Book Thief, Turbo FAST, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Frozen. They have interviewed Amir Talai, Logan Lerman, Ang Lee, Pixar’s John Lassetter, Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Zachary Gordon, Selena Gomez, Willow Shields, Adam Sandler, Nick Cannon, Josh Hutcherson, Cloris Leachman, Kevin Durant, James Belushi and more.

Research shows that, during their school age years, most U.S. children spend more hours watching media than the hours they spend in school. Not all children’s media is bad. In fact, many programs can help increase a child’s cognitive, social and behavioral skills. Fundamental to KIDS FIRST! mission is teaching children to make critical media choices so that they seek out and use media in a beneficial way.  The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program a national outreach effort promoting the critical media viewing to millions of children and families nationwide by sharing the skills they have developed and reviewing media on a weekly basis.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media.

Industry supporters of The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program include Amazon.com, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Walt Disney Home Entertainment. Campaign support also comes from national nonprofit organizations that include the National Education Association and the National Council of Women’s Organizations, with a cumulative membership of over 17 million.

For information about the KIDS FIRST! and KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, visit:  http://www.kidsfirst.org
Visit KIDS FIRST! on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KIDSFIRSTmedia
Visit KIDS FIRST! on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KidsFirstMedia

Or, call us. 505.989.8076.

Find Fun and Friendship in Ruby’s Studio

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

RubyStudioFriendship.jpegFollowing up on the success of The Mother Company’s first DVD release, Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show, is another exciting addition to their line-up: Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show, featuring a lovable live-action host, art projects, animation, puppet shows, and original songs. With the voice of Mel Brooks and The Happy Song by Elizabeth Mitchell.

Though the overall intent of Ruby’s Studio is to help kids navigate the difficulties of childhood, taking its viewers on a journey of emotional literacy – kids think it’s fun! According to KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Cheyenne Nguyen, Ruby’s Studio shows short clips about friendship so it’s easy for younger kids to understand. This preschool, early childhood content even appealed to our own 13-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Brianna Hope Beaton, who says the activities are fun and the life lessons invaluable. She rates the DVD for ages 3-7, but word has it, even Brianna was glued to the screen!

Tune into the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions episode from December 18, 2012 and hear our KIDS FIRST! reporters interview Abbie Schiller, CEO/Founder of The Mother Company, creator of the Ruby’s Studio series. Click here to go directly to this episode.

“Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show” is available on DVD or instant download now on The Mother Company’s website!

Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show
Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton
Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This award winning show is a must have for every child and will definitely help with their childhood. In Ruby’s Studio, Ruby tells you everything there is to know about friendship. She tells you how to make friends, keep friends, how to treat your friends and cover real life situations on how to relate to them. She also tells stories that show you what to do if you and your friend have a disagreement. Most importantly, Ruby covers the golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated.

I like Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show because of the real life scenes, the activities and the songs which teach you valuable lessons. It seems as though the kids on the show are giving real honest answers, not fake at all.  I like that it’s interactive with the kids on the show and the fun they are having with the different activities.

One craft activity I like is the making of a friendship tree. You can place the names of your friends on it with what you think they enjoy or like. I like that this is a show that is very kid friendly. It’s fun with bright colors, upbeat songs, and interesting stories. It provides great tips and gives you a recap of everything.

Kids 3 to 7 well definitely love this show because it is interactive with its viewers, making you feel like you are included. Kids will also like it if they are seeking help for their relationships with their own friends.

I give Ruby’s Studio 5 out of 5 stars. It gives great lessons, it’s interactive and has real life examples of problems that kids may face with their friends. There is not one thing that I dislike about this show. I believe it is a great program. For parents, this show is educational in every way and you will love it with helping to raise your child. Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show is available now on DVD.

Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
Click here to see Cheyenne’s full video review!

This is a great movie for kids to learn the Golden Rule. Ruby’s Studio has many different shows. This particular one is about Friendship. This movie shows children how to make friends, understand to their friends and how to talk to them. The movie shows real kids feelings and has a lot of colorful displays, arts and crafts to keep children’s attention. It also repeats the messages several times so younger children can remember what the messages of the movie are all about. We need to hear how other kids are feeling so we can understand better. We should try to talk to our friends and see why they are feeling the sadness or not want to play.

My favorite character is Ruby. She is pretty and speaks slowly and make sure that all the children understand the message. The movie is full of fun arts and crafts.

The lesson in this movie is “The Golden Rule”; you treat others like you want to be treated. I rank this movie 5 out of 5 stars. This movie’s age range is 3 -5.

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