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Shark School with Jessica Harvey – The Coolest School On The Planet!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Join Jessica Harvey as she takes you to the coolest school on planet earth, the school of sharks. From the Tiger Shark – to the Bull Shark – to the Great Hammerhead, get ready for an educational experience you can really sink your teeth into! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dominic D. comments, “If you are looking for the “coolest school on the planet,” well, look no further because I have found it!  Shark School with Jessica Harvey offers the best instruction – marine style – right from your own home!”

SaniyaRain F. adds, “Sharks are the scariest predators in the sea! That is why it is important to learn accurate information about them, which is what you can on the documentary Shark School with Jessica Harvey from the Guy Harvey Expeditions.  Both the narrator and Jessica help the viewer understand facts about the different species of sharks.” Cadence G. wraps it up with, “I really like how the film breaks down the different types of sharks, step-by-step. It’s very interesting learning all about the sharks and hearing what you can do to protect them. I like that the film shows real sharks swimming after showing illustrations of the different parts of the sharks. My favorite part of the film is when the hammerhead shark is talked about and shown. I’ve never seen a real shark before, so it was neat to see the odd-shaped head of the hammerhead. I was surprised to find out that it is considered to be a pretty friendly shark.” See their full reviews below.

Shark School with Jessica Harvey
By Dominic DiGravio, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

If you are looking for the “coolest school on the planet,” well, look no further because I have found it!  Shark School with Jessica Harvey offers the best instruction – marine style – right from your own home! The film’s producer, George Schellenger takes you on an exciting journey into our oceans while providing us with some amazing lessons about a variety of shark species ranging in size from a few feet long to the length of an entire school bus. Scientist Jessica Harvey, the daughter of the legendary artist and Marine Biologist, Dr. Guy Harvey, adds such excitement as she narrates this film. The film’s magnificent footage of some of our Earth’s most precious oceanic creatures is sure to leave viewers wanting more instruction from this school!

Shark School with Jessica Harvey gives viewers a detailed education on over a dozen shark species living within our oceans. The narrators give a detailed explanation on the size, feeding patterns and special anatomical features of a variety of sharks occupying different marine habitats. From lateral lines, dermal denticles, to electroreceptors, each of these shark species are explained as being so unique. The film highlights how these characteristics are considered evolutionary advantages, yet sharks have become an addition to the threatened or endangered list due to over hunting and human consumption. With the alarming decline in shark population numbers, this film serves as a call to action that research, conservation, and preservation is much needed in order for man to save these species.

Hats off to the production and cinematography crew for showcasing such amazing creatures which inhabit our oceans. The up close footage of these amazing creatures shows how lively our marine environments are. The fact that the researchers can get that close to these majestic creatures and that there is somewhat of a mutual understanding between man and shark is what I like best in this film.  Sharks appear to be underestimated by some, yet they are so critical for a balanced ecosystem.

The message well conveyed in Shark School with Jessica Harvey is about finding balance between man and nature. Sustainable seafood consumption and conservation are critical for our shark species. Shark diversity has been negatively impacted by man and if we don’t make changes soon, we may never be able to recover from such an alarming decline in shark populations. Education is the key!  If we aren’t aware of a problem, we can’t change it. This film makes people excited about our oceans and the creatures that call the oceans their home. This excitement may be the driving force that we desperately need to conserve what little we have within our ecosystems. There is great value to our sharks and this film has given me a new appreciation of these fish!

I give Shark School with Jessica Harvey 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18. This is a perfect educational film for teachers, nature lovers and environmentalists. They will love it just as much as kids. This film can be rented or purchased now on Amazon. Check it out. This is a film that you do not want to miss!

Shark School with Jessica Harvey
SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Sharks are the scariest predators in the sea! That is why it is important to learn accurate information about them, which is what you get from the documentary Shark School with Jessica Harvey from the Guy Harvey Expeditions.  Both the narrator and Jessica help the viewer understand facts about the different species of sharks.

This documentary is about many different sharks, but I will only be talking about a few. The first shark I want to talk about is the bull shark. Bull sharks can actually live in fresh water and, although most shark attacks are blamed on white sharks, they might have been from the bull shark. The bull shark also is one of the most dangerous sharks in the sea, mostly because of its strong quest for food.

One shark I found particularly interesting is the hammerhead shark. For one, since its eyes are located on each end of its head, the shark has a wide view. Did you know that hammerhead sharks can use their heads like a metal detector to find sting rays? Now, that’s cool. Sadly the hammerhead shark is endangered; not only because of overfishing, but because people like to eat shark fin soup, which often comes from hammerhead sharks.

My favorite shark is the whale shark, which is as big as a bus. That is crazy! And, whale sharks don’t eat normal shark food; they eat very small foods like plankton. They can reach up to 40 feet in length and they are the biggest fish in the ocean.

I give Shark School With Jessica Harvey 3 out 5 stars because I wish it had more information but it is still a great documentary and was fun to watch. I recommend this series for ages 10 to 15, plus adults. It is available on Amazon to rent or buy. Check it out.

Shark School with Jessica Harvey
By Cadence Graber, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I like Shark School with Jessica Harvey because I learned about things I didn’t know about sharks. Some parts were a little boring because there is a lot of information, but I really liked the scenes of sharks swimming in the water.

Shark School with Jessica Harvey teaches you bout different species of shark. For example, the whale shark is a shark that is about the size of a school bus. When I watched that part it made me want to be able to ride a bus to school. I learned that sharks have a dorsal fin on top and pectoral fins on their undersides. The caudal fin is the “tail” of the shark and helps them swim in the water. Sharks use gills to breathe and don’t have bones. I didn’t know much about sharks until I watched this film, so if you want to learn more, you have to watch it. I did know about the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Guy Harvey is Jessica’s dad. I bought a necklace for my dance teacher that was designed by Guy, so it was very cool to learn more about his foundation and the information his daughter shares in the film.

I really like how the film breaks down the different types of sharks, step-by-step. It’s very interesting learning all about the sharks and hearing what you can do to protect them. I like that the film shows real sharks swimming after showing illustrations of the different parts of the sharks. My favorite part of the film is when the hammerhead shark is talked about and shown. I’ve never seen a real shark before, so it was neat to see the odd-shaped head of the hammerhead. I was surprised to find out that it is considered to be a pretty friendly shark.

The message of the film is that sharks aren’t necessarily scary. Before I watched this film, I was really scared of sharks, but learning more about them makes them less scary. Now I’m not afraid of sharks, although I don’t know if I’d swim with them anytime soon—at least not without experts around me.

I give Shark School with Jessica Harvey 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16, as well as some adults, especially if they are interested in learning more about sharks. Shark School with Jessica Harvey will be available on Amazon to rent or to buy sometime soon.

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John Lewis: Good Trouble – A Must See! Weaving stories about this Remarkable Man Who Changed History for Us All!

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Using interviews and rare archival footage, John Lewis: Good Trouble chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 79 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957.

In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ruby A. comments, “The documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble delivers an extremely powerful message. It shows the heroism and courageousness of civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, as well as many other African American people in this country.” KIDS FIRST! National Board Member Terry S. adds, “This inspirational documentary is a must see.  John Lewis: Good Trouble weaves an important story about an exceptional man, shows us our history from the ‘60s to today, and demonstrates the part John Lewis played, and continues to play, as the fight for racial justice and equality is at a pivotal moment in time with the Black Lives Matter movement.” See their full reviews below.

John Lewis: Good Trouble
By Ruby A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble delivers an extremely powerful message. It shows the heroism and courageousness of civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, as well as many other African American people in this country. Subjects such as civil rights and equality for all races should be better discussed in this nation and, truly, always should have been, and now is the time to put these long-existing issues with racism to rest. John Lewis: Good Trouble encapsulated this moving lesson by telling the Congressman’s story and what motivated him to take action.

John Lewis: Good Trouble is about the experiences he had and changes that occurred in his life. It discusses the racial segregation that existed for a very long time and how so many people spoke out against it. The film demonstrates how people aimed — and still are aiming  — to resolve racial issues in America. Civil rights are an essential part of every government, and this documentary shows these racial inequalities through the life and actions of John Lewis. It communicates these important actions across the timeline of his life, interspersed with many interviews with people that know the Congressman—this gives the perspective of many individuals and shows how he has impacted them.

My favorite part of John Lewis: Good Trouble also happens to be the camerawork. Despite the fact that there is constant movement, the shots remain smooth and crisp in quality. Not all documentaries have the greatest camera operation, so it is nice to see the effort made to bring quality to the viewer’s eyes. It makes watching the film more enjoyable for anyone.

The message of this documentary is that speaking up about issues yet to be solved can make others feel driven to help make a change. John Lewis: Good Trouble is definitely successful in portraying this message. Positive social behavior is promoted, and people treat each other appropriately. There isn’t any bad language, either. Police brutality is discussed, and some footage of it shown, but nothing risky that children may imitate.

I give John Lewis: Good Trouble 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It will be released on July 3, 2020. 

John Lewis: Good Trouble
By Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

There is an old African proverb: “When you pray, you move your feet.”  The proverb resonates powerfully in this quote from John Lewis’ memoir, Walking in the Wind: “As a nation if we care for the beloved community, we must move our feet, our hands, our hearts, our resources to build and not tear down, to reconcile and not to divide, to love and not to hate, to heal and not to kill.  In the final analysis, we are one people, one family, one house, the American house, the American family.”

John Lewis is a powerful writer. I read  Walking in the Wind several years ago, and it had a  powerful impact on me.  John Lewis: Good Trouble, the documentary, makes that same powerful impact: it brings his story to life!  As in his memoir, the film reveals the man behind the legend.  

I was moved to tears by the footage from the 1960s.  I was beginning my teenage years back in 1963. Television was still a young medium, and it showed us all that was going on in the world daily.  I was learning about the world and its ways in the ‘60s—the injustices, the fight for dignity, freedom, equality and decency.  These were my middle school years, my high school years, formative years brought back to life as I watched this film.

History repeats itself until we learn.  John Lewis: Good Trouble follows John Lewis throughout his young life in Alabama, working on his parent’s farm, feeding chickens, picking cotton.  Mr. Lewis’ narration of waking up early, hiding under the porch to wait for the school bus, running onto the bus to get to school to his wonderful teachers where he says he read everything, is a powerful visual image.  I love what one of his sisters says about John wearing a tie and carrying the Bible to school every day.  John was a serious student.  He wanted more in his life.  Clearly, he wanted to make a difference in our country for racial justice for African American people. His tireless work and dedication started as a college student. From SNCC leader to Congressman from Georgia, John Lewis fought the good fight for voter’s rights, for civil rights, for the right to eat at the same restaurant as white people, for integration, not segregation.  His marches, his belief in nonviolence and commitment to the cause have continued for 65 years.

One story that Henry Gates Jr. tells about John Lewis’ great-great grandfather getting his voting card back in the 1800s has a powerful twist. So many stories, so much history where he worked so hard from the time of Dr. Martin Luther King to President Barack Obama to now!

FILMMAKER DAWN PORTER

This inspirational documentary is a must see.  John Lewis: Good Trouble weaves an important story about an exceptional man, shows us our history from the ‘60s to today, and demonstrates the part John Lewis played, and continues to play, as the fight for racial justice and equality is at a pivotal moment in time with the Black Lives Matter movement.

I give John Lewis: Good Trouble 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for 9 to 18 year olds to learn about an effective leader and his plight –and to understand even further the times we are currently living through. I also recommend it to adults, to remember all that has transpired through the years, to reflect and act on how we can all move forward once and for all to make the change that is way long overdue.  It will be released July 3, 2020 on Apple TV.

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Four Kids And It * A New Magical and Fun Twist on an Old Story

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

A group of kids on holiday in Cornwall meet a magical creature on the beach with the power to grant wishes. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “Ashley Aufderheide and Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen carry the film. They play the two older daughters and their characters are pivotal to the story. Their acting is strong and is one of the greatest assets of the film.” Lindalee R., adds, “The scenes with the kids each coming up with their own magical wishes and living them out for the day are fun. It also made me wonder what I would wish for if I only had a day to experience a wish. The message of this film is to be careful what you wish for, but also that sometimes change happens and no matter how bad it seems, that it can offer up new opportunities and maybe create something better than you ever had before.” See their full reviews and talent interviews below.

Four Kids And It
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Directed by British filmmaker Andy De Emmony, Four Kids and It is inspired by the novel Four Children and It by Jaqueline Wilson, which is based in the 1902 book Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit.

This new story is modern and follows two families: the divorced parents are dating and the four kids—two from each parent—share a vacation together in Cornwall, England. The kids don’t get along at the beginning, and they have to spend time together and accept their parents’ relationship. At the beach, they discover a strange creature that emerges from the sand and grant wishes. One wish per day will be conceded to each kid each day. Despite things not necessarily turning out the way they expect, after each adventure, they discover the importance of bonding and family.

Four Kids and It combines fantasy, magic and drama. The plot is entertaining and there are so many beautiful moments but some things, doesn’t work that well. Russell Brand plays Tristan Trent, an eccentric owner of a mansion who wishes more wealth and lives by the beach where the kids find the creature. That part of the storyline doesn’t flow that well, and the way it intertwines with the main storyline is not that engaging. The talented Brand doesn’t shine as usual and his character is not taken fully advantage of in those scenes.

Ashley Aufderheide and Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen carry the film. They play the two older daughters and their characters are pivotal to the story. Their acting is strong and is one of the greatest assets of the film.

As the voice of the creature we have Michael Caine, and the actor gives the creature, Psammead, the tone of elegance and wisdom that characterizes him. I found this creature adorable and the facial expressions mimic the actor’s resemblance. The CGI is very well implemented, and all the scenes with Psammead are my favorite scenes.

The landscapes and cinematography are beautiful and the story is overall entertaining with magic, flying scenes and humor.

The message of the film is simple: be careful what you wish for, but, at the same time, show us that our deepest wishes may be granted within our real and simple life in the joy of family and friendship.

This is a great family movie that little kids and parents can enjoy together. I give Four Kids and It 4 out of 5 starts and recommend it to kids 4 to 14. Four Kids and It opens on all digital platforms on June 30, 2020.

Four Kids and It
By Lindalee Rose, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Inspired by E. Nesbit’s 1902 serialized novel called Five Children and It,  the movie Four Kids and It is a wonderful fantasy film for all ages that brings the story alive. The CGI seems so real that I believed the Psammead (the creature in the film played by Michael Caine) was actually alive and right there with the actors on the set.

Full of adventure, Four Kids and It is about two families. Each family has two kids and all four kids want their birth parents to get back together. When the two split families meet up for a vacation, the kids find out their parents are dating each other and they absolutely freak out. While being forced to play with each other and to get to know one another, they meet a magical sand creature called a Psammead who tells them that he can grant each of them wishes, but only one a day. Also, the wishes expire at sunset.

Throughout this movie the four kids get to know each other better, become much closer and start to bond more like a real family. There is a man named Tristan Trent (Russell Brand), who lives in a mansion on the island that they all go to for their vacation. For generations, Tristan’s family were hunters of rare and unique living creatures on Earth. Tristan and his ancestors have been trying to find the legendary Psammead for decades. When the kids come to the island, he knows that he could use them to track the creature down. If he can lure out and capture the creature, he can finally add it to his family’s collection of trophies…and hopefully get in a wish or two as well!

The scenes with the kids each coming up with their own magical wishes and living them out for the day are fun. It also made me wonder what I would wish for if I only had a day to experience a wish.

The message of this film is to be careful what you wish for, but also that sometimes change happens and no matter how bad it seems, that it can offer up new opportunities and maybe create something better than you ever had before.

I give Four Kids and It  5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 6 to 18, and adults will love it too! I know my parents sure did.

The movie will be available on Digital, Blu-Ray, DVD and on-demand, as well as major digital platforms like Amazon Prime, Vudo and others, on June 30, 2020, from Lionsgate Films.

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My Spy * Love The Friendship That Develops Between JJ and Sophie

Friday, June 26th, 2020

A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lindalee R. comments, “I loved the friendship and love that develops between the characters JJ (Dave Bautista) and Sophie (Chloe Coleman)! They start off as strangers and then, throughout the movie, JJ teaches her how to be a good spy, and she teaches him how to be a kinder person as their relationship grows stronger and they become friends.”

Tiana S. adds, “My Spy is a very entertaining and funny movie! The casting director, Anne McCarthy and Kellie Roy, picked the perfect people to play the roles in this film. The music selections are very upbeat and work perfectly in each scene.” Kori P. wraps it up with, “My Spy is a hilarious, action-filled film! My Spy mixes comedy and action in an way that comes off quite naturally. The stunts and effects are quite realistic. Another thing I couldn’t get enough of is the awesome chemistry between Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman, the films two leads.” See their full reviews below.

My Spy
Lindalee R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

I thought My Spy was so good because I loved the friendship and love that develops between the characters JJ (Dave Bautista) and Sophie (Chloe Coleman)! They start off as strangers and then, throughout the movie, JJ teaches her how to be a good spy, and she teaches him how to be a kinder person as their relationship grows stronger and they become friends. Not only does JJ have a change of heart and but eventually he develops feelings for her mom.

My Spy is the story of a CIA agent who is secretly watching a family in order to try and get information connected to a big case he is on. One of the people he is watching is the little girl, Sophie, who discovers J.J. and that he is spying on her and her mom. In exchange for not revealing his secret, Sophie makes him teach her how to be a good spy.

One of my favorite parts of My Spy is when JJ goes on a date with Sophie‘s mom and starts dancing. Because his character is so serious and he’s such a large person, it’s very funny to see him trying to do all these trendy dances…because he does it so terribly! Honestly, it kind of reminded me of my dad dancing.

For those who like Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy you will love him in this movie. Chloe Coleman has a very bright acting future—she is such a kind person both on and off camera, and she has such an amazing on-camera presence.

A quick note to parents:  My Spy does contain some adult language (and in some songs played during the movie.) So while younger kids may enjoy it, parents should decide if their kids are mature enough to see a movie with moments of profanity.

My Spy is full of action, fun, comedy and love. I give My Spy 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, and adults will love it too! It’s available on Amazon Prime June 26, 2020! Don’t miss it.

My Spy
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

My Spy is a very entertaining and funny movie! The casting director, Anne McCarthy and Kellie Roy, picked the perfect people to play the roles in this film. The music selections are very upbeat and work perfectly in each scene.

My Spy tells the story of J.J. (Dave Bautista), a CIA agent who secretly spies on a family with his colleague Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) until their nine-year-old girl, Sophie Vale (Chloe Coleman) finds out what they are up to. Sophie blackmails J.J, into doing things for her so she’s not left alone or unable to attend certain events. J.J. decides to help Sophie so that she won’t tell anyone about him and blow his cover. They go on an adventure filled with drama and secret spy missions

The main characters are J.J. and Sophie Vale—she is my favorite character. She is so smart and funny. My favorite part of this movie is when J.J. and Sophie are walking away from an explosion and Sophie’s mom, Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley), is confused because they are walking slowly away instead of running. The special effects, such as the explosions, in this movie are so realistic. The music really drives the movie, and the right song plays at the right time. For example, in the beginning, J.J. is in a car chase and tries to find the perfect song for the car chase. I also enjoyed seeing the relationship between actors Coleman and Bautista on scene. You can tell they had fun filming it together, and you’ll have fun watching them on scene.

The message of My Spy is to trust people, even kids. Throughout the movie J.J. has to learn that he has people in his life that can help him. You have to let other people help in order to be successful or accomplish your goals— you never know what could happen if you work with others and let them in. Adults should look out for gun violence and effects that may be scary for younger kids. 

My Spy is a “spy-tastic” film that the whole family, especially older kids, will love! I give My Spy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 10 to 18 years old. Adults will like it too. My Spy comes out on Amazon Prime Video on June 26, 2020.

My Spy
By Kori P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

My Spy is a hilarious, action-filled film! My Spy mixes comedy and action in an way that comes off quite naturally. The stunts and effects are quite realistic. Another thing I couldn’t get enough of is the awesome chemistry between Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman, the films two leads.

The storyline is about a CIA agent, JJ (Dave Bautista) and his partner Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) whose newest mission is to surveil a single mother, Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley) and her 9-year-old daughter Sophie (Chloe Coleman), who they think might be connected to the criminals they’re after. JJ and Bobbi rent a room in the same apartment complex as the people they’re surveilancing and implant cameras in Kate and Sophie’s apartment. Sophie finds one of the cameras and tracks down it down, leading her to JJ and Bobbi. She then blackmails JJ into doing her favors and training her to become a spy, while they develop a father-daughter relationship, and Sophie tries pairing JJ with her mom.

This film has incredible stunts and special effects! In the opening scene, there’s a huge gun fight as JJ walks out of an exploding building as the criminals inside perish. The star of this film is none other than former wrestler Dave Bautista. Bautista’s performance is terrific, in his second high profile film role, after his recurring role in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. My Spy is directed by Peter Segal (Naked Gun, The Final Insult, Tommy Boy, Get Smart). My personal favorite part of this movie is when while JJ is training Sophie on how to distract an enemy, Sophie distracts JJ by knocking over the fish bowl, almost killing JJ’s pet fish Blueberry. Luckily JJ has a glass of water on the table and Blueberry survives.

The message of My Spy is that it’s okay to open up to people. JJ develops a relationship with Sophie, Kate and Bobbi when he opens up to Sophie about how his ex-fiancé left him after he returned from the army. There is mild adult humor and mild cursing in this film that parents should know about.

I give My Spy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It’s available on Amazon Prime June 26, 2020! Don’t miss it.

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Scoob! * Great Family Movie with Terrific Characters and an Amazing Mystery

Monday, May 18th, 2020

Scooby-Doo is the hero of his own story in “SCOOB!,” the first full-length, theatrical animated Scooby-Doo adventure, which reveals how he and his best friend Shaggy became two of the world’s most beloved crime busters. The story takes us back to where it all began, when a young Scooby and Shaggy first meet, and team up with Velma, Daphne, and Fred to launch Mystery Incorporated. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Zoinks, this movie is terrific! The storyline is creative and entertaining and there is wonderful character development that is unique to this movie versus the cartoon episodes we all grew up with.”  Tiana S. adds, “  SCOOB! is a hilarious, action-packed and adventurous animated movie based on the original Scooby Doo cartoon. This movie is a cool, updated version and includes cell phones and references to some of the current stores, such as IKEA and Wal-Mart.” Cadence G. wraps it up with, “I like SCOOB! because it has an amazing mystery and the characters are really cute. It’s cool that they have their own opinions about pretty much everything, yet are still good friends. This film is full of action and also has some touching scenes that that will make you feel emotional.” See their full reviews below.

Scoob!
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Grab your Scooby Snacks and get ready for a Scoob-tasic adventure. Zoinks, this movie is terrific! The storyline is creative and entertaining and there is wonderful character development that is unique to this movie versus the cartoon episodes we all grew up with.  

Scoob! is about the never-before-heard origin of the Mystery Inc. gang and how Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby Doo (Frank Welker) met. After a montage of solving mysteries, we see the gang wanting to expand and we get to follow them on their biggest mystery yet. Only their friendship can save them. 

I LOVE The Scooby Doo Franchise! And Scoob! is no exception. I remember watching the show and wondering how the Mystery Inc. gang got together. And now, in Scoob! we finally learn the answer. The animation is super vivid and creative. Everywhere you look, there is an “Easter Egg.” For example, the names of streets and stores are names of people associated with Hanna-Barbera.  The cast includes children of some of the adult actors. The characters’ voices are cast to perfection.

Frank Welker has a fantastic snack-loving dog voice and has been the voice of Scooby Doo for nearly 20 years. Will Forte has a hilarious hippy voice; Amanda Seyfried (Daphne) has a magnificent, kind and caring tone in her voice; and Gina Rodriguez (Velma) has an excellent voice portraying wit, intelligence and quite a bit of sarcasm.  My favorite character is (SURPRISE) Scooby, because he is such a sweet dog and, as Frank Welker says, “When he talks, I’m not even sure I am listening to a dog talking like a human, or a human talking like a dog.” I agree.  But a close second is the villain of the movie (no spoiler here) because his name, his voice and his appearance are just perfect for a bad guy. 

The key message of this movie is about the power of friendship. This movie has mild bad language and some magic scenes that may be scary for a younger audience.

Jinkies, I give Scoob! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults will love this as well. Scoob! is available online May 15, 2020. #SCOOBMOVIENIGHT

SCOOB! 
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

SCOOB! is a hilarious, action-packed and adventurous animated movie based on the original Scooby Doo cartoon. This movie is a cool, updated version and includes cell phones and references to some of the current stores, such as IKEA and Wal-Mart. There are so many funny scenes in this movie that the whole family will love.

In SCOOB!, the entire Mystery Inc. team from Scooby Doo returns to solve more mysteries. We learn how Shaggy, Scooby, Velma, Daphne and Fred originally met one Halloween night. The team then goes on several adventures while trying to solve mysteries. Their biggest mission is when Velma, Daphne and Fred find out that Shaggy and Scooby are missing, and they go on a quest to find their lost friends. They need to stop the villain, Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs), from capturing Scooby and using him to open up the gates so he can steal the treasure of the underworld.

The lead characters are Shaggy (Will Forte), Scooby (Frank Welker), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Fred (Zac Efron). It was interesting to learn what role each of them had in the group. For example, Velma is the “brains” of the team. The costumes are amazing and spot on to the originals. Scooby even gets an upgrade and gets to wear a great superhero costume in the movie. There is a lot of great music from different eras and it takes place in Venice, California. It is really clever that the movie starts with Dr. Dre and Tupac’s song, “California Love.” The special effects are realistic and make you feel as if you are in the movie. One of the coolest parts of the movie is when other Hanna Barbara characters such as, Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemmons) show up to help save Shaggy and Scooby. A great surprise is when American Idol’s, Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) appears in the movie. I love how current events are used in the movie, especially the joke they include about how Simon is responsible for giving the world Kelly Clarkson.

The message in SCOOB! is all about friendship. The cast uses the phrase “friendship saves the day” throughout the film. Anytime the Mystery Inc. team needs to solve a case, they do it together. This movie is PG and, even though there isn’t a lot for parents to look out for, there are two scenes that could be mistaken for inappropriate language.

SCOOB! is PAW-tastic and a film you definitely want to see. You may even find yourself dancing while watching it. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 5 to 18. Adults will love it too. This movie is available on video on demand now, so grab your Scooby Snacks and order it today!

SCOOB!
By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I like SCOOB! because it has an amazing mystery and the characters are really cute. It’s cool that they have their own opinions about pretty much everything, yet are still good friends. This film is full of action and also has some touching scenes that that will make you feel emotional.

This animated film is about a gang that meets on Halloween when they are young and they solve their first mystery. Then they start solving mysteries all the time. When they grow up, they try to find an investor to support their mystery-solving business. Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) meets the crew in a diner and says he won’t give them any money if Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) are part of the business, since he believes a group is only as strong as its weakest link. Shaggy and Scooby go off bowling on their, but wind up getting chased by evil robots. They get transported to Blue Falcon’s (Mark Wahlberg) ship and meet Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemons). The group gets chased by the robots who are controlled by Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs)—a bad guy that wants to take Scooby and open the gate to the underworld. You’ll have to watch to see if Dick successfully opens the gate.

All the characters are so funny; each one has its own little personality. Fred (Zac Efron) isn’t the smartest guy, but he’s the cutest. Velma (Gina Rodriguez), on the other hand, is probably the smartest person ever. The group relies on each other to solve problems. To me, that’s pretty cool. My favorite part is when Shaggy and Scooby sing “Shallow” to Simon Cowell. It is so funny because they are definitely not good singers. But I love it because “Shallow” is my favorite song.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Even when they mess up, you should have their back. It kind of reminds me that sometimes I mess up and I want my friends to support me still.

I give SCOOB! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. I also think adults will like this film—especially if they used to watch the animated shows when they were kids. SCOOB! is available now online, so go look for it!

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