Archive for the 'Feature Film Reviews' Category

Mortal Engines * Visually Incredible. Difficult to Follow Storyline

Friday, December 14th, 2018

A mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw, emerges as the only one who can stop a giant, predator city on wheels devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Rohan F. comments, “The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed.He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details.” See his full review below.

Mortal Engines
By Rohan F, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Mortal Engines is a visually incredible movie. Unfortunately, the story is quite hard to follow,and a lot seems to have been cut.

 The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future where civilization has been wiped out. What’s left of the human race has rebuilt cities as war vehicles designed to destroy and loot other cities. A girl named Hester Shaw tries to revenge her mother and stop London from destroying the shield wall, a wall that protects the peaceful, non-moving cities.

I dislike how fast it moves. There are lots of action scenes and some of them get a bit too fast. On the other hand, these action scenes are well planned out and have lots of moving parts. In almost all of them, the characters are fighting while the city falls apart.

The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed. He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details. I specifically like how he can hold onto the ground by folding his feet down. This is a unique ability that isn’t over or under used. I enjoy Stephen Lang’s voice as Shrike. It gives an expected, eerie feeling to his character.  The makeup for Hester’s scar is great, looking realistic but not too over the top.

Hera Hilmar (left) as Hester Shaw and Robert Sheehan as Tom Natsworthy in "Mortal Engines." The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

 The moral of Mortal Engines is that you can accomplish anything if you work as a team. This is shown when Hester refuses to work with her friends until the end, when they must work together to stop London from destroying the shield wall.

The music is often too overpowering. In several scenes, the music actually takes away from what is happening on screen. For example, in the final set it gets so loud that you can’t hear what the characters are saying.

My favorite scene is at the beginning, when they show the landscape of this post-apocalyptic future and then, quickly jump into the action with a fun chase scene. This scene is very intense and shows what most of the movie is all about.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 15. It opens in theaters Friday, December 14, 2018 so look for it.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse * A Masterpiece of the Superhero and Animated Genre!

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Miles Morales comes across the long-dead Peter Parker. This Peter Parker is not from his world though; he’s from somewhere else in the multi-verse. With Parker’s guidance, Miles will become Spider-Man: and through that he will become part of the ever-expanding ‘Spider-Verse.’ KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathalia J.comments, “The film is extremely colorful, unique and full of visual 3Danimation. The film certainly embraces the comic book style, which I really enjoyed. It definitely feels authentic.” Arjun N. adds, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a masterpiece of the superhero and animated genre. Groundbreaking animation and voice talent propel this above any other Spidey movies. Any fan of Marvel or even animation must check out this one-of-a-kind experience.” Sahiba K. wraps it up with, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse surprised me in its ability to create an original piece despite the several renditions of Spider-Man that exist! …The animation sets a milestone in the history of animation, for it is the first of its kind. Such aspects bring fresh artistry in animation that is rare in the film industry.” See their full reviews below.

Spider-Man:Into the Spider-Verse
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Are you ready for some live action! Seriously, Sony’s is kicking off something completely different. This fresh, funny, action-packed, intriguing and remarkable film is directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman. Prepare to get jump-scared from this perky piece of family entertainment.

This American computer-animated superhero film follows Miles Morales who must juggle his high school life with his status as a superhero as he is introduced to the“Spider-Verse,” where there can be more than just one Spider-Man. Miles Morales comes across the long-dead Peter Parker. Peter Parker is not from his world though. He is from somewhere else in the multi-verse. With the help from Parker, Miles will become Spider-Man.

The lead characters in this film are Miles Morales / Spider-Man (Shameik Moore), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn).

My favorite scene is when Miles Morales saves his entire city from the evil Kingpin and proves to the Spider-Verse he is valuable to the Spider-Verse and strong enough. The unique and brilliant 3D animation style is a fantastic aspect of the film. I admire Miles Morales’ strength which makes him a standout character.

The film is extremely colorful, unique and full of visual 3D animation. The film certainly embraces the comic book style, which I really enjoyed. It definitely feels authentic. 

There’s one quote that they use a lot in the film from Peter Parker to Miles Morales, which is, “One thing I know for sure, don’t do it like me, do it like you.” I enjoyed this quote because it is meaningful and was the last words Peter said before he passed away.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. This pure dorky fun film comes out on December 14, 2018 so look for it.  

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a masterpiece of the superhero and animated genre. Groundbreaking animation and voice talent propel this above any other Spidey movies. Any fan of Marvel or even animation must check out this one-of-a-kind experience.

The story follows Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) or the “new Spider-Man,” after he is bitten by a radioactive spider. When Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, dies, Morales realizes he is the only one left to save the city from the grips of Kingpin (Liev Schreiber). Kingpin threatens to risk all space-time continuum, which even brings new Spider-men from other dimensions and timelines. One such is another Peter Parker (Jake Johnston) who serves as Miles’ mentor. These Spider-men remain the only ones powerful enough to defeat Fisk and his maniacal experiments.

Shameik Moore, as Miles Morales, is easily the movie’s best character and empowers in what is the first depiction of his character in a movie. His coming-of-age brings up most relatability and his perseverance only makes his origin story as compelling, if not more so as Peter’s. Jake Johnston, as Peter Parker, portrays the classic original well, but with neat nuances. His character is one that has suffered many setbacks and devolved to laziness, with his arc being a fun,unexpected diversion. Bryan Tyree Henry, as Jefferson Davis, charges his father-son relationship with much heart as he struggles to bond. His brother Aaron, played by Mahershala Ali, provides another compelling performance, as here mains a key inspiration for why Miles is who he is. The Spider-verse, is complimented by the mysterious Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), anime-inspired Peni Parker(Kimiko Glenn), Nicolas Cage who shines as the Spider-Man Noir and last, but not least, the wise-cracking anthropomorphic Spider-Ham (John Mullaney).  Liev Schreiber brings a deep booming voice in the Kingpin that only adds to his menacing large physique.

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman are experts in their class with many beautiful and visceral shots commanding the plot. The animation is something to be commended with its own identity taking homage from many comic books. My favorite scene comes from the central scene where Miles becomes one with his powers, as every shot has meaning and flair. It is truly inspiring and mind-blowing from a plot-driven and animated perspective. I could nitpick on the lack of a compelling villain at points or even some very infrequent awkward song placements, but in the end, everything comes into fruition and those are along gone afterthought.

The message of the movie is about taking leaps of faith as Morales’s whole story revolves around just that in his quest to live up to the worthy Spider-Man mantle. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because of some intense scenes and themes. The movie releases in theaters on December 14, 2018 so check it out.

Spider-Man:Into the Spider-Verse
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse surprised me in its ability to create an original piece despite the several renditions of Spider-Man that exist!Spider-Man has been adopted by several films and TV shows in the past decades, yet Into the Spider-Verse is the most creative take on Spider-Man. The animation sets a milestone in the history of animation, for it is the first of its kind. Such aspects bring fresh artistry in animation that is rare in the film industry.

The story follows Miles Morales, a young boy who faces pressure at high school and at home to be the best. However, when a portal to the multi-verse is opened, Miles is tasked with the responsibility of saving his hometown of Brooklyn.Along the way, several Spider-Men and Women meet who align with Miles and they become a close and loving family.

The animation is contemporary and avant-garde, featuring pop art and street art. It is a tribute to the art of comic books, bringing them to life.It has several aspects of a comic book including onomatopoeia like“Pow!” and “Boom!” that are surrounded by colorful borders in several of the action scenes. Another example of the comic book charm occurs when an exciting fight move is taken by one of the Spider characters. At this time the screen splits into three, displaying the happenings in that instant, and adding to the thrill of the moment and overall fight. These small nuances accumulate, making me feel as if I had walked into a comic book.

 My favoritepart is the way that there are small tributes to the original Spider-Man comic books with different takes on villains such as Dr. Octopus and the GreenGoblin. They even made small references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that added to the ingenuity and display the directors’ attention to detail. The only thing that the film can improve on is the plot, because some of the characters are underdeveloped. Otherwise, the climax and storylines are unpredictable and engaging.

The message of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that all it takes to be what you want and do what you want is to take a leap of faith. I give this film4.5 out of 5stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Be sure to check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in theatres nationwide December 14, 2018.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

What would you do if you could be a superhero?What if you have no choice? From the very beginning, Spider-Man: Into the Spicer-Verse is very energetic and captures your attention. This animated film has impressive visuals. The music creates a fantastic rhythm. And you just want to watch more.

The story follows a high school student named Miles Morales, who just changed school. He goes into an abandoned subway station with his uncle Erin and gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Ever since that day, Miles starts sticking to everything he touches. Then, he meets Spider-Man (Peter Parker), teams up with some friends from the same dimension and they attempt to save the world from the villain Kingoin.

The story is very original and makes the impossible possible. It takes all the abilities of Spider-Man to far and beyond with its action scenes. The film also shows a very real family atmosphere and the humor is smart. I love the non-traditional characters and how they embrace diversity. And yes! Spider-Man is Latino and surely does speak Spanish! There are also some fun new characters.

With this film, Marvel has created a film that celebrates comics, film and visual arts. Of course, it celebrates Spider-Man and makes this super hero relevant and contemporary. It is absolutely eye-poppingly beautiful and really pushes the boundaries of the genre with its colors, textures and camera movements. There are several different forms of animation in one film. You feel as if you are actually reading a comic book or the comic book is coming  to life.

Naturally, the film does a very touching tribute to genius Stan Lee. I feel the filmmakers took some risks bringing new ideas to this iconic character which as been adored for over 50 years. The result is a must-see family movie that is even more appealing to new generations. I also love how this film is animated. It’s so different. I’ve never seen a film like this one. I think it’s very unique. Be sure to stay after the credits to see something very special, including another set of credits at the very end.

This film sets a new era in animated movies. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I  give it 5 out of 5 stars and include it in my Oscar predictions as a very possible winner. This is the film parents will love their kids to watch and kids will enjoy in many different ways.

With great power comes great responsibility and we all can be heroes. This is the idea behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – inclusion for all in the vast universe and the idea that we can all be heroes by making the right choices and doing our best helping each other in our everyday life. This film opens nationwide December14, 2018 at a theater near you. Be sure to check it out.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: An Astonishing New Film Filled with Humor and Excitement!

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, “Sugar Rush.” In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet — the netizens — to help navigate their way, including an entrepreneur named Yesss, who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site BuzzzTube. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abraham F. comments, “Ralph Breaks the Internet is a colorful, fun-filled adventure that builds on characters and friendships. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a predictable and boring washed-up sequel. That is not the case.” Na’im S. adds, “Ralph Breaks the Internet is an astonishing new film that’s full humor and excitement.” See their full reviews below.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. age 13

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a colorful, fun-filled adventure that builds on characters and friendships. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a predictable and boring washed-up sequel. That is not the case. The film builds upon the friendship that Ralph and Venellope have with each other. The climax of the movie is a heartwarming test of their friendship which brings light that friends don’t always need to agree on everything.

Ralph Breaks the Internet is about Mr. Litwack installing the Internet to his arcade and his “Sugar Rush” game breaking, which leads to their adventure through the internet. Mr. Litwack orders the parts on eBay, but it costs $200 which is more than the game makes a year. Ralph and Venellope overhear him talking and decide to go on a quest to find the part and save Venellope’s game. They travel to the router and get transported to the magical world of the Internet. They awe at the vibrant colors and variety of the internet and go directly go to the search bar where they ask to go to eBay. When they realize they have to bid for the wheel, they bid the highest number they can think of, not realizing they have to pay. This causes them to go on an epic adventure to get $27,001 in under 24 hours or else the item would be re-bid. They find a pop-up ad that shows them how to make money playing video games. They decide to get a car owned by Shank. They race Shank until they get beat by her. She gives them a tip and tells Venellope she races well.

My favorite scene is when they go to the Disney section of the Internet and we see a whole lot of cameos from favorite characters such as Eeyore and Stan Lee. I especially love when Venellope is being chased by Stormtroopers and goes into the princess lounge where she teaches them about modern comforts. I found that hilarious.

This film has huge star power. Ralph is voiced by John C. Reilly, the man behind Step Brothers and The Sisters Brothers. Also, Sarah Silverman plays Venelope who started in SNL and has appeared in The battle of the Sexes.

The message of this movie is that, even if you are best friends with someone that doesn’t mean you can’t disagree. This movie has nothing be inappropriate for kids. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now so look for it.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
By Na’im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Ralph Breaks the Internet is an astonishing new film that’s full humor and excitement. It is about Ralph aka Wreck it Ralph who goes on a trip with his best friend Vanellope into the internet to buy a steering wheel for Vanellope’s game so it doesn’t get shut down. The internet is a whole new thing for Ralph and his friends and they walk into some trouble while trying to get the wheel. A few of the inconveniences they run into are not knowing where to go and also not having money. Before Ralph and Vanellope find out they need money, they place a bid of $27,000 on the steering wheel. When they get to checkout and they don’t have money, the cashier says they have 24 hours before their bid expires. That’s when they embark on their journey through the internet.

All the same characters from the original movie Wreck it Ralph are in this film and there are even some new ones introduced. Nathan Warner, the cinematography director excels at giving the movie a realistic cartoonish look. It really fits in with the whole video game plot and scenery. The theme is that friendships come in all shapes and sizes and that friends are forever.

If you plan on bringing kids under 11 or 12, I strongly recommend that you watch the trailer with them and ask if they would want to see the full movie because there are a lot of puns about Twitter and a lot of jokes that I don’t think younger kids will get. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bring younger kids, because they will still understand the majority of what’s happening and enjoy the film, but the director geared this film for older audiences such as 12 and above. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. It seemed that the adults were laughing more than the kids during the movie. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is a hilarious movie that kept me interested for all two hours.

Make sure you stay for both scenes after the credits. You can find this movie in USA theaters November 21, 2018 and worldwide in the days and weeks after. Put it on your calendar!

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

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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