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Sonic Prime * An Entertaining Series Filled With Lots Of Adventures And Universe Hopping

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

It’s the Sonic you know and love until an incredible twist thrusts Sonic into a new adventure featuring a reinvented cast and Sonic like you’ve never seen him before, where the fate of the multiverse rests in his gloved hands. Sonic’s adventure is about more than a race to save the universe from the evil machinations of his longtime nemesis Dr. Eggman and his army of badnik robots, it’s a race to save his friends, friends that he took for granted.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Giana N. comments, “Sonic Prime is an entertaining eight episode series with a lot of adventures, including traveling through different universes and meeting different versions of Sonic’s friends. If you are a Sonic the Hedgehog fan or are looking for an enjoyable show to watch, check this out.” Hanadie K. adds, “Video game fanatics, does Netflix have a treat for you. If you value nostalgia in the form of binge spree TV series, sit back and prepare to catch some as Sonic rings in this new adventure-filled, action-packed, family-fun animated series.” See their full reviews and interviews below.

Sonic Prime
Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Sonic Prime. (L to R) Deven Mack as Sonic and Ashleigh Ball as Tails in Sonic Prime. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

Sonic Prime is an entertaining eight episode series with a lot of adventures, including traveling through different universes and meeting different versions of Sonic’s friends. If you are a Sonic the Hedgehog fan or are looking for an enjoyable show to watch, check this out.

This series is about Sonic (Deven Mack Jr.), Tails (Ashleigh Ball), Amy Rose (Shannon Chan-Kent) and Knuckles (Adam Nurada) as they fight crime together to keep the town safe. As they are fighting Doctor Eggman (Brian Drummond), Sonic accidentally gets sent to a new universe, one where no one talks and no one knows who Sonic is, even though Sonic knows everyone there. Even in the new universe, it is up to Sonic to keep a new city safe.

Sonic Prime. (L to R) Deven Mack as Sonic and Adam Nurada as Kunckles in Sonic Prime. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

I like how in almost every episode Sonic ends up in a new universe, every one of which is different. There is a universe where there are cavemen; a universe where there are pirates; and more. My favorite episode is episode seven, “It Takes One to No Place,” because it’s the most entertaining episode, ending with a great cliffhanger leading to the next episode. It made me want to continue watching more episodes.  Watch out because you might not want to stop! My favorite character is Sonic, because he learns from his mistakes and he perseveres. These are great characteristics for anyone to have and it’s why Sonic succeeds so much. Also Sonic is a really funny character and I like that.

Sonic Prime. (L to R) Shannon Chan-Kent as Amy, Ashleigh Ball as Tails and Adam Nurada as Knuckles in Sonic Prime. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

The message of Sonic Prime is that mistakes can be fixed; you just have to fix them the right way. In the beginning, Sonic makes the mistake of not listening to people around him and he ends up in a parallel universe. He has to work with what he gets along the way and he fights to make it back to his universe. This show is very kid-friendly.

I give Sonic Prime 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Sonic Prime is available now on Netflix. Be sure to check it out!

Sonic Prime
By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 11

Video game fanatics, does Netflix have a treat for you. If you value nostalgia in the form of binge spree TV series, sit back and prepare to catch some as Sonic rings in this new adventure-filled, action-packed, family-fun animated series. It’s back to the 90s with as Sonic and some of Sega’s most memorable console characters returning in the new series Sonic Prime where they travel about multiple universes trying to protect their home.

Sonic Prime takes viewers on a thrilling ride as they watch Sonic (Deven Mack) and his friends’ trusted companions warp in and out of new universes to protect their home from the iniquitous Dr. Eggman (Brian Drummond). Sonic must advance through the Shattervierse into new terrifying dimensions to locate pieces of the shard of the Paradox Crystal. Prepare to be astonished as Sonic encounters various versions of his friends and new enemies, including Tails (Ashleigh Ball), Knuckles (Adam Nurada), Big the Cat (Iam Hanlin, Amy Rose (Shannon Chan-Kent) and Rogue (Kamuzi Evans). Sonic is determined to gather all the missing shards, so Tails can put them together and save them.

Sonic Prime. (L to R) Deven Mack as Sonic and Shannon Chan-Kent as Amy in Sonic Prime. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

This eight-episode arcade-inspired remake is “to the brim” with speed and action. Sonic is known for his incomparable speed, ability to curl into a ball and use himself as a weapon, and his lionhearted personality. This CGI animated series does not neglect to include these notable unforgettable qualities in every episode. There are some genuinely magical otherworldly moments in this series; one being the sound effects. Memorable moments such as Sonic traveling to new universes or collecting his golden rings are amplified by high-quality sound effects. Some mind-blowing action moments accommodate the nature of this series as well. This is a fast-paced series; the camera work and animation bring this production together in a delightful way.

Sonic Prime. (L to R) Vincent Tong as Dr Don’t, Dr. Deep, Mr. Dr. Eggman, Dr. Done It and Dr. Babble in Sonic Prime. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

Sonic Prime offers a message of resilience and friendship. This series depicts the dedication of friends and the power of unity and Sonic and his friends make a great effort to save their world and protect others. While this series makes your head spin faster than Sonic himself, some people may be disappointed by the ending. If you despise cliffhangers, brace yourself.

I give Sonic Prime 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus loyal Sonic fans. This animated series is designed with game lovers in mind. Sonic Prime releases on Netflix on December 15, 2022.

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Blue’s Big City Adventures * Big Dreams, Superb Dance Numbers, Multi-Talented Guests Appearances & More

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Blue’s Big City Adventure follows Josh (Josh Dela Cruz), who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to audition for Rainbow Puppy’s (Brianna Bryan) Broadway musical, and Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) as they skidoo to New York City where they meet new friends and discover the magic of music, dance and following one’s dreams. The entire “Blue’s Clues” crew is reunited for this special movie event, with the beloved animated friends and all three hosts–Josh, Steve (Steve Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton)–together for the first time in the Big Apple.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S., comments, “The Blue’s Clues & You cast takes a bite out of the “Big Apple” to follow their dreams in their new hit movie musical, Blue’s Big City Adventures! This film has something for the entire family — from big dreams, superb dance numbers, multi-talented guests appearances — all while still managing to fit in Blue’s clues to help along the way.” See her full review and interviews by her, Mars and Jet on and off the Blue Carpet!

Blue’s Big City Adventures
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The Blue’s Clues & You cast takes a bite out of the “Big Apple” to follow their dreams in their new hit movie musical, Blue’s Big City Adventures! This film has something for the entire family — from big dreams, superb dance numbers, multi-talented guests appearances — all while still managing to fit in Blue’s clues to help along the way. While watching this magical film, you feel the joy and entertainment you always get from the Blue’s Clues franchise!

Blue’s Big City Adventures follows Blue’s Clues & You host, Josh, (Joshua Dela Cruz), as he heads to New York for a dream audition for Rainbow Puppy, (Brianna Bryan), who is following her own dream of creating her first Broadway musical. As Josh and Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) start on the adventure of a lifetime to the big city, Josh realizes he left his handy-dandy notebook with the audition information and now has to uncover clues to help him get to the audition before three o’clock.

I love how well this film highlights all the incredible things that make New York, New York. From the busyness, its famous pretzels, Times Square jumbotrons, street performances, taxis and even, being known as the place where dreams are made true. This film is the perfect tour guide to New York. There are sensational cameos such as B.D. Wong, who helps Rainbow Puppy cast for her musical. The camera angles and the music are special features and contribute to keeping the storyline interesting and flowing, especially for younger viewers. Fun Fact: Joshua Dela Cruz’s real-life story is very similar to his character Josh’s in this film, in that he moved from Dubai to America to fulfill his dreams of being on Broadway the way Josh travels from Storybook World to New York to be on Broadway.

Of course, keeping with the Blue’s Clues’ theme of teaching life’s lessons, Blue’s Clues Big City Adventures, is packed with different messages. The biggest takeaway is how you should never give up on your dreams, otherwise, how will you know if you can make them a reality? Josh faces different obstacles while trying to pursue his “big break,” including being nervous and losing his handy-dandy notebook, but he stays focus on his goal and ready to show what he can do.

I give Blue’s Big City Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults who will love it too. This is truly the perfect movie for a family. Blue’s Big City Adventures is available on  Paramount+ beginning November 18, 2022

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The Santa Clauses * The Perfect Show To Welcome Christmas And The Winter Season, Proving That Family Matters Most

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Scott Calvin is back! After being Santa Claus for nearly thirty years, he’s as jolly as ever. But as Christmas declines in popularity, so does his Santa magic. Scott struggles to keep up with the demands of the job, as well as being there for his family. Upon discovering there is a way to retire from his post, Scott considers stepping down as Santa Claus and finding a worthy successor so that he can become a better father and husband.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ari P. comments, “This is the perfect show to say hello to Christmas and the winter season. It proves that perseverance is everything and family matters most. This is a great way to bring up past Christmas classics, The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3.” Keila V. adds, “This series has a modern spin to classic songs, vivid colors, great humor and realistic special effects, which all combine to bring a classic holiday story to life in a refreshing new way.” See their full reviews below

The Santa Clauses
By Ari P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Hang up the stockings; get out the cookies and milk, and say ho-ho-ho to The Santa Clauses! This is the perfect show to say hello to Christmas and the winter season. It proves that perseverance is everything and family matters most. This is a great way to bring up past Christmas classics, The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3.

The show starts off with Santa himself, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) and his elf, Noel (Devin Bright), giving presents to loving children all over the world, but something goes wrong: Santa’s magic starts malfunctioning. Almost a whole year goes by after the catastrophe and the magic is back to normal, but during a present delivery, another incident happens – something really bad. After all that mess, Scott realizes that he has to do the two things he has dreaded all 28 years of his career — find a new Santa and retire. Scott tries to find a new Santa within his first son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd) and his other son, Buddy (Austin Kane), but neither seem interested, and it leaves Scott heartbroken and stressed over finding the perfect new Santa Claus.

The thought of Christmas and snow and everything that makes winter the “holiday season” absolutely delights me, which is why this show is perfect. My favorite parts are the amazing special effects used to enhance the magic of Christmas. I love when Scott and Noel are flying above all of the houses with the reindeer — even if it is just a lot of greenscreen and wiring. It gives the perfect image of Santa Claus trying to make every child in the world happy and believe in the magic of Christmas.

I also love how the director, Jason Winer, keeps the original characters, since we all like them. Scott “Santa Claus” Calvin is still the enjoyable, ambitious character he once was 28 years ago, and Charlie is still the spontaneous, kind young man he has been and always will be.

The message of this show is that family will always come first, no matter the situation. Scott Calvin has proven again and again that, even when Christmas is in danger, he always makes room for his family.

I give The Santa Clauses 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It begins streaming on Disney+ November 16, 2022.

The Santa Clauses
By Keila V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The Santa Clauses is a perfect series to watch with your family during the holiday season. I loved its spin on classic songs and its message about taking time for family.

The story follows Santa Claus (Tim Allen) making serious decisions for the future of the holiday season when he feels his magic starting to fade away. Mrs Claus (Elizabeth Michell), who has been living in the North Pole for almost 30 years, sees an opportunity to start a normal life, back in the city around normal people, with her family including her two children, Cal (Austin Kane) and Sandra Calvin-Claus (Elizabeth Allan-Dick).

This series has a modern spin to classic songs, vivid colors, great humor and realistic special effects, which all combine to bring a classic holiday story to life in a refreshing new way.

One of my favorite scenes is when Santa, with his big belly, tries to get into a house – watch and see the secrets of being Santa! Kids around the world love and believe in Santa Claus.

One girl in particular, Grace Choksi (Rupali Redd) insists on telling her father, Simon Choksi (Kal Penn) that Santa Claus is real and has always helped her decorate the house during the most magical day of the year.

On one Christmas Eve, Grace receives a present from Santa Claus, which makes her Father research the truth about the existence of Santa Claus. Kal Penn, a businessman, with lots of interesting ideas, wants to find ways to make his business successful and sees an opportunity when he looks at the sky and watches Santa flying across the sky on his sleigh. For our beloved Santa, understanding that it is time to find a replacement isn’t easy but he certainly has fun watching the Elves take the challenge to help him. I can’t wait to watch the next episode of The Santa Clauses!

The message of this series is that magic is real if you believe in it and, if it is time to take a break and focus on your life, health and family, don’t think twice.

I give The Santa Clauses 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is available at Disney+ beginning November 16, 2022.


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Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures * This Interactive Episode Keeps You More Entertained By Deciding What Happens Next

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Based on the show Camp Cretaceous, Hidden Adventure is an interactive special series where the campers survive more danger put against them on Isla Nublar. After a big storm, food is scarce — and hungry dinos are everywhere. It’s up to you to help the Camp Fam survive in this thrilling interactive special.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Giana N. comments, “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures is an interactive episode that gets you involved and keeps you more entertained by deciding what happens next. It’s fun to be able to choose what the characters do and what leads up to that because it’s not something you can do with a regular movie or show.” Kira O. adds, “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventure is super cool! I especially like how, at the start of the episode, you wake up in a Tarbosaurus nest where you have to escape and then choose what action to take to find the Hidden Adventure.” See their full reviews below.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures
Giana N., KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures is an interactive episode that gets you involved and keeps you more entertained by deciding what happens next. It’s fun to be able to choose what the characters do and what leads up to that because it’s not something you can do with a regular movie or show.

This interactive episode is about Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Brooklyn (Jenna Ortega), Yasmine (Kausar Mohammed), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) who are struggling in the aftermath of a huge storm that happened on the island. They have no food, no shelter and, to make matters worse, the dinosaurs have no food so the dinosaurs are out of control. The kids learn that someone has hidden food somewhere on the island and we have to make decisions for them to keep them safe and direct them to the food. 

This is a great episode to watch. Something that I like about this show is the teamwork and the communication between the group. Even in such a dire situation, they communicate and run their decisions with each other before making it. I also like how, even if things take a wrong turn, you can always undo your answer and try again. My favorite character is Darius because we are Darius’s thoughts and we make the decisions for him when he doesn’t know what to choose and when the others don’t know as well. Something that confuses me in the show is that, in the series before this, the group leaves the island – so how did they get back on the island? Regardless,  I was entertained the whole time and the concept is just a great idea.

The message of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures is that if you argue you won’t get anything done; you need to compromise and work together. At times in the episode you see the group get into arguments about what to do next, and that’s where your choices come in. You help them decide and you help stop their conflict. This show is totally family-friendly.

I give Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures 4.5 out 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. You can watch this on Netflix starting November 15, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Hidden Adventure
By Kira O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventure is super cool! I especially like how, at the start of the episode, you wake up in a Tarbosaurus nest where you have to escape and then choose what action to take to find the Hidden Adventure.

Based on the show Camp Cretaceous, Hidden Adventure is an interactive special series where the campers survive more danger put against them on Isla Nublar. This interactive episode makes the viewer one of the six characters from series — you become Darius (Paul-Mikel Williams), the leader of the teens stuck on the island of Isla Nublar. As Darius, you must choose what actions to take to follow the clues across the island, survive the dinosaurs, and find a secret stash of food supplies.  You are hunted by a Tarbosaurus who wants to feed you to the eggs in her nest when they hatch.

The show is very well animated. When the dinosaurs roar they look very realistic and scary. The plot has a lot of mystery and suspense, like when the characters narrowly escape getting eaten by a Tarbosaurus or caught in a dinosaur stampede! The voice actors include Jenna Ortega as Brooklynn, Ryan Potter as Kenji, Raini Rodriguez as Sammy, Sean Giambrone as Ben, and Kausar Mohammed as Yazmine. The friendships between these teen characters bring enough tension and unpredictability to keep this familiar storyline moving and engaging. Brooklyn uses just the right amount of sarcasm, combined with Sammi’s naiveté, and Darius’ leadership to compliment Kenji’s arrogance and Ben’s skepticism. Just like the series, this episode finds the characters constantly facing adversity while on a quest to escape the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar. The detailed and close-up animation allows the viewer to experience the characters’ emotions and also the terrifying drool produced by a dinosaur roar while appreciating the natural beauty of the mountainous rainforest setting. One thing I like is that, if you make good decisions, you survive the Tarbosaurus and you can choose different options to try different outcomes. For instance, Darius has to choose to climb or jump to save the Hidden Adventure map.

The message of the show is to be brave, trust in your friends, and you can overcome things that seem impossible. I do not recommend this for anyone under age seven, because it can be scary for younger kids. I do not recommend this show for anyone under age seven, because it can be scary for younger kids.

I give Jurassic World: Hidden Adventure 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it on Netflix starting on November 15, 2022.

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Sidney * An Inspiring Documentary That Will Ensure Generations To Come To Love And Appreciate The Impact Of Sidney Poitier

Friday, November 4th, 2022

From producer Oprah Winfrey and directed by Academy Award nominee Reginald Hudlin, this revealing documentary honors the legendary Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the center of Hollywood and the Civil Rights Movement. Featuring candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and many more, the film is also produced by Derik Murray, in close collaboration with the Poitier family.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Sidney is an inspiring documentary that will ensure generations to come to love and appreciate the impact of Oscar award-winning actor, Mr. Sidney Poitier…Described by producer Oprah Winfrey as one of the most extraordinary people she’s ever met, Mr. Poitier would be proud of this documentary about his life.” See her full review below.

Sidney
By Tiana Sirmans, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Sidney is an inspiring documentary that will ensure generations to come to love and appreciate the impact of Oscar award-winning actor, Mr. Sidney Poitier. The techniques used to tell his story, the events shared and the contributions to the film will keep viewers engaged. Described by producer Oprah Winfrey as one of the most extraordinary people she’s ever met, Mr. Poitier would be proud of this documentary about his life.

Sidney reflects on the life and legacy of iconic actor, filmmaker, and activist, Sidney Poitier. Born and raised in the Bahamas, the film shows life for him once he arrived in the USA as a colored man and how he rose to become an icon and the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, despite racism and other obstacles. The documentary creatively tells Poitier’s story in his own words from interviews from Ms. Winfrey’s personal collection. Anecdotes from his family and heavy hitters such as Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, and Oprah Winfrey herself included.

This film is truly a celebration of Mr. Poitier’s legacy, the contributions he made, and a life well-lived. I love how the interview clips from the younger Poitier seamlessly blend together with the elder Poitier picking up the story.

My favorite part of the documentary is the clip from Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner when he says, “You think of yourself as a colored man. And I think of myself as a man,” because it perfectly summarizes how he felt about himself and how he demanded other people to look at him. For me, this is what enabled him to break so many barriers and pave the way for other actors, including myself. The film does not hold back and includes some of Mr. Poitier’s not-so-proud moments, which really help show the different sides of his complex life.

This film is about perseverance and being confident in who you are despite how the world sees you. I love that Mr. Poitier understood that he was not identified by his color and made sure everyone else knew it too, on and off-screen, even demanding scripts be rewritten to make his character stronger.

I rate Sidney 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Sidney on Apple TV+ starting September 23, 2022.

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