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Almost Paradise * Chilling and suspenseful, this show keeps you at the edge of your seat all the way through the credits!

Monday, February 15th, 2021

A former US DEA agent is forced into early retirement and runs a gift shop in the Philippines. Although he tries to leave his past behind him and lead a peaceful life, he is constantly being pulled back into a world of dangerous people and deadly situations. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha B. comments, “

The chilling and suspenseful action-filled show Almost Paradise manages to keep the viewer at the edge of their seat and kept me there until the credits rolled. One thing I love about the show is how convincing the special effects are, especially the gory makeup. It doesn’t feel cheesy or unbelievable and actually shocked me the first time I watched it.” See her full review below.

Almost Paradise
Samantha B. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 11

The chilling and suspenseful action-filled show Almost Paradise manages to keep the viewer at the edge of their seat and kept me there until the credits rolled. One thing I love about the show is how convincing the special effects are, especially the gory makeup. It doesn’t feel cheesy or unbelievable and actually shocked me the first time I watched it.

This series revolves around a retired FBI agent who solves crimes. These crimes take place on an island where he lives. He solves crime cases while also battling stress attacks and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). These cases can vary from murder to drug dealing to sex trafficking.

I love all of the characters on this show, but my favorite has to be Alex Walker (Christian Kane.) Alex is a complex character and is written in a smart way that adds to the story. Another excellent actor is Arthur Acuña who plays Ernesto, one of the cops that assists Alex in solving cases. Arthur makes this character mysterious in a way that draws the viewer in. Almost Paradise does a lot of things well – the sets are eerie and pleasing to the eye, and they tell the story of what’s going on, while adding a creepy touch. I also really like the screenwriting. It makes the show feel natural and realistic and makes you believe what the actors are saying.  One of my favorite scenes is an exciting chase scene. Right when I was sure this scene would go one way, it unfolds in a totally different one.

The message of this show is the importance of justice, which is uplifting and inspiring. Every cop on this show has a strong sense of justice by risking their lives for others and showing empathy. Some things to look out for in this show are sexual jokes, adult themes, violence, blood/gore, and heavy emotional topics.

Overall, I give Almost Paradise 4 out of 5 stars. I loved this series. I highly recommend Almost Paradise for an age range of 11 to 18, plus adults. You can find Almost Paradise on YouTube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.  

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The Snoopy Show * Classic Peanuts’ Fans Will Love This. New Adventures; True Characters

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

The world’s most iconic dog is ready for his close-up. Dive into new adventures with the happy-dancing, high-flying, big-dreaming beagle, who’s joined by best friend Woodstock and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jude A. comments, “The new hit series, The Snoopy Show! The Snoopy Show has everything a classic Peanut’s fan will enjoy. The show looks incredibly like the original comic series, as if the animators took an old comic strip and put it on your home television! In addition, the writers made an outstanding effort to make every character stay true to their original passions and personalities.” See his full review below.

The Snoopy Show
By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Time to break out the classic Peanuts dance moves because today we are celebrating the new hit series, The Snoopy Show! The Snoopy Show has everything a classic Peanut’s fan will enjoy. The show looks incredibly like the original comic series, as if the animators took an old comic strip and put it on your home television! In addition, the writers made an outstanding effort to make every character stay true to their original passions and personalities. Instead of making the characters go on the same repetitive adventures (like a lot of cartoons do), The Snoopy Show brings brand new adventures sure to make you want more and more.

The Snoopy Show follows everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy (Terry McGurrin), with each episode including different stories surrounding him. Episode stories range from Snoopy writing his own autobiography to exploring the origin story between Snoopy and Woodstock.  Just when you think there can’t possibly be another amazing adventure, The Snoopy Show  consistently delivers new and original stories that all ages can enjoy.

The primary component of this creative revival that made me smile is the animation and art. The art director, Joseph Holt, surpassed any expectations of the show living up to its classic art style by making it authentic and original. The Snoopy Show is also extremely well voice cast because of how each character’s voice sounds like its predecessor. Out of all the Peanuts film content over the years, like The Peanuts Movie, The Snoopy Show really impresses me because of how writers can continue to find new angles to explore the characters and always put them in new entertaining scenarios.

The Snoopy Show is the perfect new show for kids. It has a lot of comedic content in an appropriate way, fun adventures, and lessons/morals for viewers to learn every episode. The show explores themes such as family, friendship, and gratefulness. One of the key morals taught in the show is to always be grateful for the people around you, and to never take people for granted; it also communicates the message that sometimes you just need someone you love to make you smile.

The Snoopy Show soars higher than Charlie Brown’s kite with a miraculous, nostalgic art style and new adventures all ages can enjoy. Similar to how Peppermint Patty scores five out of five goals in hockey, I am giving The Snoopy Show 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18 plus adults, because who doesn’t love Peanuts? The Snoopy Show premieres Feb 5, 2021 on Apple TV+, so make sure to check it out!

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Go, Dog, Go! * Adaptation of the Classic PD Eastman book, With Quality Animation and Story

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Based on P.D. Eastman’s best-selling, classic children’s book (over 8 million copies sold), Go, Dog. Go! follows six-year-old Tag Barker on her adventures in the city of Pawston, a fun-loving community of dogs on the go. Tag is a skilled mechanic and loves anything that goes. With her ingenuity and creativity, Tag can go as far as any plan will take her with her best friend Scooch Pooch by her side. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Throughout the series, I am impressed time after time with its amazing animation. While it is colorful and fun; it is also fairly realistic. The dogs look so real and cute, I want to hug them! Something that makes this show even more special is the creative way that it uses so many elements from P.D. Eastman’s original book and creates a whole new world out of it.” Katherine S. adds, This new series will not disappoint all of the Go, Dog, Go! lovers as there is a reference to almost every storyline in the book. Also, the characters’ names are hilarious. Instead of grandpa it’s grandpaw and there is a group of singing dogs called the Barkapellas.” See their full reviews and interview with Adam Peltzman, Executive Producer below.

Go, Dog, Go
By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

The creative TV series Go, Dog. Go! based on the book by P.D Eastman is completely satisfying. Every element of traditional animated shows is used to create a brand new, originally entertaining series. With intriguing animation and impressive voice-over acting, Go, Dog, Go is a must-see for young viewers!

Each of the nine episodes follows Tag Barker (Michela Luci) in her adventures through Pawston with her friend Scooch Pooch (Callum Shoniker). Together, they solve problems and have fun. There are two individual stories per episode, with the same general characters. The antagonist is primarily Frank, (David Berni), who stands in the way of Tag and Scooch.

Throughout the series, I am impressed time after time with its amazing animation. While it is colorful and fun; it is also fairly realistic. The dogs look so real and cute, I want to hug them! Something that makes this show even more special is the creative way that it uses so many elements from P.D. Eastman’s original book and creates a whole new world out of it. All of the main story parts are included and more are added such as a doorbell shop, a racecar track and so much more. All these locations and lots of extra events are important to the story. One of my favorite aspects of the film is when the dogs sing. It’s very clever and funny. The creative story is amazing, but the acting is even better. With such cute, specific-to-character performances, I almost wondered if these characters are real! There is only one minor issue that most likely isn’t noticeable to little kids – some of the episodes are repetitive. Most of the time, the series doesn’t change the plot very much from one story to the next. That doesn’t make much of a dent in my overall enjoyment of this series however.

The message that Tag, Scooch and all of their friends convey is that teamwork and kindness are best. They work together to problem solve and help out dogs around town. Sometimes there are additional themes for individual episodes.

I give Go, Dog. Go! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7. You can watch Go, Dog, Go on Netflix beginning Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Go, Dog, Go!
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Yes! The classic book by P. D. Eastman is now an animated series. Go, Dog, Go! has such clever dialogue and references to the book, high quality animation and is very fun to watch.

This series is about a dog named Tag Barker (Michela Luci) and her adventures throughout her town, Pawston. There are big dogs, little dogs and even a dog party in a tree. On Tag’s adventures, we meet her family and friends as well as new friends like Scooch Pooch and Gerald the Mail Dog as she helps to solve problems along the way.

This new series is based on P. D. Eastman book, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, so this story is not only relevant to the kids of today but to their parents as well. I grew up with this book; my brothers grew up with this book; and my dad grew up with this book. My whole family grew up enjoying this book! And this new series will not disappoint all of the Go, Dog, Go! lovers as there is a reference to almost every storyline in the book. Also, the characters’ names are hilarious. Instead of grandpa it’s grandpaw and there is a group of singing dogs called the Barkapellas. The animation is so colorful as there are red dogs, blue dogs, green dogs, yellow dogs, purple dogs, and, pretty much, dogs of every color of the rainbow. I also enjoy seeing a town full of dogs riding bikes, trikes, blimps, boats and cars.  My favorite voice actress is Michela Luci, who plays Tag, because she brings so much energy to the role.

There are many positive messages throughout the show, like helping others, perseverance and friendship.

I give Go, Dog, Go! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Adults will love all of the references to the book. This show comes out on Netflix January 26, 2021.

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Finding ‘Ohana * Mixes Fantasy, Adventure, Romance and Heritage of Land and Family

Friday, January 29th, 2021

A summer in rural O’ahu takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathalia J. comments, “The upcoming Netflix film Finding ‘Ohana, by Jude Weng, is absorbing, hilarious and intriguing. I truly enjoyed watching the main character Pili (Kea Peahu) evolve throughout the film as she learns more about her heritage and the land. As a young viewer, I found it fascinating that this film points out one of many Hawaiian legends – the Night Marchers – which are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. Zoe C., adds, “The movie mixes fantasy and adventure, a little romance, humor and drama in a fun way. This story remind of Goonies and has some elements from the classic 80s films like Indiana Jones, but deals with contemporary subjects of identity and multi-cultural issues. The scenes were filmed on various locations on O’ahu, which gives the film a very authentic tone.” See their full review below.

Finding ‘Ohana
By Nathalia J, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The upcoming Netflix film Finding ‘Ohana, by Jude Weng, is absorbing, hilarious and intriguing. I truly enjoyed watching the main character Pili (Kea Peahu) evolve throughout the film as she learns more about her heritage and the land. As a young viewer, I found it fascinating that this film points out one of many Hawaiian legends – the Night Marchers – which are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors.

This film follows two Brooklyn-raised siblings, as their life takes an unexpected turn as they spend the summer in O’ahu. At the beginning of their O’ahu summer, Pili finds an old, dusty journal with notes from an old pirate and the pirate’s crew. After learning more about the pirate’s connection to the long-lost gold from her grandfather Kimo (Branscombe Richmond), Pili takes on the challenge of finding the gold with her new friend Casper (Owen Vaccaro), which leads to her older brother Ioane (Alex Iono) and Casper’s “older sister” Hana (Lindsay Watson) following the journey.

I was super impressed by all of the acting talent, especially Kea Peahu, who plays the protagonist Pili. Considering that this is her first feature film, that is even more impressive. I spoke with her recently about that and she shared, “I have many similarities to Pili, which helped improve my performance. I was able to connect with my ohana (family) just like Pili does in the film.” Along with that, Owen Vaccaro (Daddy’s Home; Daddy’s Home 2) surpassed all my expectations with his performance.

My favorite parts about Finding ‘Ohana are the real-world concepts such as the Hawaiian legends that lead Pili on her journey to find the treasure. Many films are based around myths of various cultures. However, in this film, you see how the Hawaiian legend comes to life in a youth and family-friendly way. I loved seeing the character development of each character and seeing them change by the end of the film when they become family (ohana) because of the experiences they have shared.

This film promotes positive social behaviors and shows how important it is to treat others respectfully. What I took away from this film is to always treat others the way you want to be treated, and that ohana (family) is not always blood; family is those who love and support you, whether you are related or not.

I give Finding ‘Ohana 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It debuts on Netflix Jan. 29, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

Finding ‘Ohana 
By Zoë C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Families do not always bond nicely. In Finding ‘Ohana, two siblings from New York embark on an adventure in O’ahu, Hawaii and try to connect with each other and with their Hawaiian heritage while they discover the mysteries of the island. This movie is about traditions, embracing your culture and respect.

The film has the perfect adventure spirit. Pili (Kea Peahu), a 12-year-old girl and her brother Ione (Alex Aiono) are always fighting. With their mom, they go to their native island, O’ahu, to visit their grandfather whose health is delicate. The mom, Leilani (Kelly Hu), doesn’t get along with her family all that well. It’s as if all these different generations are colliding, but through the unusual experiences and with help from new friends, they discover the greatest treasure – the love of family (ohana).

The movie mixes fantasy and adventure, a little romance, humor and drama in a fun way. This story remind of Goonies and has some elements from the classic 80s films like Indiana Jones, but deals with contemporary subjects of identity and multi-cultural issues. The scenes were filmed on various locations on O’ahu, which gives the film a very authentic tone. The sights are beautiful and there is some lovely underwater photography. The story is entertaining and keeps you focused most of the time.

Finding ‘Ohana (L to R) Lindsay Watson as Hana, Kea Peahu as Pili, Owen Vaccaro as Casper, Alex Aiono as E in Finding ‘Ohana. Cr. Chris Moore/Netflix © 2021

Some visual effects and practical sets are not all that impressive, but the performances are very good and make you connect with the characters and what they are going through. Kea Peahu, who plays Pili in her film debut, is amazing in the leading role. I love the songs in the soundtrack and the way the music is incorporated into the storyline. I also love that the film reinforces the importance of a simple life; sometimes we focus on our dreams and goals; we forget about the beauty that is in front of us in our everyday life.

The message of the film is that love of family is unconditional despite our differences.

I give Finding ‘Ohana 4 out of 5 starts and recommended for ages 5 to 18, plus adults.  Finding ‘Ohana premieres January 29, 2021 on Netflix.

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Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 * Action-Packed, At-Times Funny, Filled with Adventure

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Six teens attending an adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar must band together to survive when dinosaurs wreak havoc on the island. Now stranded on an abandoned Isla Nublar, the campers struggle to survive among the wreckage of Jurassic World. As the T.Rex takes over Main Street, forcing the kids deeper into the jungle, the discovery that they may not be alone not only threatens their rescue but may uncover something more sinister. Inspired by the Jurassic World franchise, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous follows six teenagers chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Camp Cretaceous, a new adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar, must work together to survive when dinosaurs wreak havoc across the island.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Conrad W. comments, “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 is an exciting, action-packed, at times funny, animated TV series on Netflix! The series continues building upon the beloved Jurassic World and Jurassic Park franchise. If you are fascinated by dinosaurs (like I am) and you like adventure, you should definitely watch this show. Additionally, if you like the other Jurassic Park or Jurassic World movies, I bet you will love this series. I really enjoyed it! Ethan P. adds, “I love Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2—it’s so interesting, and it grabs your attention so well! I also like that season 2 has more action than season 1, which kept me watching the whole time.” See their full reviews and an interview with Executive Producer Scott Kreamer below.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Season 2 
By Conrad Wilson, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 is an exciting, action-packed, at times funny, animated TV series on Netflix! The series continues building upon the beloved Jurassic World and Jurassic Park franchise. If you are fascinated by dinosaurs (like I am) and you like adventure, you should definitely watch this show. Additionally, if you like the other Jurassic Park or Jurassic World movies, I bet you will love this series. I really enjoyed it!

The story is about six teenagers, Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Brooklyn (Jenna Ortega), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Yaz (Kausar Mohammed) and Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) who go together to a camp in Jurassic World, called Camp Cretaceous. They have a fun time at the camp, but then all of a sudden all the dinosaurs living in Jurassic World become loose! The teenagers then need to figure out how to survive on an island with wild and crazy dinosaurs that attack the campers. Even though this may sound a little scary, there is humor throughout the episode. There are moments that had me laughing such as when stuff breaks that isn’t supposed to, or when the characters say funny things.

In every episode of this series, there are new dinosaurs that pop into the show. The special effects surrounding these dinosaurs are awesome and seem incredibly realistic. The dinosaurs actually seem like they are alive.  There is a T-Rex, Raptor, Mosasaurus, Compy, Stegosaurus and other prehistoric creatures. The dinosaurs are, by far, my favorite part of the show. The teenage characters all have different types of traits including: athletic, funny, scared of everything, famous, rich and loving dinosaurs. I enjoyed watching how they all end up working together as a team during the course of the series.

The primary message of the series is about teamwork and collaboration. The characters all end up working as a team.

I give Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults.  You can find Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 on Netflix, available January 22, 2021.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 12

Jurassic World:  Camp Cretaceous, Season 2 is an American animated, science-fiction adventure series based on the multi-billionaire Jurassic Park franchise. This awesome series has eight episodes with duration of approximately 25 minutes each. The computer animation and graphics are neat, and the colorful backgrounds attract the viewer’s attention.  The voiceovers suit each character, and the music played on every scene is suitable to what is going on. My favorite part is when Darius has a flashback about how he got the dinosaur tooth necklace.


This season starts with a boy named Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams) who wants to go to Camp Cretaceous like he and his dad planned. Sadly, his dad dies and ever since then Darius has been playing a VR game because the game’s winner gets Camp Cretaceous tickets. No one has beaten the game yet, until Darius does, and he attends Camp Cretaceous in honor of his dad. This is big for Darius because he is a huge dino nerd and knows so many facts and has dino toys all over his room. He arrives at Camp Cretaceous and meets five other kids: Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), a famous travel vlogger; Ben (Sean Giambrone), who is scared of everything and a germophobe; Kenji (Ryan Potter), a rich ungrateful kid who likes attention and brags about going to the park six gazillion times. The other kids include Yasmina (Kausar Mohammed), an athlete who sits alone and Sammy (Raini Rodriguez), who likes to talk a lot and makes friends with everyone. All six of the kids embark on a new adventure in every episode.  


There are many morals in season 2, but teamwork stands out the most. In season 1, the kids need to find people that work at the camp so they can get saved and, in that process, they work together very well. In season 2, they need to find a beacon and also watch out for a T-rex and its lair. They work together using walkie-talkies.

I give Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Season 2, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 plus adults and to whomever is a dinosaur or Jurassic Park fan. Jurassic World:  Camp Cretaceous, Season 2 comes out on January 22, 2021, on Netflix. 

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