Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for the 'TV' Category

Bindi Irwin Returns to Nim’s Island on the Hallmark Channel on March 15

Monday, March 11th, 2013

ReturnNimsIsland.jpgReturn To Nim’s Island, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie, premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, March 15, 2013. Following up on the success of Nim’s Island, this sequel  is a great platform for Bindi Irwin, through her portrayal of Nim, to introduce young people to the importance of protecting our earth and its fragile species.

According to Brianna Hope Beaton KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Nim teaches us “that you should do everything you can to help the marine and wildlife.” New KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Cassandra Hsiao, “Return to Nim’s Island will take families on a spectacular expedition underwater, into dark mysterious caves, and up awfully steep cliffs.” And new KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jailene Arias agrees with the others that the main message in the film is “don’t give up!”

Check out these great video reviews from two of our new KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Cassandra Hsiao and Jailene Arias!

Return to Nim’s Island

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton

Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This film has lots of action, very funny and is definitely great for the whole family to see.

Let’s return to Nim’s Island to see how things are going with Nim (Bindi Irwin) and her Father (Matthew Lillard). One day they get a message that some people will be buying the island to build an attraction there, but Nim will not stand for it and comes up with some things to do to save what she calls home. She will do almost anything to protect the island and the animals that she loves so well. Everything is going fine until Edmund, (Toby Wallace), comes along to help but brings trouble. Will Nim get to keep and stay living at her personal resort or will she have to pack up and leave?

I really love this film. It’s the sequel to Nim’s Island. I love the underwater shoots and the humor. The cast does an incredible job in interacting with the animals and making it all believable. My favorite character is Nim because she is not afraid to speak her mind, and will not let anyone push her around. My favorite scene is when Nim is going on the zip line. It looks really cool to ride and I would love to do it. I love the music as it fits in perfectly with the scenes.

Brendan Maher directs Nim’s Island. Author of the Nim’s Island series, Wendy Orr, is the inspiration behind this film. Everyone does an amazing job – from the animals to all the cast – it makes an impact with an environmental message. The big message is that you should do everything you can to help the marine and wildlife, if you cannot, please do not harm it. Additionally, it emphasizes the idea to “never give up on what you want to do.”

I recommend, Return to Nim’s Island for ages 7 to 14. Parents will enjoy it as much as their kids. If you love the wild you will love this film.

I give this film an overwhelming 5 out of 5 stars. I love the adventure, cinematography, action and, of course, the humor.

Tune in to see the Return to Nim’s Island on March 15 on the Hallmark Channel 8pm EST / 7PM CT.

Share this page on:

Because of Winn-Dixie Appearing This Month On HDNet Movies – kidScene

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
BecauseWinnDixie.jpgEveryone loves a dog story, but Because of Winn-Dixie is no ordinary take on cute pets. Instead, it is a story of love, hope, friendship and community that takes us beyond appearances and digs deeply into the characters that make up this heart-warming film. Winn-Dixie isn’t just a dog, he is a symbol of hope, a reminder that we are all responsible for one another.

Originally released in 2005, this timeless family film is appearing throughout this month, February 2013, on HDNet Movies – kidScene.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Click here for Raven’s full video review!

Because of Winn-Dixie is a fantastic adaptation from the bestselling novel Winn-Dixie. I think this movie is absolutely adorable. The cinematography is so perfect because it’s exactly how I imagined it would be when I read the novel. The colors and feel of the story are captured beautifully.

My favorite character is Gloria because she doesn’t hold any harsh judgment over anyone and is a great friend to Opal. I also like Ana Sophia’s character, Opal, because she is very kind and strong even when she is sad. I like the scene when Opal first finds Winn-Dixie because it is a chaotic and funny scene. I also enjoy watching the relationship grow between Opal and the preacher (her father.)

This movie is for all ages because it’s a cute, funny family film that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Because of Winn-Dixie is one of the many classic films brought to your home by HDNet Movies – kidScene.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Reviewed by Camille Bajema

Click here for Camille’s full video review!

I love this film because it has a great message: Friendship. This film is an adaptation of the book Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo and is about a girl named Opal (Anna-Sophia Robb) and her dad, the Preacher (Jeff Daniels), who just moved to a completely new town.

When Opal is sent to the Winn-Dixie grocery store to get macaroni and cheese, some white rice and two tomatoes, she finds a dog running wild through the store and names him Winn-Dixie, after the place she found him in. Opal befriends him and takes him home. Opal doesn’t have any friends yet and Winn-Dixie helps her fit into the new town, just like a true friend would.

My favorite scene in this film is when Opal makes friends with an old woman named Gloria (Cicely Tyson), and they have lunch together. I really like this scene because there’s a very nice bond between the two and this is when Opal meets her first human friend in Naomi. My favorite character is another one of Opal’s adult friends, Miss Franny, the town librarian. I like Miss Franny because she’s a kid at heart.

Because of Winn-Dixie is directed by Wayne Wang and produced by Kathleen Courtney.

I recommend this film to people of all ages because everyone can enjoy it, it has a great message, and in my opinion, this movie is just fantastic! I give this film five out of five stars because it’s an absolutely enthralling tale! Look for this classic family film on HDNet movies – kidScene this month!

Share this page on:

The Black Stallion As Beautiful And Captivating As Ever

Monday, January 28th, 2013

blackstallion.jpgOriginally released in 1979, The Black Stallion is a classic film sure to please horse lovers and adventure seekers alike. It’s beautiful cinematography and captivating story have stood the test of time. The Black Stallion is perfect for the whole family, and as Brianna Beaton, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic sums it up, it is “appealing to the eye, inspirational and touching.” Don’t miss this exciting tale, playing throughout the month of February 2013, on HDnet Movies – kidScene.

The Black Stallion

Reviewed by Brianna Beaton, age 13, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This film is very appealing to the eye, inspirational and touching.

Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) is on a ship with his father and a very wild black Arabian stallion, which Alec calls Black. A terrible storm happens and only he and Black survive. They end up on a small island and Alec befriends Black. Some travelers stumble across the island and bring them to England, where retired horse trainer, Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) helps Alec train Black.

I like this film because of the cinematography and the plot. This is a beautiful story and there are a lot of scenes with great angles and close ups which catches my eye. Black is a very pretty, strong and fast horse. The acting is very believable and I can sometimes feel their emotions. My favorite character is Alex because he is able to earn the trust of Black and this is very hard to do. My favorite scene is when Alec is trying to get Black to like him so he gives him some food and after that he puts some food in his hand and then walks around the beach of the island to get the horse to follow him. After a while this turns into a game. If Black follows Alec then he will get some food.

Carroll Ballard directs The Black Stallion while Melissa Mathison along with Jeanne Rosenberg writes the screen play. Other actors in this film are Clarence Muse (Snoe), Hoyt Axton (Alec’s Father), and Ed McNamara (Jake).

A message in this film is that you can become friends with any person or any animal and it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. Also, everything that happens happens for a reason.

I recommend, The Black Stallion for ages 7 to 14. Younger ages may be scared at some of the scenes, but if they are watching with this family, it may not be too scary. Of course, if you are a horse lover, this film is for you and you can add this to your collection.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Some of the scenes are a little too short and has too little details, but even with that, this is still a great family film.

See how Alec and Black create their friendship in this 1979 film, The Black Stallion. It plays all month on HDNet movies kidScene.

Share this page on:

‘Happily N’Ever After’ Gives Fun Twists to Classic Fairy Tales

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

HappilyNEverAfter.jpgSo you think you know your fairy tales? Happily N’Ever After, the 2006 animated movie airing in November on HDNet Movies kidScene, will teest your ability to keep them straight as it twists them into unexpected new relationships among the characters. Explains KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Cheyenne Nguyen, age 8, “My favorite part of the movie is how the endings for each of the fairy tales could have changed. The twists and turns of each event could be different if the wizard [who watches over the fairy tales] is not there to monitor Fairy Tale Land.” While questioning whether the fairy tales will “ever have another happy ending again,” Morgan Bertsch, age 7, says, “From beginning to end, this is very funny.” Brianna Hope Beaton, age 13, gives the film four out of five stars “because of its humor and fantasy.”

Happily N’Ever After
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch
(See her full review on video.)

So the real question is: Are you cheering for the villains or the princess? Who do you want to win?

Now is your big chance. This movie is about Cinderella, who has an evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters. So you think you know this story and all the fairy tales? Well, guess again. This is not your ordinary Cinderella story. All the fairy tales are watched and taken care of by a wizard. But everyone needs a vacation, and when the wizard leaves, the fiasco begins.

Munk (Wallace Shawn) and Mombo (Andy Dick), his assistants, are left in charge. Mombo is bored of the same old fairy tale endings and wants to shake things up a bit. He gets his wish when the evil stepmother steals the wizard’s wand.

Cinderella’s evil stepmother Frieda wants to be Queen. She is taking over. She wants to give evil a fighting chance. All your fairy tales begin to fade and the villains start winning. Rumpelstiltskin gets to keep the baby. Sleeping beauty doesn’t wake up with a kiss. Jack gets stepped on by the giant. Rapunzel is not saved by her Prince Charming and Cinderella doesn’t last till midnight. The villains from all the fairy tales are running wild.

Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar), now known as Ella, goes on a search for Prince Charming (Patrick Warburton), hoping that he can fight her evil stepmother and get the wizard’s wand back. Of course, she has help from Mombo and Munk, who also want to find it before their boss returns home. Rick (Freddie Prinze Jr.), the servant for the prince, is jealous and tries to help Ella. They meet the seven dwarves, witches, all the big bad wolves, goblins, giants and more.

How will they save the day and will the fairy tales ever have another happy ending again?

When Ella and Rick find the seven dwarves, this is my favorite part. From beginning to end, this is very funny. I also enjoyed the Monster Mash dance.

The graphics are great and they do a super job with the fast-action scenes. There are new characters, and the old ones are all different from the original versions.

Will she get what she wants? Will she want what she gets? This was my favorite song in the movie.

Be careful what you wish for. Keep your eyes open because happiness could be right in front of you. You can change your destiny.

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cinderella) and Freddie Prinze Jr. are really married and they have a daughter and last month added a new baby boy to their family. See, fairy tales do come true.

I give this movie five ***** because it is cute, funny, original and has all my favorites in it.

Happily N’Ever After
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen

(See her full review on video.)

Today, I am reviewing Happily N’Ever After. This movie combines a lot of fairy tales in one movie with a twisted ending.

This movie is about the wizard (George Carlin) who manages Fairy Tale Land. He has two helpers, Mambo (Andy Dick) and Munk (Wallace Shawn). There’s a book of fairy tales, and the wizard has to watch and see through the crystal ball to make sure the endings are exactly the same as the fairy tale stories. The wizard constantly has to check with the crystal ball to make sure the good and the bad are in balance so the stories will get their happy endings.

In Happily N’Ever After, all the characters are different from the fairy tales. Ella (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is like Cinderella, being bullied by her stepmother (Sigourney Weaver) and her ugly stepsisters. However, in this movie there is a kitchen helper name Rick. He secretly loves Ella.

My favorite part of movie is how the endings for each of the fairy tales could have changed. The twists and turns of each event could be different if the wizard is not there to monitor Fairy Tale Land.

I am confused at times because there are so many different fairy tales going on. It’s hard for kids my age keep up with the jokes that go with the different fairy tales. The adults seem to enjoy the jokes a lot more than the kids.

The message in this movie is happy endings come in many different forms.

The Fairy Tale Land visuals are above average. The characters’ design and the voice over make the characters come alive. The music is average; most of the songs are not very catchy.

The only part I did not like is there are too many stories going on in one movie.

My favorite character is Fairy Godmother. She is so forgetful but very funny. She reminds me of my grandmother.
I rank this movie four out of five stars  

I give this an age range of 5 and up.

Happily N’Ever After
Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton
(See her full review on video.)

Happily N’Ever After is a good family film that I enjoyed watching.

Ella (voice of Sarah Gellar) figures out that her stepmother (voice of Sigourney Weaver) wants to take over Fairy Tale Land and is out to crush her storybook existence. She is now fighting to get Fairy Tale Land back, and [get] who she thinks is supposed to be her true love, the prince.

I like this film because it’s a twist from the classic Cinderella story. The story plot is easy to understand and enjoyable. The animation is good. My favorite part is when the narrator pauses the film to give you information on a specific character and how he feels about the character. This is really cool.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 13. If you like Cinderella and fairy tales, you’ll love this film.

Overall, I give Happily N’Ever After four out of five stars because of its humor and fantasy.

Tune in to see Happily N’Ever After as it plays all month on HDNet Movies kidScene.

Share this page on:

‘Jumanji’ a Thrilling Ride on HDNet Movies kidScene

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Jumanji.jpgThe very intriguing desing and artwork of a board game they unearth tempt a young brother and sister to sit down with it and play the game – too late discovering the magic they’ve unleashed. The incidents depicted on the board become real and they must play through the dangers that include stampeding animals that threaten their very life. “… this adventure will give the entire family a ride,” says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Raven Devanney, age 15, who says the film – airing throughout November on HDNet Movies kidScene – is a long-time favorite of hers. Julianna Noone, age 12, although warning the film might be a little scary for very young kids, says it “is absolutely hysterical and it’s just very entertaining.”

Robin Williams was much better known as a comedian before taking this role as the Indiana Jones-type adventurer who, with his counterpart Sarah, helps the kids survive the game’s dangers. Much of the film’s character comes from its special effects, for which it won the Saturn Award from the Academy of Sci Fi, Fantasy & Horror Films in 1996.

Reviewed by Raven Devanney
(See her full review on video.)

Jumanji tells the story of two children who encounter a mysterious board game that comes to life. Starring Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt and Jonathan Hyde, this adventure will give the entire family a ride.

I’ve loved Jumanji for a very long time, and it’s still a classic favorite for me. Even though this film came out in 1995, the cinematography is still wonderful. And even though a lot of the animals use animatronics, it’s still very real and thrilling. My favorite character would have to be Alan Parrish played by Robin Williams, because he gets sucked into the world of Jumanji, and when he is released 26 years later he has to come to the realization that times have changed. Plus, Robin Williams is hilarious in this film!

I have several favorite scenes. My first would have to be the very beginning of the film which was centuries ago. It’s very dark and it gives a taste of the horror and thrills that the movie has in store. I also like the scene when giant human-eating monster plants grow out of the fireplace. I just remember that part as being very suspenseful. And last but not least, I like the scene when Van Pelt manhunter came out of the game. Actually, I just like the character Van Pelt in general. He is played by Jonathan Hyde, who was also in Titanic.

Overall, I give Jumanji four out of five stars and recommend it for ages 6+ because it’s such a fun movie, but also has some suspenseful situations.

Reviewed by Julianna Noone
(See her full review on video.)

Ready for Family Game Night to take you on a great adventure? Well, then, you have chosen the right film in Jumanji.

This film is about a boy named Alan Parrish (played by Robin Williams) and his friend Sarah Whittle (played by Bonnie Hunt), and how they find a mysterious board game called “Jumanji.” Follow along as this board game changes their lives and how, years later, they must play the game again with another set of kids named Judy (played by Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (played by Bradley Pierce), and how they try to outwit the game’s powerful forces.

My favorite character is Judy because she is brave and determined to make sure that everyone stays safe and alive from this game. My favorite scene is when Peter and Judy are petrified after they’ve released Alan and a lion from the game. It was absolutely hilarious – they started screaming and freaking out. They’re, like, “Oh my gosh, there’s this cave man who just came out from this random board game.” It was absolutely hysterical, because they got so scared they hid in the towel closet. Hilarious.

I thought the special effects in this movie were great. It was really funny. They did a great job. The animated animals were so cool; they looked actually real, but they weren’t.

I think that this movie is for ages 6 and up, because it might be a little frightening – stampeding animals coming at you, crushing your car while people are in it, and these crazy monkeys attacking you, but also this guy chasing people with a gun.

I think that this movie is rated five out of five stars because it is absolutely hysterical and it’s just very entertaining. I’ve loved it for years and years.

Look for this and other great films on HDNet Movies kidScene this month. And remember: In the jungle, you must wait until the dice reads five or eight.

Share this page on:
Kid movie news & Free DVDs:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook Join KIDS FIRST! on Pinterest