Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Team Zenko Go * Shows Kids That You Don’t Need To Be A Superhero To Do Something Good

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Niah, Ari, Ellie and Jax are members of  Team Zenko Go, a secret squad of stealthy do-gooders who harness the art of distraction to perform anonymous acts of kindness for the unknowing residents of Harmony Harbor. These four kids have been taught by their mentor, Auntie Yuki, a special set of skills that allow them to do good deeds (or Zenkos) for others, making their town the happiest in the world. Like Auntie Yuki says “when we help people without them knowing, they start to think that the world is just a nicer place.”

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Giana N. comments, “Team Zenko Go is a positive children’s series that shows kids that you don’t need to be a superhero to do something good. And that even though you might not agree on the same things as other kids, you can problem-solve to figure things out.” See her full review and interview below.


Team Zenko Go

Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Team Zenko Go is a positive children’s series that shows kids that you don’t need to be a superhero to do something good. And that even though you might not agree on the same things as other kids, you can problem-solve to figure things out.  

Team Zenko Go focuses on a group of kids named Niah (Nakai Takawira), Jax (Dominic Mariche), Ellie (Penelope Good), and Ari (Hartley Bernier), who live in a town called Harmony Harbor. Together, they are Team Zenko. The people who live in Harmony Harbor think their town is the happiest place on Earth, and it’s all because of Team Zenko, who, in their free time, devote themselves to anonymously doing good deeds. The best Zenkos are the ones that are kept secret.

What makes this show unique is that the kids aren’t doing good deeds for fame and glory. They are doing it just to be nice and to help out. In fact, this is probably my favorite aspect of the show. Another thing I like about this show is the diversity. For example, Ari is in a wheelchair which demonstrates that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish things you would be able to do without it. My favorite character is Ari because he is optimistic and intelligent for his age. For example, in episode one, when Ari messes up his first mission, he gets kicked out of the team. But he uses his intelligence to figure out that it was all a test for him to prove he is worthy to be on Team Zenko. In most of the episodes when something goes wrong, Ari thinks positively and finds a way to get the job done.

The message of Team Zenko Go is that when good things happen to you, you are more likely to do good things for others, and that just makes everyone happy. The series is completely family-friendly.

Team Zenko Go is an amazing show for kids to watch with their families. I give Team Zenko Go 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 10. Parents will also enjoy watching it with their kids. This show is available to watch on Netflix starting March 15, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

Share this page on:

Uncharted * Based On The Videogame, You Never Know Who To Trust In This Action-Packed Movie

Friday, February 25th, 2022

Street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. If Nate and Sully can decipher the clues and solve one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure and perhaps even Nate’s long-lost brother…but only if they can learn to work together.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like Uncharted because it is based on the 2007 PlayStation video game of the same name.  You never know who to trust in this action-packed, two-hour treasure hunt game turned movie.” Katherine S. adds, “I love Uncharted! Uncharted has been a mega-successful game franchise, and now, Sony is transforming it into a swashbuckling prequel film fit for all:  gamers and non-gamers alike. It is full of massive, action-packed sequences, comedy, objects of desire, globetrotting, booby-traps, and loads of double, and even triple, crossers.” See their full reviews below.

Uncharted
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Mark Wahlberg stars as Sully in Columbia Pictures’ UNCHARTED.

I like Uncharted because it is based on the 2007 PlayStation video game of the same name.  You never know who to trust in this action-packed, two-hour treasure hunt game turned movie.

Uncharted is about the adventures of treasure hunter and fortune seeker Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) as he discovers the truth behind a mythical treasure during his journey with Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). Nathan and his brother grew up in an orphanage until one day they got caught stealing a map. Nate’s brother runs away. Sometime later Nate meets Sully who convinces Nathan to look for the lost treasure. Nathan and Sully team up to get the keys that open doors and traps in order to find more clues. Nate follows what his brother and him wanted to do ever since they were younger and that’s when the action begins.

Braddock (Tati Gabrielle, right foreground), The Scotsman (Steve Waddington, left foreground), Hugo (Pingi Moli, center foreground) and their henchmen track Nate and Sully in Columbia Pictures UNCHARTED. photo by: Clay Enos

This film has extraordinary computer-generated imagery effects. The explosion scenes look real. The cargo airplane scene is one of the most breathtaking and intense scenes of this film, keeping the audience at the edge of their seat. The actors’ wardrobe is the same wardrobe as the characters in the video game: typical explorer or hunter’s clothes and gear. Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland work masterfully well together while Antonio Banderas as villain Santiago Moncad will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including killing his own father. You don’t have to be a video game fan to enjoy this treasure-hunting movie. Director Ruben Fleischer expressed that Tom Holland, as the younger version of the video character Nathan Drake, is a key to making a movie adaptation that offers something for gamers and newcomers alike. My favorite scene is when Nate gets hit by a car when he finally gets to the cargo plane.

The moral of this film is to be very careful who you trust. Don’t trust anyone, only yourself and your instincts. The audience will confirm my statement when watching the movie: Every character pursues same goal—the mystical treasure—and they will do anything and everything in order to get it, even if that means they have to kill.

I give Uncharted 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres February 18, 2022. If you are an Uncharted video game fan, you will recognize a special cameo appearance that you just have to “listen” for.

Uncharted

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Tati Gabrielle and Pingi Moli star in Columbia Pictures UNCHARTED. photo by: Clay Enos

I love Uncharted! Uncharted has been a mega-successful game franchise, and now, Sony is transforming it into a swashbuckling prequel film fit for all:  gamers and non-gamers alike. It is full of massive, action-packed sequences, comedy, objects of desire, globetrotting, booby-traps, and loads of double, and even triple, crossers.

Nate Drake (Tom Holland) is a bartender and street-smart criminal, who, along with his brother Sam, dream of finding the long-lost fortune of Ferdinand Magellan. But when Sam disappears, Nate is left with nothing but Sam’s ring, some old postcards and his undying love of adventure. One night, he meets the professional treasure hunter and scoundrel, Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), who tries to recruit Nate to set out on a thrilling expedition to find the lost treasure of Ferdinand Magellan and his crew. At first, he is hesitant, but he joins Sully to carry on Sam’s unfinished work. But they must do this before Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), a man who believes he’s the heir to the lost riches, gets to it—if they don’t, all their work will be lost forever. Who will get there first and what lengths will they go to?

Tom Holland and Sophia Taylor Ali star in Columbia Pictures’ UNCHARTED. Photo by: Clay Enos

Getting Uncharted to the big screen has been a wild ride. I heard it went through six directors before hiring Rueben Fleischer for the job.  And Mark Wahlberg was originally cast as Nathan Drake. True to the game, the adaptation features unrealistic fight scenes and a clichéd storyline. I still find Uncharted to be very fun and entertaining. The violent combat scenes kept me on the edge of my seat, and the perfectly timed comedic lines kept me laughing. Make sure to watch this on the biggest screen possible. The sets are realistic, the props pack a big punch, and the historical symbolism blends everything together perfectly. The beaches and caves provide the perfect backdrop for some of the film’s biggest scenes. Tom Holland delivers a knockout performance and his performance is very likeable:  he’s charismatic, handsome, intelligent, and naïve perhaps to a fault. Tom does some of the biggest action sequences of his career in this film, and he kills it! Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas also have notable performances.

The messages of the movie are that family bonds last forever and that adventure awaits. There is some profanity, intense fighting scenes, alcohol use and weapons.

I give Uncharted 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Fans of basically any adventure movie will love this. This movie releases in theaters on February 18, 2022.

Share this page on:

Dragons: The Nine Realms * Fun, Action-Packed, Animated Series To Entertain Young Kids Everywhere

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Set 1,300 years after the events of How To Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens up an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding — a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Dragons: The Nine Realms is a fun, animated, action-packed and mystical kids TV series that will entertain young kids everywhere! Anyone who is a fan of the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise and/or loves dragons and themes of friendship and uniqueness will enjoy watching the series, set 1,300 after the Dragon films…” See her full review and interview below.

Dragons: The Nine Realms
By Tiana S. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Dragons: The Nine Realms is a fun, animated, action-packed and mystical kids TV series that will entertain young kids everywhere! Anyone who is a fan of the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise and/or loves dragons and themes of friendship and uniqueness will enjoy watching the series, set 1,300 after the Dragon films, Dragons: The Nine Realms features a group of kids: Tom Kullersen (Jeremy Shada), Jun Wong (Ashley Liao), D’Angelo Baker (Marcus Scribner) and Alex Gonzalez (Aimee Garcia) who form a group called The Dragon Club. The group starts after Tom breaks the rules and travels deep into Earth into a place called the Fissure and they end up befriending a dragon who is hiding there with other dragons. Now, it’s up to The Dragon Club to unite, protect the dragons from getting hurt and to save the dragons’ homes from being destroyed.

One of my favorite scenes in Dragons: The Nine Realms is when a sheep randomly shows up and tries to blow the cover of the kids who were trying to keep their dragons a secret. The sheep constantly tries to sneak up on them or make noise to blow their cover, so it is funny how the kids always have a “not again” moment but are still able to avoid the sheep. I also love how each character is unique, but they come together and have fun with each other like they are one of a kind. My favorite character is Alex Gonzalez because of her combination of personality traits.  She is really into electronics and anything that has to do with cameras or using advanced technology, and yet she also is willing to help out others and make friends. Alex will even break some rules, though she is very introverted and shy person at first, which seems to make her an unlikely rule-breaker.

The message of Dragons: The Nine Realms is to be yourself, take time to appreciate who you are and stand up for what you believe in. Coming together is a key theme: all the characters have different personalities and beliefs in this series, but they all come together in The Dragon Club and protect the dragons from their parents who may harm them with their experiments.

I rate Dragons: The Nine Realms 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. You can find Dragons: The Nine Realms streaming on Hulu and Peacock starting December 23, 2021.

Share this page on:

Christmas Again * Imagine Your Craziest Christmas And Having To Live It Over And Over Again!

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Rowena “Ro” is a high-spirited teenager who is experiencing a lackluster Christmas. Ro isn’t handling her parents’ divorce well. She wants her life back the way it was—her parents back together, her dad’s new girlfriend and son out of the picture, and their family traditions to remain the same. After a disappointing celebration with her family, including her sister Gabriela “Gabby,” Abuela Sofia and Abuelo Hector, she makes a wish to a neighborhood Santa for a “do-over” and unexpectedly finds herself reliving Christmas day over and over … and over again. Now, in order to break the strange magical loop, Ro must learn to appreciate her loving family as it is, as well as the true meaning of Christmas.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Christmas Again is full of so much comedy, action and seasonal fun. Imagine your craziest and/or most memorable Christmas and having to live it over and over again! Well that’s exactly what you will get from this new holiday film.” See her review and interview below.

Christmas Again
By Tiana Sirmans, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Christmas Again is full of so much comedy, action and seasonal fun. Imagine your craziest and/or most memorable Christmas and having to live it over and over again! Well that’s exactly what you will get from this new holiday film. It’s sure to go on your list of movies to watch every year with your family.

Christmas Again follows Rowena “Ro” (Scarlett Estevez) who wakes up on Christmas Day looking forward to another amazing Christmas with her family, but everything is different. While her family is fine with the new way of life and traditions, Rowena struggles with accepting her parents’ divorce, her father’s new girlfriend and new traditions. Ro wants everything to go back to how it was before so she makes a wish to the neighborhood Santa Claus to re-do Christmas in hopes that it will make things go back to normal, but things just get worse. She repeatedly re-lives Christmas Day over and over again. In order to break the loop, Ro has to learn to love her family, but also discover the true meaning of Christmas.

The main character, Rowena, is a teenager that just really loves Christmas and her family’s long standing traditions. One of my favorite parts is when Rowena and her family are playing a game and she knows all the answers because she has played it over and over again each day in the magical loop. It is funny watching her family’s reaction as they try to figure out how she knows everything. I enjoyed seeing all the traditions Rowena and her family had and watch as Rowena tries to figure out how to break the loop. Even though the movie shows the same day over and over again, you will be entertained as Ro learns more and more about the true meaning of Christmas each day.

The message in Christmas Again is that the true meaning of Christmas is about spending time with family and embracing new traditions together with the old ones. Ro must learn to appreciate her family as they are now and realize the true meaning of Christmas. Changes are going to happen in life and you have to be ready to accept them.

I rate Christmas Again 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Christmas Again premieres Friday, December 3, 2021 on Disney Channel.

Share this page on:

Vivo * Showcases The Love Between Animals And Humans, As Well As Their Love For Music

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

Vivo follows a one-of-kind kinkajou (aka a rainforest “honey bear”) who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés. Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval, inviting her old partner to her farewell concert with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to Marta, who lives a world apart, Vivo will need the help of Gabi – an energetic tween who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum to fulfill his owner’s wishes.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Giana N. comments, “Vivo is an awesome film to watch. It showcases the love between animals and humans, as well as their love for music. There are great messages; the concept of the movie is entertaining; and every song is fun to listen to.” Zoe C. adds, “As its name suggests, Vivo is a vivid animated film full of life, color, music and emotion. Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords,Vivo is the first-ever musical for Sony with a Latino theme, and the story is certainly very relevant and aims to be significant for the Latino community.” Ethan P. wraps it up with, “The story reminds us to always express your love to the person you love, because it might become too late to do it. Always open your heart to the person you love; let them know your feelings before it is too late.” See their full reviews below.

Vivo
By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Vivo is an awesome film to watch. It showcases the love between animals and humans, as well as their love for music. There are great messages; the concept of the movie is entertaining; and every song is fun to listen to. You will be tapping your feet to the beat as you follow  this film’s adventures.

Vivo is about a kinkajou named Vivo (Lin-Manuel Miranda) who lives with his friend Andrés (Juan de Marcos González) in Cuba. Andrés and Vivo can’t directly talk to each other, because one is human and the other is an animal; but, when they sing together they connect. Vivo soon learns that when Andrés was younger, he had a love interest named Marta (Gloria Estefan). Unfortunately, when Andrés was going to tell her how he felt, she got an opportunity to follow her dream as a singer and he didn’t want to interfere with her decision. He wrote her a song and didn’t get to give it to her, so now Vivo is determined to give it to Marta before it’s too late.  

The songs in Vivo are fun and made me want to listen to them over and over again. My favorite song is “My Own Drum” performed by Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) because it is upbeat and describes how Gabi feels. I like how the writers, Quiara Alegria Hudes and Kirk DeMicco portray Vivo’s character development. In the beginning of the film Vivo doesn’t want to go to Miami for Marta, but when he realizes how much it means to Andrés and remembers all the things Andrés has done for him, he has a change of heart. My favorite character is Vivo because he is loving and daring. Vivo looks out for Andrés and takes care of him and does anything he can to help him. He travels all the way from Cuba to Miami and overcomes many challenging obstacles along the way.

The message of Vivo is that, even when times are tough, you have to have hope and do what is best. This film is completely family-friendly.

I give Vivo 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Vivo on Netflix beginning August 6, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

Vivo
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

As its name suggests, Vivo is a vivid animated film full of life, color, music and emotion. Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords,Vivo is the first-ever musical for Sony with a Latino theme, and the story is certainly very relevant and aims to be significant for the Latino community. Vivo features all-new songs written and performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda which are powerful, emotive and contribute nicely to the storytelling.

Vivo is about the way we connect with others through music. In a very old-fashioned Cuba, a kinkajou named Vivo is voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda. A kinkajou is a mammal that looks like a monkey but is a rainforest “honey bear.”  Vivo and his owner Andrés enjoy making music and performing together. When Andrés receives an invitation from his friend, famous singer Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), to attend her farewell show in Miami, Vivo is in charge to deliver the message to reconnect their friendship.

Vivo connects with our inner and pure childhood emotions and the characters in this story are lovable and relatable.  For example, with the help of a young girl, Gabi, our protagonist Vivo is able to make the journey to Miami. Gabi, an aspiring musician, is a girl with talent and ambition, but rebellious and spontaneous. Gabi is a very special character representing the effervescent tween years where not everything fits in the molds of society. The animation in Vivo is gorgeous: the characters are colorful and vibrant. The attention to detail in the architecture and landscapes of Cuba is breathtaking. The presence of nature is also key to the story. As Vivo and Gaby navigate their way to Miami, they travel through the Everglades and encounter the wildlife at its fullest.

Vivo demonstrates a nice balance between traditions and everyday life and new adventures and discovering life out of our boundaries. Another great success is how the film resonates with a multigenerational audience, connecting youngsters and older members of the family effectively making it a perfect experience that unites the whole family. Vivo shows us the power of music in making connections between us and how music helps us to achieve goals. 

I give Vivo 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for all 8 to 18, plus adults. Vivo opens in theaters and Netflix on August 6, 2021.

Vivo
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 12

Vivo it is a heartwarming movie that has happy moments, funny moments and tragedy. I like the storyline, the graphics and the catchy songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

This movie has beautiful computer animated scenes. The backgrounds simulate the city of Habana in Cuba, Key West and the Florida Everglades. The scenes are very colorful and bright. The songs are very catchy and appealing. Besides being the main character’s voice, Lin-Manuel Miranda also wrote 11 songs for this film. He offered Cuban legend Gloria Estefan a part in this movie and she had the opportunity to create her character, which is a mix of Celia Cruz, another Cuban legend, and Mrs. Estefan’s mother, who she describes as a diva. This film has a stellar cast including Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Rosa, Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) as the snake Lutador and Leslie David Baker (The Office).

The story reminds us to always express your love to the person you love, because it might become too late to do it. Always open your heart to the person you love; let them know your feelings before it is too late. My favorite part is when Vivo delivers the letter to Marta. It provided closure for his beloved partner, Andres.

I give Vivo 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. This film is also a great asset for the Cuban community, especially now during Cuba’s troubling times. Vivo is in theaters now and begins streaming on Netflix on August 6, 2021. 

Share this page on:
Entertainment News for Kids:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Tik Tok Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook