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KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MULAN 2020
MULAN 2020 - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - To save her ailing father from serving in the Imperial Army, a fearless young woman disguises herself as a man to battle northern invaders in China. Mulan 2020 is a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name, based on the Chinese folklore "The Ballad of Mulan." Directed by Niki Caro. With Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Loyal, brave, true, honorable, and devoted, all describe aspects of Disney's new remake of the animated movie, Mulan (1998). Niki Caro, the director of this year's live-action version, took on the huge challenge of giving new life to the legendary tale of China's fearless girl warrior after 22 years. This action-packed, family film will keep viewers in suspense while tugging at their hearts along the way. Mulan offers us much to appreciate ...culture, a love for family, honesty, peace and so much more. We couldn't have asked for a better release date for Mulan, as its many messages are powerful and uplifting which are needed during these unsettling times in many communities.

The film follows a fearless young woman named Hua Mulan who is the daughter of Zhou, a warrior veteran. Mulan is not like other traditional women of her age. She is a uniquely gifted woman driven by the power of the chi, destined not to conform and marry the match of her parent's choice; rather she prefers to use her skills to fight as a warrior and to defend her country, town and family. Her father, who is traditional in his beliefs, warns Mulan to hide her gifts. Upon learning of a possible empire takeover by Bori Khan and his power hungry rebel group, one male from every household is ordered to enlist in the Imperial Army to defend their land. Mulan's father, the dad of two daughters, is not in good physical condition to take on this feat yet steps up to the challenge. Knowing that her father is in no shape to battle the enemy, Mulan sacrifices everything and faces death to disguise herself as the man of the household and train with the Imperial Army.

Yifei Liu, who plays Mulan, possesses great star power. She is fierce yet sensitive and shows viewers a wide variety of her emotions throughout the film. A huge shout out to the cinematography, art, set, costume, and make up crews for bringing such light, excitement, and brilliance to the legendary Chinese Empire. Every scene is colorful, bright, and full of life. China and New Zealand are perfect landscapes for the film sets and are perfect for captivating the viewers. And despite the adventure and suspense, the film entertains us with several scenes containing humor.

Mulan is a film with many messages of loyalty, bravery, honor, devotion to family, and more. The strongest message is about empowerment. Mulan, born into a culture where there is a clear division between the roles for men and women, chooses not to conform to tradition and claims her rights to be who she wants to be. Mulan is faced with many heartfelt decisions that, above all, could cause her death, yet she stays true to herself.

I give Mulan 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to ages 8 to 18. Mulan is the perfect family film and adults will love it as much as kids. Mulan will begin streaming on September 4th 2020 on Disney+. This is a film that you do not want to miss!

Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love the new action-packed Mulan movie! The costumes and scenery in this live-action version of the animated film are stunning. Fans of Mushu will notice the new Mulan has no Mushu! However, this Mulan is a PG-13 movie with a lot of intense action, and I don't think that a talking dragon would fit in an action movie (sorry, Mushu!)

Mulan is about a girl (Lui Yifei) growing up in the male-dominated culture of the Imperial era of China. Women are supposed to be quiet, composed, graceful, elegant, poised and polite. But Mulan is different. She possesses a strong chi, something thought that only men could possess. When China is attacked by Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee), one man from each family is required to serve in the Imperial Army to defend China. Mulan has one sister and no brothers, forcing her father to fight. He is already a war hero and was injured while serving and cannot fight, so she has no choice but to disguise herself as a man and take his place.

First and foremost, the cinematography is unbelievable! There are so many unique camera angles, and the colors are strong and vivid. Kudos to cinematographer Mandy Walker! Along with impressive special effects, the costumes and scenery are beautiful. There are several differences between the new Mulan and the original. I enjoyed the newer one as it is a lot more about girl power, and has an all-Asian cast. My favorite performance was from Liu Yifei-- her fighting skills are very realistic (because she practiced so much) and she has a calm fierceness that is so heroic! The new live-action version also has many subtle tributes to the iconic songs in the original animated version. Also, while this film is not a musical, for those of you who loved the original songs, be sure to get the soundtrack, sung by Christina Aguilera.

Along with the warriors' credo to always be loyal, brave, and true, Mulan emphasizes the importance of family and demonstrates girl power. This movie has some scary elements and has several violent fight scenes.

I give Mulan 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy it, too. Mulan is currently available on Disney+. (It will be free to Disney+ subscribers on December 4th, 2020.)

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK - NICKELODEON
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Re-imagined for a new generation, Nickelodeon's all-new version of '90's kids' cult classic Are You Afraid of the Dark?'s three-part limited series follows members of an entirely new Midnight Society, who tell a terrifying tale of the Carnival of Doom and its evil ringmaster Mr. Top Hat, only to witness the shocking story come frightfully to life and prepare for an adventure beyond their wildest nightmares. The new members of the Midnight Society are: Rachel, played by Lyliana Wray; Gavin, played by Sam Ashe Arnold; Akiko, played by Miya Cech; Graham, played by Jeremy Taylor; and Louise, played by Tamara Smart. The Carnival of Doom's ringmaster, Mr. Tophat, is played by Rafael Casal (Blindspotting). Includes three episodes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "The outside world is dull and dreary," so the TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? will surely give you the "thrills and chills" you have been waiting for. From creepy clowns to evil music, this show will give you a fright. Not in the in-your-face kind of way but in a more sinister way. You may never bat an eye, but you will feel at least a cold shiver down your spine from time to time. But don't you worry! You are safe at home on your couch because everything you see is "all part of the show."

What starts off as a typical high school show with the new girl in town, turns into one where she is invited to the middle of the woods by the Midnight Society to tell the scariest story she can. After she tells the tale of Mr. Tophat and the Carnival of Doom, things get even spookier when they start to come true. Right from the start, daunting violins and accordions are played in a lifeless forest with laughing children in the background and scorpions in the air. Then you are asked... "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" A match is lit under it and the forbidding title sequence slowly turns dark. This is an excellent way of teasing this show, and I absolutely love the vibe.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? takes classic horror elements and redoes it well. The earthy music, airy and watery, mixed with the violin and accordion sprinkled with some laughter makes for a creepy juxtaposition of mood.

Throughout the series, we are taken on a rollercoaster of doubt, as plot twists are everywhere. Some of the shots are very well done, like when each kid gets the flyer for The Carnival of Doom and the camera cuts to each person's fearful eyes. There is also the scene where Rachel (Lyliana Wray) and Gavin (Sam Ashe Arnold) are attacked in a carnival ride and the lights are flashing to add uncertainty.

My one piece of criticism for this show is that the end feels a bit rushed. Unlike the classic series in which each episode is a different story, this version of the series builds up a lot of tension throughout the episodes and doesn't leave quite enough room for answers to be revealed at the end. But I have to credit Are You Afraid of the Dark? as it has high production values and has epic moments that we usually only see in action movie-- such as when the kids walk away from cars with the headlights on and rock music blares in the background.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? has some content that may cause young kids to feel squeamish, especially if they are afraid of bugs. Friendship is a big component of this show even if it might not seem like it at first. We are presented with a question: would you rather have all the materialistic wealth in the world or simply have good friends by your side? And this show promotes the idea of having a close group of friends.

I rate this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 11 to 18. Are You Afraid of the Dark? is available on DVD on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, and includes three fan favorite episodes from the original series in English, French and Spanish.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.99 Media: CDROM


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
UPSIDE -DOWN MAGIC (2020)
UPSIDE -DOWN MAGIC (2020) - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-18
Description - In "Upside-Down Magic, a Disney Channel Original Movie, 13-year-old Nory Boxwood Horace discovers she can flux into animals, and her best friend Reina Carvajal can manipulate flames. Together, they enter the Sage Academy for Magical Studies. Reina's expert ability to harness the power of fire lands her at the top of her class of "Flares," but Nory's wonky magic and proclivity for turning into a "Dritten"-a half-kitten, half-dragon-lands her in a class for those with Upside-Down Magic, otherwise known as UDM. While Headmaster Knightslinger believes the UDM's unconventional powers leave them vulnerable to dangerous and evil "shadow magic," Nory and her fellow UDM classmates set out to prove that Upside-Down Magic beats right side up
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This adventurous movie Upside Down Magic is about a girl named Nory and her friend Reina, who are accepted to the Sage Academy for Magical Studies (think Hogwarts from Harry Potter meets Auradon Prep from Descendants). And no wands at this school for sorcery--all the magic comes from within. Plus there are five different schools of magic for Flyers, Flickers, Floaters, Flares and Fluxers. Nory is a Fluxer which means she can shape-shift into animals, but, during her first-day demonstrations of her powers, Nory's not-so-perfect magic turns her into a "Dritten" (a half-kitten, half-dragon) that puts her into a class for the kids with "wonky" (or broken magic) called "upside down magic" also known as UDM. Nory's BFF Reina is a Flare which means she can create heat or fire or sparks from her hand. Reina has amazing abilities, but is tempted to make her powers even stronger when she comes across a book of Shadow Magic, a type of dark black magic that can turn you from good to evil.

Throughout the movie, Nory is convinced that the UDM's can be just as powerful as the rest of the school and, with the help of her teacher Scriff, all the UDM kids learn how to focus to turn their upside down magic...into right side up magic, even if it's not quite perfect.

Like most Disney Channel movies, this is fun, colorful, and full of unique characters. But...not a lot of singing in this one, surprisingly. And I can't spoil from whom and when the singing does come--you'll need to see the movie to find out! It is a little dark and scary at times, but the scariest moments come towards the end of the movie. Otherwise it's full of comedy, friendship, and, of course, lots of magic!

The messages of this film are to sometimes let kids be kids and also to never give up on what you believe you can achieve. Nory wants to be an official Flexer so bad but gets put into UDM. Yet does she settle and give up? Well, you'll have to watch to find out. (Wink.)

If you love movies like the Harry Potter series or Disney's Descendants, then you'll love Upside Down Magic. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to18 and adults will absolutely love it too. Upside Down Magic debuts on Disney Channel on July 31, 2020. Don't miss it.

By Lindalee R., KIDS First! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DRAGONS: RESCUE RIDERS: SECRETS OF THE SONGWING
DRAGONS: RESCUE RIDERS: SECRETS OF THE SONGWING - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-13
Description - When a musical dragon with a beautiful voice hypnotizes the dragons and people of Huttsgalor, the Rescue Riders have to find a way to break the spell.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this new, exciting film, Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing! The cast and animation are incredible!

The story follows Melodia (Ren�e Elise Goldberry), a songwing dragon who tries to hypnotize the town of Hudsgalore with her beautiful singing voice. When Aggro (Marsai Martin) and Zeppla (Cassidy Naber) are hypnotized, the dragon gang have to help stop Melodia's song. To the rescue come Winger (Zach Callison), Summer (Skai Jackson), Burple (Noah Bently) and Cutter (Andre Robinson) as they save their friends and the rest of the town of Hudsgalore. Alongside the dragons are brother and sister Dak (Nicolas Cantu) and Leyla (Brennley Brown) in this musical special that fans of Dragons: Rescue Riders will love.

The animation in this musical special is excellent, although there are some parts where the sound seemed that it was out of sync with the character's mouths a few times during the film.

The message of the story is that you shouldn't use one of your best qualities -- such as the gift of being able to sing like Melodia can -- to trance everyone else and make them do what you want.

I recommend Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing for ages 4-13, but it is a family-friendly film so adults will also enjoy it. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars as it is very enjoyable. You can find this film on Netflix on July 24th. Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing is definitely worth the watch!

Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Using interviews and rare archival footage, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE chronicles Lewis' 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 79 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter's primarily cin�ma verit� film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - There is an old African proverb: "When you pray, you move your feet." The proverb resonates powerfully in this quote from John Lewis' memoir, Walking in the Wind: "As a nation if we care for the beloved community, we must move our feet, our hands, our hearts, our resources to build and not tear down, to reconcile and not to divide, to love and not to hate, to heal and not to kill. In the final analysis, we are one people, one family, one house, the American house, the American family."

John Lewis is a powerful writer. I read Walking in the Wind several years ago, and it had a powerful impact on me. John Lewis: Good Trouble, the documentary, makes that same powerful impact: it brings his story to life! As in his memoir, the film reveals the man behind the legend.

I was moved to tears by the footage from the 1960s. I was beginning my teenage years back in 1963. Television was still a young medium, and it showed us all that was going on in the world daily. I was learning about the world and its ways in the '60s--the injustices, the fight for dignity, freedom, equality and decency. These were my middle school years, my high school years, formative years brought back to life as I watched this film.

History repeats itself until we learn. John Lewis: Good Trouble follows John Lewis throughout his young life in Alabama, working on his parent's farm, feeding chickens, picking cotton. Mr. Lewis' narration of waking up early, hiding under the porch to wait for the school bus, running onto the bus to get to school to his wonderful teachers where he says he read everything, is a powerful visual image. I love what one of his sisters says about John wearing a tie and carrying the Bible to school every day. John was a serious student. He wanted more in his life. Clearly, he wanted to make a difference in our country for racial justice for African American people. His tireless work and dedication started as a college student. From SNCC leader to Congressman from Georgia, John Lewis fought the good fight for voter's rights, for civil rights, for the right to eat at the same restaurant as white people, for integration, not segregation. His marches, his belief in nonviolence and commitment to the cause have continued for 65 years.

One story that Henry Gates Jr. tells about John Lewis' great-great grandfather getting his voting card back in the 1800s has a powerful twist. So many stories, so much history where he worked so hard from the time of Dr. Martin Luther King to President Barack Obama to now!

This inspirational documentary is a must see. John Lewis: Good Trouble weaves an important story about an exceptional man, shows us our history from the '60s to today, and demonstrates the part John Lewis played, and continues to play, as the fight for racial justice and equality is at a pivotal moment in time with the Black Lives Matter movement.

I give John Lewis: Good Trouble 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for 9 to 18 year olds to learn about an effective leader and his plight - and to understand even further the times we are currently living through. I also recommend it to adults, to remember all that has transpired through the years, to reflect and act on how we can all move forward once and for all to make the change that is way long overdue. It will be released July 3, 2020 on Apple TV.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble delivers an extremely powerful message. It shows the heroism and courageousness of civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, as well as many other African American people in this country. Subjects such as civil rights and equality for all races should be better discussed in this nation and, truly, always should have been, and now is the time to put these long-existing issues with racism to rest. John Lewis: Good Trouble encapsulated this moving lesson by telling the Congressman's story and what motivated him to take action.

John Lewis: Good Trouble is about the experiences he had and changes that occurred in his life. It discusses the racial segregation that existed for a very long time and how so many people spoke out against it. The film demonstrates how people aimed -- and still are aiming -- to resolve racial issues in America. Civil rights are an essential part of every government, and this documentary shows these racial inequalities through the life and actions of John Lewis. It communicates these important actions across the timeline of his life, interspersed with many interviews with people that know the Congressman--this gives the perspective of many individuals and shows how he has impacted them.

My favorite part of John Lewis: Good Trouble also happens to be the camerawork. Despite the fact that there is constant movement, the shots remain smooth and crisp in quality. Not all documentaries have the greatest camera operation, so it is nice to see the effort made to bring quality to the viewer's eyes. It makes watching the film more enjoyable for anyone.

The message of this documentary is that speaking up about issues yet to be solved can make others feel driven to help make a change. John Lewis: Good Trouble is definitely successful in portraying this message. Positive social behavior is promoted, and people treat each other appropriately. There isn't any bad language, either. Police brutality is discussed, and some footage of it shown, but nothing risky that children may imitate.

I give John Lewis: Good Trouble 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It will be released on July 3, 2020.

By Ruby A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAGIC SCHOOL BUS RIDES AGAIN: BLAST OFF
MAGIC SCHOOL BUS RIDES AGAIN: BLAST OFF - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 6-16
Description - Bus, do your stuff! Field trips with Ms. Frizzle are wilder than ever, into space, over to the Galapagos Islands even a plunge into the depths of the Sun itself. And along the way, the kids we know and love bring their science investigations into the 21st century still taking chances, making mistakes and getting messy! Climb aboard for a field trip you will never forget.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Magic School Bus Rides Again! Love this reboot of the magical series I grew up with. In our household Miss Frizzle can do no wrong as she makes learning complicated science lessons easily understandable and fun. I was worried that our family's all-time favorite learning series would be compromised in some way, but I'm happy to share that I can't wait to watch all the new episodes.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again starts with a new Miss Frizzle and a new school year in science class. Fortunately, we learn that Miss Frizzle is the younger sister of the original Miss Frizzle who is now Professor Frizzle, as she has been busy getting her Ph.D. and continues to be voiced by the incredible Lily Tomlin. Like classmate Arnold, I was nervous about accepting the new Miss Frizzle, but Kate McKinnon adds her voice and personality to her role as Miss Fiona Frizzle and we soon accept her as our new teacher. I say our because as a viewer you are pulled into the lessons being taught in each episode.

All of the original characters return in this series except for Phoebe who has moved and we are joined by a new classmate, Jyoti. The Blast Off! DVD contains four field trips and you will enjoy the new high-tech school bus and other updated gadgets in the new series which bring it into the 21st century. The animation is updated by animator Matthew DaSilva; you still recognize the characters and classroom, but it has a more modern feel and integrates well with the story. You just have to watch these episodes to see the other minor updates.

If you're new to the series, jump on the bus! The Magic School Bus Rides Again is such a fun way to learn, while being massively entertained. Each episode explores a science topic and the magic of the series is that it can take you forward or backward in time, place or size and alters your appearance in an effort to experience life as the subject you are studying.

The message of this series is to learn by taking chances and making mistakes and that is still as true today as when the original series aired. Kids learn through exploring the world around them and seeing how everything is interconnected. Miss Frizzle not only teaches us science but life lessons as well!

I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16 and, of course, adults will like it too as our family watched this incredible series together. This compilation is available now on Digital or DVD from NCircle Entertainment.

Reviewed by Selene W, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I was absolutely wowed with The Magic School Bus Rides Again Blast Off! This adventurous DVD collection kept me entertained, laughing and wanting more. You will ride along with crazy Ms. Frizzle and her lovable class on the adventure of a lifetime. 3...2...1 BLAST OFF!

The Magic School Bus Rides Again Blast Off is a collection of four episodes: Frizzle of the Future, Space Mission: Selfie, Ready, Set, Fail! and Making Magic. Each episode has a new, exciting field trip to watch and enjoy. In this series you will travel from space to the Galapagos Islands while learning lessons about failure, teamwork, getting messy and having fun while doing it all! The kids and teacher you know and love are back and better than ever, so hop on for an experience you'll never forget!

While watching this DVD, many details stuck out to me. To start, the theme song is sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda! Not to mention that Ms. Frizzle is voiced by Kate McKinnon. Talk about some serious star power. On the topic of Kate McKinnon, she makes a great Ms. Frizzle, as she gives the character the craziness and yet, calm attitude that makes her really come alive. She isn't the only voice actor that sticks out to me. Miles KV, as Arnold, conveys realistic emotion through his character by only using his voice. Even when listening, you can tell he is worried about Ms. Frizzle and her shenanigans. The animation in this show has a very interesting touch. While the character and objects remain cartoonish, the backgrounds look magnificently real, especially when the glass goes to space.

The message of this series is: if at first you don't succeed, try again. The kids learn this through trying to take the perfect space selfie, to getting a magical orb that seems to hold all of life's answers. While doing these things, they figure out that failure can be a good thing, because you can learn from mistakes. They also learn that with good teamwork and a positive mindset, anything is possible.

I give The Magic School Bus Rides Again Blast Off! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 14. This series can now be found on DVD and Digital.

By Allison Buck, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Let me take on you on a field trip because today we are learning about the new children's DVD The Magic School Bus Rides Again Blast Off! This new DVD brings back the characters we all know and love and doesn't fail to bring back that hilarious, but educational feeling we get from these fifth graders and their wacky teacher! This DVD doesn't just deliver a flying school bus and a catchy theme song; it also delivers hilarious dialogue and creative adventures.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again Blast Off! follows the same group of students and teachers as the original 90s show The Magic School Bus. Once again, it captures the adventures that Ms. Frizzle (Kate McKinnon) takes her fifth grade class on. This DVD includes four wild adventurous episodes, including going into space and repairing near-by satellites, and flying over the Galapagos Islands.

As a fan of the original show, I was skeptical at first because remakes can sadly sometimes diminish the love for the original. The new show is a breath of fresh air and leaves you wanting more of these wild field trips. Kate McKinnon is the best possible actress for the role of Ms. Frizzle because of her overall humor and energy. What a perfect fit!

This show is educational and provides belly-laughing humor without sounding forced. Many morals are also provided as it teaches children about the importance of teamwork and friendship. Along the way, this show teaches children that mistakes are okay; the best thing about mistakes is that you can learn from them.

This DVD goes above and beyond the stars just like Ms. Frizzle and her class do and provides an educational, yet fun-loving show that all children can enjoy. I give The Magic School Bus Rides Again Blast Off! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. It's available on DVD or Digital now so look for it.

By Jude Adler, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I like The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Blast Off! because this collection of four animated episodes is very adventurous. What makes the episodes interesting is the magic school bus that can turn into any size or shape, which is pretty amazing. I would love to ride on that with my classmates. If I could go on such a fun and educational field trip, that would be something else.

This series features a science teacher, named Ms. Frizzle (Kate McKinnon). The older Ms. Frizzle (Lily Tomlin) is now a professor, so her sister (also named Ms. Frizzle, of course) takes over teaching the science class. In one episode, a student named Arnold (Miles KV) doesn't like the new Ms. Frizzle, so he takes her special plant and puts it on a turtle. When the plant falls, it turns into a huge problem when they go into the future. Another episode focuses on a girl named Keesha (Mikaela Blake) who is really excited for space camp, so she tries to get a really cool photo for her application. This results in yet another adventure with Ms. Frizzle. She goes to outer space with her class. You'll have to watch this DVD to see how these adventures turn out.

My favorite part is when the class goes to the future and everything is very upgraded. I love how the students get to fly on discs to school, because I would really like to do that myself. My favorite character throughout the episodes is Dorothy Ann (Gabby Clarke); she is very smart and always has great ideas, which are good traits. I value learning things to become smarter and coming up with new and different ways of doing ways to solve problems.

The message of this DVD is to never give up. Sometimes you don't succeed right away, but it you stay at it you'll get there. When I can't do something I want to give up, but I know that if I keep trying I can get better at anything.

I give The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Blast Off! 5 out of 5 starts and recommended it for ages 4 to 12. This DVD is out now, so go look for it!

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Blast Off! DVD blends engaging science topics with a touch of magic. The new Ms. Frizzle dazzles us with her magical adventures and uplifting sprit that makes learning entertaining. This leaves viewers with a deeper understanding of science and a love for learning.

It's a new school year, and there's a new Ms. Frizzle (Kate McKinnon) driving the beloved Magic School Bus on engaging field trips while the old Ms. Frizzle (Lily Tomlin) travels the world as a professor. Most of the characters from the original series are back for new adventures including Arnold (Miles KV), Carlos (Leke Maceda- Rustecki), Dorothy Ann (Gabby Clarke) and others. There is also a new student, Jyoti (Birva Pandya). With the new Ms. Frizzle in charge of the class, Arnold is having trouble adapting to this new change in Episode One, "Frizzle of the Future." This leads to quite the adventure and a lesson in the effects of an invasive species in the Galapagos Islands. Episode Two, "Space Mission: Selfie," sends students into orbit to learn about satellites. "Ready, Set, Fail!" challenges students to create a rover for an exoplanet while learning that mistakes are a part of the learning process. "Making Magic" takes the school principal on a ride with the class to the sun. All the episodes are enjoyable and full of facts.

It's exciting to see the characters Ms. Frizzle and Arnold continue to delight viewers with their humor, love for science and quirky ways. Kate McKinnon and Miles KV truly bring their characters to life. My favorite episode is "Making Magic." During a surprise bus inspection the principal overhears them discussing a field trip to the sun and decides he wants to come along for the ride. Little does he know this field trip is not a simulation but, in fact, a real trip to the center of the sun! They need to get to the center of the sun to charge the bus and, along the way, lots of things go wrong. It doesn't help that they have to keep the principal from figuring out that all of this is real.

Each episode expertly delivers educational lessons on the topics of the environment, technology in space, engineering and the sun. At the same time, it teaches the importance of team work, problem solving and courage. These lessons are taught with humor, facts, and of course, magic which keeps the viewer entertained.

I give The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Blast Off! 5 out of 5 stars. It is full of interesting facts and makes learning fun. I recommend this series for ages 7 to 14. It is available on DVD and Digital now.

Reviewed by Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 99 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-16 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THINK LIKE A DOG
THINK LIKE A DOG - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 1018
Description - A 12-year-old tech prodigy's science experiment goes awry and he forges a telepathic connection with his best friend, his dog. The duo join forces and use their unique perspectives on life to comically overcome complications of family and school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Think Like A Dog because it has an interesting story about a boy named Oliver (Gabriel Bateman) who can suddenly hear everything his dog is saying. It's funny to hear what his dog, Henry, has to say. I always wonder what dogs think, so it is fun to find out what Oliver's dog has to say to him. I like everything about this film.

The storyline follows Oliver working on his science fair project. His friend from China, Xiao (Minghao Hou), gives Oliver an upgrade for his science project and, the next day, Oliver can hear everything his dog Henry is saying. Henry helps Oliver deal with his family. His parents, Lukas (Josh Duhamel) and Ellen (Megan Fox) are thinking of splitting up and selling their house and Oliver doesn't know about this until Henry tells him and he confronts his parents. There's a bit of a twist when it comes to Mr. Mills (Kunal Nayyar), who judges the science fair. He turns out to be totally different than what I originally thought. He wants to be the most famous scientist in the world, but you have to watch the film to see if he's successful, and whether Henry and Oliver save the day.

The characters in this film are super funny. The actors really portray their characters well. Oliver (Gabriel Bateman) plays a very believable smart, but shy guy. And Henry, his furry friend, is probably the funniest character in the movie. I wish he were my pet! The camerawork by Giles Nuttgens are flawless; it really seems as if you're in the same room as the characters. My favorite part of the film is when Oliver asks a girl named Sophie (Madison Horcher) to the school dance. I won't give away whether or not she says yes, but it's cute how nervous Oliver appears, and how much he needs his dog to help him get the courage to ask her.

The message of the film is to trust yourself and your dog's instincts. Surprisingly, your dog might know what's best for you more than you do. Even if your dog can't talk, it can still make you happier - and possibly save your life. I don't have a dog yet, but I am always begging my mom for one.

I give Think Like A Dog 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 17, plus adults. This film premieres on digital, On Demand, Blue-ray and DVD June 9, 2020.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
YO-KAI WATCH: THE MOVIE
YO-KAI WATCH: THE MOVIE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - Jibanyan, Whisper, and Nate travel back in time where they team up with a heroic Yo-kai named Hovernyan and Nate's adolescent grandfather to stop an evil Yo-kai from taking over the world! Together, they fight Dame Dedtime and her evil Wicked Yo-kai minions to save the world from her evil plans. Can they discover the secret origin of the Yo-kai Watch and save humanity before time runs out!?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Although I'm not an anime fan, Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie definitely held my interest. The cute Yo-kai and Nate keep me engaged and curious to know what their next actions would be.

The film is centered around Nate Adams, his grandfather and their Yo-Kai. The movie begins in Nate's home town, Springdale, where suddenly things become enlarged. Megnnyan is enlarging everything and tells Nate that the world is in trouble. Confused, Nate goes to his Grandma's house where a Yo-kai leads him to Hovernyan who tells Nate that they must go back in time to find his Grandpa and his Yo-kai Watch, so they can fight the Wicked who are trying to destroy everything.

The script creates a story full of events and exciting fight scenes, which are the main focus of the film. By creating bizarre scenes of enlarging things at the beginning, the screenwriter catches the viewers' eyes early on. Subsequent events are fast-paced, so presumably, young viewers will not get bored. Nevertheless, the story with "good fighting evil" brings little innovation to the table and renders predictable results. Moreover, a few minor details are not carefully planned for consistency. For example, Nathaniel hesitates helping his friends in the factory, but at the beginning of the movie he saves Nate without hesitation.

My favorite part is the ending when all of the Yo-kai combine their powers to fight the Wicked. Whisper is my favorite character; the actions and his dialogue are hilarious. In one scene, Whisper is flying around trying to find Master Yada who is standing right in front of him. One thing that stands out is the animation, which is some of the best anime that I have seen. The scenery and characters are very detailed and colorful and the action scenes are high-octane, with well matched background music.

Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie definitely meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. Since fighting scenes in films were my favorites as a young boy, I think boys would prefer this over girls. The primary message is that when people work together as a team, they can overcome many obstacles and achieve almost anything. This is a very positive and powerful message for the film's target audience.

Reviewed by Justin Y., KIDS FIRST! reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie is such an entertaining film. I really like it. First off, the animation is out of this world. The animation has an intriguing aspect to it. Moreover, there is a large amount of imagination in this film. One can only wish that creatures like the ones in this movie really existed. Also, meaningful stories are always good to see and this one is definitely that.

Nate Adams (Johnny Yong Bosch) is "the chosen one" in this film. There are magical creatures called Yo-Kai and only Nate can see them. In this story the bad Yo-Kai are up to no good, so Nate and his friends team up against them. This is a good plot, although a bit typical. However, this story has some unique and interesting twists to it, with some humor mixed in as well.

As Nate and his friends unite, they make some puns that will surely get a smile from the audience. The effects in this film are so colorful and they really stick out. Furthermore, I love how each Yo-Kai is unique. Humans can relate in a way, since no two humans are exactly the same. In addition, plot twists really develop the storyline and make it even more interesting. One of my favorite characters is Whisper, one of the Yo-Kai. He is silly, but very friendly and loves helping. The best part of this film is the battle between Nate and his friends and the bad Yo-Kai. There is so much action that, if you blink, you might miss something of importance. Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie does not fail to keep your attention.

This film has many messages about friendship, teamwork and perseverance. We see the characters learn about teamwork and how essential friendship and determination are. The mood if this movie is hopeful.

I give Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 11. It is available on DVD now, so look for it.

By Ginebra Q., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like Yo-Kai Watch: the Movie because it is very funny. The story line of this movie is quite unique. I like that this film is not a sequence of the Yo-Kai Watch TV show.

Yo-Kai Watch: the Movie captures the fun of one of the hottest Japanese video game and collectible toy brands in the world. This famous video game was created in 2013 and the show Yo-Kai Watch first aired in 2014. The show has three seasons and a total of 214 episodes.

Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie is about a boy named Nate and his grandfather who can see the Yo-kai. Yo-kai are mischievous creatures that become friends with Nate. Nate and Yo-kais Jibanyan and Whisper go back in time where they meet a heroic Yo-kai by the name of Hoveryan and Nate's grandfather when he was a kid. Together they take on evil Dame Dedtime, an old and ugly, evil lady and her evil Yo-kai minions. This DVD is approximately one hour and thirty-five minutes.

This show's animation is Japanese anime and is very neat and colorful. The graphics are amazing and the voice-overs fit each character. The graphics are similar to the TV show. My favorite scene is when Hovernyan saves Nate and his grandfather from Dame Dedtime who is trying to kill them for rescuing Jibanyan. It is cool to see someone fight a mob of bad Yo-kai and then save people after surviving a huge attack like that.

The moral of this movie is that having friends is a positive thing; everybody needs a friend. Nate's grandfather said he didn't need friends and yet, all the Yo-kai want to be his friend. When he needs help the most, the Yo-kai are there to catch him when he falls to help him.

I give Yo-Kai Watch: the Movie 5 out 5 stars and recommend it ages 6 to 18, plus adults. This movies is available on DVD now, so look for it. Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 95 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MIRA, ROYAL DETECTIVE
MIRA, ROYAL DETECTIVE - DISNEY JUNIOR
Series: SERIES, AGES 4-9
Description - A CGI-animated mystery-adventure children's television series inspired by Indian culture and customs. It debuted on Disney Junior channel the United States on March 20, 2020. Set in a fictional kingdom called Jalpur which resembles a late 19th Century India, the series follows the brave and resourceful girl Mira, a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective by the queen and travels throughout her kingdom to help royals and commoners alike. Joining Mira are her two mongoose sidekicks Mikku and Chikku.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Chalo, chalo, let's go (!) solve a case with Mira and her friends! Mira, Royal Detective is so enchanting with its brilliant animation, authentic South Asian culture and positive messages.

Mira, Royal Detective is about a young girl, named Mira (Leela Ladnier), who lives in the mystical land of Jalpur (a fictional place based on India and the South Asia region). She is appointed by the queen as the official Royal Detective, and she's the first girl ever to have this position. We follow her while she solves mysteries with her best friends.

Mira, Royal Detective is fun to watch because she teaches us to solve our own mysteries. The animation is super beautiful, the colors are so vivid and the outfits are gorgeous! Every little thing in every nook and cranny is very detailed and the dancing and music is reflective of traditional Indian culture. The music is light-hearted, happy and very catchy. The cast, which is all South Asian, is outstanding. Leela Ladnier has an extraordinary voice for a kind, little girl like Mira. Karan Brar (Prince Veer) voices a perfect practical prince and Kamran Lucas (Prince Neel) has a "sweet inventor" tone to his voice. My favorite character is (of course) Mira because she is so charming, but Mikku and Chikku are also memorable characters because these snack-loving mongooses are both funny and adorable.

There are many positive messages throughout the show, including never give up, pay attention to the little things, girl power and always lend a helping hand to a friend in need. Since Mira depicts a strong female character in a traditional male role, she serves as a good role model as well. Every character is kind to one another and inspires each other, including the audience.

I give Mira, Royal Detective 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 9. This show is available to watch now on Disney Jr.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 4-9 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PLACE TO CALL HOME, A
PLACE TO CALL HOME, A - DANA'S MUSIC PLAYGROUND
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 4-8
Description - Every living being, from honey bees to humans, needs a safe place to call home. Dana's seventh album explores the different places animals live. Featuring numerous musical genres, the songs are designed to educate and entertain children while planting seeds of care for the planet we all call home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dana's hot off the press new album called A Place to Call Home is a breath of fresh air and a warm musical hug that inspires and requires multiple listenings. The songwriting, performances, production and various musical genres lend energy to this album that is truly infectious whether your home is where your heart is or in sweet home Alabama or even at home on the range along with a myriad of animals. A Place to Call Home shares a covering of love and acceptance with a batch of nifty crafted terrific tunes with perfect timing from a true professional.

A Place to Call Home is hip, happening and has energy to burn. Terrific arrangements and clever songwriting! Dana is a tried and true trooper and knows her audience extremely well so yes, I highly recommend.

There is a strong theme about animals and their habitats/homes that is lovingly presented. The production quality is excellent, executed by professionals. I love how it makes children aware that they can become difference makers in the global sense. Once again this pro knows her audience and loves what she's doing. She talks up to kids not down. Experience counts, especially from those who have toured and performed for live performances. Clearly Dana knows what works.

I can't say enough about Dana's spot-on vocals and the production value throughout this project. The different musical styles give the album a true World Music vibe. Teachers will have fun breaking down the animal and their habitats' segments for reports and activities with the kids.

I recommend A Place to Call Home for ages 5 to 8 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like A Place to Call Home it is a very interesting musical CD. I like the fact that it has a variety of melodies and music genres, plus I like how the songs pumps my adrenaline and some songs are so slow that they calm me down.

This CD is produced by EJ Ouellete and all the songs belongs to singer, Dana Cohenour. Dana Cohenour is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of independent children's music. She is named as on of the "Top Five Kids' Singers You Should Know." Her six albums for kids have won 22 National Awards so far. Her music is very contagious and enthusiastic. On this CD, in particular, you can listen to different music genres such as dance music, rock and roll, jazz, country and ballad among other music genres. This CD has 11 songs and each song has a different message of how to take care of our planet, the animals and how to build things in order to give animals shelter or protect them. Each song has approximately a duration of four to five minutes.

My favorite song is "Animal Hide and Seek" because this song is about animals hiding in their own habitat, such as bees hiding in a hive and cows hiding in a barn. Dana finds the animals and describes in her song how and where she finds them with a very adventurous lyric and country music rhythm that makes you want to stand up and dance.

The moral of this DVD is to help the environment around you, like helping animals when they are in need. Besides the environment, we need to take care of animals with whom we share the planet Earth. We need to remember to be kind to the animals and to our beautiful planet because this amazing place is what we all call home.

I give A Place to Call Home 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18. Adults can enjoy this CD as well. For example, if you are going on a long trip with your family, this CD would be delightful and entertaining to listen to and to sing along to the catchy songs. This CD is available now at iTunes and elsewhere, so look for it!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I truly enjoyed listening to the CD A Place to Call Home. These songs will make you laugh and smile while learning about topics such as migration and beaver teamwork! You will not regret listening to this sweet album along with your children.

A Place to Call Home includes songs that teach about different aspects of animal life while giving you fun beats and rhythms to jam along with. Dana's seventh recording explores the different places animals live - in the sky and sea, in wetlands, underground tunnels and more. From learning about the crazy crowded world for the animals that go underground to how every animal needs a place to call home, you will be entertained with this new CD.

This CD offers 11 songs, including A Place to Call Home, Underground Traffic Jam, Migration, Let's Build a Dam, Rainforest Symphony, Honey Bee Bee Bop, Bluebird, Dog on My Head, Movin' Day, Animal Hide and Seek and Home. Each song explores a unique view about ways animals live and what they do. Even though you learn a lot from this album, I like that this CD informs about animals and their ways of life without forcing the facts on the listener. I know that kids listening to this will learn a lot, while enjoying the music. I find it truly amazing that Dana, the woman who writes and sings all of these songs, has so much creativity with her variety of songs. The genres range from rock to pop to jazz! Not to mention, Dana has such beautiful vocals and a very soothing voice. She isn't the only talented one on the team though, the bassist and guitarist, EJ Ouellette, has an amazing sound as well. His playing is clear and clean.

This CD helps young people learn about animal lives and how their lives might be similar to our own. In the end, we are all creatures on Earth and we all can have crazy and busy lives, so that is why it is so special to have a place to call your own where you feel comfortable and safe.

I give A Place to Call Home 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 11. This CD can be found online on June 6, 2020.

Reviewed by Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 40 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HIGH NOTE, THE (2020)
HIGH NOTE, THE (2020) - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A superstar singer and her overworked personal assistant are presented with a choice that could alter the course of their respective careers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This musical romantic comedy/dramatic film shines a light on someone who is normally in the dark. There are many plot twists which kept me intrigued the whole time. The original songs in the film also kept me watching because they sound incredible.

The film focuses on the life of Maggie Sherwood, personal assistant to superstar Grace Davis. Maggie is amazing at her job and loves working for such a successful person in the music industry, but her dream job is to be a music producer. Her goal is to produce another hit song for Grace Davis and help her overcome the stigma of being an older woman of color in the music industry.

Tracee Ellis Ross plays Grace Davis and perfectly does so. She fully embodies the persona of an accomplished superstar and her vocals are always on point. Ross also adds a lot of comedic elements to the film. Dakota Johnson is an accomplished actress so it comes as no surprise that she is able to pull off many of the difficult scenes as Maggie Sherwood. Johnson is able to convey Maggie's determination and feelings of ambition to the audience.

The costumes are absolutely beautiful. Naturally as a superstar, Grace Davis has to present herself in the best way possible and she does not disappoint. The locations where this is shot are breathtaking as well. They beautifully capture the views and beauty of Los Angeles.

Describing my favorite scene would spoil the movie, so all I can say is that I really love how inspiring this film is. It accurately depicts the life of musicians living in LA and seeing a story like this will inspire many to go for their dreams, despite all the odds that may be against you.

There are multiple messages within this film. One of them is to go for your dreams despite the risks. The film shows that you need to be able to take risks and work hard to reach your goals. Even if you do encounter a setback, all that matters is that you keep getting back up and getting right back to work. Another message is to do what you want to do, even if others are against you. Grace Davis is an older woman of color in the music industry and, because of this, people try to shove her into a category and tell her what to do. But Grace has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

I love this film and the messages it conveys. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It comes out on Video on Demand May 29, 2020, so make sure you look for it!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SCOOB! (2020)
SCOOB! (2020) - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - Scooby-Doo is the hero of his own story in "SCOOB!," the first full-length, theatrical animated Scooby-Doo adventure, which reveals how he and his best friend Shaggy became two of the world's most beloved crime busters. The story takes us back to where it all began, when a young Scooby and Shaggy first meet, and team up with Velma, Daphne, and Fred to launch Mystery Incorporated.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Grab your Scooby Snacks and get ready for a Scoob-tasic adventure. Zoinks, this movie is terrific! The storyline is creative and entertaining and there is wonderful character development that is unique to this movie versus the cartoon episodes we all grew up with.

Scoob! is about the never-before-heard origin of the Mystery Inc. gang and how Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby Doo (Frank Welker) met. After a montage of solving mysteries, we see the gang wanting to expand and we get to follow them on their biggest mystery yet. Only their friendship can save them.

I LOVE The Scooby Doo Franchise! And Scoob! is no exception. I remember watching the show and wondering how the Mystery Inc. gang got together. And now, in Scoob! we finally learn the answer. The animation is super vivid and creative. Everywhere you look, there is an "Easter Egg." For example, the names of streets and stores are names of people associated with Hanna-Barbera. The cast includes children of some of the adult actors. The characters' voices are cast to perfection. Frank Welker has a fantastic snack-loving dog voice and has been the voice of Scooby Doo for nearly 20 years. Will Forte has a hilarious hippy voice; Amanda Seyfried (Daphne) has a magnificent, kind and caring tone in her voice; and Gina Rodriguez (Velma) has an excellent voice portraying wit, intelligence and quite a bit of sarcasm. My favorite character is (SURPRISE) Scooby, because he is such a sweet dog and, as Frank Welker says, "When he talks, I'm not even sure I am listening to a dog talking like a human, or a human talking like a dog." I agree. But a close second is the villain of the movie (no spoiler here) because his name, his voice and his appearance are just perfect for a bad guy.

The key message of this movie is about the power of friendship. This movie has mild bad language and some magic scenes that may be scary for a younger audience.

Jinkies, I give Scoob! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults will love this as well. Scoob! is available online May 15, 2020. #SCOOBMOVIENIGHT

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

SCOOB! is a hilarious, action-packed and adventurous animated movie based on the original Scooby Doo cartoon. This movie is a cool, updated version and includes cell phones and references to some of the current stores, such as IKEA and Wal-Mart. There are so many funny scenes in this movie that the whole family will love.

In SCOOB!, the entire Mystery Inc. team from Scooby Doo returns to solve more mysteries. We learn how Shaggy, Scooby, Velma, Daphne and Fred originally met one Halloween night. The team then goes on several adventures while trying to solve mysteries. Their biggest mission is when Velma, Daphne and Fred find out that Shaggy and Scooby are missing, and they go on a quest to find their lost friends. They need to stop the villain, Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs), from capturing Scooby and using him to open up the gates so he can steal the treasure of the underworld.

The lead characters are Shaggy (Will Forte), Scooby (Frank Welker), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Fred (Zac Efron). It was interesting to learn what role each of them had in the group. For example, Velma is the "brains" of the team. The costumes are amazing and spot on to the originals. Scooby even gets an upgrade and gets to wear a great superhero costume in the movie. There is a lot of great music from different eras and it takes place in Venice, California. It is really clever that the movie starts with Dr. Dre and Tupac's song, "California Love." The special effects are realistic and make you feel as if you are in the movie. One of the coolest parts of the movie is when other Hanna Barbara characters such as, Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemmons) show up to help save Shaggy and Scooby. A great surprise is when American Idol's, Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) appears in the movie. I love how current events are used in the movie, especially the joke they include about how Simon is responsible for giving the world Kelly Clarkson.

The message in SCOOB! is all about friendship. The cast uses the phrase "friendship saves the day" throughout the film. Anytime the Mystery Inc. team needs to solve a case, they do it together. This movie is PG and, even though there isn't a lot for parents to look out for, there are two scenes that could be mistaken for inappropriate language.

SCOOB! is PAW-tastic and a film you definitely want to see. You may even find yourself dancing while watching it. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 5 to 18. Adults will love it too. This movie is available on video on demand now, so grab your Scooby Snacks and order it today!

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Fire up your Mystery Machine and head to your home theater to watch the new Scooby snack-eating, ghost-catching and hilarious new film, Scoob! Scoob! brings much more to the table then huge sandwiches and Scooby snacks, it also brings amazing characterization and belly-laughing humor. The film has outstanding animation, but some parts look a little bit off and need a little more detail. The movie brings back that nostalgic feel we all know and love, and makes the movie feel somewhat like another episode of some ghost-catching, meddling kids.

Scoob! starts off with a young, lonely Shaggy Rodgers (Iain Armitage) when he runs into a stray puppy and names it Scooby-Doo. From that day forth we get the amazing dog and man duo that forms Mystery Inc! The movie cuts to about 20 years later to see the full-grown meddling kids we all know and love, Shaggy (Will Forte), Scooby (Frank Welker), Daphne (Amada Seyfried), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), and Fred (Zac Efron). One day, Scooby and Shaggy are attacked by scorpion-looking robots and have to team up with the local superhero, Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) to find the culprit responsible for these menacing attacks! This movie is an emotional rollercoaster filled with twists and turns you never saw coming!

There are many Scooby-Doo movies out there and I personally think that they all kind of all are the same, but let me tell you, Scoob!is completely out of the Scooby snack-box and original. I have to give big props to director Tony Cervone for making a movie that is completely original and its own. Another obvious favorite of this movie is Scooby-Doo himself! Frank Welker's voice acting is spot on and captures everything we all love about our snack-eating dog, Scooby. The only weakness with this movie is the character design. The main characters are designed extremely well, however, the people in the background all have a generic look and seem the same, but with different hair and shirt pieces.

Scoob is rated PG, but it is very edgy for a PG rating. The film includes two mild curse words and a bunch of hilarious adult jokes that will go over many kids' heads. The film also has scorpion-looking robots that might be frightening to younger viewers and, in some scenes, the scorpions turn into little cute robots. The movie's main theme is friendship, so throughout the film, many morals are provided for teaching younger viewers.

Overall, the producers and directors really put the pedal to the metal of the Mystery Machine and provide an original, fun-loving Scooby-Doo story with great characterization and humor. Therefore, I give Scoob! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for kids ages 4 to18. You can buy or rent Scoob! Digitally beginning May 15, 2020.

Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I like SCOOB! because it has an amazing mystery and the characters are really cute. It's cool that they have their own opinions about pretty much everything, yet are still good friends. This film is full of action and also has some touching scenes that that will make you feel emotional.

This animated film is about a gang that meets on Halloween when they are young and they solve their first mystery. Then they start solving mysteries all the time. When they grow up, they try to find an investor to support their mystery-solving business. Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) meets the crew in a diner and says he won't give them any money if Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) are part of the business, since he believes a group is only as strong as its weakest link. Shaggy and Scooby go off bowling on their, but wind up getting chased by evil robots. They get transported to Blue Falcon's (Mark Wahlberg) ship and meet Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemons). The group gets chased by the robots who are controlled by Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs)--a bad guy that wants to take Scooby and open the gate to the underworld. You'll have to watch to see if Dick successfully opens the gate.

All the characters are so funny; each one has its own little personality. Fred (Zac Efron) isn't the smartest guy, but he's the cutest. Velma (Gina Rodriguez), on the other hand, is probably the smartest person ever. The group relies on each other to solve problems. To me, that's pretty cool. My favorite part is when Shaggy and Scooby sing "Shallow" to Simon Cowell. It is so funny because they are definitely not good singers. But I love it because "Shallow" is my favorite song.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Even when they mess up, you should have their back. It kind of reminds me that sometimes I mess up and I want my friends to support me still.

I give SCOOB! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. I also think adults will like this film--especially if they used to watch the animated shows when they were kids. SCOOB! is available now online, so go look for it!

By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND
NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND - HBO FAMILY CHANNEL
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - Exploring Natalie Wood's life and career through the unique perspective of her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and others who knew her best.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind is a wonderful biography telling the story of Natalie Wood's life in a raw way from the perspectives of multiple people. The film gets into lots of details and aspects of her life. By the end, the audience knows all about who Natalie Wood was.

The film is composed of old video and audio clips of Natalie Wood as well as multiple interviews, some of which are conducted by Wood's daughter, Natasha. The clips follow in somewhat of a chronological order, but the film doesn't start off at the beginning of her life. It covers details and facts about her entire life, but skips around, going to different parts. It focuses on her success as a child, her family's struggles, her love life, and the drama surrounding her death. The documentary also highlights all of her achievements in her film career.

The people featured in the documentary represent Natalie Wood's extensive circle of family and friends. Their interviews tell their perspectives of Natalie and her life. Included are her daughters, the family nanny, her husband and people who worked with her.

I thought it was interesting the way that they decided to skip around to different phases in her life. Normally documentaries pursue a chronological order, starting from the beginning and following through to the end. In contrast, this documentary is really effective in the way it skips around, because it gives the audience a bit of background information before returning to explain some aspect in deeper detail. I liked this because it allowed me to get a general idea first of what Natalie Wood was like and then what she experienced. I could see how people viewed her from the outside and then, the film delves deeper into a closer perspective by her friends and family.

My favorite parts are the home videos of Natalie Wood with her children. These clips make you realize that, even though she was under the pressure of the spotlight all the time and looks perfect, she is a human being with a life too.

The purpose of this documentary is to honor Natalie Wood and show people how great a life she lived. Some people focus more on the tragedy of her death and overlook her legacy in the film industry.

I loved watching and learning more about Natalie Wood's wonderful story. I give Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Even adults will enjoy learning from this documentary. Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind premieres on HBO May 5, 2020 so be sure to look for it!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: OCEAN ADVENTURES
OCTONAUTS: OCEAN ADVENTURES - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-12
Description - The Octonauts are a team of adventurers who explore the world s oceans, rescue aquatic creatures and protect their habitats - from the bustling eco-system along the Amazon River to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench. Deploying a set of aquatic vehicles, Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso and the rest of the crew embark on missions around the globe before returning safely to their home base, the Octopod. On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they journey to the Midnight Zone to rescue a bomber worm! Come along with Dashi as she teams up with her sister, Koshi, so solve a mysterious disappearance. And when Shellington crashes the Gup-D, he and Kwazii team up to pick up the pieces. Enjoy these adventures and more with the Octonauts!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Octonauts Ocean Adventures is an exciting educational DVD that follows the adventures of a team of friends that explore the world's oceans. It is comprised of six colorful and fun episodes including titles such as Kelp Monster Mystery, The Loneliest Whale and Operation Cooperation. Follow the crew in this action-packed series as they explore mysterious ocean life, learn about and rescue curious sea creatures and teach us how to protect their environments and habitats. The team is lead by Captain Barnacles, the bravest polar bear you will ever meet and always the first to rush in and help whenever there is a problem to be solved. Other characters include Kwazii - the daredevil cat, Dr. Shellington - the coolest marine biologist sea otter around, Dash dog - a sweet natured IT officer and Tweak - a bunny who's ready to lend a helping hand. From their underwater Octopod, they are always ready for excitement and the challenges that await them in the deep blue sea. The DVD's run time is 66 minutes and includes menu options such as episode selection and comes with a colorful booklet with information about The Octonauts and other shows from NCircle Entertainment. This series is highly recommended for any child that enjoys colorful characters, fun songs, adventure and learning about the ocean and its creatures. I give Octonauts Ocean Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 10. It's available on DVD now, so check it out. Reviewed by Eli B, KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures is a DVD collection of episodes from The Octonauts, a group of sea creatures lead by Captain Barnacles to go on exciting missions all across the world. This is a highly educational show, though this fact is hidden in many fun and informative adventures. Kids enjoy the mindful characters and upbeat music while learning a lot.

All the characters are engaging and interesting. They have good interpersonal relationships. The storylines oftentimes highlight problem solving-skills and thoughtful learning. The characters work together as a team, which is great modeling for kids to see. The animation has bright colors and backgrounds. The backgrounds make the film really interesting and fun to watch. The music is very catchy and any child who has heard it will recognize it immediately. It's definitely danceable for both preschoolers and young elementary school aged. The music is very much a highlight of the show.

Of course none of these stories would happen in real life, as it is a fictional cartoon. Captain Barnacles and Dashi are the most memorable characters in the series. They are mindful, personable characters. My favorite part is when they're surrounded by all the creatures that want to eat Little Jimmy and they try to fight off the creatures. They use the boat to get out and are followed to the main ship and then they turn on the lights. Captain Barnacles is a brave person and a true leader. He helps people when necessary, especially people in need. Always help people in need when you can is a prominent message in each episode. I learned all about bomber worms and how they use flares to defend themselves and signal their friends. They live in the middle of the trench because if they go to the bottom they can't swim back up and can easily die.

I give Octonauts: Ocean Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 9. It is available now on DVD so look for it.

By Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the Octonauts: Ocean Adventures because the animation is so cute and the characters are super funny. It can get a little repetitive for older kids when you watch more than a couple episodes, but I think little kids would want to watch all six episodes on the DVD. I really like how each episode shows the actual animal, and not just the animated one. It allows viewers to get a better idea of what the animals looks like in real life.

This DVD has different episodes about a specific animal that lives in the ocean. The Octonauts, featuring Captain Barnacles, ex-pirate Kwazii (a cat) and medic Peso (a penguin) go on a bunch of adventures under the ocean. In one episode, the Octonauts help two very competitive shrimp that are fighting, become best friends. In another one, a confident polar bear goes underwater with Kwazii and Peso to talk to little worms they meet and look for one worm that sank to the bottom of the ocean. Other characters, like an otter, help Kwazii search for parts after their ship crashes to the bottom of the ocean. It's a very fun DVD because there is a lot of action and you always want to know what will happen next.

All of the characters have their own personality, such as the penguin, named Peso. Peso is very scared, but Kwazii (the cat) is not afraid of anything. I love how all of the characters are so different from one another. It reminds me of some of my friends who like different things than I do, or have a shy personality. Even though we are different, we still have fun together. My favorite part about this DVD is when Peso gets so scared of the huge "monster," but it's not quite a monster. You'll have to watch the DVD to find out what the creature actually is. I also like the blobfish who always wants food--especially worms--but is so slow he often misses out on a snack. That character is probably the funniest part of the DVD.

The message of this show is: if you work together, you can even save people's lives. It's amazing what you can do when you work together. Even if you different from one another, you can still use the strengths of each person in the group to be successful.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. This DVD is out now, so go look for it.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I was absolutely thrilled with the stories told in the DVD Octonauts: Ocean Adventures. This series of tales is full of twists and turns that will keep you engaged throughout the six action packed episodes. You will have tons of fun and learn valuable lessons along with the Octonauts, Captain Barnacles, ex-pirate Kwazii and medic Peso.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures follows a team of underwater explorers that save ocean life and protect their habitats. The Octonauts help all animals and sea life ranging from the predatory mantis shrimp to the wiggly bomber worms. While doing this, the gang faces troubles such as transportation breaking down and fights between other animals. Even though the troubles seem tough, the Octonauts always manage to come through and learn skills to help them in life.

In this DVD, we are introduced to six episodes: Mantis Shrimp, Kelp Monster Mystery, Bomber Worms, Loneliest Whale, Operation Cooperation, and Spinner Dolphins. Each episode tells a unique story. I truly enjoyed each episode and did not get bored with any of them. The fun ocean setting captivated me, since there are so many things that are unknown about the ocean habitat. I was happily surprised when I heard the voices of all the characters. Instead of having high, cartoonish voices, the Octonauts voices are deep, and some even have accents. I particularly liked Captain Barnacles' English accent voiced by Ross Breen. That isn't the only audible thing I enjoyed. I was very entertained by the music. It sets a tone and makes situations seem much more relaxed, dire or whatever the mood may be. The clever theme music composer Darren Hendly is to thank for the catchy intro. Lastly, I really appreciate the animation style in this show. It is funny and adorable, without giving a fake impression of how these animals truly look.

The message behind these episodes is that, even when there are problems that seem tough and unsolvable, you can count on teamwork and kindness to always help you out. If we all help each other out, the problems can be fixed and you can gain important lessons from them.

I give Octonauts: Ocean Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to ages 6 to 12. This collection can be found on DVD and Digital now.

Reviewed by Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I am a big fan of the Octonauts series and this DVD is one of my favorites. It never gets boring and kept me looking forward to the next episode.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures is about a team of under-the-sea adventurers. They explore, rescue and protect everything in the ocean. We follow them along many expeditions like cleaning the ocean and helping a lonely whale. Episodes include Mantis Shrimp, Operation Cooperation, Kelp Monster Mystery and more. The DVD runs about an hour, so it is the perfect amount of entertainment for a younger audience.

This is such an educational, yet fun DVD. I learned about animals that I had no idea even existed! Children will enjoy it, and so will others! It is great for the whole family to watch. The animation is simple, yet adorable, and the sea animals are darling. There are a lot of episodes in the Octonauts series and, just when you think that you have learned it all, NCircle Entertainment always throws more stuff at you to learn, and you're having a blast doing it. The characters' voices in Octonauts fit their personalities perfectly. Simon Greenall has a flawless, bold polar bear voice, Paul Panting plays a wonderful, gentle penguin and Bob Rackstraw voices a magnificent, dare-devil cat. My favorite episode is Bomber Worms because I learned about this animal for the first time and how interesting and unique they are.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teamwork, friendship, being adventurous, and loving animals.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 9. This DVD is currently available.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The Octonauts: Ocean Adventures is such a fun and educational DVD! It offers a good mix between learning about marine life and entertaining younger kids. This series will entertain kids for more than an hour while they explore the world's oceans.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures is about a team of adventurers called the Octonauts that explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats on land and sea. The DVD includes 6 episodes of fun, underwater adventures that teach kids all about the oceans and many of the animals that live there.

The protagonists in the movie are Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), an ex-pirate and a doctor named Peso (Wayne Grayson). Other animal friends show up on different episodes to join the Octonauts on their various quests. My favorite episode was The Loneliest Whale because I love how the Octonauts help the lonely whale, named Joe, find other whales and food. It is really heart-warming. The characters are all really nice, sweet, open-minded and have hearts of gold. While I love the main Octonauts, my favorite characters are Dashi and her little sister Koshi, because they work well together, have a great bond, love the same things and can relate and understand each other. The animation is so fun that it makes you feel like you are on missions with the Octonauts. The setting under the sea is really beautiful with neon colors that kids will love watching. It is really creative how everything the Octonauts use, such as the Octopod and the Gups, look like real animals.

This DVD encourages friendship, kindness and teamwork. The message across all episodes is that when you have kindness you can build great friendships and that teamwork is really important because it helps you get the job done faster. This movie has a G rating and there isn't anything parents need to be warned about.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures is a great show for younger kids. Kids will definitely learn about the world's oceans, smarine life and how to be great friends and work together. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 8. This is out on DVD now, so make sure you go check it out.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 66 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SHARK SCHOOL WITH JESSICA HARVEY
SHARK SCHOOL WITH JESSICA HARVEY - GEORGE C. SCHELLENGER
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Join Jessica Harvey as she takes you to the coolest school on planet earth, the school of sharks. From the Tiger Shark - to the Bull Shark - to the Great Hammerhead, get ready for an educational experience you can really sink your teeth into!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you are looking for the "coolest school on the planet," well, look no further because I have found it! Shark School with Jessica Harvey offers the best instruction - marine style - right from your own home! The film's producer, George Schellenger takes you on an exciting journey into our oceans while providing us with some amazing lessons about a variety of shark species ranging in size from a few feet long to the length of an entire school bus. Scientist Jessica Harvey, the daughter of the legendary artist and Marine Biologist, Dr. Guy Harvey, adds such excitement as she narrates this film. The film's magnificent footage of some of our Earth's most precious oceanic creatures is sure to leave viewers wanting more instruction from this school!

Shark School with Jessica Harvey gives viewers a detailed education on over a dozen shark species living within our oceans. The narrators give a detailed explanation on the size, feeding patterns and special anatomical features of a variety of sharks occupying different marine habitats. From lateral lines, dermal denticles, to electroreceptors, each of these shark species are explained as being so unique. The film highlights how these characteristics are considered evolutionary advantages, yet sharks have become an addition to the threatened or endangered list due to over hunting and human consumption. With the alarming decline in shark population numbers, this film serves as a call to action that research, conservation, and preservation is much needed in order for man to save these species.

Hats off to the production and cinematography crew for showcasing such amazing creatures which inhabit our oceans. The up close footage of these amazing creatures shows how lively our marine environments are. The fact that the researchers can get that close to these majestic creatures and that there is somewhat of a mutual understanding between man and shark is what I like best in this film. Sharks appear to be underestimated by some, yet they are so critical for a balanced ecosystem.

The message well conveyed in Shark School with Jessica Harvey is about finding balance between man and nature. Sustainable seafood consumption and conservation are critical for our shark species. Shark diversity has been negatively impacted by man and if we don't make changes soon, we may never be able to recover from such an alarming decline in shark populations. Education is the key! If we aren't aware of a problem, we can't change it. This film makes people excited about our oceans and the creatures that call the oceans their home. This excitement may be the driving force that we desperately need to conserve what little we have within our ecosystems. There is great value to our sharks and this film has given me a new appreciation of these fish!

I give Shark School with Jessica Harvey 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18. This is a perfect educational film for teachers, nature lovers and environmentalists. They will love it just as much as kids. This film can be rented or purchased now on Amazon. Check it out. This is a film that you do not want to miss!

Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Sharks are the scariest predators in the sea! That is why it is important to learn accurate information about them, which is what you can on the documentary Shark School with Jessica Harvey from the Guy Harvey Expeditions. Both the narrator and Jessica help the viewer understand facts about the different species of sharks.

This documentary is about many different sharks, but I will only be talking about a few. The first shark I want to talk about is the bull shark. Bull sharks can actually live in fresh water and, although most shark attacks are blamed on white sharks, they might have been from the bull shark. The bull shark also is one of the most dangerous sharks in the sea, mostly because of its strong quest for food.

One shark I found particularly interesting is the hammerhead shark. For one, since its eyes are located on each end of its head, the shark has a wide view. Did you know that hammerhead sharks can use their heads like a metal detector to find sting rays? Now, that's cool. Sadly the hammerhead shark is endangered; not only because of overfishing, but because people like to eat shark fin soup, which often comes from hammerhead sharks.

My favorite shark is the whale shark, which is as big as a bus. That is crazy! And, whale sharks don't eat normal shark food; they eat very small foods like plankton. They can reach up to 40 feet in length and they are the biggest fish in the ocean.

I give Shark School With Jessica Harvey 3 out 5 stars because I wish it had more information but it is still a great documentary and was fun to watch. I recommend this series for ages 10 to 15, plus adults. It is available on Amazon to rent or buy. Check it out.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like Shark School with Jessica Harvey because I learned about things I didn't know about sharks. Some parts were a little boring because there is a lot of information, but I really liked the scenes of sharks swimming in the water.

Shark School with Jessica Harvey teaches you bout different species of shark. For example, the whale shark is a shark that is about the size of a school bus. When I watched that part it made me want to be able to ride a bus to school. I learned that sharks have a dorsal fin on top and pectoral fins on their undersides. The caudal fin is the "tail" of the shark and helps them swim in the water. Sharks use gills to breathe and don't have bones. I didn't know much about sharks until I watched this film, so if you want to learn more, you have to watch it. I did know about the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Guy Harvey is Jessica's dad. I bought a necklace for my dance teacher that was designed by Guy, so it was very cool to learn more about his foundation and the information his daughter shares in the film.

I really like how the film breaks down the different types of sharks, step-by-step. It's very interesting learning all about the sharks and hearing what you can do to protect them. I like that the film shows real sharks swimming after showing illustrations of the different parts of the sharks. My favorite part of the film is when the hammerhead shark is talked about and shown. I've never seen a real shark before, so it was neat to see the odd-shaped head of the hammerhead. I was surprised to find out that it is considered to be a pretty friendly shark.

The message of the film is that sharks aren't necessarily scary. Before I watched this film, I was really scared of sharks, but learning more about them makes them less scary. Now I'm not afraid of sharks, although I don't know if I'd swim with them anytime soon--at least not without experts around me.

I give Shark School with Jessica Harvey 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16, as well as some adults, especially if they are interested in learning more about sharks. Shark School with Jessica Harvey will be available on Amazon to rent or to buy sometime soon.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 25 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIGANTOSAURUS: DINO TALES
GIGANTOSAURUS: DINO TALES - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Description - ROCKY, BILL, TINY and MAZU are four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period. Life is always an adventure: new volcanoes are popping up all the time, long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratopses roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky and the big bad Gigantosaurus reigns over it all! On this exciting DVD, join Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu as they explore the world of Cretacia. Embark on a mission to help find a lost egg s missing parents. Join the four friends as they venture out on a sleepover at the lake and camp among the herds in the desert. The adventures don t end there! Race with Mazu to see a once-in-a-lifetime comet and join Bill as he becomes invisible during a game of hide and seek. Enjoy these adventures and more with our Dino pals!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales is an English dubbed collection of episodes from the titular French CGI-animated preschool series. Kids learning through early childhood education will find plenty of great messages and funny characters. Most of the episodes follow a repetitive structure, although there are a few standouts.

This anthology follows the adventures of Rocky (Dylan Schombling), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Tinu (Aine Sunderland), and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell) who are four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period. Surrounding these tales is the overarching mysterious Gigantosaurus who helps them on a few adventures.

The four leads share great banter allowing for believable friendships. Keep in mind, they are all child actors who are slowly coming into their own. Dylan Schombling, as Rocky, is easily my favorite of the bunch overcompensating his masculinity towards his inner fears. His dynamic with Bill, voiced by Nicholas Holmes, is strongest with a touching episode addressing how he helps his friend face his fears. The dynamic between Tinu, Mazu and other pair-ups are not as strong, although Aine Sunderland and Nahanni Mitchell give charismatic performances.

The animation is easily the most impressive feature here. The character models appear swiftly, and the environments fully capture the Cretaceous aesthetic. I should point out that the episodic plots follow a similar pattern, and the characters lack distinct personalities, especially the antagonists who are always juvenile bullies. Granted this is a cartoon made for preschoolers, so this will not be as obvious to them as it is to an older viewer such as myself. "The Island" is the one episode that really stands out for me, featuring a touching plot about friendship as Bill helps Rocky face his fear of swimming.

The message of this film is to always value friendships. All four of the dinosaurs have a great dynamic that revolves around trust and teamwork. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. This DVD us available now on DVD and digital so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD because it is very entertaining and funny. This show amuses younger children as well as older children like myself.

This DVD is a compilation of eight funny episodes with each episode a duration of 11 minutes approximately. The episodes do not follow a sequence. Each one has its individual story line. This DVD is about four "dino" friends, named Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu, who explore the world of Cretacia, where they live and make missions along the way. This show is very entertaining for young audience, keeping their attention their entire time.

The graphics are very bright and colorful. I especially like the jungle background. The voice-over talents suit each character. The music is appealing, especially the theme song. The episodes are short and interesting. My favorite episode is "Mazu's Comet," which is about Mazu wanting to see a comet with his name, because he is actually named after the comet. This is a special day for him because the comet only passes by every 100 hundred years. He makes a telescope, but the lens of the telescope breaks, so he scavenges to find a new lens in the desert. He only has a limited time to get back to the mountain to watch the comet. Finally, he finds the lens he needs but he gets distracted by another dinosaur in need of assistance and forgets all about the lens that he needs to see this special comet. He travels back without the lens and keeps helping more fellow dinosaurs along the way. When he finally arrives at the mountain he realizes that he forgot his lens. All the dinosaurs that Mazu helped along the way help him get his lens back and Mazu watches the comet successfully. My favorite character is Rocky because he is very adventurous dinosaur.

The moral of this DVD is that "teamwork makes the dream work," while having fun together. There is nothing like having a strong bond with our closest best friends to experience adventures together while exploring our surroundings or hometown.

I give Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults can watch this DVD with their children as well. This DVD is available now so look for it!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

What I like about this DVD is seeing how all the characters of different types get along as great friends. I like how they work together as a team to solve problems. I also love the animation.

This DVD is a collection of episodes from the TV show by the same name. The story line is four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period where there is a new adventure every day from volcanoes popping up, to meteor showers lighting up the night sky to all the various dinosaurs that you might run into at any time. The young dinosaurs, Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu invite the audience to join them in their adventures.

What stands out in these animated episodes are the minute details of each dinosaur and the positive relationship between the four characters. The dinosaurs are very distinguished so that the viewer can determine their various types. The lead character Rocky pretends to be very brave, but his friend assures him that it's okay to have fears. The character Bill shows his loyalty as a friend. Mazu and Tiny are committed to their friendship. It's also fun that the dinosaurs have human-like qualities, making them anthropomorphic.

The message of this DVD is to demonstrate friendship, acceptance and compassion. The episodes focus on taking care of one another and being thoughtful. I learned to continue to value my friends and enjoy fun times together. I also learned how to pronounce some of the difficult names of dinosaurs.

I give Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages w to 5. It is available now on DVD or digital, so look for it.

Reviewed by Bailey Rae F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOOZERS WE DIG SPRINIG!
DOOZERS WE DIG SPRINIG! - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description - Doozers: We Dig Spring! - Living at the edges of our world and right under our noses are Doozers. Just who are the Doozers? They're green, they're cute, they're three inches tall, full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm they're AWESOME! Doozers love to create, build, and innovate. Doozers are DOERS they put their ideas into action! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, "The stories follow four green Doozers that love helping wildlife and building things. Doozers are little green, cute and energetic creatures - two boys and two girls. Each one has a unique talent. For example, one has the power of science, another has technology, the third one has engineering and the fourth one has arts and math. All together it equals STEAM (science, technology, engineering arts and math)." See his full review below.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Doozers We Dig Spring! DVD because it is very entertaining, even for an 11-year-old, like me. This animation has very unique story lines in every episode.

The DVD has six episodes, each about 11 minutes long. The stories follow four green Doozers that love helping wildlife and building things. Doozers are little green, cute and energetic creatures - two boys and two girls. Each one has a unique talent. For example, one has the power of science, another has technology, the third one has engineering and the fourth one has arts and math. All together it equals STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). In every adventure they learn something new such as the stages of a butterfly, what bees like or how to work together.

My favorite episode is Oh Beehive where one of the Doozers is hungry and goes to a bakery to get something to eat. When he is about to go inside, a storm of bees swoops in front of the bakery's door so the owner has to shut the bakery down. The Doozer calls his friends to come and help him. All four Doozers together think of a genius plan so they can stop the bees and remove them from the door. The animation is cute with vibrant colors. The voice-overs are all by kids and their voices fit each character perfectly. The theme song is very energetic. Each episode is a different adventure and they don't necessary follow a sequence. My favorite catch phrase they say is, "Doo, doo, doo..." and, right after that phrase, they start working together as a team to resolve a situation or to build something.

The moral of Doozers We Dig Spring! is "team work makes the dream work," because in all six episodes all four Doozers team together to solve situations or to build something and they always put their ideas together to make things happen as a team.

I give Doozers We Dig Spring! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18, and adults can enjoy this DVD as well. This DVD is available now so go get it before it runs out! Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 66 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: INVESTIGATION STATION
FLOOGALS: INVESTIGATION STATION - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-12
Description - EXPERIMENTAION, DISCOVERY, OBSERVATION, HUMANS
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Floogals Investigation Station because it is very funny, original and creative. It captured my attention the whole time. I like that it is not just animation, as some parts are real life graphics. I also like that it is always teaching kids to explore and experiment in every episode.

This DVD is about three purple lookalike aliens called Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer. The Floogals learn new things and report back to their boss to inform him what they have learned on Earth. This DVD contains six episodes about experimentation, discovery and observation. Each episode has about 11 minutes of adventure and funny situations. One of the funniest things of this show is that the aliens call the humans "hoomans."

My favorite episode is "Project Popcorn." This episode is about the Floogals discovering a food called popcorn. When a human accidentally lets go of the popcorn, it falls and the dog eats it, so they think it is dog food. Later they start to realize what popcorn is. Another one of my favorite episodes is "Project Sleep" which is about how a "hooman" girl invites her friends over for a sleepover. The Floogals spy on the girls to see what a sleepover is all about. The Floogals slowly learn about and process the word "sleepover," The Floogals do not realize that the whole time they are actually part of the sleepover. The graphics are real live backgrounds and the Floogals are little animated aliens. The animation is neat and very colorful. The voiceover talent suits each character. I like Junior Boomer's character the most, because he is clumsy, funny, and always curious about learning new things.

The moral of this show is: don't ever let someone stop you from doing what you desire. Don't allow anyone to discourage you from doing what you are capable of doing. For example, Junior Boomer investigates this thing call "popcorn" and Captain Fleeker tries to stop him, but Junior Boomer still investigates.

I give Floogals Investigation Station 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 6 to 18, plus adults. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 66 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY SPY
MY SPY - AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment, she uses her tech savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ's cover Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance JJ finds he is no match for Sophie's disarming charm and wit. The hilarious actioner is directed by Peter Segal from a script penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber and stars Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Ken Jeong. Producers are Chris Bender, Peter Segal, Jake Weiner, Robert Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, Dave Bautista and Jonathan Meisner.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thought My Spy was so good because I loved the friendship and love that develops between the characters JJ (Dave Bautista) and Sophie (Chloe Coleman)! They start off as strangers and then, throughout the movie, JJ teaches her how to be a good spy, and she teaches him how to be a kinder person as their relationship grows stronger and they become friends. Not only does JJ have a change of heart and but eventually he develops feelings for her mom.

My Spy is the story of a CIA agent who is secretly watching a family in order to try and get information connected to a big case he is on. One of the people he is watching is the little girl, Sophie, who discovers J.J. and that he is spying on her and her mom. In exchange for not revealing his secret, Sophie makes him teach her how to be a good spy.

One of my favorite parts of My Spy is when JJ goes on a date with Sophie's mom and starts dancing. Because his character is so serious and he's such a large person, it's very funny to see him trying to do all these trendy dances...because he does it so terribly! Honestly, it kind of reminded me of my dad dancing.

For those who like Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy you will love him in this movie. Chloe Coleman has a very bright acting future--she is such a kind person both on and off camera, and she has such an amazing on-camera presence.

A quick note to parents: My Spy does contain some adult language (and in some songs played during the movie.) So while younger kids may enjoy it, parents should decide if their kids are mature enough to see a movie with moments of profanity.

My Spy is full of action, fun, comedy and love. I give My Spy 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, and adults will love it too! Available now on Amazon Prime

Reviewed by Lindalee R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

My Spy is a very entertaining and funny movie! The casting director, Anne McCarthy and Kellie Roy, picked the perfect people to play the roles in this film. The music selections are very upbeat and work perfectly in each scene.

My Spy tells the story of J.J. (Dave Bautista), a CIA agent who secretly spies on a family with his colleague Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) until their nine-year-old girl, Sophie Vale (Chloe Coleman) finds out what they are up to. Sophie blackmails J.J, into doing things for her so she's not left alone or unable to attend certain events. J.J. decides to help Sophie so that she won't tell anyone about him and blow his cover. They go on an adventure filled with drama and secret spy missions.

The main characters are J.J. and Sophie Vale--she is my favorite character. She is so smart and funny. My favorite part of this movie is when J.J. and Sophie are walking away from an explosion and Sophie's mom, Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley), is confused because they are walking slowly away instead of running. The special effects, such as the explosions, in this movie are so realistic. The music really drives the movie, and the right song plays at the right time. For example, in the beginning, J.J. is in a car chase and tries to find the perfect song for the car chase. I also enjoyed seeing the relationship between actors Coleman and Bautista on scene. You can tell they had fun filming it together, and you'll have fun watching them on scene.

The message of My Spy is to trust people, even kids. Throughout the movie J.J. has to learn that he has people in his life that can help him. You have to let other people help in order to be successful or accomplish your goals-- you never know what could happen if you work with others and let them in. Adults should look out for gun violence and effects that may be scary for younger kids.

My Spy is a "spy-tastic" film that the whole family, especially older kids, will love! I give My Spy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 10 to 18 years old. Adults will like it too. My Spy comes out on Amazon Prime Video on June 26, 2020.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STARGIRL
STARGIRL - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-14
Description - A boy becomes intrigued by a mysterious and quirky student named Stargirl and spends his time trying to know more about her.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Stargirl is an amazing movie that encourages you to be yourself and not let anyone tell you who else to be. This movie could make a great impact on the world and it has such a powerful and positive message with the ability to inspire many people.

Stargirl is about a boy named Leo Borlock (Graham Verchere) and a girl, Stargirl (Grace VanderWaal) who, after many years of being homeschooled, decides to attend a regular school and the two of them begin a connection. When Stargirl shows up at the school, positive things start happening, like the football team winning games, which it hadn't for YEARS)! But, when Stargirl makes a choice that causes the school to lose the championship football game, everyone turns on her and it's up to Leo to save Stargirl and win back everyone's love for her.

One of my favorite parts is when Stargirl sings Happy Birthday to Leo at the beginning of the movie, because that's when he starts noticing that this girl is different and wonders what she knows about him. What a surprise to have a complete stranger serenade you on your birthday, in front of the whole school! I also love the moment when Stargirl runs out of her house as Leo is leaving and kisses him. She's like, "Oh no, what do I do now?" and runs back into her house. I think that's so cute and funny and I love that he gets so giggly and happy about it. It is so adorable.

The message of this film is simple enough - be true to yourself and never let anybody tell you who to be or what to do, because you'll be unhappy with yourself in the end.

I love Stargirl and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. If you're in high school you'll be able to relate to at least one of the many likeable characters in this movie. And, Disney fans, as well as adults will LOVE this movie too. There's something for the whole family in this film. Make sure to have a box of tissues near by when you watch it. You just may need it for both the heartwarming and joyful moments. This movie is streaming on Disney+ beginning March 13, 2020.

By Lindalee Rose, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
KOKOWANDA BAY BY RUTH AND EMILIA
KOKOWANDA BAY BY RUTH AND EMILIA - RUTH WEBER, ENRICO LOPEZ-YANEZ AND EMILIA LOPEZ-YANEX PRODUCTIONS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 4-12
Description - URR the alien returns to Emilia's backyard to get her help in saving beautiful Kokowanda Bay which has become polluted. The two work together and sing these catchy tunes as they learn about recycling, reusing, and reducing, to make the world a better place.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The mother and daughter team of Ruth and Emilia have a winner of a new album on their hands with Kokowanda Bay, a rock 'em sock 'em joyous explosion of fun and educational songs of friendship, caring, love and wondrous discovery and includes a cute alien visitor from another planet for good measure. The production value and super vocals are indeed other-worldly with great use of instruments. (Hey, isn't that an oboe!) Songs move the story merrily along. A fun time is guaranteed for all - on this or any planet!

Kokowanda Bay by Ruth & Emilia is finely produced, well paced and flows easily. The album speaks to its target age group with messages of love, acceptance and care for the Earth. The arrangements are totally appealing and the vocals are terrific. I absolutely recommend this with its very positive and educational messages. It encourages that we all, regardless of age, can do our bit to be proactive. This album does not talk down to its audience, but uplifts them to a brighter understanding. All done in a loving and creative way.

The production value is terrific. The vocals are lovely and the musicians are on their game. It has lots of positive messages about going green, recycling and the wonders of nature. This would make a terrific tool for schools with its participatory projects, especially regarding science and the environment. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ruth and Emilia: Kokowanda Bay is a fun musical story that is extremely positive, while teaching younger viewers many important things about friendship. Even though this CD comes off as a children's CD, do not let that turn you away because this little package has lots to offer such as amazing singing, lyrics and important morals.

An adventurous team of Kokowanda Bay is formed when the planet Goopda sends an alien named UUR to Earth to save Kokowanda Bay. The team explores different ways to help the earth such as "going green" and planting flowers across Kokowanda Bay. They also participate in fun beach activities and learn about some of nature's cycles.

There are many reasons to love this CD and the biggest one is the vocals. Emilia Lopez-Ya�ez and Ruth Weber's voices are amazing! Their voices combined makes you want to listen to this CD for hours! Emilia and Ruth also wrote the song lyrics, which are also outstanding. They are creative and positive one thing that makes it even more fun is that they rhyme most of the time.

This CD is extremely kid-friendly, however, it moves very fast so it may be difficult for younger viewers to comprehend the entire story. The CD teaches young viewers the importance of friendship while also teaching different ways to take care of the environment.

I give Ruth and Emilia: Kokowanda Bay 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This CD is widely available now. Look for it. Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ONWARD
ONWARD - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my gosh, I loved this film from Disney/Pixar. Perhaps my favorite Pixar film yet! Lovely story with a wonderful message, beautiful told and, of course, beautifully animated. I could watch this multiple times and shared it with my daughter who is 12. The humor is great, without bowing to potty humor, thankfully. The voice actors are superb in their character portrayals (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) and Octavia Spencer as The Manticore is the icing on the cake. Love it love it love it. Go see it. You'll be glad you did. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As of now, this film is easily one of my favorite Pixar films. I adore the touching story and especially the world building. Overall, Onward is an amazing film.

Onward takes in a world much like our own, except it's populated with fantasy creatures. We follow two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot as they discover magic still exists and thus go on a quest to revive their father for one day.

So, first the animation. I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. Since it is Pixar, the animation is absolutely outstanding. But, I specifically want to discuss the world in which Onward takes place. There are so many creative and diverse character designs and representations of mythological creatures (which I appreciate as a mythology fan). The world building is probably some of the best I've ever seen. I have contemplated the idea of a suburban fantasy, so I'm really happy seeing that idea brought to life. There's a lot of really funny gags surrounding this idea, such as an historically accurate "Dungeons and Dragons" and unicorns becoming the equivalent of raccoons. You can tell the artists really enjoyed designing the settings.

However, the world is not the only enjoyable aspect of this film. The characters are especially fun. The two brothers, Ian and Barley, have amazing chemistry. This is probably thanks to their voices actors - Tom Holland playing Ian and Chris Pratt playing Barley. They already have a connection from the Marvel movies, so their relationship feels real. But Ian and Barley aren't the only great characters in this movie. I would say my personal favorite character is The Manticore, played by Octavia Spencer. The Manticore is probably the funniest character and I really like her friendship with the brothers' mom, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

Speaking of which, Onward is really funny. There's a specific scene involving The Manticore that caused me to laugh probably the hardest I've ever laughed at a Pixar movie. There are also a lot of gags involving the fact that the world is populated with fantasy creatures.

And as expected from a Pixar film, it's pretty emotional. And, given the context of the plot, I feel this might be one of Pixar's most heart wrenching films. When you think about it, who wouldn't want to bring someone back, even for one day?

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It comes out on March 6, 2020 so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Onward is a spectacular film! I especially enjoyed the very well written story line and the animation. This film had me laughing and crying, as well as sitting on the edge of my seat. The characters are funny and very well animated, and remind me of humans that I know and love.

Onward is about two elf brothers named Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt). Their dad passed away when the Barley was very young and Ian was about to be born. All the two brothers want is to see their dad again. After getting their dad's old wizard staff and a spell to bring him back for a day, they find it is a lot harder than it seems and they need to work together to solve the puzzle.

The characters in this film are voiced by some very well-known names. Tom Holland (Spiderman movies) voices Ian Lightfoot and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World) plays Barley Lightfoot. Julia Louis-Dreyfus voices Laurel Lightfoot, Ian and Barley's mom. Manticore, the fierce creature who helps the brothers, is voiced by Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures).

Onward has everything that a fairy tale adventure film needs. The whole film is filled with magic and magical creatures like a fairy tale films has, but it also contains just the right amount of action to make it qualify as an adventure film as well. Onward's story line is fantastic! Every single detail is spot-on. My only problem with this film is that the pace starts a little slowly, but it picks up as the story develops. Other than that, I love this movie!

My favorite character in this movie is Barley, Ian's big brother. He is my favorite because most of his lines are very funny and he had me laughing every time he opened his mouth. I admire him because the other creatures think Barley is weird, but he is confident in who he wants to be and he is always himself.

The message of this film is that sometimes the very thing that you are looking for is right in front of you. I give Onward 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Onward opens in theaters March 6, 2020, so be sure to look for it! Now I will take my family to see this movie. By Eva W, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This animated fantasy film, directed and co-written by Dan Scanlon, is heart-warming and magical! Onward is a hilarious movie with terrific animation and special effects. Jeff and Mychael Dana's musical compositions are spectacular and really drive the flow of the movie.

Onward is about two teenage elves that receive a magical staff left to them by their father when he passed away. Their father was a magical wizard and created a way for them to use a magic spell to bring him back for 24 hours. Unfortunately, when they try to use it, the staff malfunctions and only half of their father returns. So, the brothers go on an adventurous journey to find the phoenix gem, so they can bring back the other half of their father. The catch is they only have 24 hours to do it, while solving the mystery using weird clues and some magic to get to see their dad again.

The protagonists are Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) and Barkley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt). The chemistry between the brothers is amazing, which is probably because Tom and Chris have worked with each other before. All the characters are well-developed. My favorite character is The Manticore (Octavia Spencer), because she is extremely funny. I love how she becomes the fearless warrior she was before the world stopped believing in magic. My favorite scene is when Ian uses the magic staff to make a gas can bigger and accidentally shrinks Barkley. Barkley jumps up and down, because he thought the magic worked, and then realizes it only worked on him. It is pretty funny. I also think it is clever how the unicorns play the role of raccoons and dragons act as pets. The special effects in this movie are spot on. I love the scene where Ian tries to bring his father back and everything flies around the room. Other scenes where Ian uses the magic staff are pretty cool too.

Even though the special effects are great, they are not what make this movie magical. The message of the film does. Many of the characters in this film have stopped believing in their own magic. In order for them to move onward, they need to believe in themselves, each other and the magic they each have. Adults may want to be cautious with children that have lost loved ones, as it might be disturbing to them.

Onward is an adventurous, family-friendly movie. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults will enjoy this too. Move onward to see this film in theaters opening in theaters March 6, 2020. Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Onward is fun, exiting, adventurous, and an emotional roller coaster. Pixar delivers another wonderful film that is very appealing to new generations and easy to relate, despite characters from another world.

Onward is a computer animated, urban fantasy film directed by Dan Scanlon, who also co-wrote the script with Jason Headley and Keith Bunin. The story follows brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt), two teenage elf's who embark on an extraordinary quest. Their goal is to try and see if there is magic left in the world, in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were younger. This is a story about bonding between father and son, and between two brothers.

Tom Holland, as Ian, the younger of the two brothers delivers a very subtle, but engaging interpretation that makes the audience immediately connect with his loner behavior. Chris Pratt, as Barley, the eldest brother, is vibrant, optimistic and his personality is almost opposite to his younger brother. Octavia Spencer plays Manticore, a fearless creature who can fly and sends people on quests). I absolutely love Octavia's performance and Manticore is my favorite character. I've always loved Octavia as an actress, so I was really exited that she voices this character. Another great voice is Laurel, the brother's mother, by super fun and charismatic Julia Louise-Dreyfus.

The animation in this movie is very detailed and sometimes photo realistic. Pixar has developed digital animation over the years to a fine art, and truly this film displays that. You can see so many details in the characters' facial expressions. If you look very closely you can see that the elves all have freckles! There is also a lot of emotion in this movie and the animation displays it so well.

I'm pretty sure everyone who watches this movie will cry at one point. I sure did. One of the fascinating aspects of Onward is how these fantasy creatures interact with each other and go through a journey of redemption and self discovery.

Onward is entertaining all the way, but some jokes don't work out and, at some point, it's a little hard to feel fully invested in one of the characters that appears only from his waist to his feet.

The message of this film is - believe. The magic in the film is a metaphor for our own ability of make things happen and letting out the light within ourselves.

I give Onward 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 13. Make sure to check out Onward in theaters on March 6, 2020. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Onward is Disney/Pixar's new action-packed animated movie with lots of magical laughs! There's hilarious physical humor, exciting chases and fights, but it's also a very moving film. You really feel the main characters' sense of loss at not growing up with their father.

Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) are teenage elf brothers who live in a suburban mushroom house in a land that was formerly full of magic. They use a spell to bring their dad back to life, but only get his bottom half! They have 24 hours to complete a quest to finish the spell and see him one more time. All they need to finish the spell is the Phoenix gem, but finding it proves a lot more complicated than they first think. While they are working to bring him back, they have to bring their dad's legs and feet along with them for the ride.

The animators have created a beautiful imaginative world with lots of clever details that will make you want to watch again and again. The voice acting is top notch, with Tom Holland and Chris Pratt showing a range of emotions and humor as Ian and Barley. Octavia Spencer as Manticore brings her character to life with frantic energy. The introduction of her character is hilarious! She's a former magical adventurer turned family restaurant owner. I really like the part when Barley shrinks down to a tiny size due to Ian messing up a spell. I also like when Ian turns their boat into a cheese puff so they can eat their own transportation! I love Officer Colt and his catchphrase where he asks everyone if they are "working hard or hardly working."

There are a lot of positive messages in this film about family and loyalty. Another message is that you can go searching for things you've never had in life, but you might find they were right with you all along. Parents of younger kids might want to watch out for some of the risky actions the brothers take, like when Ian walks off a cliff, trusting in his magic to keep him safe.

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 17, and adults will like it too. You can see Onward in theaters everywhere starting March 6, 2020. By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love Onward! It is a whimsical story filled with colorful and eccentric characters. Pixar nailed the animation, and the cast of voices is pure perfection.

Onward takes place in a magical world, that isn't quite so magical anymore. Brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) are complete opposites in every way. Brave Barley is never is afraid to take a risk, especially when it involves magic. Ian, on the other hand, is quirky, and lacks confidence. Their mom, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), is an important character as she is the glue keeping their family together.

The movie is inspired by the director, Dan Scanlon's own childhood. I love the setting of this movie. It takes place in a modern town, where everyone lives in mushroom-shaped houses. Unicorns, once a majestic creature, are now more like raccoons than anything else. Adorable mini dragons are kept as pets. The voice-over actors are wonderful. Mel Rodriguez, who voices Officer Bronco, has the funniest laugh. Octavia Spencer, who voices The Manticore, acts as wild as a Manticore should. Tom Holland (Ian) perfectly portrays an awkward kid. My favorite character is Barley, because he is a classic rock loving boy.

The messages of this movie are that family is the most important thing and sometimes what you're looking for has been with you the whole time. This film does have some magical scenes that kids should not imitate. It also reminds us to always pay your parking tickets.

I give Onward 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. People with siblings will especially like it as will adults. Onward opens in theaters March 6, 2020. By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help it defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie because is based on one of my favorite game characters. Sonic The Hedgehog is a live-action film--except for Sonic who is a CGI character (Ben Schwartz)--based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega.

The story of Sonic the Hedgehog follows Sonic, a small blue hedgehog who has super-speed powers. When Sonic was younger, his owl guardian gave him a bag of rings to help him escape to different planets in case anyone discovers and kidnaps him because of his powers. One night, after he comes to Earth, he is playing baseball by himself and he gets upset because he realizes he is very lonely. Sonic runs in circles as fast as he can because he is upset. He is so fast that blue energy comes out of his body causing the whole town to black out.

This power outage causes big problems for Sonic who is pursued by a crazy military man named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) or Dr. Eggman, as Sonic calls him. Fortunately for Sonic, the town's sheriff (James Marsden) catches him and helps protect him from Dr. Robotnik.

The graphics in the movie are excellent, and, with the new Sonic design, it looks like Sonic is real. The new design works better than the Sonic design Paramount Pictures had before redoing this movie. The special effects are impressive too, such as Sonic's blue lightning which also looks real. Ben Schwartz did and very funny voiceover for the Sonic character. He is really full of energy.

The moral of this movie is that you are never alone in the world. There will always be someone for you to be your friend, to talk to and to be by your side when you need it. When Sonic is feeling alone, Sheriff Tom, or The Doughnut Lord, as Sonic calls him, takes Sonic to protect him and help him get to the Mushroom planet where Sonic needs to go.

Sonic the Hedgehog is filled with a lot of action and fun. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. If I could, I would give this movie 100 out of 100 stars. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 plus older adults. Sonic the Hedgehog comes out in theaters on February 14, 2020.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Sonic the Hedgehog fails to evoke the propulsive rush of its source material. There's so much possibility in translating this character and the mythology he brings with him from the video game to the big screen. Unfortunately, this film gets bogged down in familiar family film antics.

An adaptation of the popular game franchise of the same name, Sonic the Hedgehog follows Sonic (Ben Schwartz), a carefree, lightning-quick blue hedgehog who hides out, in fear of what those with villainous intent would do with his super-speed. Trouble comes calling in the form of a genius named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who is brought in to deal with the growing threat of a rogue, ultra-powerful hedgehog. Sonic convinces a small-town police officer (James Marsden), who dreams of working in the big city, to help him retrieve a few of his golden rings to help Sonic flee this world and move on to a new one.

Jim Carrey delivers a next-level performance as Dr. Ivo Robotnik, and he's easily Sonic's most valuable asset. Robotnik is another entry in the pantheon of zany, almost manic characters Carrey plays so beautifully. Carrey hasn't been this in control of his comedic strengths in a long while and its great to see him back in his element. His performance is on an entirely different wavelength than the rest of the film and, yet, it feels like he knows exactly what this movie should be. Kooky, frenetic and even more cartoonish than the film's CGI lead, Jim Carrey gives Sonic the Hedgehog a boost of energy it desperately needs. Ben Schwartz works well as the blue speedster at the center of the film. There's an innocence and playfulness to Sonic that Schwartz radiates nicely in his vocal performance.

I don't understand the screenwriter's choice to coop Sonic up in a car for much of the film's runtime. A character that is known for his speed finally arrives on the big screen, and they chose to confine him to a car with James Marsden. At the point at which the road trip begins, it feels as though you see every moment on the journey ahead coming far before you're supposed to. When Sonic and his pal arrive at their destination, they reach a visually exciting climax, but no payoff can make up for the bland route that is taken to get there. These games are not the most modern and this adaptation does its best to rectify that with countless references to current trends and popular culture to middling results. Even so, Sonic the Hedgehog struggles to keep its finger on the pulse of the culture.

I give this film 2 out of 5 stars and an age recommendation of 4 to 12 for some peril and crude humor. Sonic the Hedgehog is not the disaster many expected, nor the surprise sensation nobody saw coming; it's just fine, and I was hoping for more than that from this film. Fans of this character will relish getting to see him on the big screen, but I'm not sure I can confidently recommend this to those who are not die-hard Sonic fans. Sonic the Hedgehog releases in theaters February 14, 2020

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I've never played Sonic the video game and was never a really big fan of the character but I really like this movie. It is very well done and great for the whole family. I like the animation and I love the acting. The story is very human and has very little to do with video games. It is about friendship and friends that become a family.

Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue hedgehog that ends up on earth and he's trying not to be discovered. He lost a ring that helps him transport to places. When humans find Sonic, he has to run away (something he does well because he moves at super sonic speeds). Sonic feels lonely and wants a friend. When he meets Tom, a police officer (James Marsden), they develop a great "bromance," but they have to face Mr. Robotnik who is obsessed with everything fast and wants to experiment with Sonic. In their journey, both learn they don't have to run away from their problems.

I love all the characters! Dr. Robotnik is so funny and pleasing to watch. He is played by Jim Carrey, who is one of my new favorite actors. His performance is amazing and he is definitely a fascinating villain. He is graceful, entertaining and full of life. I also love the character Sonic; even though it is an animated character he really looks realistic. I could really see all the details in Sonic and I felt like he was pretty much a stuffed animal, opposed to a virtual digital character. Sonic is played by Ben Schwartz, an amazing voice actor who gives the character a great personality.

It's so amazing to see a character that was made about 30 years ago continuing to fill children's hearts with joy. I think Sonic is 100% absolutely adorable and all the characters are so fun to watch. There are a lot of action scenes and wonderful colors in the film as well. The music adds so much energy; it is catchy and upbeat. Finally, I like all the jokes and they definitely made me laugh. To add to that, I love how Sonic gives everyone their own special nickname. That gives the movie its own special touch and I guess I'll nick name this film "Blue Speedy Furry with Heart."

I give Sonic the Hedgehog five out of five stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 13. The message of this film is that friends in our lives bring us the most joy and they are the family we chose. Another message is that humans will always be more important than technology. Dr. Robotnik keeps trying to make technology a greater power than humans, but Sonic and everyone prove that our simple life and connections are what really matter. Sonic the Hedgehog opens February 14, 2020. Look for it!

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really love this movie! Sonic the Hedgehog's team has created a movie based on the SEGA video game of the same name. There are amazing special effects from the beginning to the end. I love how it includes parts from the SEGA game, such as Sonic running in vertical loops and his spin attacks. I felt as if I was watching a live version of the actual game!

Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue, fast and funny hedgehog named Sonic (Ben Schwartz) who has to escape his home in another world and ends up on Earth. He accidentally causes a power outage and has to hide out in Green Hill, Montana. The government tries to hunt him down and hires Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to capture him. Sonic meets a cop named Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) or Donut Lord, as Sonic calls him, and Tom agrees to help Sonic, find his rings and defeat Dr. Ivo Robotnik, who wants to use Sonic's power to take over the world.

The lead characters are Sonic, Tom Wachowski and Dr. Ivo Robotnik. It is very clever that the movie takes place in Green Hill, Montana, since the first level of the actual SEGA game is called Green Hill Zone. My favorite character is Sonic because he is funny. I love how he is made to have lives, just like he does in the SEGA game. One of my favorite scenes is when Dr. Ivo Robotnik has a virtual reality screen behind him and it shows a dinosaur running after him. Jim Carrey uses his flexibility to lower his head to make it look like the dinosaur bit it off. The movie is filled with special effects, such as explosions and lightning when Sonic runs. Sonic's CGI perfectly match his character in the video game. This is something the producer went back to correct before releasing the film. The music ties into what happens for each part of the movie; however, I was a little disappointed that the song Super Sonic used in the trailer is not in the movie.

The main message of Sonic the Hedgehog is that you should consider home wherever people that care the most about you are. There isn't much to be forewarned about besides Dr. Ivo Robotnik uses some minor foul language.

I rate Sonic the Hedgehog 5 out of 5 rings and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18. Adults, especially gamers, will also love this movie. Since it's based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game by SEGA, it may remind them of their own childhood. It's a great action-packed, family movie. Catch Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters starting February 14, 2020. Be sure to stay for the credits.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
I GOT YOU A PRESENT!
I GOT YOU A PRESENT! - REIMAGINE PR
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 2-5
Description - A quest for the perfect birthday present leads to ever grander (and ever more imperfect) gift ideas from our hero, a duck. "I wanted to get you the greatest present ever,!" our narrator tells us. But somehow, none of the best ideas seem to pan out. First, there was the pair of hand-knitted birthday socks (have you ever tried knitting birthday socks?). Then, the ten-scoop ice cream cone (a disaster to carry), the magic kit (it disappeared, just like magic!), the apple juice-fueled jet pack (still a few kinks to work out) and the dinosaur (I couldn't find one anywhere). And now, time has run out, and our narrator still has nothing to give. Or, maybe there is something after all. Something that contains all those awesome gifts in one. Something that can be enjoyed again and again, just by turning the pages.

In their debut picture book, Emmy Award-winning children's television writers Mike Erskine-Kellie and Susan McLennan have taken a metafiction approach (speaking directly to "you"). Cale Atkinson's is the illustrator. Though a book about finding the perfect birthday present is itself the perfect birthday present, it's also a simple a good read year round because it offers character education lesson on perseverance. There is also a live show.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations are engaging and brightly colored, which will attract young children. The story itself is a fun read with a lovely message. Also, the character is very likable.

The story is about a quest for the perfect birthday present. The main character does not know what to get a friend for his birthday explores various options and why they are not suitable. The character finally comes up with a clever solution. The story flows very well and the ending is lovely. It makes sense and is very appropriate for preschool and early elementary age children. A young child could be asked questions about birthday gifts and what to get for friends and family. One could even ask them which gift idea they liked the best.

This is an e-book with visual appealing the illustrations. They really make the book. It is primarily entertaining but also has a message about birthday celebrations with people who are special to you. It might make kids start thinking about what they want for their birthday. (how fun is that?) My only concern is the vocabulary. I am not an expert in this, but I would pass it on to someone who is, because there are some words that might not be the most suitable for the target age.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 18.8 Media: Book


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LLAMA LLAMA FAMILY FUN COLLECTION
LLAMA LLAMA FAMILY FUN COLLECTION - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Description - Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat as they explore their friendly hometown and make childhood memories.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD features the animated friends from Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama book series in 15 stories, including holiday stories for Halloween, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. The friends learn to use their unique talents with some creativity to overcome day to day problems by following grown up advice and helping each other. In "Stage Fright," Luna Giraffe's upcoming dance recital is giving her performance jitters, but Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu are there to offer support, calming breaths and remind her to just have fun. Nelly Gnu is jealous of the attention her baby brother receives in the story "Jealous Nelly." Her new tree-house takes a backseat to babysitting and party planning for the baby. She misses her parents' and friends' attention, but soon realizes that being a big sister is the perfect role for her. The friends accept the challenge to do without their electronic gadgets when Grandma Llama and Mama Llama take them on an overnight campout in "Let's Go Camping." They use their five senses to appreciate the sights and sounds of nature. Upbeat, positive messages about friendship and family make these great for family viewing. Children ages 4 to 8 should enjoy these fun, engaging episodes. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is a cute, fun, and family-friendly DVD that is based on an award-winning book and TV series. The storyline and adorable personalities of the characters combine to make the viewing experience enjoyable. The characters' companionship is very sweet, and they care a lot about one another. They always have each other's back.

The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD is collection of episodes about a group of animal companions that go on a lot of adventures, meet new friends and solve problems along the way. In one episode, Llama Llama's friend, Luna the Giraffe, struggles with bad stage fright. She has a dance recital the next day. Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu have to help her, or she won't be able to perform without becoming nervous on stage. In another episode, Llama Llama and two of his friends, Gilroy Goat and Euclid Sheep, plan a sleepover together. What they don't know is that strange things will happen just as they are about to go to sleep. But maybe the friends' imaginations will wander too far.

Some of the lead characters are Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) and Llama Llama (Shayle Simons). They are an adorable mother-son duo, and they love each other very much. What really stands out in this collection is the incredibly detailed and expressive animation. The vibrant colors and homey scenery go hand in hand to create a wholesome, fun show for children and their families to watch. It really is a great choice for teaching good lessons to young minds.

The message of the DVD Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is that you should always be willing to help your friends, and that problems can be solved through the effort of a team. It is definitely successful in communicating its message through the close-knit friend group, and how they stick together and help each other face their fears. The message is definitely positive and uplifting, and can teach young children that companionship is an important life skill to have. There really isn't anything to worry about when children are watching this series. There is no bad language at all, and there isn't any negative behavior that young children may attempt to imitate.

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD is available now.

Reviewed by Ruby A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like the Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD because every episode has a different main idea with an interesting story to tell. The animated characters each have their own thoughts about things and how to approach a situation. The only part I didn't really like is that the characters sometimes talk too slow and you want to make them talk faster, but it probably makes it easier for little kids to understand.

The Llama Llama Family Collection has 15 episodes and is based on the book series written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. The animated collection is about a llama and his friends who have awesome adventures together. Each episode has a moral to the story. For example, in one of the episodes, Luna (a giraffe, voiced by Vania Gill) is very scared to go on stage to perform a solo in front of an audience. Then Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu get a dance machine and it really helps Luna lose her fear of performing in front of an audience. Another story tells about Llama Llama, Euclid and Gilroy Goat having a sleepover, where they experience new and different things while at a friend's house. I know when I go to a sleepover, I find myself trying a new food or doing any activity that I wouldn't necessarily have done at my house.

I didn't recognize the voices of any of the characters, although after looking at who does the voices, I recognize Jennifer Garner, who voices Mama Llama. I like Luna's personality, but my favorite character is Euclid (Brendon Sunderland). He's smart, but in a funny way. I like when the group of friends take swimming lessons with Mama Llama in Eleanor Elephant's (Kathleen Barr) pool. Even though Llama Llama (Shayle Simons) isn't a great swimmer, his friends are supportive. And it is cute seeing Llama Llama's grandpa (David Hoole) learn to swim, too.

The message of the film is to be nice to others. It's important to help your friends, rather than make fun of them or bring them down. When I see someone making fun of someone, I try to stand up for them. It is nice to watch a film where a group of friends support one another.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now, so go look for it!

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 165 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.95 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
QUEZON'S GAME
QUEZON'S GAME - ABS-CBN FILM PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Based on a true story of Holocaust heroism during World War II in the Philippines by Filipino President Manuel L. Quezon--who rescued as many persecuted Jews as Oskar Schindler at a time when most countries were turning their backs--the release of Quezon's Game also marks the landmark 75th anniversary on Jan. 27 of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi's most-notorious concentration camp. Once forgotten to history, the incredible tale of what just one man can accomplish when defeat isn't an option ... a miraculous feat of human triumph. Starring Raymond Bagatsing, Rachel Alejandro, Billy Ray Gallion, David Bianco, and James Paolelli and Kate Alejandrino. Directed by Matthew Rosen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was complete unaware of this story before watching this film. It provides homage to the heroic efforts of Manual Quezon and his advisors to rescue Jews trapped in German and Austrian ghettos.

Inspired by a true story, this docudrama directed by Matthew Rosen offers the viewer a recounting of how, just before WWII, the President of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon (Raymond Bagatsing), rescued more than 1200 Jews from Germany, in spite of the anti-Semitic forces in his own country and world-wide. It begins with disturbing newsreel footage showing Jews incinerated by the Nazis. These were dangerous times and, had not Quezon acted in the way he did, these refugees would not have survived. High Commissioner to the Philippines Paul McNutt (James Paoleli) and Jewish American businessman Alex Frieder (Billy Ray Gallion), along with young officer and future U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower (David Bianco) bring the plight of the German Jews to the President's attention and then attempt to get visas for more than 10,000 of them trapped in Nazi Germany.

The sets and locations artfully reflect scenes from 1938 Philippines, as do the costumes, manners and music. I love seeing the horse-drawn carriages, the men in their Panama hats, the women in white, and the tinted film - all of which appropriately show the time period. Raymond Bagatsing, who plays President Quezon, is shown as a young man hiding his life-threatening illness, tuberculosis, from those around him. His feelings of despair about the German Jews provoke him to put his own health aside in order to do what he can to rescue them. Aurora (Rachel Alejandro), his wife shows strength in protecting her husband, while knowing he is hiding something from her (his illness).

The rise of anti-Semitism pushes the President to take action, as we see newsreels of Jews being turned away as they arrive in Cuba and the Alex Frieder being turned away at the German club with the Nazi sign clearly in view inside the front door. David Bianco portrays a youthful Dwight Eisenhower who will become the U.S. President after the war. When the refugees arrive, looking emaciated and exhauster, they are greeted by the president, his family and advisors. Thanks to Quezon's efforts over 1200 Jewish refugees were saved. The closing credits include interviews with some of the refugees who were children at the time of their rescue. Their testimonials reinforce the selfless act of Quezon, to help their families when everyone else was turning them away.

The message of this film is about selflessness and honor; about doing the right thing, even when the world around you is not. I give Quezon's Game 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.

Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is incredible. It really is a great expression of Manuel Quezon's heroism in the time of World War II. The characters are so physically and emotionally involved with the events that take place. Since this is a huge part of the true story, it really helps the audience discover the brutal reality of this situation and how the Holocaust affected so many innocent people. These unparalleled features in this film make it an educational and moving experience.

Quezon's Game is about the president of The Philippines (his term ran from 1935 to 1944) and an important telegram that is passed on to an American ambassador by several officials. The telegram, sent from Austria by a Chinese ambassador, says that there are Jewish refugees who need a place to go. Quezon comes across this and is determined to take action after being urged by his wife and an ambassador, Alex, who he works with.

The lead characters are Manuel Quezon (Raymond Bagatsing), Aurora Quezon (Rachel Alejandro) and Alex Frieder (Billy Ray Gallion). The characters and the events of the story are based on true events, which is crucial, and the cast portrays them remarkably well. For example, Bagatsing and Gallion express such vivid emotions and opinions and Alejandro shows a tough and strong attitude in a bad situation. They really shine throughout the entire film. My favorite part is when Manuel, his allies and political advisors reach their goal of being able to transport the refugees from Europe to the Philippines. The victory is very emotional for everyone and Manuel, along with those working with him, are happy to welcome the people to the Philippines, their new home.

The message of this film is that if you fight for what you believe in, work hard and are determined, you will eventually reach your goal. The film, sets and emotionally-moving reality go hand in hand and make Quezon's Game one of the most memorable, true story-based movies I have ever seen. This movie definitely calls me to action with its powerful message.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. You can find Quezon's Game in theaters beginning January 24, 2020.

Reviewed by Ruby L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Quezon's Game, directed by Matthew Rosen, is an incredible and triumphant depiction of true life events that is a delight to watch play out onscreen. The film captures the beauty of the Philippines showing amazing landscapes and bright colors. The filmmakers show a persistent, noble, and accurate version of Quezon through the actor Raymond Bagatsing who dramatically captures the spirit of the iconic leader. In Quezon's Game, the acting is wonderful, the production is gorgeous, and the plot is intriguing and riveting. This is a very well made film.

Quezon's Game details the true story about the journey that Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippines, takes in order to help Alex Frieder bring Jewish refugees into the country in order to flee the impending doom of the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Quezon's health is deteriorating and his marriage suffers trials and tribulations. The film depicts a young President Eisenhower and diplomat Paul McNutt helping Frieder and Quezon. The actions taken by Quezon and his team, along with encouragement and help from his wife and his daughter, are moral, tenacious, and beyond heroic.

Quezon's Game is an extraordinary story, one that brought my mother and I to tears multiple times throughout watching it. I don't necessarily cry that often during movies, but Quezon's Game is so powerful and poignant, I couldn't help but shed more than a few tears. I am incredibly impressed with the high production value and gorgeous setting. It must have been such a joy to film on such a magnificent set. The acting is also high caliber as all the actors go above and beyond to embody their characters. The writing and the plot are intense and I was highly interested throughout the entire film. It is fast-paced, stimulating and easy to follow. It is emotional and astonishing. In addition to being a fantastic film, Quezon's Game promotes righteous morals and exceptionally positive messages. Quezon always perseveres through his challenges and does what's right. He puts the needs of others before himself and truly does heroic work. He never gives up and fights for the cause.

Quezon's Game is an incredible and inspiring film, one that I will remember for a long time. The acting is phenomenal, the setting is wonderful, the production values are high, and the plot is intriguing. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to some difficult themes and jarring images. Quezon's Game opens in theatres January 24, 2020. Be sure to see it!

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Quezon's Game is a beautiful movie that is based on true events. This movie has great music and acting, lots of drama and emotion. There are also some scenes that made me cry. This movie taught me a lot about what happened behind the scenes during World War II. My only complaint with this movie is that when they speak Filipino, there are Spanish words included. I'm not sure if that is accurate or if it is a mistake, but being Latino, it caught my attention.

The storyline follows Philippine President Manuel Quezon, in 1938, trying to save as many Jewish refugees as he can from Hitler and the Nazis before the Holocaust. President Quezon is fighting a personal relapse of tuberculosis at the same time. There are other historical figures of note such as future U.S. President Dwayne Eisenhower. This story is not very well known. It is certainly the first time I hears about it. Quezon's Game teaches about an aspect of history you might never learn in school.

The acting in Quezon's Game is fantastic. Raymond Bagatsing, who plays President Quezon, gives a heart stopping performance that captures every essence of the actual person. There is so much emotion and effort put into his performance. It is cool how much Raymond Bagatsing looks a little bit like the real Manuel Quezon. This movie has gorgeous scenery that makes you feel like this was actually filmed in the 1930s.

The message of this movie is to keep trying, no matter what problems come your way. It shows how Quezon goes through so much trouble and problems, yet doesn't give up on bringing the Jewish refugees to the Philippines. You should know that there is some mild profanity and it deals with difficult themes.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. This movie hits theaters January 24, 2020 so go watch, you won't regret it.

Reviewed by Leandro R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

This heroic, memorable, and passionate independent film embraces the heroism of Manuel Quezon during World War II. This bewildering and educational docudrama leads you back to 1939 to 1945 to experience the unimaginable reality of how the holocaust affected many. This film, directed by Matthew Rosen, shows the beauty of the Filipinos in rescuing Jews from Nazi Germany. In Quezon's Game, the actors created a realistic story, that urged me, as a viewer, to learn more.

Quezon's Game leads with the perspective of Filipino President Manuel Quezon and Aurora Quezon, his wife. In the film, the Filipino President is faced with a tough decision. A Chinese ambassador comes to Manuel seeking help for the Jewish refugees who need a place to go. Released January 24, 2020, this film marks the landmark 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. After being urged by his wife, Quezon finally comes to a decision.

The lead characters in this film are Manuel Quezon (Raymond Bagatsing), Aurora Quezon (Rachel Alejandro) and Alex Frieder (Billy Ray Gallion). The characters are based on actual characters and the actors portray them very believably. Their emotion and connection with each other makes it all seem plausible and real. My favorite part is President Quezon, his allies and family members accomplish their goal of rescuing the refugees and seeing them arrive in the Philippines. The victory is absolutely meaningful and emotional. Each character expresses bravery and strength.

This film has a little bit of profanity but there is no other inappropriate activity that kids might imitate. I love the scenery of the Philippines and the 1930s tropical vibe with beautiful scenery, colorful trees and beautiful tall, tower-like homes.

I give this film 4 � out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 15. It is available at select theaters January 24, 2020. Look for it.

Reviewed by Nathalia Marie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIGANTOSAURUS: THE BIGGEST, FIERCEST DINOSAUR OF ALL!
GIGANTOSAURUS: THE BIGGEST, FIERCEST DINOSAUR OF ALL! - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Description - In GIGANTOSAURUS, four dinosaur pals team up for big adventures around their community as they help others, solve problems, and learn about the mysterious Gigantosaurus that lives among them. Often it's Mazu's curiosity that leads the group's charge, and her friends Tiny, Bill, and Rocky eagerly join in her explorations. Whether it's returning a lost egg to its herd or saving an insect species from extinction, these dinosaurs never give up on a challenge.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I absolutely love this adorable animated series. It is unlike any other animated series I have seen. The dynamics between all the friends is interesting and it is so pleasing seeing how supportive they are of each other.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is centered around four tiny dinosaur friends and their gigantic dinosaur friend, that have a love-hate relationship with. Each of the tiny dinosaurs has a different personality. One is brave, one gets scared but loves food, one's silly and one is smart. Together they form the perfect team and are able to solve any problem. Their friend Gigantosaurus doesn't talk, so Gigantosaurus isn't close with them. Gigantosaurus' size is beneficial to them because he is protect their herd, but his size can also cause some problems when he walks around. Therefore, the tiny dinosaurs still fear Gigantosaurus and they become cautious whenever he is near.

The voice actors for this series are all ages, to separate the adult dinosaurs from the innocent tiny ones. Even though there is this contrast between the adult voice actors and the younger voice actors, it is hard to tell the difference between the younger voice actors. Even so, the younger voice actors are quite remarkable. They are lively and portray various emotions well.

The animation is pretty detailed and very colorful. It is wonderful to see that the effort put into animating so many different types of dinosaurs, as well as other animals including birds, a rodent and an interesting walking fish. There is a lot of detail in their facial expressions which portray their emotions quite well.

My favorite part of this DVD is that it is so fun and educational. Hidden inside the plot are actual dinosaur facts that kids can learn, which is amazing.

There can be multiple messages in any episode, all of which are extremely valuable. It is great to see how encouraging the dinosaur friends are towards each other, as well as how all the characters are accepted. For example, Gigantosaurus is a large, scary-looking dinosaur, yet he is so caring, protective, and never means any harm. The tiny dinosaur who is considered to be the brave, adventurous one is encouraged by his friends to let out his soft, caring side. Most importantly, this DVD shows kids to look past the stereotypes and accept others, which I love.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is a wonderful animated DVD collection which kids will absolutely love and learn a lot from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. It comes out on DVD January 13, 2029, so make sure to pick it up!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is very funny and teaches children different morals. Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is approximately 90 minutes long and has eight 11 minute episodes including "Giganto's Laugh," "Frozen Giganto," "The Lost Egg," "The Island," "The Biggest Hero," "Treasure!," "Seeing Stars" and "Dinosia."

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! follows four dinosaur friends - Mazu, Tiny, Bill and Rocky - who team up to help animals in need and to solve their community's situations or problems. They also learn about the Gigantosaurus that live among them. Mazu is the leader of the group and her three friends follow her on different adventures. The graphics are neat and very colorful. The landscape is very detailed. The music is pleasant and appealing in each episode. The voice-overs match each dinosaur's personality.

One of my favorite episodes is "Treasure!" This episode is about the four dinosaur friends playing on a playground. Tiny says to get cave moss for Giganto before they leave. When Rocky gets the cave moss, he falls in some sticky water and Tiny pulls him out. Tiny notices a little shiny gold pebble. Mazu takes the gold pebble and brings it home. Eventually, almost all the dinosaurs are chasing each other for the pebble. The only one who's not chasing or fighting over the shiny gold pebble is Giganto. My other favorite episode is "The Biggest Hero," because it teaches an important lesson. This episode is about Rocky and Tiny fighting over who is the best hero. They compete by solving a ton of problems and trying to help everyone in need. At the end they are both heroes.

The moral of Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is about coming together as friends and never give up on any challenge or obstacle that you might find on your path. These four dinosaur friends defeat every obstacle and challenge without giving up and help their community and other animals in need.

I give the DVE Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18, plus. This DVD is available now so look for it!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is not my favorite DVD, but I can see how younger kids would love it. It's not really a show that makes you laugh, but there are lots of lessons that can be learned from each episode. I really love how every character has its own unique personality.

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is an animated show based on the book by the same name by Johnny Duddle. The DVD contains eight episodes about four young dinosaurs that go on many adventures. They all work hard to face their own fears and solve problems together on their journeys. While they are on their quests, their frenemy, Gigantosaurus, who is the largest, fiercest dinosaur of all, makes appearances. Sometimes the friends help him and other times he helps them. The four young dinosaurs learn different things about Gigantosaurus during each adventure.

The main characters are Tiny (�ine Sunderland), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Rocky (Dylan Schombing) and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell), which are all dinosaurs. Even though they are all different species, they still treat each other like brothers and sisters. One of the things I felt lacking is more of the stories are not about Gigantosaurus, which is who the show is named for. I expected Gigantosaurus to be the main character, but he only makes a few appearances in each episode. The other characters talk about him a lot and they learn about him, but the four dinosaur friends are the main characters. My favorite part of each episode is how Tiny, Bill, Rocky and Mazu learn to overcome their fears. You can really see their true friendship whenever any of them needs a little help. They are always there to help each other throughout the day. I also love how they never give up.

The message in the movie is: everyone has a different talent that is useful for different things. You should appreciate others' differences and believe that their talent has a true purpose. Since this is a kid's movie, there isn't much for adults to look out for except parts where kids may imitate bragging and scaring people on purpose.

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! will have younger kids roaring with laughter. I rate it 4 out of 5 stomps and recommend it for ages 3 to 6. You can find it now on DVD.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I absolutely love this adorable animated series. It is unlike any other animated series I have seen. The dynamics between all the friends is interesting and it is so pleasing seeing how supportive they are of each other.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is centered around four tiny dinosaur friends and their gigantic dinosaur friend, that have a love-hate relationship with. Each of the tiny dinosaurs has a different personality. One is brave, one gets scared but loves food, one's silly and one is smart. Together they form the perfect team and are able to solve any problem. Their friend Gigantosaurus doesn't talk, so Gigantosaurus isn't close with them. Gigantosaurus' size is beneficial to them because he is protect their herd, but his size can also cause some problems when he walks around. Therefore, the tiny dinosaurs still fear Gigantosaurus and they become cautious whenever he is near.

The voice actors for this series are all ages, to separate the adult dinosaurs from the innocent tiny ones. Even though there is this contrast between the adult voice actors and the younger voice actors, it is hard to tell the difference between the younger voice actors. Even so, the younger voice actors are quite remarkable. They are lively and portray various emotions well.

The animation is pretty detailed and very colorful. It is wonderful to see that the effort put into animating so many different types of dinosaurs, as well as other animals including birds, a rodent and an interesting walking fish. There is a lot of detail in their facial expressions which portray their emotions quite well.

My favorite part of this DVD is that it is so fun and educational. Hidden inside the plot are actual dinosaur facts that kids can learn, which is amazing.

There can be multiple messages in any episode, all of which are extremely valuable. It is great to see how encouraging the dinosaur friends are towards each other, as well as how all the characters are accepted. For example, Gigantosaurus is a large, scary-looking dinosaur, yet he is so caring, protective, and never means any harm. The tiny dinosaur who is considered to be the brave, adventurous one is encouraged by his friends to let out his soft, caring side. Most importantly, this DVD shows kids to look past the stereotypes and accept others, which I love.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is a wonderful animated DVD collection which kids will absolutely love and learn a lot from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. It comes out on DVD January 13, 2029, so make sure to pick it up!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUNGLE FUN WITH MUNKI & TRUNK
JUNGLE FUN WITH MUNKI & TRUNK - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 2-8
Description - Munki and Trunk: Ain't no mountain high enough, river wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart! Our brave, curious monkey and big-hearted elephant live together in the jungle, as children imagine it: a playground with vines to swing on, trampoline mushrooms to bounce on, and a crew of jungle buddies to share endless adventures. Munki and Trunk explore their world together, facing fears, having fun and helping friends in a comedy adventure that s brim-full of heart, and built on a bedrock of friendship. Includes 8 tree-crashing, rock-smashing, water-splashing, fruit-mashing episodes!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!

This compilation of episodes follows two main characters, Munki and Trunk, as they explore the world together. Along the way, these jungle animals learn lessons about nature, their friendship, as well as their own unique qualities. The protagonists quite often face their fears with one another and help them grow as individuals.

An interesting part of the world the characters live in is how they communicate through noises and actions, rather than actual words. Brent Dawes, the voice actor for Munki, and Alison Lambole, the voice actress for Trunk, are terrific at making the animal noises comprehensible for the audience. I love how bright and fun the animation in this show is. The jungle and characters all have a very playful vibe that keeps the audience super intrigued with each adventure. For example, each tree is animated with a particular texture that is incredible to look at. One issue I have with the DVD is how repetitive it is, but I believe that is effective for younger viewers. The two goofballs (Munki and Trunk) are amazing at bringing creativity to really simplistic scenarios. For example, the two characters are chasing a rainbow and decide to run through it. When going through the rainbow they change colors like a chameleon and then end up swimming up the rainbow.

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk has many lessons to teach viewers. My favorite is that each animal is their own individual, yet they all get along and coexist so well with one another. I think we can use this in our lives - to not worry about other people's perceptions of us, because we should all be kind to one another regardless. Another moral of these stories is how effective teamwork is in problem solving. It seems that every episode has some type of roadblock or obstacle to overcome, and only when the two friends stand together they can prevail over the problem.

I give Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 2 to 8. It is available now on DVD, so go check it out!

by Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch. It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes. Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk DVD is approximately 60 minutes long. The adventurous episodes include: "Hot Stuff," "Rainbow Rising," "Bubble Trouble," "Copycat," "Hypno-Munki," "Boing Boing," "Sticky Situation," and "Midnight Run."

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is about an elephant and a monkey who live together in the jungle. They have adventures that range from comedy to scary situations. Munki is a very curios and friendly monkey, while Trunk is a big-hearted, kind elephant. They are friends with everyone in the jungle and very nice to other animals in need. The jungle is their playground. The vines are their swings, the mushrooms are their trampolines to bounce on. The graphics are super amazing and the colors are very bright. The animation can be compared to Disney's animated movies. The forest looks so realistic; it looks like a real forest with real animals. The music and theme song are very pleasant and delightful to listen to. There is no dialog in this DVD.

My favorite episode is "Rainbow Rising," because it is very funny. It's about Munki and Trunk finding berries that makes their skin or fur look blue. They go around showing every one that they are blue. Then, the blue wears off and they get upset. Munki and Trunk soon see a rainbow. They play in the rainbow and soon it makes them change colors, so they are happy again.

There are multiple morals for different episodes but the overall moral is about accepting people for who they are, with their perfections and flaws. Nobody is perfect and true friendship is about accepting each other for who they are. Part of the lyrics from the theme songs says, "Ain't no mountain high enough, river to wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart!" Munki and Trunk are completely different animals, but they are still inseparable best friends.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults can enjoy this DVD with their children as well. It is available now so look for it

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn't). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I'm often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.

This DVD is a collection of episodes about the jungle adventures of two friends--a monkey named Munki and an elephant named Trunk. They have fun together and meet new friends, but always seem to get in a little bit of trouble. They discover really cool things in the jungle and luckily can use many of the things they find to have some fun.

In one episode the elephant (Trunk) and monkey (Munki) start out being too hot, so they find different ways to cool off. They try to find shade and find themselves getting to a place that has snow, where they roll a huge snowball to try to get the hot spot cooler. At another time, they have fun changing colors and use grapes to turn purple, but then the rain washes away the colors. After finding a rainbow, they and other animals start changing colors. In their next adventure, Munki and Trunk find themselves in space because they chewed too much bubble gum. They start copying each other and get all the animals around them involved. Munki winds up hypnotizing all of the animals so they start acting like monkeys. In other adventures they find a plant that has a liquid that causes them to turn into Jell-O. They lose control over their bodies, while another liquid sticks to everything. There's an ostrich that appears throughout the film that is always trying to protect her eggs.

My favorite part of the film is the music, composed by Andries Smit, because it is very catchy. It's exciting and upbeat. It brings out the happiness of the characters. Some episodes on this DVD are a bit cheesy, but would probably appeal to a younger audience. I found myself laughing at one point when Munki and Trunk are squished in a bubble and get stuck in a tree. It is also fun to see all of the animals change colors and watch how excited they get. Listening to the animals just make noises gets a little annoying, but the animation, done by Infinite Studios, is great and gives lots of personality to the characters.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Munki and Trunk show that you can get through almost any sticky situation by working together and using the problem as the solution.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this DVD to ages 4 to 8. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOOKFUL
BOOKFUL - INCEPTION XR
Series: APP, AGES 2-5
Description - Bookful is a mobile app for kids that uses augmented reality to bring books to life. Choosing from an extensive library of AR books that features the best publishers and brands such as Penguin Random House, DK and Hasbro, the child can learn, read and have fun at the same time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This reading app is so much fun! If you wouldn't normally call reading "fun," then you need to experience Bookful so it can change your idea of reading forever.

Bookful is no ordinary reading app. It is an augmented reality reading library for children. Within an augmented reality experience, the viewer becomes an actual participant. Inside the app, the user is offered an assortment of reading choices, moves, games, entertainment, interaction and encouragement!

After the easy download for any Apple or Android smart phone or tablet, the Bookful app begins to come to life. The sign up steps are made very clear with big buttons and clean instructions. I found the quick set-up process to be very simple with helpful prompts. This took me less than one minute to complete!

Inside the Bookful app I saw moving animated books on shelves in an endless library and an entire community of activities surrounding them. Diving into the app, I found myself on an adventure right away. I played a short game, for which I earned points. Then I was whisked away into a book that was directly related to the game. In this case it was knocking down stacked boulders in a prehistoric jungle. After I completed that game I was able to open a book all about dinosaurs.

I really enjoy the way Bookful held my attention as I moved seamlessly from activity to activity. My mind had no time to wander as I was constantly being drawn into another new part of my session. This ability to keep me engaged is encouraging for me as a mother, because I am always looking for ways to keep my children interested in educational tasks. Bookful holds the attention of the user extremely well.

Bookful is different from other reading apps I have used in the past. Normally books in an app are accompanied by audio for the user and sometimes a marker that helps the user follow along with the words being read. In the case of Bookful's reading experience, not only are the words read by incredibly entertaining voice actors, but the books themselves jump off the pages! Literally!

I'm not a tech expert, but I can tell this is very cool technology. I was able to access the AR capabilities of this app so easily. If I can do it, anyone can. I was able to choose my surroundings for my reading session. I could read my book in a virtual room designed by the makers of the app, or in my own room at home. The app allowed me to virtually place the book down on my own coffee table at home and flip through the pages like I was wearing 3D goggles. I'm sure there is a fancier way to explain what this is, but all I know is that it is super cool!

Once the books are opened, the characters inside the book lift up like in the pop-up books of my youth. Those standing characters then move around the pages as they act out the lines being read. It's truly incredible. I was in awe.

Bookful is the next level in reading education. I can't wait to get back to reading more books in this app. As a parent, I'm excited to allow my children screen-time that is so cutting edge and useful. I know that my kids are enjoying their reading experience and that is so important to me. I've always loved reading and I know the benefits of reading. I believe Bookful will help us raise a generation of young learners who truly love to read.

I recommend this app for ages 4 to 18, and adults will enjoy it too. This is good for boys and girls as well as for mom and dad. I give the Bookful app a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. If I could give it more stars I would.

Reviewed by Kristin C., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this app very much because it's a 3D digital book app about creating a magical, playful universe for book lovers like myself.

Bookful is a mobile app for kids that can be used on both Android and Apple devices. The app allows you to read books and play games about the books. It contains a library of Accelerated Reader books and has a Parent Zone menu which includes tells you what this app is about, their privacy policy, terms and conditions, how to send mail, notifications, FAQ, how to restore purchase and how to sign out. The main menu consists of My Books, Featured (books), Friendship, an icon of the 3D map, the volume icon, parent icon and a happy face star with the number of coins I accumulated while playing or interacting with these digital audio books.

When you first open the app you are greeted with delightful music and it really gets you excited to start the interaction with the digital books and what you are about to see. The graphics are very bright and colorful. The app has an older man's voice that narrates the stories in a form of rhyme similar to The Cat in the Hat.

My favorite part about this app is the 3D digital map, because I can interact with it. I like how there are little mini games about the books and, when I read them it's in 3D. I also liked playing the mini game in space, where I had to get stars without hitting any objects. I also had to get letters to spell words. When you spell a word it gives you three hearts. You loose hearts by hitting objects.

The Bookful app teaches children how to read at their level in a very fun and enjoyable way, by interacting with the app and using their visual and audition senses.

I give this app 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18. Adults might enjoy this app as well when playing it with their children. It is available now from the app store.

Reviewed by Ethan X. P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Bookful is a fun and resourceful learning app that can be used to help teach kids read. It incorporates modern technology. For example, Bookful gives a 3D option and a VR option, which makes reading books much more fun. There are other ways that it makes reading fun, like playing a game with different levels to get to a certain part of a book. Bookful makes reading fun with new ways to explore books.

When the book comes to life on your screen, it makes it so much more real than just reading a regular book. When I was exploring the app I found that the even characters come to life and that's awesome! This app really gives kids the experience of a lifetime.

Another good thing about this app is that while you are learning how to read and write, you can also color in the characters. Now that is cool. You get a variety of books and each comes with an amazing story that kids will love. No matter how a kid feels about reading and learning, this app will make them feel better about it.

I love that this app comes with lots of different books to read. For example, when you first enter the app it takes you to a huge book library where you can choose whatever book you or your child prefers. Bookful makes kids and parents very happy for various reasons. Bookful makes you or your child want to keep reading with all the new offerings in the app.

Although this app is great in many ways, there is one thing that I didn't like so much. There are certain books that can be read and others that need to be purchased. The negative thing is that the price for those books is kind of high and not something everyone can afford. For example, to purchase a lifetime subscription costs one hundred thirty dollars, which is too high for some.

There are lots of amazing things about this app and I most definitely recommend it. I rate the app 4 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 1 to 6. It is available from the app store, for IOS and Android devices so check it out.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 59.99 Media: App


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG: SEASON 3
MOLANG: SEASON 3 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his best friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Whether performing in a rock band, becoming superheroes or enjoying a hike with friends, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and humor. Embark on 52 adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is very cute and nice to watch. Every story has its own moral and they are all very interesting.

Molang: Season 3 is about a white, round bunny named Molang and a little, yellow chick named Piu Piu. They have amazing adventures together that always teach them something new. No matter what happens, Molang and Piu Piu always laugh even through tough times. There are 52 episodes of different stories. The DVD is about three hours of unforgettable fun. The main menu consists of two features, "Play All" which plays everything and "Stories," which play each episode.

My favorite episode is "Santa" because it's about how Santa comes to Molang and Piu Piu's house to give them presents. When Santa is about to put the presents under the tree, the tree falls on Santa and knocks him out. When the tree falls, it makes a loud noise so Molang and Piu Piu wake up to see what happened. They see Santa knocked out, so they decide to take the gifts to every one to save Christmas.

Another one of my favorite episodes is "The Long Trip." This episode is about how Molang and Piu Piu are flying a kite and a bird hits the kite which causes the bird to fall on the ground. Molang and Piu Piu take the kite off the bird's neck and they realize the bird can't fly any more. They get in the car with the bird and follow the bird's family so the bird can reunite with his family. The graphics are pretty good. This animation reminds me of looks the Hello Kitty animation. The colors are vibrant and the background has different patterns and colors. The voice over is funny because is just gibberish; there is no dialogue going in these stories.

There are multiple morals, but the main moral of this show is that we should treat each other equally and learn to get along. Even though Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick they still are best friends. Just because they are different doesn't mean they cannot get along and have fun together.

I give Molang, Season 3 DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18, plus adults can enjoy it with their children too. It is available now from NCircle Entertainment so look for it. >p> By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This animated, unique, funny and creative film takes you along adventures that will make you laugh and wish you were part of Molang and Piu Piu's world. I must say, Molang and Piu Piu love ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary on a daily basis. Get ready for amazing adventures, each with its own moral.

This film follows Molang, an accommodating, nurturing, kind and happy round fluffy rabbit and his best friend, a little duck that loves quack time named, Piu Piu. Despite their many differences, Piu Piu and Molang enjoy their special friendship. Whether it's helping a delivery worker or exploring a haunted house, joining a competition or joining a rock band, they embrace every day adventure together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and humor.

The lead characters in this film are the hilarious and wild Molang and his goofy and tiny friend Piu Piu. Throughout all episodes you meet new characters. Many characters are recurring, such as the neighborhood watch group.

My favorite episode is "Top Model," because it brings so much humor. It's one of the opening episodes and really starts off the show with a bang. I savor this episode specifically because of one scene when Molang and Piu Piu call all the models and take their photos. The faces on the bunny are hilarious.

This film disregards bad language; every adventure in this mirthful and amusing DVD is safe. There are several important messages in this DVD including never stop believing in yourself even when others are fearful, be honest and work hard. The main message is that, although Molang and Piu Piu are different, they got along just right.

I'd give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11. This film is available on DVD now. Make sure to check it out.

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

Molang is a very cute animated kids' series about a big, fluffy rabbit and his best friend, Piu Piu, a tiny, yellow chick, who every day come across a different problem. Those problems can be from losing the instructions to build a hammock, to trying to find out how to make a carpet fly in the air. Even if Molang and his friends don't speak English, or any real language whatsoever, the series is still so easy to understand.

What I like about this series is how the creators and animators make the characters look. The animation is so cute, and I was impressed with how they made the tiny little arms and cheeks. The best part is that when the characters get excited their eyes glow! I also like that the creators use a fake language--that way it's easier for everyone to understand what's going on in the plot. Although since the cartoons facial expressions are very easy to read, we probably don't need a fake language!

This show has no bad language (they just make sounds) or bad actions. The message of this film is trying to teach you or your kids that there is always a way to get over a situation that you might have trouble in.

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars! Molang is perfect in every way possible! My age recommendation is ages 2 to 6. This series might be more interesting for kids those ages, but even though I am almost 12 I was very interested in this cute series! This DVD is available now so look for it. By Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 186 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CATS (2019)
CATS (2019) - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cats, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was one of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time. Now, with the help of director Tom Hooper, Cats has been adapted for the big screen, making the new movie a unique blend of both a musical and a major motion picture. Cats is filled with intriguing characters, dances and songs that are incredibly memorable.

The story begins in a mysterious alleyway when a car drops off a new, innocent yet unwanted cat named Victoria (Francesca Hayward). It is there that she stumbles upon a tribe of stray animals known as the Jellicle Cats. Once a year, the cats gather for their annual Jellicle ball, where they audition to be chosen by the wise leader Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench) to go to the "Heavyside Layer", a place that will provide them with the new and better life that each one can only dream of. As they prepare for the life-changing event, Victoria encounters each of the cats that hope to win, such as the hilarious Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson) and gluttonous Bustopher Jones (James Corden). Meanwhile, the evil Macavity (Idris Elba) and his partner in crime Bombalurina (Taylor Swift) will do anything to win, even if it means eliminating the competition.

From the beginning, the plot feels rushed and that it needed to be developed more. During the film, the characters constantly switch from different sets and have sudden outbursts of singing and dancing. While these aspects may have worked well on Broadway, it makes some of the scenes feel awkward on the big screen. Because of the rushed plot and lack of dialogue, it is not only difficult to follow what is happening in the movie, but also to sympathize and get to know the characters of Cats and their struggles. Audience members are not given enough time to really take everything in, making the movie a bit overwhelming at certain times. Also, the CGI that was used makes everyone seem to be a strange combination of both human and feline. Depending on the actor or actress, the CGI is either very distracting or more on the subtle side.

In spite of this, everything still feels very whimsical and as though you are being whisked away into the magical world that the Jellicle Cats are a part of. The sets for every scene are each incredibly giant, detailed and unique, adding to the fanciful and imaginative feeling. Although it is hard at times to sympathize with the characters, we get to see a more endearing side of them as the movie progresses. From the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson), an aspiring magician, to Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson), an outcast who seeks acceptance, you can easily see that some of the cats in the film spark emotion. There are also some amazing vocals in the film such as Jennifer Hudson's "Memory" and Taylor Swift's "Macavity: The Mystery Cat".

Overall, while there are some confusing scenes, it is balanced with comedy, singing and dancing. The film also shows the important lesson of learning to accept and be kind towards others, especially cats.

I rate Cats 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. You can see Cats in theaters on Friday, December 20, 2019. By Jordan M., KIDS First! Film Critic, Age 13

This film is a "claw-full fantasy tail" about a tribe of misfits called Jellicle cats. Directed by Tom Hooper, this live-action movie version of the musical Cats tells the story of alley cats that seem to be competing for another kind of afterlife.

The story starts in a big city setting with a sad thing that happens to many helpless animals: A young beautiful cat is abandoned by its owner in a dark alley. Soon she makes "fur-ends" with other cats of all shapes, colors and sizes. All the cats have their own unique personalities. Cats shows the "paw-some" nature of the cats, including the playful, sneaky and mischievous personalities of these human-like creatures. There are a few crazy cat characters, which were my most favorite to watch. They are in a competition for a better life and that is when the cat fight starts. Who will be the next chosen one?

The lead role is Victoria (Francesca Hayward), the abandoned kitty. Taylor Swift also makes an appearance as Bombalurina. Another of my favorites in this film is Bustopher Jones (James Corden). I really like this healthy cat and his funny scenes. My favorite of all is Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson). She is so "hiss-terical" in this role. I love the entire scene from the dancing mice and the army of cochroaches. The scenery colors are really electric, and I like how the set is realistically sized to the scale of the cats. The choreography and costumes are also very intriguing.

The Cats storyline is a little hard to follow, because there is more singing than dialogue. However, the overall meaning comes through, which is about finding your way in a big city, making friends, learning who to trust and letting the right people get what they truly deserve, and being honorable. There is no bad language, and it is very suitable for kids.

I give Cats 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opened in theaters December 20, 2019 so be sure to check it out.

By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Everyone get ready to transported to a world where cats rule, dogs drool, and humans are nowhere to be found. The actors are intriguing to watch, because you forget they are human. Their personification of individual cat traits and personalities keeps you glued to the screen. It is fun to watch our favorite stars such as Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Hudson behaving as if they are cats.

Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is a gorgeous dancer and singer. I have never seen a more graceful cat than her. When her journey begins it seems that she is a very scared young kitten, but as time goes on she grows to be a very graceful cat who knows what to do. Since she is such a great singer, she is my favorite character.

Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson) is the most magical cat I ever seen and he always has trick up his sleeve. Plus, he is too gosh darn cute to ignore.

The song Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat by Andrew Lloyd Webber is magnificent and too cute to ignore. The cinematography is magnificent and the dancing is outstanding. One of the best moments in Cats is the song sung when Skimbleshanks is tap dancing and turns the whole stage into a railway station.

The graphics are eye candy. Everywhere you look there is something or someone to look at. One time, it's a giant bed the size of three people, another time it's a building in the background, or it might even be the cats themselves. No matter where you look your eyes are never bored and there is always a fun graphic or two or three.

The dancers are stupendous. When they are dancing they act like cats. When performing simple moves they have to land or do the move in a whole new different way. Plus all time they are standing like cats and walking on all fours.

The songs from Cats are all now going onto my fave playlist because they all are so good. Each song is sung by different artist, so we get a glimpse of many different art forms while watching the film. We also see the characters having fun and being themselves.

Cats is based on the award-winning Broadway play and book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It is definitely a must see for 2019. People who love song and dance and are animal fans will find it a fascinating and magical experience.

I give Cats 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 years. Cats comes out in theater nationwide on December 20, 2019 so get tickets right meow.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOMEN (2019)
LITTLE WOMEN (2019) - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 9-18
Description - Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author's alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig's take, the beloved story of the March sisters - four young women each determined to live life on her own terms -- is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timoth�e Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Woman (2019) is the eighth film adaptation of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. I really enjoyed this coming of age film, mostly because of the genuine performances, but also how these young women are so powerful, sensitive, smart and gentle. I also think in an era of super heroes, galaxies and futuristic sci-fi films with special effects, this classic story reminds us of the power of good classic literature and simple characters. I read the original book a long time ago, so when I found out the movie was coming out, I was very excited. This adaptation is well done and touching.

This movie is about four sisters in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) occasionally get into fights, especially the youngest with the oldest, but they all bond and share a simple life together. They are united, but they have unique and different personalities. The story goes back and forth in time and the time reference in the film is unclear, which makes the story difficult to follow at times.

One the sisters, Jo, is trying to pursuit an art career. She loves to write books and is having trouble actually getting her book published or even come up with some new ideas. The film shows how the sisters interconnect with the book storytelling, while the sisters are trying to figure out their lives and how to deal with all the chaos in their lives. In the film we see them all under the same roof and how their life evolves as adults when they don't live together anymore.

All the performances are very good. I particularly like Eliza Scanlen as Beth who has a fascinating arc. I also love the performance of Timoth�e Chalamet as Theodore "Laurie" Laurencehe who falls in love with Jo but is Beth's love when he first appears in the sisters' lives. Chalamet and Ronan worked together previously in Lady Bird from the same director (Greta Gerwig) and they create a whole different dynamic in this film.

Laura Dern plays Marmee March, mother of the four sisters. Her caring portrayal is more supportive mom than a matriarch since these young ladies are definitively leaders of their own lives. Dern nails the tone that this character requires.

I really like the music by amazing film composer Alexandre Desplat. Director Greta Gerwig manages to retell the classic story in a new way, keeping the essence of a story that has captivated people over the years. It is soft, subtle and perfect for new audiences. I really like the costumes and color palette. Each and every scene is beautiful to watch, particularly the ones at the beach, perhaps because the romanticism of the sea.

Little Women shows girls who are independent, able to succeed without a partner and bond in a special way. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 17 and adults as well.

Little Women open in theaters nationwide on December 24, 2019. Check it out.

Reviewed by Zoe Cannella, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Little Women, the new adaptation of the well-known novel, incredibly portrays the revered classic! Little Women is also very satisfying to watch; I find myself lost in the aesthetics of the film, no matter the ambiance of the scene. Credits to Yorick Le Saux for the captivating cinematography. The wardrobe is detailed for the timeline that the clothes are meant to reflect, designed for our enjoyment by the skilled costume designer Jacqueline Durran. Moreover, the plot is fast moving and engagingly interesting, paired with timely humor and realistic tragedy.

Little Women is the tale of four sisters with alluring traits that set them apart. Joe passionately writes, Meg is a born actress, Amy gathers her dreams as an artist, and all that remains is the musical prodigy, Beth. These girls grow up in a society with an ever-present stigma against independent women. With the system rooting against them, how will a woman prove herself worthy of more than a delicate romance?

The harmony of the talent is intriguing, as each character portrays their own inner struggles. The character development is by far the most impressive aspect of this film, especially when the cast individually represent their characters as more than just little pieces of Jo March's story. The characters of Little Women come to life in their struggles as females within a sexist society, intertwining their experiences as he story weaves together. The casting is undeniably the cause of anticipation for this movie; Oscar-nominee Timothee Chalamet as Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, and award-winning Saoirse Ronan as Joe March amplify the natural realism of the story. And comic relief plays a large role in this film. My favorite humorous scene is when the frame shifts from an emotional scene to a view of Amy sticking her foot in a bucket of clay, claiming that she must make a mold of her pretty feet for Laurie. Overall, every part of the movie proves to be essential to the message of the film.

Speaking of message, Little Women shows that a person is the only one who can deem their own worth and their limits. A woman is not made to be sold off into marriage; she will choose her future whether the world accepts it or not.

I give Little Women 5 out of 5 stars. With mature themes from all corners of this film, I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can find this sensational movie in theaters near you, December 25, 2019.

Reviewed by Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

There are a lot of good things about the movie Little Women, but I don't think the filmmakers had 10-year-old boys like me in mind as their audience. Parts of the movie are fun to watch, but I got lost when the scenes switched back and forth in time, and I had started to lose interest by the end of the movie. By watching this movie, however, I did get a good understanding of how people lived around the time of the Civil War.

Little Women is a fictionalized version of the early life of author Louisa May Alcott, and how she took her own personal experiences and turned them into a popular book in the late 1800s. The setting is mostly in Massachusetts, but there are some parts in New York City as well as Paris. There are four sisters, and the movie frequently switches back and forth in time for about seven years following their adventures, which is confusing at times. The sisters face various difficulties and have conflicts with each other, but they also help each other. Three of the sisters have love interests, so there are some male characters. However, most of the screen time features the women.

Little Women has some funny parts, but nothing very memorable. My favorite part is the realistic depiction of New York City, because I kind of felt as if I was there. Younger viewers will definitely recognize actress Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies as Meg. Some viewers will recognize Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Timothee Chalamet as Laurie. Overall, one of the best things about this movie is the period costumes that seem very realistic.

The message of this film is that people should try to reach their goals even when there is adversity, and perseverance can pay off, as demonstrated by the main character Jo, trying to get her writing published. Younger kids might be troubled by brief scenes of sibling violence and a near drowning, but it's rated PG and there's not really any inappropriate language or content.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I think girls will appreciate this movie more than boys. You can see Little Women in theaters everywhere starting December 25, 2019

Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This film version of Little Women tells the classic story of four young sisters after the American Civil War of the 1860's. It is heartwarming and has great storytelling in the screenplay, adapted from the Louisa May Alcott book by director Greta Gerwig. I liked this take on the classic book made into a movie. All the scenes were so true to the time period and shot beautifully. The bond between the sisters seems genuine and deep.

During the Civil War, many husbands and young men go off to war, leaving their loved ones to struggle to survive. Scarlet fever is killing people rapidly. It seems people are either really wealthy or really poor. This family in the film comprises the mother and four sisters who are the "Little Women." They love, play, laugh and grow together. They deal with starvation, illness and love. They pull together to help their neighbors in time of need. You see the challenges they face of this time period, and they question the way things have been, facing issues such as marrying to help their family or marrying for love. Or whether to pursue a career or not.

This film really takes us back to this time period, and we are able to get an understanding of the struggles of young women of those days. At first I didn't catch that the film was moving from past to present. The time switches made it a little hard for me to follow, but that did keep my attention as did the sets and costumes.

The actors did phenomenal work in their roles. I really felt the civil rivalry, love and bond between the siblings. The main character in this film is the oldest sister, Jo March (Saoirse Ronan). She aspires to help her family and to be a writer, so she writes stories and submits them to a paper. She was great to watch in this role. The other sisters are Meg March (Emma Watson), Amy March (Florence Pugh), who loves to paint and draw and who looks up to her sister Jo, and Beth March (Eliza Scanlen). Aunt March (Meryl Streep) is a well-to-do, snooty widow. She is really funny, annoying and uses her money to her advantage.

My favorite part of Little Women is when the man that works at the paper company wants Jo's book. He thinks he is smarter than she.

Little Women is about young sisters growing up, facing life challenges, making mistakes and forgiving. It really is good for all young ladies and women to see this film.

I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars rating and recommend this movie for ages 12 to 18. Adults will enjoy this classic as well. Little Women releases on December 25, 2019.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 9-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE (2019)
SNOWMAN, THE (2019) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy's world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, THE SNOWMAN is a family classic for generations to enjoy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This classic animated film, based on the Raymond Briggs book, is one of my all-time holiday favorites. I have seen it shown with a live orchestra accompanying it, which was an incredible event. I'm so that that NCircle is celebrating its 40th anniversary as I firmly believe it belongs in everyone's holiday film collection, to be shared with youngsters and family members annually. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The Snowman (1982) harkens back to a more pure form of animation: hand-drawn, nearly wordless and not a pop culture reference in sight. The story of a boy whose snowman comes to jolly life unfolds in bursts of warm color, the images flowing into each other in a mesmerizing effect. Based on the popular children's book by Raymond Briggs, this 30-minute short was made for British television, earning a BAFTA TV Award and an Academy Award nomination. The texture and tremulous nature of the hand-drawn animation is of a piece with the author's original drawings, truly a book brought to life in a swirl of images and music, most notably the ethereal "Walking in the Air." This DVD release, celebrating the film's 40th Anniversary, includes two excellent bonus features: an alternate opening with David Bowie created for the 20th Anniversary and a 25-minute "making of" that goes into great detail about how the animation was done. Recommended for ages 4 to 18 and older. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

Winter is a magical time for children, especially when the snow falls. Every child looks forward to that one giant snowfall of the season. You know the one, where the whole world looks like it's engulfed in a comfortable, soft blanket. It makes even adults reach into their soul for their inner child and go outside to make snow angels, forts and of course... a snowman. The reality of the wonder of a heavy snowfall is what makes The Snowman such a wonderful story. The Snowman is based on the 1978 wordless picture book of the same name. The story is about a young boy who goes outside on a particularly snowy day to build himself a snowman. To his delight, at midnight the snowman comes to life! James and the snowman have all kids of fun together and even go on a little adventure to the North Pole! This story differs a bit from its source material, but it is a wonderful adaptation. The Snowman received a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog. This 40th anniversary DVD has some great special features, including an alternate introduction by David Bowie. This story has aged very well and the animation is still breathtakingly beautiful. This story is great for children ages 2 to 12, but anyone in the holiday spirit will really enjoy watching this! I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being so wonderful! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.

In The Snowman, a young boy James wakes up one morning and finds snow on the ground. He quickly gets dressed and runs outside. He then builds a huge snowman. He gives it eyes, a nose, a scarf and a hat. He even gives it a big smiley face. After building the entire snowman by himself, it is time for James to go to bed. When he wakes up he notices that the Snowman has moved a little, so he runs downstairs and out the door. He then notices that the Snowman is glowing, moves some more and then, totally comes to life. James is flabbergasted to see a live Snowman. The Snowman and James introduce themselves and become great friends. The rest the film shows the two flying around having so much fun and adventure throughout the day.

The Snowman book was adapted for the screen in 1982 and earned a nomination for an Academy Award for best animated short film. The animation of the drawings is just amazing, bringing to life so many memories from the days of movie shorts. There is no dialogue, which makes it even more beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned. The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing. It fits perfectly with everything the boy and the snowman are doing. Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. The songs in the movie are catchy and addicting to sing along with. I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!

The Snowman is directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement. I recommend this for ages 1 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays. For example, when the boy has to scrounge up snow for his snowman, I thought about when I tried to do the same thing!

In the film, a young British boy in a classic 1950s English rural home builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy on a flying trip around the world! The scenes become grander and grander until you think nothing more can happen! After all of this is over, they travel back home. The next morning, the boy...well, you'll see. The ending brought meaningful tears to my eyes!

The detail in this movie is stunning! Even though there is no talking, the artistry makes up for that. Each scene is hand-drawn, which must have been a technical pain for the scenes in motion! These movies are based on Raymond Briggs' classic picture book. Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate this quality film. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6, as well as adults. This movie is available both on DVD now so check it out. Enjoy this winter delight!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Holiday movies are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Especially those that have adorable characters and a heartwarming tale. That is what this short film is all about. Add magnificent hand drawn animation and you have the perfect Christmas movie.

I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning. Each piece of music fits the scene perfectly because it made me feel as if I was in the scene myself. Also the music is superb to relax to. So grab a hot cup of cocoa and put your feet up.

The images in this film are hand drawn with pastels and pencils, which make it special and unique. I like having a break from all the CGI we see and seeing animation as it was made years ago. This is something that many other kids will appreciate as well. This movie never gets old and people from all over the world will absolutely adore it. This DVD has become one I have added to my holiday collection and will watch it every year. Even really young children can watch it because it is so beautiful and the message is all about friendship, love, cheer and what the holidays are all about. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 golden stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18, as well as adults.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - This artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FROZEN II (2019)
FROZEN II (2019) - WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In Frozen, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In Frozen II, she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award�-winning team--directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez--and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Frozen 2 opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I must admit. I love Disney. I loved the very original Frozen and love Frozen II! The music is captivating, as are the loveable characters we fell in love with when Frozen debuted in 2013. The core characters, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf and Sven are back and living seemingly normal, happy lives in Arendelle. Olaf ratchets up the comedy and has a plethora of entertaining lines and musical trips down memory lane.

Everyone has grown-up a bit since we last saw the fine people of Arendelle. Kristoff can't get out of his own way in his desire to propose to Anna and life seems to be merry for all, until a calling is felt by Queen Elsa and the group goes in search of answers in the Enchanted Forest, a forbidden place. Along the way, we meet new characters including Mattias (Sterling K. Brown), Yelana (Martha Plimpton) and Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews). They all have a part as Anna and Elsa's quest to learn their family history begins and it gets a little dark as many ventures into the past can be.

When it comes to music, I predict "Into the Unknown" is going to become this year's "Let It Go." I'd be willing to predict the Golden Globe and the Academy Awards nomination for Best Original Song. I also predict Disney will sell millions of iguanas over the holidays. Disney's sequel to Frozen has a built-in fan base, and the Disney marketing machine partnered with the world to ensure we know the film opens just before Thanksgiving, in plenty of time to entertain the entire family!

I give this film 4.5 of 5 stars for its beautiful animation, music and comedy. I would have loved more character development, especially for the new characters. This film will appeal to ages 3 to 18. There is one segment which may appear scary to younger children. Frozen II opens in theaters November 22, 2019. See it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, Ageless

We have dived into the unknown with Disney's latest installment to its chilly universe of Frozen with Frozen II. As a big Disney fan, I can honestly say Frozen was never one of my favorites, as after a while I think we can all agree that building a snowman is anything that you'd like to hear again. I must say though, this sequel is filled with tons of hilarious and amazing surprises.

The film starts in the past, giving us a peek at Elsa and Anna as children, playing with snow in their rooms. We see their parents and get to know them a little better as they tell the sisters a story about an enchanted forest that neighbored the kingdom of Arendelle. What happens next sends the story full-throttle into a whirlwind of emotions as Elsa sets out on a dangerous, but remarkable path of events, that ultimately teaches the pair of sisters how to fix what's been broken and to make things right.

In Frozen, we watched Elsa take the throne of Arendelle and come to terms with her magic. Despite this, we just barely got to see who Elsa truly was. Frozen II gives us everything that we missed out on in the first film, and powerfully gives us an inside look at her mannerisms, thought process, hardships and more. We see her struggle more with her truth, and more specifically her past, as she's itching to know who she really is and where she possibly came from. She's not the only character we see develop though, as Olaf turns into a far more mature little snowman and offers tons of fun facts and questions for audiences to hear along the way. Much like her sister, we see a very different Anna in this film. With crazy mood swings, endless bravery and one big leap of faith, we see the princess grow from fear and confusion into confidence and faith. There is no doubt that you'll get to enjoy all the new sides to these iconic characters.

There are a handful of new characters, one of which is the cute little salamander, Bruni. Surprisingly enough, he is quite the powerful and pivotal character. And of course, how can we forget about Sven and Kristoff? This legendary duo smashes it on the big screen with their great chemistry and 80s rock ballad--oh, yeah. You might want to prepare yourself for some crazy Kristoff vocals.

Disney once again knocks it out of the park with their incredibly detailed animation. Every frame of the movie feels immersive and looks stunning. I still can't wrap my head around the countless amount of hours it must have taken to create a flowing stream of water, and it is done so flawlessly. The soundtrack itself is quite catchy. I've been humming multiple songs to myself since I left the theatre and I only just realized it. With its perfect moments of tenderness and just the right amount of hilarity, Frozen II is set to be a hit for families everywhere.

Frozen II is rated PG for its action, peril and some thematic elements. I recommend this film to ages 5 to 18, as well as adults and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now, so don't miss it.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 21
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Frozen II is a beautiful continuation of one of the greatest animated films ever made. We know the story and characters from the 2013 film, so it's not as original, surprising and innovative as the first one, but as the story evolves so does the animation. The characters grow in their arc, becoming more mature, with stronger relationships and technically, Frozen II is a much better film than its predecessor.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven have become a family. Now, they try to discover the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their Kingdom because it seems as if Elsa has awakened some powerful spirits. They leave Arendelle, their hometown, and embark into a Nordic odyssey, in the impetuous fall, where they will face dangers and will meet new characters.

During the film's 103 minutes, we are delighted with seven new songs, most of them as iconic as those in the previous film and 19 score tracks. "Into the Unknown" stays with you and I'm sure we will hear this beautiful composition at the Oscar ceremony. Frozen II feels like a musical at times and that just makes the movie better.

The story is well narrated and easy to follow for little ones. Sisterhood is a powerful force and the bond between Anna and Elsa only strengths during the whole movie.

Frozen II is absolutely eye candy with a beautiful color palette similar to the original adding the warm tones of autumn. The filmmakers traveled to Finland, Iceland and Norway for inspiration. They consulted with a botanist in Oslo to make sure the forest resembles the authentic vegetation there. The animation is not just beautiful, but also a great representation of the Nordic folklore and the geography of the places.

We can also appreciate the advances in technology in the new characters. Among the most challenging to animate are Nokk, the water spirit and Gale, the wind spirit. The costumes are very detailed and gorgeous and, even Olaf gets to wear one!

The actors from the original cast reprise their roles and Jason Ritter makes his Disney debut as the voice of Ryder. My favorite characters are Brunni, the salamander and Olaf played by Josh Gad. Olaf is very funny and his character becomes bigger in this sequel. My favorite scenes are the ones where the characters are discovering the elements in the forest, because each one represents a new challenge.

The message of the film is about creating your own destiny and not being afraid of growing up.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16, as well as adults. Frozen II opens November 22, 2019. Be sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I love Frozen II so much, because the animation is so fantastic and it is so great to see all the characters come back together for a whole new adventure. In the first movie Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) rediscovered being sisters. In this movie, which takes place three years after the original, their closeness as sisters is stronger than ever.

The movie starts off in the past with Anna and Elsa's parents telling Anna and Elsa about the enchanted forest. Their mom sings them a lullaby about a secret place full of magical powers. Then we fast forward to present time and Elsa hears a mysterious voice that calls her into the North Woods and the adventure begins. Along the way they meet the Northuldra, a tribe of people who live in the enchanted forest that are connected with the elements. On this journey Anna and Elsa find out about their parents' past and Elsa finds out who and what she really is.

Frozen II has seven new original songs and all new characters that help Elsa on her journey to discover who she is and the origin of her powers. "Lost in the Woods" sung by Kristoff; it is so funny because it has all these inside jokes from old music videos. There are also two great songs sung by Elsa - "Into the Unknown" and "Show Yourself." Plus, Olaf (Josh Gad) also has a really fun song called "When I am Older'' and Anna sings a song too.

Throughout this movie Olaf become smarter and much funnier. It's a really great experience to see that happen to our favorite little lovable snowman. This movie has a lot of comedy, adventure and touching moments.

The message of this film is to follow your heart and listen to your gut, because if you do, there could be a huge adventure waiting for you. Another important message in the movie is that family is important and will always be there for you; so don't ever turn them away when they offer to help.

I give Frozen II, 5 out of 5 snowflakes and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will love it too! You can catch it in theaters November 22, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Lindalee R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Frozen II is an exciting animated adventure with lots of laughs! The bright, lively animation really gives character to everyone in this movie. The new songs and exciting story make this film a great choice for the whole family.

Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) set off on a quest with their friends Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and trusted reindeer Sven. They're following a mysterious voice that only Elsa can hear; in hopes of finding the enchanted forest their father told them about when they were kids. Along the way, they encounter spirits of air, water, earth, and fire, and they learn of a mysterious fifth spirit that they must find. Elsa and Anna work together to right a wrong from the past, even though this may mean sacrificing everything.

Frozen II has lots of great new songs that help tell the story, but nothing as catchy as those in the original film. There is no main villain or antagonist, just a lot of angry spirits to deal with. The audience at the screening I attended really loved the sequence where Olaf treats some new characters to a hilarious recap of the first Frozen movie. The costume designers must have had a lot of fun designing the intricate costumes and Elsa and Anna both change clothes lots of times throughout the film. The animators have done some pretty incredible things, from making a horse out of water, to creating a flaming salamander. My favorite part is a funny song Olaf sings about how everything will make sense when he's older.

The message of this film is that when you feel that you've lost all hope, you should do the next right thing. Parents should be aware that some beloved characters are in grave danger and young children might be upset by what befalls them. There are some really dark moments when even the usually optimistic Anna thinks all is lost. However, there are some great messages about bravery in the face of danger and doing the right thing despite the cost to yourself.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 6 to 12 and I believe adults will like it too. You can see Frozen II in theaters everywhere starting November 22, 2019.

Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A
BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Two-time Oscar�-winner Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. He seemed like the nicest man on the planet. Casting the nicest actor on the planet as Fred Rogers was brilliant. Mr. Hanks brings the deliberate-speaking teacher to life in a way I can't describe. I'm betting Tom Hanks will be nominated for many awards for this role. He becomes Fred Rogers in the film.

Kindness is so simple. This film is a beautiful and timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. In the film his character is named Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) and he is grumpy and not interested in an assigned puff-piece profile of Fred Rogers. Throughout the film, he works through his skepticism, and learns kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.

The real lesson is learned by Lloyd as he works through issues of fathers, his own (Chris Cooper) and his new role as a father. The film is moving and brings forth many emotions - from grief to sadness to joy, and everything in between. Lloyd's wife, Andrea (Susan Kelechi Watson) is the bridge between Lloyd's family pain and his future as a better Dad.

Lloyd spoke to my heart and begs the audience to feel emotions and be kind, clean up family messes and listen to others when help is needed. I believe every person who sees this film will be moved. The depth of Fred Rogers reach is felt on a public subway. I have not been able to forget this scene since I screened the film.

I give this film 4 of 5 stars for its beautiful theme, set design and character development. At times, it is slow, yet is parallels Mr. Rogers' pace so I'm not sure if this was intentional or a flaw. This film will appeal to ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens in theaters on November 22, 2019. See it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, ageless
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's definitely A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood when Tom Hanks portrays the iconic Mister Rogers. The message is timely and needed now more than ever. This movie is not what I expected. You learn about Mr. Rogers' through his relationship with a man who didn't want to be his friend or neighbor. It's a message that we all need to hear.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on a true life story about the relationship that develops between Fred Rogers and a cynical reporter who is loath to interview him for a piece on American heroes. In the movie, the reporter is Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) who gives an amazing performance. Through his interactions with Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), Vogel begins to understand that part of him is broken. The healing process begins as their friendship develops and you see Fred Rogers teaching him to understand, accept and voice his emotions and feelings. It is beautiful. Tom Hanks is masterful in this role at bringing out the transformation of his friend.

In addition to Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys, the cast has other powerful performances, notably Chris Cooper who plays Lloyd's dad, Jerry Vogel. Christine Lahti, as Lloyd's Editor Ellen, pushes him to work on the hero piece and adds a touching element to the movie as well. The film is directed by Marielle Heller and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Music plays an important role in this movie and is by Nate Heller. The scenes of Mr. Rogers playing the piano along with the behind-the-scenes of the television show during filming of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood are particularly moving.

The message of this film is that anyone can change the world with words. It's a powerful message that we often forget. Listen and think before you speak, as your words impact others. Fred Rogers finds a positive way to help others express their feelings, which is not an easy thing to do, although he makes it look easy. Forgiveness and redemption are another theme in this film.

I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 and adults will love it as well. The film opens in theaters November 22, 2019 so don't miss it this Thanksgiving season!

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JOJO RABBIT
JOJO RABBIT - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wow! I was stunned by this film. I heard people talking about it after seeing it at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year and couldn't wait to see it. Taika's masterful control of a highly charged subject, the Holocaust, turning it into a dark comedy is pulled off in the most remarkable way. The cast is superb, starting with Roman Griffin Davis, whose innocence draws you in from the opening scene and somehow he holds onto it, even as he discovers truths that threaten his ideals and beliefs that he has held fast. His invisible friend Adolf Hitler, played by Taika Waititi, comes in like a big surprise. You want to laugh at his antics, and not laugh because he is Hitler. In the end, you laugh, because the entire film makes you do that. Scarlett Johansson, as Jojo's mom is warm and slightly off kilter. You se her passion for her young son and for "doing the right thing." You're not surprised at what happens to her, as horrific as it is. Thomasin McKenzie, as Elsa, the young Jewish girl living in the attic plays her role beautifully and her relationship with Jojo develops realistically as his eyes are opened to the idea that Jews are not what he's been told at Hitler's youth camp. The ending is satisfyingly appropriate. We can only imagine what happens next. 5 out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really love Jojo Rabbit. It is a work of art and definitely deserves so many nominations for the award season. It is a beautiful story told in a very original way, but some people may not fully understand everything, especially if you don't know much about World War II.

This storyline is about a boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who lives in Nazi Germany and is in one of Hitler's youth training camps. He constantly talks to his imaginary friend, who is a child-like version of Adolf Hitler. One day, he finds out that his mom (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin Mackenzie) in their home. As the film goes on, Jojo discovers the truth about the Nazi world and the Jews as well. By discovering Elsa and the development of their friendship, Jojo starts questioning his ideals and loyalties.

This film is a dark comedy and a satire of one of the most horrific events in history, the Holocaust. This was a very dark time in the world and somehow Taika Waititi (the director) turns this tragic time into a remarkable comedy. The narration in this film is really good and the story unfolds very easily. I didn't really know much about World War II, and the film doesn't really address why Hitler was bad, but this is not a documentary. It doesn't refer to many facts of the Holocaust; it really addresses Jojo's struggles and is a story about tolerance and how love overcomes bigotry.

The acting is very good. I especially love the performance of Taika Waititi who plays the imaginary Hitler. Sam Rockwell plays a very intriguing role as Captain Klenzendorf and Scarlet Johansson is a very loving mother you immediately connect to immediately. Roman Griffin David is the perfect Jojo in this, his acting debut.

One thing that really caught my attention was the music because there are Beatles' songs in German. I like the paradox because the Beatles are, to me, a great expression of love. I really love the idea of using Beatles' songs and found it very creative. The director was inspired by the idolatry Beatles' fans have for this British band. The bright colors contrast with the sadness of the era, representing the illusion of wellness that a lot of Germans felt while they were being brainwashed by the Nazis. The cinematography creates a very warm atmosphere and the wardrobe also shows the elegance of the era.

I like these types of film where they make you research about things that you may not have known about before. After seeing this film I was a little confused, but after doing some research I really saw the beauty of the film. One of my favorite scenes is when Jojo and his mom are on a bike ride together.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. Jojo Rabbit opens November 8, 2019. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet -- high school. Accompanied by a ragtag group of teens and Boots the monkey, Dora embarks on a quest to save her parents while trying to solve the seemingly impossible mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Fans and newcomers alike should find themselves enthralled with this live-action comedy adventure based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series. A colorful palette, witty dialogue and a strong cast led by Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) as the ever-enthusiastic Dora with support from Michael Pena as her equally excitable father and Eugenio Derbez as the double-crossing Alejandro, bring the story to life. Humorous songs and bits of science are doled out as the chipper heroine makes her way through the wilds of a jungle to foil a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped Dora's adventure-seeking parents in order to lead them to the fabled Lost City of Gold. The home-schooled Dora is accompanied by two very reluctant friends from her new school in the city and her older cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), once Dora's best friend, now embarrassed by her naivete. The mix of high school dramatics and hijinks (including a blue monkey and a devious talking fox) makes for an entertaining, action-packed comedy. The cinematography is crisp and colorful with one eye-popping sequence finding the main characters morphed into their animated versions. At the heart of the consistently funny business is the irrepressible Dora, whose wide-eyed look at the world, keen intellect and natural resourcefulness not only save the day, but prove impossible to resist. Recommended for ages 6 to 18. 5 out of 5 stars. Review by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I really didn't know what to expect from this film. The cartoon TV show version was unique, but was really aimed for young children, ages 3 through 5 years. This movie is a big surprise ! It starts with Dora and her cousin Diego as young kids in the jungle and then Diego leaves for the city and Dora stays in the jungle with her parents and her friend Boots the Monkey. Dora is very bright and is raised by her parents who are professors. Things change and Dora moves to the big city to start high school. Of course, Dora is, well, a bit different, but she is always herself. I like how this film shows that you can and should be yourself. It also teaches preteens and teens about friendship. Most importantly, this is a very entertaining movie! It is filled with adventure and offers a wonderful family friendly movie for children ages 7 through 18. Many adults will love this movie too. It's so much better than the TV show. If you grew up watching the show, you will definitely relate to the main characters - Dora, Diego and Boots the Monkey. I give it 5 stars out of 5 stars. It is coming out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital soon.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love the opening scenes with Dora and Diego playing when they were younger. Dora and the Lost City of Gold includes so many elements from the original beloved series! This scene perfectly transitions from the series into the film. All our favorite characters from the TV show are included in this adventure.

The storyline follows Dora as a young girl who lives deep in the Peruvian jungle with her explorer parents. She spends her days exploring the jungle with her monkey friend Boots, her cousin Diego, and imaginary friends Backpack and Map. When Dora and Diego are young, Diego and his family leave the jungle for city life in Los Angeles while Dora's family remains searching for the hidden city Parapata.

Ten years later, Dora's parents send her to live with Diego and explore the jungle of urban high school. There are many funny scenes in school addressing peer pressure, fitting in and being yourself, which Dora exemplifies. Diego is embarrassed by her behavior and it takes some time for their relationship to get back on track. Dora and friends are kidnapped by mercenaries who try to use them to discover the Lost City of Gold, Parapata. Friends and villains are difficult to discover in their journey, but the gang discovers Parapata and all the secret treasures within.

Isabela Moner absolutely shines as Dora in this film. She IS the character from the TV series come to life. Jeff Wahlberg portrays her cousin Diego and Eva Longoria plays is Dora's mom Elena. Other than Dora, my favorite characters are her friends from the original show. Boots is absolutely adorable and I enjoyed watching Backpack and Map when they appear. The set is spectacularly designed and built. The jungle scenes and Lost City are fabuloso! I love all the cool special effects, especially the booby traps at the end of the movie. I guess you'll just have to watch it to find out more.

There are so many messages in this film such as the value of teamwork, being courageous, being yourself and not succumbing to peer pressure or expectations. Dora finds herself lonely when surrounded by other kids at school, but not lonely when she is alone in the jungle. Throughout the movie Dora and the other characters show these qualities as they work together to find Dora's parents and solve the mystery of Parapata. Dora discovers that exploring new places and people is the real treasure.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12. It releases both digitally and on DVD/Blu-ray in November, 2019. Look for it!

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Paramount Pictures has done it again! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. Deliciouso! Are you ready for a new live action Dora?! If so, you'll love this feature transformation of Nickelodeon's TV show Dora The Explorer. If you have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow up in the jungle, that's a question for Dora and her playful monkey Boots. This film takes you alongside Dora as an explorer learning the jungle's darkest secrets. Buckle up, it's going to get wild.

This film follows Dora, a teenage explorer who leads her friends on a adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind The Lost City Of Gold. Dora spent most of her life exploring the jungles of South America, but nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet, high school. Yes, high school. Dora spent most of her life in academic isolation with her professor parents. Get ready for Dora and her adventures to begin. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.

The lead characters are Dora (Isabela Moner), Elena (Eva Longoria), Boots (Danny Trejo's voice), Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), Swiper (Benicio Del Toro's voice), Dora's Father (Michael Pena) and Diego's Mother (Pia Miller). My favorite character is clearly the favorable Dora who shows strength and courage throughout the film. For example, her parents doubt her, but she has a light inside her that will prove them wrong. She wants to show her friends, family and fellow explorers that, just because she's young, she can be a leader and explore alongside her parents. I love that the film features a predominantly Latinx cast. The Spanish parts feel really natural and funny. The Latina female lead really inspired me in so many ways. I learned from her spirit and her willingness to be herself.

My favorite scene is unquestionably when Dora and her friends find the Lost City of Gold. We see how the treasure hunters have tried stealing something that wasn't their own. This scene definitely shows teamwork, action, decision-making and communication skills.

This film shares an important message about always being yourself. Dora proves this as she enters high school for the first time, after being home schooled. She expresses her own personality and doesn't change for anyone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. There is no bad language or violence or anything to be concerned about. It is available on DVD November 5, 2019. Make sure to go check out this astonishing and adventurous film.

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

V�monos! Dora and the Lost City of Gold sends me back to my not-that-long-ago childhood and reminds me why kids love Dora: she is simple, enthusiastic and an avid explorer! Now a teenager, Dora keeps her spirit and deals with identity, like most teens nowadays do, and continues teaching us lessons--and some Spanish. ("V�monos" means "let's go!")

In this live-action movie, Dora (Isabela Moner) goes to the city to explore . . . high school! The jungle seems to be her natural habitat, so when Dora arrives in the city she seems a bit lost and confused. There she meets with her cousin Diego. She doesn't know much about what going to school is and real life in a city seems more dangerous than the jungle does. On a field trip, Dora goes back to doing what she knows best: having adventures. Dora and some classmates accidentally end up in the jungle, and she helps her parents solve a mystery and find the Lost City of Gold.

I love that this film keeps the essence of the original Dora animated series and brings to the big screen elements from the TV show, like some of the animated characters. I like that family is important to Dora, and that she is a good example for younger children. The acting is very good and everyone fits nicely in their roles. Eugenio Derbez, one of the producers of the film, is surrounded with a great group of actors. He plays Alejandro Gutierrez, an explorer related to Dora, although she doesn't know him well. Eva Longoria and Michael Pe�a play Dora's parents, and they are funny and add a warm touch. Isabela Moner is the perfect Dora: she totally embodies the tone of the little girl while playing a teenager.

The story is a little predictable but overall is entertaining. The sets are not perfect, but they serve the purpose. I was actually excited to see the film since Dora is such a classic and 2020 (next year) will be the 20th anniversary of the character. The message of the film is: family comes first, and you don't have to change who you are to fit into society.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 4 to 14. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love Dora and the Lost City of Gold much more than I thought I would! The live-action movie is light-hearted, full of comedy and adventure, and stays true to the original Dora the Explorer TV series.

The movie follows Dora, a teenager now, who is begrudgingly shipped off from the jungles of Peru to Los Angeles, California to live with her relatives, including her cousin Diego. Dora struggles to assimilate in high school and has difficulty making friends. Meanwhile, her parents who are professors and explorers, go missing while on their latest quest to find the Lost City of Gold. Through a series of events, Dora and her new friends are off to save the day!

As someone who grew up watching the show, Dora the Explorer, I am delighted at all the little tidbits in the movie that are reminiscent of the cartoon. Dora speaks to the camera, carries her nifty backpack everywhere she goes and she throws in a Spanish word every once in awhile - "Can you say Delicioso?"

Isabela Moner portrays Dora so well. She fits the part perfectly; looks like her cartoon counterpart; sounds like her and is Peruvian herself! She is upbeat, and as one of the characters in the movie says, has a "relentless good-natured spirit." Though I initially thought the movie would be cheesy, I enjoy Isabela's comedic timing. She carries the movie as its heroin.

Dora's best friend, Boots (a monkey) and nemesis, Swiper (a fox) join her in this adventure. They are the only two characters who are in CGI. Though it might be have been created like this on purpose, I find the graphics of these two characters too cartoony. They stand out too much from the live-action cast.

The message of the movie is to stay true to yourself, which is the advice given to Dora early on. Because Dora stays true to herself, she is able to conquer both the high school and jungle worlds.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, because of its youthful nature. You can find it on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Mia G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a hilarious film for all ages. I love this film because it makes me laugh out loud! This is definitely my newest favorite movie. Thanks to the clever script by Nicholas Stoller, there are lots of funny lines that bring smiles and amusement to the audience.

This live-action movie is about the animated Nickelodeon series character Dora, who is played by Isabela Moner. Dora is all grown up now, and her family's circumstances lead her to move from the jungle to a different kind of jungle: high school. Her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) tries to help her get used to living in the city, but he finds that it is a difficult job. The ever-positive and happy Dora doesn't truly understand the pressures that high school kids face, nor does she see the negativity they aim at her for being different. She doesn't really make friends until she is forced into a situation to solve a big problem.

The actors all represent their characters very well. They look and sound a lot like the original characters from the TV show, as well! Dora's father is played by Michael Pena. Dora's mother is played by Eva Longoria, a popular actress who adults will recognize.

There are lots of special effects in this film. For example, Boots, Dora's monkey, and Swiper, the bad-guy fox, are CGI, but to me they look very real. I would love to share more special effects with you, but you have to see the movie first. There are some fun surprises in this movie that you need to see to believe!

The message of this movie is a great one for all ages: If we stop judging each other and start working together, we can solve big problems!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is rated PG. I recommend it for ages 3 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well, especially the ones who have watched the cartoon version with their kids. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being fun and funny. You should go see this with your whole family! Dora and the Lost City of Gold comes out on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Eva W. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an exciting, thrilling and adventurous film that brings back your fun childhood memories. It has action, comedy and even some life lessons throughout the story. It's also very enjoyable to watch with the family, so you'll all have great fun and laughs at the theatre.

The storyline is about Dora growing up as a teenage explorer trying to survive the "scary" life of high school. Dora is figuring out a way to fit in at high school and trying to save her parents at the same time. With the help of Dora's friends and older cousin Diego, the team try to save The Lost City Of Gold.

Some things that stand out in this film are the exotic setting and the ancient artwork they use. Also the production of the film is amazing and impressive, turning an animated TV show into a hit live-action movie. "Big ups" to producers Eugenio Derbez and Kristin Burr for the outstanding work. They play a big role in creating Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Dora faces many challenges in this movie, but one challenge really takes a toll on her. High school can be a difficult transition for some people. But Dora stays herself and is the best she can be even when some make fun of her and bully her. No matter what, Dora keeps striving past those obstacles. So the message that is conveyed is to always be yourself in your own unique way.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Make sure you check out Dora and the Lost City of Gold premiering August 9, 2019.

By Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action movie with great actors and certainly is action-packed! It's full of excitement with plenty of expeditions for fans of the original Dora animated series.

The story focuses on Dora, now a teenage explorer, who is most at home in the jungle. Dora (Isabela Moner) is forced to go to the city and attend high school, while her parents search for a lost ancient city. When Dora is on a scavenger hunt field trip, she finds herself and her friends trapped in a crate. Once they escape, they journey into the rainforest.

Most people that are over seven years old might think that the movie will be childish. However, they will love it. It has action, suspense and adventure that everyone will enjoy. My favorite character is Dora because she is happy every day and always has a song to sing. And Isabela Moner is the perfect actress for Dora. Other famous actors in this film include Eva Longoria as Elena and Michael Pena ad Dora's father.

The message of the movie is to be kind to others, don't always trust new people and stay adventurous. Dora and the Lost City of Gold has no bad language, but it has some bad behavior like trying to steal, being mean to others and attempted murder. There are a couple of dangerous things that kids might like to do, such as going in to a rainforest alone and touching unidentified animals.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, and adults will think that the film is cute. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 102 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLLY OF DENALI
MOLLY OF DENALI - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-8
Description - Molly of Denali is an American-Canadian animated television series created and produced by Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Kids for PBS Kids and CBC Television. It premiered on July 15, 2019. The series is the first ever nationally distributed children's show to feature an Alaska Native as the main character and protagonist. Thirty-eight half-hours have been ordered. Between the two 11-minute story segments, there is a special live-action segment filmed in Alaska. The series follows 10-year-old Molly, an Alaska Native girl from the fictional village of Qyah, and her family, friends Tooey and Trini, her dog Suki, and other residents. Her family runs the Denali Trading Post. It was created by Dorothea Gillim and Kathy Waugh and stars Sovereign Bill. The Molly of Denali theme song is sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller. KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Molly of Denali is an animated TV series featuring a strong Native American 10-year-old girl from Alaska. The show I watched has two 11-minute episodes: Grandpa's Drum and Have Canoe will Paddle. The focus is on problem solving, while incorporating literacy and technology skills.

Alaskan Native values are modeled including respect, sharing, team work and honoring elders, family and cultural awareness.

The program highlights a Native American community in Alaska. The lead character Molly is a strong, energetic young girl, full of life and an inquiring mind. In Grandpa's Drum, she and Tuli find an old photograph of her grandpa when he was young together with a young girl. They discover he doesn't like to sing anymore, because he no longer has his drum. They go on a quest to find the girl and his drum by using their research skills. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, Molly, Tuli and Trini get resourceful once again with their literacy skills to learn how to paddle a canoe. With their friendly social skills, they find an appropriate coach to teach them, so they can enter a race. With their friendly social skills, they find an award winning coach to teach them how to canoe so they can enter a race. They are all terrific role models for young children to get excited about learning!

Native Alaskan children will proudly see themselves and their way of life and a broader audience will be introduced to a new culture. They will experience adventures with the lead characters and see their contemporaries problem solving, learning and having fun. In Grandpa's Drum, they will see Molly and Trini singing and their Grandpa remembering songs with his drum and teaching them. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, they will see the steps Molly and friends make to learn how to canoe and master the race. They will learn to know that we are more alike than different. Viewers may be motivated to explore their own cultural backgrounds as a result.

This is a very engaging show with fun characters that are eager to learn. Each episode flows well, incorporating literacy and technology skills that young children can relate to. It encourages them to go out and learn the skills they need to problem solve and have fun while doing so.

Young children, parents, teachers and caregivers alike will learn about the Native Alaskan culture and learn new Native vocabulary, as well as the difference between now and then. In Grandpa's Drum, we learn that when he was a young boy, he had to go to boarding school and was not allowed to celebrate his culture at school. Today, we find out that this does not happen. Children are at home going to school and can celebrate their culture. This animated show is truly delightful and quite authentic in portraying three generations - grand parents, parents and children. The images are true to form and culture.

In addition to the two animated shorts in each episode, there is a live action piece. In this episode, Molly answers questions about life in Alaska. We see children who live there at the river comparing old photographs of a similar place and see what it looks like today. They learn a traditional song from an elder. One girl says, "When I am dancing with ancestors, I connect with the past."

Molly of Denali has all the benefits of inviting the viewer to question, probe and problem solve as described above, while introducing the viewer to a new culture and environment. It encourages one to look into situations such as in Grandpa's Drum when it helps him to reconnect with his youth, re-learning the songs he loved with his new found drum, and then teaching and passing them on to the younger generation. Viewers will be motivated and encouraged to explore their own cultural backgrounds. Similarly in Have Canoe Will Paddle where it shows how one can learn a new sport, if they so desire. The role modeling of determination is inspiring.

The moral of the series is: if there is a will, there is a way as it models problem solving to get the results you want, gaining new skills and having fun while doing it! Molly and her friends are terrific, inspiring role models for young children to get excited about learning!

I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 8. This airs on PBS Kids and CBC Television now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA
MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 8
Description - Llama Llama Springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they give gifts, sing songs, and build snow sculptures. It's a very Merry Christmas indeed!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The DVD Merry Christmas Llama Llama! delivers two holiday stories and a bonus story about reading. This Netflix series is based on the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. In "Snow Show," the teacher announces a snow sculpture contest and the judge will be one of the students themselves. No surprise when Llama Llama is chosen, but can he be fair and choose just one winner? Mama Llama, voiced by Jennifer Garner, gives him advice that helps devise a clever way to ensure all his friends are recognized, while still awarding one champion. In the second story "Secret Santa," classmates must keep their Secret Santa from each other, made especially tricky when they all end up at the same store. The timeless lesson is that giving gifts makes you feel good. Bonus episode, "Llama Llama Loves to Read" highlights the importance of reading practice. Gilroy Goat must overcome his reluctance to read aloud, which he does when paired with the perfect book and many repeated readings. Llama Llama must find a new book when his first choice is not in the library. These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 8. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Merry Christmas Llama Llama is a collection of episodes sure to get you in the holiday spirit with its warm, comforting tone.

Inspired by the best-selling books by Anna Dewdney, Merry Christmas Llama Llama chronicles holiday-themed escapades of Llama Llama and his merry band of anthropomorphic pals. Llama judges a fiercely competitive snowman show amongst his classmates, discovers his joy for reading and navigates the complications of a Secret Santa event.

My favorite episode of this collection is Llama Llama Loves To Read. Gilroy Goat gets empowerment and support from his local librarian and it drives him to great things he never thought he'd be capable of. Gilroy grows and becomes proud of what he achieves.

As someone whose regular bedtime read was the Llama Llama series when I was much younger, I went into this show with some preconceived expectations and I was happily surprised. Merry Christmas Llama Llama expands the scope of this world greatly beyond the exchanges between Llama Llama and his mama so lovingly captured in the books. Euclid, Nelly Gnu, Luna Gilroy and Gilroy Goat are all worthy additions to this cast of characters. They feel very specific and unique from one another. Lest we not forget the show's protagonist and title character, Llama Llama. He helps bring the show down to earth against its kooky side characters. A simple, but needed, character for the stories this show is trying to tell. I respect his morals; the passion and love he has for his friends is admirable.

The animation stays true to the style established all the way back in the first Llama Llama book. The static environments cross with the movement of the characters creating a feeling that is like watching these characters come to life, right off the page.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama gets an age rating from me of 2 to 7. This is something that I could see younger kids really enjoying right along with their parents. I give Merry Christmas Llama Llama 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciate the lessons it relays and the good values of kindness and love it holds dear. Merry Christmas Llama Llama is available to purchase on DVD right now.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things - SNOW and GIFTS! It's really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is based on the book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. The DVD includes three short stories of adventures that the lead character, Llama Llama (Shayle Simmons), goes on with his friends. In the first short story, Llama Llama has to judge a snow sculpture contest between his friends and pick a winner without hurting anyone's feelings. In the next one, Secret Santa, Llama Llama and his friends are secret Santas and have trouble picking gifts and keeping their secret Santas a secret. In the bonus episode, Llama Llama Loves to Read, Llama Llama and his friends have to pick out books to read out loud to the younger kids. Llama Llama can't find his favorite book at the library and his friend Gilroy Goat is nervous about reading out loud. In all three episodes, I really love seeing the great friendship between Llama Llama and how they always support each other. They always find ways to make other people feel good about themselves.

The three stories are all quite good and have great animation. One of my favorite parts was watching Llama Llama finish reading and then jumping into a pile of leaves. One cool thing is seeing how they finish things they have to do and are off to do something fun, like sledding. George Gabriel's music is really catchy and short, which is perfect for the short episodes.

The DVD has two different stories and a bonus story and they all have different messages, but they all have the same theme of friendship! In each episode there is some problem that needs to be solved and gives them a chance to show what good friends should do for each other.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is a great DVD for movie days around holiday break. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 3 to 12. Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is currently available on where DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Merry Christmas! The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!

In this new holiday DVD Llama Llama starts his season off with a snow sculpting contest, singing Christmas songs and some secret Santa fun! If you are an imagination filled, wholehearted kid who enjoyed the books, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, this DVD is for you. I would have thought these episodes were so much fun when I was little, and I still enjoyed them as 10-year-old. My favorite episode is when Llama Llama is the judge of a snow sculpture contest and is having trouble deciding who the winner should be, between his friends. When faced with a problem little Llama turns to Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) to help him out. Together, Mama and Llama Llama take you through solving the problem with a little bit of imagination and kindness.

The animation is really cool and unique. The characters are all hand-drawn, while the background is painted. There is also a bonus episode about Llama Llama's favorite library book that someone else has checked out. This episode really deals with the love of reading and how sometimes we need to try different types of books and we may find something new we enjoy. The setting is mostly in Llama Llama's friendly neighborhood, though he often goes to many different places during the day, such as school, the library, the park and much more. Llama Llama is voiced by Shayle Simons creates the perfect Llama Llama voice. There are three episodes included in this DVD and it is a little over 30 minutes long.

The message of these episodes is that, even if you are little, you can solve big problems with some imagination, so always use it!

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. The DVD is available now, just in time for the holidays. Look for it.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS WITH MOLANG - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-11
Description - The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It's the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child's attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters' antics as well.

Christmas with Molang follows a young cotton-ball rabbit and her best friend Piu-Piu, a small chick. Rather than focusing on Christmas itself, either in the religious or secular sense, these episodes take classic bits of the holiday season (skating, making snowmen, caroling, finding a Christmas tree) and give them a story-book feel, full of light-hearted antics and the joys of having a best friend to do everything with. The DVD is a set of six mini-episodes and contains a number of charming adventures and funny moments.

The best part of this series is that none of the characters actually talk. They make vocalizations, like minions, where some of the words are distinguishable, but must are just sounds. Because of this, the viewer is able to imagine their own dialogue, which adds more humor to the characters interactions. On top of this, Piu-Piu and Molang have some genuinely charming interactions, and there is a distinguished personality difference between the two characters, Molang being the imaginative and upbeat, Piu-Piu being a bit more practical and clever. Most children will just find the characters cute and funny. There are plenty of events with good comedic timing (characters getting run over by snowballs, creeping up behind bushes, or trying to avoid kissing a frog). There is a lot of physical comedy (falling, people getting knocked on the head and such), but they are mostly played for laughs. The only serious injury shown is when Piu-Piu takes a rather nasty fall, nasty enough for him to fall unconscious and temporarily lose his memory.

The stories, while simple, make a decent amount of sense, even without dialogue. The only continuity error is that the two are seen decorating the Christmas tree at the beginning of each episode, making the audience wonder whether this is taking place different years or whether something happened to the old tree. The story does include Santa Claus, which isn't particularly accurate. One episode involves a frog caught in the snow, while real frogs would be hibernating during winter. Another lack of accuracy is that all the Christmas songs the characters sing are secular, with no mention of the original carols used in church.

The animation is pretty basic, with minimal movement and simplistic designs. However, this adds to the charm of the episodes and gives the stories an idyllic, story-book flavor. The voices for the characters are all performed by the same person, but there is a noticeable enough difference to tell who's talking.

The most beneficial episode involves a snow-man. After Piu-Piu and Molang have build and decorated a snowman, their decorations (hat, scarf, carrot and chocolates) are stolen by some hungry forest creatures, twice. After seeing that the small creatures are in need, the two go back to their house and prepare food and clothing for the creatures in a heartwarming show of forgiveness and compassion. In all the episodes, the characters find creative ways to solve problems and are always ready to help out a friend.

More than anything, the DVD illustrates how to be a good friend, to help out when others have problems, is ready to forgive, and find joy in everyday things. Whatever situation Molang and Piu-Piu find themselves in, they are the best of friends and they are always laughing. These episodes have a lot less to do with Christmas, religious or secular, than they have to do with just being kind to others, regardless of the time or season.

Christmas with Molang is a genuinely funny and charming collection of short stories that illustrate friendship and finding joy in simple, every-day things. Through a simple style of story-telling and plenty of vocal effects, these mini-episodes spark the viewer's imagination and bring back idyllic memories of Christmas activities. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Christmas with Molang is a cute movie full of all things Christmas! I love it. It's a movie I would love to watch with my little cousins. The characters are so funny, playful and seem to always have fun.

Christmas with Molang is a DVD with six different short stories about Christmas on it. In each story the lead character, Molang and his friend Piu Piu experience a new lesson related to the spirit of Christmas. They build a snowman, go ice-skating, find the best Christmas tree and even meet a Ninja, back-flipping Santa Claus. Each time they go on one of their adventures, they learn a new lesson.

There are so many funny parts in each of the short stories. One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu's hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music. Sometimes it is a little weird when the characters speak in animated baby voices. It could be a little annoying for older kids, because you can't always understand what they are saying. However, because of the great animation, you can still tell what is happening. The scenes are very bright and colorful and full of the Christmas spirit.

The overall message of the DVD is to be kind to others, even strangers. In each story the characters are trying to help someone else or show how much they care about them. Also, it encourages you to show people you care and make new friends. Some day, when you are in trouble you'll have help because you helped them.

I rate The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages. The animation is filled with pastel colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

The storyline follows two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu. Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick. They encounter problems throughout the day and, while finding the solutions to these problems, they learn a valuable lesson every time. Normally Piu Piu is the one who is in distress and Molang finds a way to fix Piu Piu's problem to cheer him up.

The animation is in a cutesy style from Korea. Molang was drawn by a university student named Yoon Hye Jin and is made to look like a sticky Korean rice cake. Everything is colored in light pastels and all the characters have round figures. Super adorable!

Although the cartoon is from Korea, the characters do not speak in Korean or in any real language for that matter. The fans have named the language that they speak Molangonese or Piupiualish. The audience is still able to understand what they are trying to say by the images shown and the strategic framing.

My favorite part about Christmas With Molang has to be the messages. Molang and Piu Piu promote the idea that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts. They help out other animal friends in their community and feel complete. Molang and Piu Piu inspire viewers to do good deeds for other people. They are an example to kids that "when you do good it comes around."

Molang and Piu Piu also show how great it is to have a best friend. Molang and Piu Piu love each other very much and support each other all the time. These besties show how to sympathize and comfort others. These are important things to know to be able to socialize and be a caring person. Molang and Piu Piu promote positivity and love throughout the series.

Christmas With Molang is the perfect cartoon to show kids of all ages during the holiday season. They will love how cute everything is and will be inspired to do kind things for other people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Christmas With Molang is out on DVDs now so be sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Christmas with Molang 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really cute movie for younger kids so I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Christmas with Molang is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love this DVD! It is full of cuteness and Christmas cheer! And it is perfect to watch on a cold, winter day.

Christmas with Molang is about a bunny named Molang and a chick named Piu Piu going on fun-filled Christmas adventures. Episodes include A Beautiful Christmas Tree, The Snowman, At The Elves' House and Santa.

The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters' hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures. All of the episodes are adorable. My favorites are The Choir and The Frog, because they have the funniest story lines. The episodes are approximately five minutes each, so the total run time is about 30 minutes.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including the value of friendship, helping others and always have fun in what you do. Christmas with Molang has no bad language, but there are a few risky things that kids might try to do such as climb a Christmas tree, bother wild animals and go into houses Santa style.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS (2019)
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS (2019) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - All Little Wolf wants to do is stay at home with Mum, Dad and his brother, Smellybreff. However, Mum and Dad are worried that their precious son, Little Wolf, is not as bad as a small wolf should be. So they decide to send him off to Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Uncle Bigbad is a hopeless teacher, but armed with determination and native wit, Little Wolf thinks things out for himself. Sent out by his Uncle to round up a troop of boy scouts to eat for supper, Little Wolf discovers that the scouts have many useful skills that Little Wolf can learn from them. In the end, Little Wolf decides not to follow outdated rules of proper wolf behavior but to be true to himself. As a result, he inherits his Uncle's fortune and becomes master of Cunning College. Based on a world-famous series of best-selling Little Wolf story books, this one-off is a treat for the whole family!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness is a short film based on the book with the same name by Ian Whybrow and made into an award-winning film by Karsten Kiilerich. I personally love this film. Little Wolf's parents are very concerned about him not being big and bad enough, not really displaying typical wolf behavior. So his parents send him to Cunning College in hopes of learning the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Bigbad sends Little Wolf out to some troops and he, in turn, learns many lessons from them. After all is said and done, Little Wolf is true to himself and doesn't try to change his behavior to reflect the Nine Rules of Badness. This ends well for him and I don't want spoil what happens for him at the end. You'll just have to watch and find out. The animation is style is reminiscent of the books and is very charming. My three-year-old loved watching this. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 12. However, I'm sure some older kids and adults may enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness, directed by Karsten Kiilerich, is unique and unexpected! With its spiral of surprises, I never could predict what would happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.

The story follows Little Wolf (Alexander Pownall), who is not bad enough for his family. So his Mum (Lucy Whybrow) and Dad (Richard Hope) send him on a journey to Cunning College to learn from his Uncle Big bad how to be a true bad wolf. On his quest, he learns the 'Nine Rules of Badness.'

Alexander Pownall, the voice actor for Little Wolf, creates personality through his voice. His voice is high, making it sound like that of a young child. As Little Wolf ventures through the woods to reach Cunning College, I heard the fear in his voice and sympathized with him. When he writes letters back to his family and reads them, I heard the unwillingness to be where he was and the sense of defeat just through his voice. Michael Gambon, voice actor for Uncle Big bad, has terror in his voice that gave me goose bumps. For example, when he is first introduced and he speaks, I knew Little Wolf was going to have a tough time in Cunning College.

The animation is dark but appealing. It sets the tone of the movie as it reflects Little Wolf's feelings. For example, when Little Wolf feels that his trip was a waste of time and nothing good will come out of his journey, the scenery is dark, it is raining and there are shadowy clouds looming above him. The costume designs add to the personalities of each character. For example, Little Wolf has simple clothes that are similar to a schoolboy's outfit, reflecting what his purpose is in the movie. Uncle Big Bad wears a grey suit, with a yellow shirt and blue tie which reflects his personality as an evil wolf but also one who has the potential to have color or goodness in his life.

My favorite part of this show is the animation. The type of animation that is used made me feel as if I was watching my own imagination. The message here is that goodness will always outshine darkness. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. This is available on DVD now so check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Little Wolf's Book of Badness is a very odd type of film. It's not your typical Dora the Explorer type of kids' show, which is good because there are too many of those types of shows out there. This is a story and a good story at that. It teaches kids through a wolf who is supposed to be bad, but wants to be good.

The storyline is about Little Wolf who just wants to stay at home with his family, but his parents don't think he's bad enough to live up to the Wolf family name. So, they send Little Wolf to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Big Bad. But it turns out Uncle Big Bad isn't such an amazing teacher after all.

As I said, the show is pretty great. The animation is wiggles a bit, even when they are standing still. This is probably intended, but it is kind of distracting. One of the things I really like about this show is its plot and the simple way it shows the lessons they are trying to teach without even saying so. This is what makes it a different type of kids' film. It is also very slow paced. There isn't very much action. One thing I wondered about the whole time is why Little Wolf always sneezes when he's around Mr. Twister. Is he allergic? Michael Gambon, the voice talent for Big Bad is really cool. David Thewlis voices Mr. Twister, which is pretty awesome. I know and like both Gamgon and Thewlis from the Harry Potter films. Another thing I really enjoyed about this film is how scary they make Big Bad. I really was kind of scared when the character Big Bad came on and yelled at Little Wolf. That is probably my favorite scene because it really shows who Big Bad truly is.

The message this film teaches is that, even if you're bad or scary, that doesn't mean that you are happy. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because it has a cool, different way of teaching kids. I recommend this film for ages 2 to 6. This film is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really enjoyed this animated short film! Little Wolf is charming throughout the film. The whole concept of Little Wolf's Book of Badness is also keen.

Based on the book written by Andre-Morgan and directed by Karsten Kiilerich, the show is about a wolf named, Little Wolf and his perceptions about being bad. His family is disgusted as they watch Little Wolf comb his hair and brush his teeth because, being a wolf you must be unclean and rude. Little Wolfs' Dad and Mom can't put up with his behavior any longer, so they send him to his uncle Big Bad. Big Bad is the head of Cunning College where Little Wolf is taught the nine rules for being bad. In reality though, Big Bad doesn't care about teaching his nephew, he only cares about how much food Little Wolf can give to him.

Big Bad is voiced by Michael Gambon who puts a 'great bad wolf' in his voice. Little Wolf is voiced by Alexander Pownall. Smellybreff, Little Wolf's younger brother is voiced by Matthew Gillespie. Smellybreff knows that Little Wolf isn't acting like a terrible wolf like their parents raised them to be. Lucy Whybrow voices the mom and Richard Hope, the dad.

I enjoyed watching the story come to life. The animation looks like drawing from the book which is very delightful. My favorite part is when Little Wolf tries to warn his uncle of the effects of eating baked beans too fast, but Big Bad just waves his comments away. As he gobbles up all the beans, Little Wolf continues to warn his uncle when he stands to close to the fire. Big Bad once again doesn't listen and toots right in front of the fire, making an explosion at Cunning College. This was my favorite part because it brought some great humor to the climax of the story.

The message of the film is to be yourself by being good, even if being good is bad. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - A girl finally finds her moment to shine when she inadvertently lands an out-of-this-world job to baby-sit an unruly group of very important extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on Earth with their families, disguised as everyday kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gabby Duran & The Unsittables is entertaining! The transformation between alien and human is unpredictably funny. The green Gorman had me anticipating the next alien. I am ready for the next episode.

The story is based on the novel by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners. Kirby Buckets' Mike Alber and Gabe Snyder serve as showrunners as well as executive producers alongside Just Add Magic's Joe Nussbaum.

The series focuses on 12 year old stylish and confident Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who constantly feels like she's living in the shadows of her lucrative mother and brainy little sister. Gabby lands an out-of-this-world job as a babysitter to a group of peculiar, extraterrestrial aliens who are hiding on Earth disguised as everyday kids. Resourceful Gabby steps up to the challenge to protect these aliens and their secret identities. She proves to be the best sitter ever.

I was committed to the visual effects waiting to see what Jeremy, played by Callan Farris was going to morph into. Without giving too much away, whatever Jeremy eats he turns into. No doubt my favorite character is Gabby Duran played by YouTube sensation Kylie Cantrall. She is definitely setting trends in this episode. Her outfits from the neon orange distressed jacket to the aloha knee length shorts gave a 90's vibe most definitely. One of my favorite scenes is when Gabby meets Jeremy for the first time and beats him up with a rake. There were so many funny scenes, but you will have to watch it.

Beside the message that I need some knee-length purple camo shorts in my life... having a good attitude is crucial. Making the best of where you are is a game changer. It's emphasized the importance to always be yourself, because the right people will like you. I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. My mom actually enjoyed watching this and she laughed along with me. Be sure to watch Gabby Duran & the Unsittables beginning October 11, 2019 on the Disney channel.

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOWNTON ABBEY (2019)
DOWNTON ABBEY (2019) - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Downton Abbey is a 2019 British historical period drama film that acts as a continuation of the British television series of the same name. The film is written by Julian Fellowes, creator and executive producer of the television series, and directed by Michael Engler. Much of the original cast returns. The film, set in 1927, depicts an official state visit by the King and Queen to the Crawley family's English country house in the Yorkshire countryside. As the Royal staff descend on Downton an assassin has also arrived and attempts to kill the monarch. The family and servants are pitted against the royal entourage, including the Queen's Lady-in-Waiting who has fallen out with the Crawleys, especially the Dowager Countess, over an inheritance issue.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is probably one of my all time favorite movies! Downton Abbey stands alone as a film and it doesn't matter if you watched the TV series or if you are totally new to the story. I have not seen the TV series and enjoyed very much this long format installment. It is elegant, well narrated and the performances are fascinating. From the beginning you are transported to early in the 20th century - the clock, the train, the letters. Very elaborate and detailed art direction combines with beautiful cinematography that makes this so pleasant to watch.

This is the story of the Crawley Family, a wealthy family that owns a state in the countryside in England, and all the employees that live with them. They are exited to receive the visit of the Queen and King of England, but their efforts to serve and all preparations are sabotaged by the monarchy protocol that insists the royals will bring their own servitude. During this very expected visit, all the people in Downton Abbey, from upstairs to downstairs, get involved in a series of events that ends up changing their lives.

We see the devotion and commitment every character has for this royal visit, which I found inspiring. Everyone is determined to perform their duties exceptionally well. I loved the performances by Hugh Bonneville (as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham), Tuppence Middleton (as Lucy) and especially Maggie Smith (as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham). She is charming and funny.

The cinematography (Ben Smithard) and the sets (Donal Woods) revive the splendor of an era that I can't believe existed not long ago. I love the costumes; they are rich and elaborate. John Lunn has composed beautiful music that is touching and intriguing at the same time and is a perfect fit for the movie. It is very classy.

The message of this film is that we all have to be true to ourselves and do what is important, for the passion of what matters. There are some jokes that I did not understand or are more suitable for grown ups, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this very classic story.

I give Downtown Abbey it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 16+, because there are some mildly intense scenes. It opens in theaters September 20, 2019. Look for it. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Looking for royal intrigue and aristocratic shenanigans? Then, Downton Abbey is your cup of tea.

This film is the continuing story of the Crawley Family who are the wealthy owners of Downton Abbey. The story unfolds as the entire family and their staff are in an uproar at the approaching visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Their upcoming visit is a great honor, but also a challenge when the family and estate need to economize. There is much intrigue and maneuvering over wealth and power from inheritance disputes as well as currying royal favor. Downton's staff are in a fracas when the royal staff invade and take charge of the upcoming visit and there is much plotting below the stairs as well.

The majesty of Downton Abbey is its own character in the film and there is gorgeous footage of the estate. The entire cast is talented and noteworthy, but I particularly enjoyed the sarcasm of Violet Crawley, played by the indomitable Maggie Smith, as she is "an expert in every matter." Violet's verbal jousting with Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton) is my favorite storyline in this film. The movie is directed by Michael Engler and the screenplay is written by Julian Fellowes. One can't forget the majesty created by cinematographer Ben Smithard and production designer Donal Woods. Anna Robbins is the costume designer for the film and exquisite style takes on a role of its own.

The message of this film is about the importance of family and its continuity and traditions. The movie offers a glimpse into the past and the family's efforts to maintain their traditions into the future.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 through 18, plus adults. Parents need to be aware that there is some mature content. Downton Abbey opens in theaters September 20, 2019. Look for it as you will be utterly delighted. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

All the way from TV to new movie comes Downton Abbey, a place of joy and mystery as well as love and honor. As a fan of the show I am so glad to see they made a movie and let us know how everything ends.

One of the things that Downton Abbey is known for is the costumes. Each one sparkles from head to toe and they all simply terrific. Each costume and actor looks elegant and yet, very simple at the same time. That in turns reveals their true personalities in the end.

All the characters are very unique and they all share one thing in common, a love for the place they live, Downton. Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), who can be very as stubborn at times, is the best person to call when it comes to needing a smart and witty person. I love that she can turn any situation into a funny one, in literally ten seconds flat.

Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) is the middle sister in family. She is very compassionate in times of need. This is one the many reasons why she is such a great assist to her family and the people around her. Robert Crawley or the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) owns Downton and wears his title to the fullest extent. He is not only a great father, but also a great man and a very helpful person in general.

Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery) is my personal pick of choice, when it comes to whom to have as your friend at Downton. She is the heart and soul of this magnificent place and, when it comes to keeping things running, that is exactly what she does. Not only does she help around the house, but she also gives the best advice, which is exactly why I pick Lady Mary to the new leader of Downton.

My favorite scene is when the Queen of England is being served dinner by the House of Downton for the first time ever. This scene shows a lot about the people who work there and also a lot about the Queen herself.

One issue I have with Downton Abby is that it reveals too many details about what happened to the Crawleys as their life had moved on. I hoped that they would keep some of it secret, so that we could wonder about it for just a while longer. Maybe they could have made a sequel to this movie, if they hadn't answered so much. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It opens September 20, 2019 in theatres. By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Downton Abbey is absolutely marvelous. It made me laugh. It made me cry. The acting is magnificent and the scenery, cinematography and costumes are all stunning.

Downton Abbey is set in the 1920s and is about a wealthy family named the Crawley's that live in the countryside of England in a castle called Downton Abbey. They receive word that the King and Queen of England are coming to spend the night at Downton Abbey as part of their royal tour. The movie entertains us with the chaos of the family and the house staff preparing for the royal visit as well as the family's sometimes serious and hilarious interactions.

There are six seasons of Downton Abbey that previously aired on TV, but it is not necessary to have watched them to enjoy or follow the plot of this movie. I did not watch the TV series before seeing the movie and still loved it. I left the movie feeling so happy. It has amazing actors, like Michelle Dockery, Imelda Staunton and Maggie Smith. My favorite character is Violet Crawley or "Granny" (Maggie Smith), because almost everything she says is so funny.

The message of the movie is about the importance of family. Another message is that people in wealthy families have their own challenges. It has no bad language, but parents should know that there are some mature scenes.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, because kids any younger might not understand the movie. Adults will also love this movie, hopefully as much as me. This movie opens in theaters September 20, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND
MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND - GERRY ORZ
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - An exploration of the history, artistry, and emotional power of cinema sound, as revealed by legendary sound designers and visionary directors, via interviews, clips from movies, and a look at their actual process of creation and discovery.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The greatest crime in the world of cinema is against the world of sound. Despite sound making up half of every film from the last century, it receives one measly percent of attention from the audience and film industry. This documentary uncovers the hidden world of cinematic sound in its history, its art and its complexity - showing a side of film one has never been seen before.

Although being a documentary with a core purpose of education, its masterful editing and layout makes it an entertaining experience for those who have a passion for film and those who have seen very few films in their lives. Instead of simply looking at the technical aspects of sound editing and sound design, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound makes a relatable documentary by looking at the people who simply wish to discuss their deep passion for the art of sound. This allows the film to incorporate drama, action, intensity and even comedy while still teaching the audience about sound in cinema.

Starting with the roar of 1933s King Kong to the drumming of Black Panther (2018), this documentary explores in depth the big revolutions of sound design in film throughout history. Some particularly fascinating references include the wholly organic sound design of every creature, explosion and spaceship in Star Wars (1977) and the quiet artful water-splashing in Roma (2018). Not only that, but the documentary also discusses the many branches of cinematic sound. From dialogue editing to SFX and even ambiance (sounds of the environment), each department of the soundscape of cinema gets covered in this documentary.

My favorite part of the film lies towards the end and features Ben Burtt, a sound designer who has worked on several Star Wars films, Indiana Jones films, Wall-E, and much more, garnering him two Academy Awards. Yet, despite his many achievements, his discussion about his life makes his interview so unforgettable. Burtt discusses how after winning an Oscar for his first project, Star Wars: A New Hope, he felt massive pressure to maintain that success in future projects. Not only that, he discusses his challenges in separating from work and returning home every day for dinner. This segment gives an intimate hidden look at the intimate challenge many artists in the film world face: disconnecting from their craft. The scene truly humanizes these sound designers and editors as people too, with lives that exist distinctly outside filmmaking.

Midge Costin, the director and producer of this documentary has taught at the world-famous USC School of Cinematic Arts for many years and it shows - one can enter with no knowledge of sound in cinema and come out nearly an expert. Watching a film after this documentary feels distinctly different because the secret subtlety of the many brilliant aspects of sound design now become clear. After watching this documentary, one can begin to understand the impressive complexity that sound artists go to in developing a world in a film, on the subconscious level. Not only that, the documentary presents ideas in a very visual way. Even technical concepts such as the difference between mono, stereo, four-point and modern Dolby 5.1 surround sound can easily be understood by hearing it in auditory examples, but also in visually showing how the different systems operate. Truly, this documentary takes the massive subject of cinematic sound and breaks it down into simple subjects that nearly anyone can understand.

This documentary tailors ideally to adults, young and old, although older kids will also enjoy this thoroughly. For that reason, I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I give Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound a solid 5 out of 5 stars for making an entertaining, profound and enlightening experience that truly engulfs one into the extensive soundscape of cinema. Premiering in theaters in Los Angeles and New York City Oct. 25, the film will then roll out in cities across the country.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, THE: SEASON 3, VOLUME 2
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, THE: SEASON 3, VOLUME 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Enjoy the second volume of the third season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The award-winning television show follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they're whisked off on amazing voyages of scientific discovery with The Cat in the Hat. Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this volume set, kids will learn about their five senses, what it's like to walk on clouds, why keeping it simple is sometimes the best solution, how to make things more aerodynamic, and much more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That just never gets old! I assumed that by Season 3, Volume 2 it may seem a bit unoriginal, but I was pleasantly surprised! This series has 20 fun-filled and educational episodes that will delight young children ages 3 through 7 years old. It teaches children about their five senses and many other things such as how water freezes and turns to snow or ice, and cause and effect. Martin Short as the voice of the Cat in the Hat is simply superb! The characters are as engaging as always and my favorite characters (after Cat in the Hat) are Thing 1 and Thing 2. I also really like the catchy Go, Go Go On an Adventure song. The animation is charmingly engaging. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in The Hat sure does know a lot about that. I absolutely love The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2. It has such cute and adorable characters and really vibrant animation.

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 is about two best friends named Sally and Nick going on exciting adventures with the Cat in The Hat, Fish and, of course, Thing 1 and Thing 2. There are 20 episodes covering nearly four hours and include Curious Minds, Bubble Trouble, Batteries Not Included and Cause and Effect.

There are so many things to learn in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2, like walking on clouds, staying balanced, being creative and more! All of the made-up words are so imaginative, like thingamajiger, jigamawhizzer, pedalmadoodle and dipsey-doodler. Martin Short has the perfect voice to play The Cat. My favorite episode is Enough is Enough because it shows how to be a helpful friend.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to be curious, the value of friendship, and that learning is fun. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 has no bad language and treats everyone appropriately.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids. This DVD is currently available so look for it. By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Let's go, go, go on an adventure with The Cat in the Hat and friends! Season 3, Volume 2 DVD which includes 20 episodes and almost 4 hours of learning and entertainment. I love The Cat in the Hat, because he always makes me laugh with his weird made-up jokes and words. He also tries to fix things, but always ends up ruining things and creating more problems.

This series focuses on scientific discovery and kids have so much fun watching the shows that they forget they are really learning a great deal about the world around us. Stories include: Snow Difference, Bubble Trouble, Good Vibrations and Curious Minds, which reflect the messages of the series. My favorite episode is All Sorts of Things, which teaches that there are different ways to sort and categorize the things that belong to Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.

The Cat in the Hat Season 3, Volume 2 has many great actors and stars the one and only Martin Short who plays the role of the Cat, Alexa Torrington who voices Sally and Jacob Ewaniuk who plays the role of Nick. The animation, as always, are wacky and colorful under the guidance of Art Director Kay Pluto and I especially enjoyed the scenes in Bubble Trouble. The original theme song by David Schweitzer is catchy and memorable. You may watch this in both English and Spanish.

The message of this DVD is about problem solving in different ways and it promotes creativity and curious minds. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 4 to 10. It is available now, so look for it. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 220 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, THE
PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, THE - ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 10-18
Description - The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak's unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this movie because it is hilarious and sweet at the same time. It is extremely entertaining to watch and keeps your attention the whole time. This is an award-winning kind of movie!

The Peanut Butter Falcon is about a Down Syndrome, 20-year-old young man named Zak, who has no family and no one to take care of him, so the state is in charge and places him in a nursing home. Zak knows he does not belong there, so he tries to escape several times with no success, until one time he does succeed. When Zak escapes he has one goal in mind and it is to be a professional wrestler. On his way he meets Tyler, a guy with a troubling past who also is running away from his former workers for something that he did wrong at his job. One of Zak's friends and volunteers at the nursing home, Eleanor, is sent from the nursing home to find and bring Zak back.

The cast for this extraordinary film is incredible. There is Shia LaBeouf (Tyler), Dakota Johnson (Eleonor), Bruce Dern (Carl), Thomas Haden (Chris) as The Salt Water Redneck, who is Zak's favorite wrestler in the movie, John Bernthal (Tyler's brother) who we know as Shane from The Walking Dead, rapper Yelawolf (Ratboy) and two famous wrestlers Mick Foley (Jacob the Ref) and Jake Roberts (Sam). Last, but not least, is Zakary Gottsagen who plays himself and has an amazing performance in this movie. A fun fact is that Zak's favorite wrestler, in real life, is Mick Foley who he works with in this film. The music is great and perfect for the storytelling of this film. The song "Running For So Long (House A Home)" by Parker Ainsworh was specially written for this movie.

My favorite scene is when Taylor and Zak are sitting by the edge of their water raft. Zak tells Taylor that he will give him all his birthday wishes because Zak knows all the things Taylor is going through in order for Zak to have his "American Dream" of meeting meet his favorite wrestler.

The moral of this movie is not to underestimate people with disabilities or mental challenges (in this case Down Syndrome), because they are more than capable to pursue any challenge, just like anybody else. They don't see themselves as disabled. They see themselves as normal people who have dreams and goals to accomplish.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I wish I could give it 10 or more, but 5 stars is the limit. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Even though there is a lot of cussing, the drama of this film overcomes the bad words. The Peanut Butter Falcon opens in theatres August 9, 2019. I can't wait to see how many awards this film gets. Bring a box of tissues because you WILL need them!

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10.
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS, THE: SEASON 3
OCTONAUTS, THE: SEASON 3 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-12
Description - Animated series based on the books by Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy. Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! Includes: Loggerhead Sea Turtle; Hammerhead Sharks; The Octonauts and the Urchin Invasion; Immortal Jellyfish; Sea Sponge; Red Rock Crabs; The Octonauts and the Lion's Mane Jellyfish; Over Under Adventure (Special); Octonauts and the Mariana Trench Adventure; Sea Skaters; Duck-Billed Platypus; Barracudas; Yeti Crab; Sea Pigs; Pelicans; Humpback Whales; Artificial Reef; Cone Snails; Water Bears; Siphonophore.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Octonauts is a wonderful series for young children and also has appeal for older children. The Octonauts are adventurers who travel around the world along different ecosystems where they are constantly learning. They work together as a team to problem solve as they often get into different situations. They meet new sea creatures on the way and learn about them. The graphics in this cartoon series are simple and very engaging. There are fun songs that the kids can sing and dance along to. Overall The Octonauts: Season 3 is a wonderful DVD I highly recommended to a wide range of children.

The Octonauts series is different from other animated shows because viewers often learn something that they would not typically encounter in a learning environment. The material and characters are very engaging and the graphics are simple. The kids I showed it to are familiar with the series and enjoy watching it on TV. Seeing this DVD a lot of interest and excitement.

The stories follow the adventures the creatures go on. These stories flow well and make sense. For instance, there is one whole adventure on barracudas and the children were able to learn about them. The characters work together as a team solving problems and go on adventures together. The lead character Captain Barnacles and his crew have great camaraderie between them work together well. Sometimes the vocabulary may be slightly advanced for younger children, however that does not stop them from enjoying the characters or series. Also, the music is very catchy and the kids really enjoy the main song "Creature Report." The special feature was too small toys included in the gift set. Younger children found this very exciting.

This show is all about problem solving and working together as a group. The group gets together, goes on adventures, often gets stuck in a situation and then figures out how to get out of it. Along the way they learn a lot about different sea creatures and climates around the world. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12.

Reviewed by Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Octonauts Season 3 DVD Gift Set is a great choice for the preschooler in your life. Not only do you get almost 300 minutes of educational animated adventures on two discs, you also get some awesome toys so you can play along with the Octonauts. Little kids will love this set, and as a bonus, they will learn a lot while they watch and play.

The Octonauts are back for a third season, ready to dive in and learn about creatures in the world's oceans. They also help protect the animals' habitats and rescue sea creatures when they need help. All your favorite characters return, like Captain Barnacles and Peso Penguin. They head out from their home base, the Octopod, to carry out their missions all around the globe. At the end of each episode, they sing a "creature report" song to summarize what they've learned.

You'll learn about some common animals in Season 3, such as pelicans and seals, but also some more unusual creatures like water bears, also known as tardigrades. The Octonauts stick to singing "water bear" though, maybe because it's hard to find a good rhyme for tardigrade! The animation and voice acting is just right to appeal to the target age range and I could definitely see my little cousins watching this over and over.

The message of this series is that you should be curious and bring your own unique skills to work together as a team. Preschoolers will take away not only lots of positive messages but also tons of new information.

I rate this series 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 2 to 5. The Octonauts: Season 3 is available on DVD August 6, 2019. Reviewed by Will C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

This DVD is so enjoyable! It has the cutest animation and best underwater adventures. If you're a fan of the Octonauts, Season 3 will not disappoint you. It has 23 awesome episodes.

The Octonauts are a group of animals that explore, rescue and protect. They encounter a wide variety of animals, from sea pigs to barracudas. They travel to different parts of the world including the Amazon River and the Mariana Trench. Episodes include, The Water Bears, The Loggerhead Sea Turtles, The Duck-Billed Platypus, The Pelicans and many more. The run time is almost 5 hours, so children will be entertained for a long time.

The cool thing about Octonauts: Season 3 Gift Set is that it not only comes with the DVDs, it also comes with two small toy speeders. My favorite episode is The Harbor Seal because the harbor seal is such a fun character and he really helps out other animals.

There are many positive messages throughout the episodes, including being kind to animals, always try to help and the importance of friendship. Octonauts: Season 3 has no bad language and it has no bad behavior. Everyone treats each other kindly. The only dangerous thing that kids might try to do is swim in the deepest part of the ocean.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Adults will also think the DVD is fun and probably learn as much about different animals as their kids will. This DVD is available now, so look for it. By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

"Let's Do This!" The Octonauts is an incredibly fun and engaging show which teaches us about the world's oceans and aquatic life. The Octonauts team rescues sea creatures and protects the ocean and the life within. The marine life that the team encounters are based on real animals and habitats around the world. The Octonauts Season 3 has 23 exciting adventures filled with interesting creatures and underwater fun.

The Octonauts team is made up of eight diverse characters led by Captain Barnacles whose motto is explore, rescue and protect. My favorite episode is The Immortal Jellyfish because I love how he is able to transform from an old jellyfish to a new jellyfish over and over. Who wouldn't want an immortal life or the chance to relive an adventure? Octonauts: Season 3 includes fun episodes such as The Artificial Reef, The Sea Skaters and The Urchin Invasion so come aboard with The Octonauts this season and explore.

The storyline of each episode really brings these adventures to life thanks to the talented team of writers behind this series. In addition, there is a creative team that brings the art and the storylines together to make each episode a learning adventure as well. The message of this series is to explore life and to rescue and protect the world around us and the things in it. As we learn about different creatures and different environments we should be aware of how we interact and impact each other.

I rate this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. The DVD releases August 6, 2019 soon so look for it. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 286 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CARNAVAL: SPANISH LEARNING SONGS
CARNAVAL: SPANISH LEARNING SONGS - WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - Embark on a musical celebration with this festive collection of Spanish-learning songs. From calypso, soca, and soukous to New Orleans second line, jazz, and country, this CD's diverse musical styles are a carnaval for the ears. https://www.whistlefritz.com/product/carnaval-spanish-learning-songs/
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a charming CD with great the rhythm and song lyrics. I think the rhythm will appeal to children and the lyrics make it easy to sing along. The colors and design of the presentation of the CD is also attractive with its bright colors, fun design, great images and fonts. The booklet that comes with the CD is easy to read and includes the lyrics of the songs in both, English and Spanish.

I really enjoyed the songs, and love that they include Halloween, which isn't a Spanish festival, but certainly kids in the USA will relate to it. "Carnaval" is particularly fun and promotes the holiday Carnival or Mardi Gras as it's called in the USA.

The menu access is very easy to navigate. You can select specific songs or play them all. The songs are only sung in Spanish, but you can turn to the accompanying booklet to find out what they mean. What I love best is that all the songs are catchy and have great rhythm which make them easy for children to remember them.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8, perhaps older.

Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this CD because the music is very festive and entertaining. I also like that the lyrics are written in Spanish and in English, which makes it very easy to understand what the song is about. The duration of Carnaval is about less than an hour.

This award-winning, language-learning CD includes 14 Spanish children's songs that teach the language with easy and basic Spanish lyrics. The 14 song titles are written in Spanish and in English too. The Hispanic music, such as salsa, let kids sing along and have fun while learning the vocabulary at the same time. The songs are about going to the supermarket, going camping, celebrating Thanksgiving, Halloween, the Fall, a small spider, a frog named Juanita, a fish, a donkey and much more. Whew!

Ileana Perez, an award-winning soprano, is a great singer and really grabs my attention because her voice is very pleasant to listen to. I also like that it is not just her singing all the songs. In some songs a guy named Hector Barez sings with her too. My favorite song is number 12, La Arana Pequenita (The Itsy, Bitsy Spider), because it is the first time I heard this song in Spanish.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18. Adults can enjoy and learn these Spanish tunes as well.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The party has arrived with Carnaval: Spanish Learning Songs! Interested in learning more Spanish vocabulary, then this CD is for you. The upbeat music makes learning fun.

Sing your way through basic conversational dialogue with De donde eres? (Where are you from?) and Como estas? (How are you?) The CD comes with printed lyrics and translations. Plus, the company's website includes useful vocabulary pages. Who knew learning Spanish could be so much fun? What a great way to learn and reinforce vocabulary.

The party continues with other festive songs about holidays and animals, set to various types of music performed by Cuban-American vocalist Ileana Perez and musician / composer Didier Prossaird. The cover artwork is fun and colorful and sets the tone for this party. There is approximately 40 minutes of music with 15 great songs included. Sing along with friends and family to Carnaval and you'll find yourself learning Spanish without even realizing it!

I rate this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, perhaps older. The CD is available now so look for it online.

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 37 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet -- high school. Accompanied by a ragtag group of teens and Boots the monkey, Dora embarks on a quest to save her parents while trying to solve the seemingly impossible mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Fans and newcomers alike should find themselves enthralled with this live-action comedy adventure based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series. A colorful palette, witty dialogue and a strong cast led by Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) as the ever-enthusiastic Dora with support from Michael Pena as her equally excitable father and Eugenio Derbez as the double-crossing Alejandro, bring the story to life. Humorous songs and bits of science are doled out as the chipper heroine makes her way through the wilds of a jungle to foil a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped Dora's adventure-seeking parents in order to lead them to the fabled Lost City of Gold. The home-schooled Dora is accompanied by two very reluctant friends from her new school in the city and her older cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), once Dora's best friend, now embarrassed by her naivete. The mix of high school dramatics and hijinks (including a blue monkey and a devious talking fox) makes for an entertaining, action-packed comedy. The cinematography is crisp and colorful with one eye-popping sequence finding the main characters morphed into their animated versions. At the heart of the consistently funny business is the irrepressible Dora, whose wide-eyed look at the world, keen intellect and natural resourcefulness not only save the day, but prove impossible to resist. Recommended for ages 6 to 18. 5 out of 5 stars. Review by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I really didn't know what to expect from this film. The cartoon TV show version was unique, but was really aimed for young children, ages 3 through 5 years. This movie is a big surprise ! It starts with Dora and her cousin Diego as young kids in the jungle and then Diego leaves for the city and Dora stays in the jungle with her parents and her friend Boots the Monkey. Dora is very bright and is raised by her parents who are professors. Things change and Dora moves to the big city to start high school. Of course, Dora is, well, a bit different, but she is always herself. I like how this film shows that you can and should be yourself. It also teaches preteens and teens about friendship. Most importantly, this is a very entertaining movie! It is filled with adventure and offers a wonderful family friendly movie for children ages 7 through 18. Many adults will love this movie too. It's so much better than the TV show. If you grew up watching the show, you will definitely relate to the main characters - Dora, Diego and Boots the Monkey. I give it 5 stars out of 5 stars. It is coming out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital soon.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Paramount Pictures has done it again! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. Deliciouso! Are you ready for a new live action Dora?! If so, you'll love this feature transformation of Nickelodeon's TV show Dora The Explorer. If you have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow up in the jungle, that's a question for Dora and her playful monkey Boots. This film takes you alongside Dora as an explorer learning the jungle's darkest secrets. Buckle up, it's going to get wild.

This film follows Dora, a teenage explorer who leads her friends on a adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind The Lost City Of Gold. Dora spent most of her life exploring the jungles of South America, but nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet, high school. Yes, high school. Dora spent most of her life in academic isolation with her professor parents. Get ready for Dora and her adventures to begin. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.

The lead characters are Dora (Isabela Moner), Elena (Eva Longoria), Boots (Danny Trejo's voice), Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), Swiper (Benicio Del Toro's voice), Dora's Father (Michael Pena) and Diego's Mother (Pia Miller). My favorite character is clearly the favorable Dora who shows strength and courage throughout the film. For example, her parents doubt her, but she has a light inside her that will prove them wrong. She wants to show her friends, family and fellow explorers that, just because she's young, she can be a leader and explore alongside her parents. I love that the film features a predominantly Latinx cast. The Spanish parts feel really natural and funny. The Latina female lead really inspired me in so many ways. I learned from her spirit and her willingness to be herself.

My favorite scene is unquestionably when Dora and her friends find the Lost City of Gold. We see how the treasure hunters have tried stealing something that wasn't their own. This scene definitely shows teamwork, action, decision-making and communication skills.

This film shares an important message about always being yourself. Dora proves this as she enters high school for the first time, after being home schooled. She expresses her own personality and doesn't change for anyone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. There is no bad language or violence or anything to be concerned about. It is available on DVD November 5, 2019. Make sure to go check out this astonishing and adventurous film.

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

V�monos! Dora and the Lost City of Gold sends me back to my not-that-long-ago childhood and reminds me why kids love Dora: she is simple, enthusiastic and an avid explorer! Now a teenager, Dora keeps her spirit and deals with identity, like most teens nowadays do, and continues teaching us lessons--and some Spanish. ("V�monos" means "let's go!")

In this live-action movie, Dora (Isabela Moner) goes to the city to explore . . . high school! The jungle seems to be her natural habitat, so when Dora arrives in the city she seems a bit lost and confused. There she meets with her cousin Diego. She doesn't know much about what going to school is and real life in a city seems more dangerous than the jungle does. On a field trip, Dora goes back to doing what she knows best: having adventures. Dora and some classmates accidentally end up in the jungle, and she helps her parents solve a mystery and find the Lost City of Gold.

I love that this film keeps the essence of the original Dora animated series and brings to the big screen elements from the TV show, like some of the animated characters. I like that family is important to Dora, and that she is a good example for younger children. The acting is very good and everyone fits nicely in their roles. Eugenio Derbez, one of the producers of the film, is surrounded with a great group of actors. He plays Alejandro Gutierrez, an explorer related to Dora, although she doesn't know him well. Eva Longoria and Michael Pe�a play Dora's parents, and they are funny and add a warm touch. Isabela Moner is the perfect Dora: she totally embodies the tone of the little girl while playing a teenager.

The story is a little predictable but overall is entertaining. The sets are not perfect, but they serve the purpose. I was actually excited to see the film since Dora is such a classic and 2020 (next year) will be the 20th anniversary of the character. The message of the film is: family comes first, and you don't have to change who you are to fit into society.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 4 to 14. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love Dora and the Lost City of Gold much more than I thought I would! The live-action movie is light-hearted, full of comedy and adventure, and stays true to the original Dora the Explorer TV series.

The movie follows Dora, a teenager now, who is begrudgingly shipped off from the jungles of Peru to Los Angeles, California to live with her relatives, including her cousin Diego. Dora struggles to assimilate in high school and has difficulty making friends. Meanwhile, her parents who are professors and explorers, go missing while on their latest quest to find the Lost City of Gold. Through a series of events, Dora and her new friends are off to save the day!

As someone who grew up watching the show, Dora the Explorer, I am delighted at all the little tidbits in the movie that are reminiscent of the cartoon. Dora speaks to the camera, carries her nifty backpack everywhere she goes and she throws in a Spanish word every once in awhile - "Can you say Delicioso?"

Isabela Moner portrays Dora so well. She fits the part perfectly; looks like her cartoon counterpart; sounds like her and is Peruvian herself! She is upbeat, and as one of the characters in the movie says, has a "relentless good-natured spirit." Though I initially thought the movie would be cheesy, I enjoy Isabela's comedic timing. She carries the movie as its heroin.

Dora's best friend, Boots (a monkey) and nemesis, Swiper (a fox) join her in this adventure. They are the only two characters who are in CGI. Though it might be have been created like this on purpose, I find the graphics of these two characters too cartoony. They stand out too much from the live-action cast.

The message of the movie is to stay true to yourself, which is the advice given to Dora early on. Because Dora stays true to herself, she is able to conquer both the high school and jungle worlds.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, because of its youthful nature. You can find it on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Mia G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a hilarious film for all ages. I love this film because it makes me laugh out loud! This is definitely my newest favorite movie. Thanks to the clever script by Nicholas Stoller, there are lots of funny lines that bring smiles and amusement to the audience.

This live-action movie is about the animated Nickelodeon series character Dora, who is played by Isabela Moner. Dora is all grown up now, and her family's circumstances lead her to move from the jungle to a different kind of jungle: high school. Her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) tries to help her get used to living in the city, but he finds that it is a difficult job. The ever-positive and happy Dora doesn't truly understand the pressures that high school kids face, nor does she see the negativity they aim at her for being different. She doesn't really make friends until she is forced into a situation to solve a big problem.

The actors all represent their characters very well. They look and sound a lot like the original characters from the TV show, as well! Dora's father is played by Michael Pena. Dora's mother is played by Eva Longoria, a popular actress who adults will recognize.

There are lots of special effects in this film. For example, Boots, Dora's monkey, and Swiper, the bad-guy fox, are CGI, but to me they look very real. I would love to share more special effects with you, but you have to see the movie first. There are some fun surprises in this movie that you need to see to believe!

The message of this movie is a great one for all ages: If we stop judging each other and start working together, we can solve big problems!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is rated PG. I recommend it for ages 3 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well, especially the ones who have watched the cartoon version with their kids. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being fun and funny. You should go see this with your whole family! Dora and the Lost City of Gold comes out on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Eva W. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an exciting, thrilling and adventurous film that brings back your fun childhood memories. It has action, comedy and even some life lessons throughout the story. It's also very enjoyable to watch with the family, so you'll all have great fun and laughs at the theatre.

The storyline is about Dora growing up as a teenage explorer trying to survive the "scary" life of high school. Dora is figuring out a way to fit in at high school and trying to save her parents at the same time. With the help of Dora's friends and older cousin Diego, the team try to save The Lost City Of Gold.

Some things that stand out in this film are the exotic setting and the ancient artwork they use. Also the production of the film is amazing and impressive, turning an animated TV show into a hit live-action movie. "Big ups" to producers Eugenio Derbez and Kristin Burr for the outstanding work. They play a big role in creating Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Dora faces many challenges in this movie, but one challenge really takes a toll on her. High school can be a difficult transition for some people. But Dora stays herself and is the best she can be even when some make fun of her and bully her. No matter what, Dora keeps striving past those obstacles. So the message that is conveyed is to always be yourself in your own unique way.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Make sure you check out Dora and the Lost City of Gold premiering August 9, 2019.

By Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action movie with great actors and certainly is action-packed! It's full of excitement with plenty of expeditions for fans of the original Dora animated series.

The story focuses on Dora, now a teenage explorer, who is most at home in the jungle. Dora (Isabela Moner) is forced to go to the city and attend high school, while her parents search for a lost ancient city. When Dora is on a scavenger hunt field trip, she finds herself and her friends trapped in a crate. Once they escape, they journey into the rainforest.

Most people that are over seven years old might think that the movie will be childish. However, they will love it. It has action, suspense and adventure that everyone will enjoy. My favorite character is Dora because she is happy every day and always has a song to sing. And Isabela Moner is the perfect actress for Dora. Other famous actors in this film include Eva Longoria as Elena and Michael Pena ad Dora's father.

The message of the movie is to be kind to others, don't always trust new people and stay adventurous. Dora and the Lost City of Gold has no bad language, but it has some bad behavior like trying to steal, being mean to others and attempted murder. There are a couple of dangerous things that kids might like to do, such as going in to a rainforest alone and touching unidentified animals.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, and adults will think that the film is cute. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm



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