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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


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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


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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.
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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CAMPING (2019)
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CAMPING (2019) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-12
Description - It s the first day of Summer Vacation and The Cat in the Hat whisks Nick, Sally and Fish off on the greatest great outdoor camping adventure ever! Our gang gets back to nature as they hike through the Fickle Fern Forest, camp out overnight, trek over Mt. Weewobble and canoe down the Tickle Drop River....just in time for Fish to meet up with his family for a grand reunion. Along for the ride are Little Cats A, B and C, who discover there s wonder in nature once their electronic devices are powered off! Nick and Sally help keep the Little Cats out of trouble, while Fish tries to keep his jacket pressed and the mud out of his fancy fishbowl...all while getting up close to some of nature s most awesome sights, and learning how best to respect them. After being lulled to sleep under the stars by a chorus of animals, the morning brings fresh adventure with a spectacular race up Mt. Weewobble, complete with a cliffhanger ending! It s a slippery ride down the slope and into the Tickle Drop River, where a harrowing raft ride finally delivers them to the shores of Fish s family reunion. The Cat in the Hat and his loveable Little Cat cousins, Nick, Sally, Fish and all his family, gather together in a great Suessian-style musical finale... in which Fish and the gang are celebrated as true adventurers. Everyone agrees it really has been the Greatest Great Outdoors Adventure ever!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a great DVD to get you in the mood for the upcoming summer vacation! I'm a big fan of the Cat in the Hat and his shenanigans. This one does not disappoint! It's entertaining for the whole family and children, ages 3 to 9 will love it! I like that all the characters such as the Fish are included in this fun outdoor adventure. It also has a great story line from the beginning to end and it's just so fun to watch. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times. I also like that it is rather original and the animation and soundtrack are great. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and think that the adults will also enjoy watching this one with their young children. Reviewed by Denise Bloomfield, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Looking for adventure this summer? Look no further than the new DVD The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping! Join The Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally and Fish on their trip to Fish's family reunion. Along the way they are joined by the Little Cats as well as an appearance by Thing 1 and Thing 2! Plenty of trouble ahead for this group.

On the way to Fish's family reunion his fancy new fishbowl starts to leak. The Cat in the Hat tries to fix this problem for his friend and as usual lands the group in more trouble. The "thingamajig" heads to a crash landing and Thing 1 and Thing 2 appear to help their friends. The group starts on a wilderness trek to help Fish make his way to his family when they discover the joys of nature.

This DVD features the incredibly talented and funny Martin Short as the voice of the Cat in the Hat! The illustrations and animation are what you would expect from the Cat in the Hat's world and I especially enjoyed the fantastical wilderness scenes. The river scenes in particular are my favorite animation on this journey.

The message of this adventure is to enjoy the great outdoors and don't get lost in your screen-time. Interacting with people, things and the world around you is more important than viewing life on a screen. The Little Cats learn this lesson several times on this DVD.

I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. The DVD is available now so look for it.

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

I like this DVD because it is very entertaining and useful. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping has a duration of one hour and you can watch it in English or Spanish.

This DVD is about two kids named Nick and Sally pretending to camp in their backyard on their first day of summer vacation. The Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) comes to visit them with his friend Fish who has a family reunion at the time. The Cat in the Hat tells Nick and Sally that he is going to set up a camp at Fish's family reunion. Nick and Sally are very excited because they really are going camping. The Cat in the Hat takes his hat off and his three little cousins come out of the hat, Little Cat A, Little Cat B and little Cat C. During their journey to Fish's family reunion, The Cat in the Hat teaches the kids and the little cousins a lot about nature, insects and the beautiful landscape, with the help of a special electronic device. Meanwhile, Fish is worried about his special suit not getting ruined during their journey to the reunion and his fancy fish bowl not getting muddy (so he can show it off to his family). Unfortunately, this trip is not going the way Fish wanted to go.

The animation on this DVD is the same as other Cat in the Hat movies. The songs are catchy and pleasant to listen to. The show features Martin Short, from The Three Amigos, as the voice of the Cat in the Hat. My favorite scene is when the Cat in the Hat, Fish, Nick and Sally are flying in the air in the Thingamajigger singing "Go, go, go, go on an adventure."

The moral of this show is "no matter how you dress, how look, or what you have, your family will love you for who you are." Family doesn't care about your appearance or your possessions.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Adults can watch this with their kids and might even learn some tips about camping. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping! is available now, so you can enjoy it as much as I did.

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

I absolutely love all the different things I learned about from this DVD! The animation is spot on for this show which brings out a lot of cool stuff. In this collection, the Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally, Fish, Thing One and Thing Two are all back for new and exciting adventures about camping. It makes the perfect summer DVD for kids who love Dr. Seuss's terrific characters and stories. I enjoyed watching this so much because it is interesting and enjoyable and shows so many different people from all around the world. I imagine that kids from everywhere will enjoy this since camping is something everyone can do.

My favorite scene features a crafty squirrel who borrows food. We are in the great outdoors and have to remember that humans are in animal territory so, they need to be kind to the animals. The voice actors truly fit their characters, especially Martin Short as the Cat in the Hat. Mr. Short's energetic voice over suits the Cat so well. His voice is very unique which makes his character always so fun, happy, encouraging and knowledgeable. He makes watching the show a treat.

Electronics rule the world today, so camping is great way to get back to nature. Leave the phones at home and go outside and enjoy the world. This is the great lesson on this DVD. I would like to go camping this year for a fun vacation. It might even start a family tradition that my family and I would enjoy - time away from electronics exploring the wonderful world we live in. It is so easy to sit and worry that everything will go wrong, but things tend to always work out. Spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life is a message I took away from this.

There is no fishing on this camping trip since the goal is to take Fish to his family reunion. We see family members coming together from all difference places to get reacquainted with one another and connect in new ways. It is always fun to see our family members from far away, listen to their stories about the past and learn about others in your extended family. I'm going to make this part of my summer plan.

I recommend this DVD for kids ages 4 to 12. You can learn a lot about camping, friendship and family reunions while watching this adventure. It is very catchy and perfect for summer. If you're looking for something to do this summer, then this will give you some wonderful ideas. I give this terrific DVD 5 out of 5 camping adventure stars. This fun DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Morgan B. B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

To start off, I want to comment this DVD on how it impacts children in a positive way with its great vocabulary and important lessons that are taught in each episode. This series is very enjoyable for kids to watch. The plot is well designed for kids to understand and relate to the stories. I can understand why kids are attracted to it. The way the show is made, with all the colorful objects and cute plots draw the kids in quite easily and, in that moment, their life seems interesting.

All the episodes on this DVD have different stories and plots, but the format and the meaning is pretty much the same. All the adventures are different, but every one teaches the lesson that you can play and have fun in nature enjoying the most awesome sights. You can have a great time without damaging the environment yet, you still need to respect and take care of it. Along with that, the viewer experiences some great adventures that are unforgettable.

My favorite scene is at the end of one episode when The Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally, Fish and all his family gather together in one musical finale extravaganza where they are all celebrated as true adventurers. I like this scene because it is very creative, has great songs and the little musical finale is so well organized. It definitely gets children's attention since it really stands out.

The important message gleaned from these episodes is that people and children can have fun without electronic devices. This DVD teaches kids about the wonder in nature. It shows how phones, computers and other electronic devices are not more fascinating than the activities you can do in nature. It shows you how to share quality time with the people you love and learn about your surroundings. This DVD is available now so, go check it out. It's just in time for summer vacation.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Are you ready to go on the greatest great outdoors adventure ever? This DVD is full of fun! It has adorable characters, wonderful music and colorful animation.

In The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About Camping, Sally and Nick go on an enjoyable journey with The Cat, Fish and Little Cats A, B and C. Fish has to get to his fish family reunion so they have no time to waste. They hop into the thinga-ma-jigger and start flying, only to find that there is a leak in Fish's fishbowl and land to make repairs. It will not be fixed for two days so they are forced to hike through Fickle Fern Forest to try to get to Tickle Drop Falls to get to the family reunion on time.

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About Camping is entertaining and educational at the same time. It teaches kids about nature, including the different types of flowers they discover on the trip. It has amusing music to accompany the scenes. Martin Short is the voice of The Cat in the Hat and he is so much fun in this role, with all of his clever phrases and rhyming. My favorite part is the race to get to the top of Mt. Weewobble and, of course, the Little Cats A, B and C.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD, including teaching kids to love to learn, enjoy nature and that electronics aren't the only fun things. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About Camping has no bad language, promotes positive behavior and they treat everyone appropriately. There are a couple risky things that kids might try to do such as wandering into a forest and racing to the top of a wobbly mountain.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Adults will think that this is cute. The DVD is currently available so look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAIDEN
MAIDEN - SONY CLASSICAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary is an incredible example about finding your passion. I found it very engaging and interesting. Before seeing Maiden, I did not know much about long-distance ocean sailing and how challenging it is. This documentary goes beyond my expectations.

Maiden follows Tracy Edwards and her all female crew as they are the first women to enter an 'around-the-world' sailing race. She goes against the odds and makes it happen. Maiden tells the story of her struggle for equal rights by entering a very dangerous race.

This documentary shows us how scary long-distance sailing is, whether you are male or female. It is one of the most challenging sports ever. We learn so much about Tracy Edwards and all that she accomplishes. She now advocates for girls' education. One thing that makes Maiden really fascinating is that Tracy, some of her crew and even her competitors narrate it.

The message of this documentary is about determination, finding your way, making sacrifices, putting fate into your own arms, having a voice event when it may not be heard, teamwork, friendship and so much more. It has some mild profanity and risky things that kids might try to imitate, such as running away and sailing in dangerous areas. There is some bad behavior like an abusive step-dad, getting expelled and being stereotyped.

I give this documentary 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, as well as adults. Maiden opens in theaters July 12, 2019.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This fantastic film is one of the best films out in the film world. I cannot applaud this film any more. There are so many amazing things such as the message, the location and the actors.

This tells the story of Tracey Edwards and her crew that lead the first-ever all female crew (in the very male chauvinistic world of sailboat racing) in one of the biggest races ever, the Whitbread Round the World Race, back in 1989. The race takes nine months to complete.

I'd love to point out the location of this film, mainly because it is completely phenomenal. They used actual footage from the race and pieced it together to make the film. It is all original footage from the actual event from 1989 and 1990. I really enjoyed how unique this film is. I definitely think that director, Alex Holmes created a film that is from a different perspective. I love the interviews with the crew telling the story of the Maiden ship and all the clips that make the film something that most directors wouldn't touch.

The message of this film tells you that if you have a dream and the determination to fulfill that dream, then nothing can stop you. There is a very positive and uplifting message in this film that may really call you to action and give you the motivation to do something big. I would also note that it is very woman powered. There are not a lot of male figures in this film and it is about women showing men that they can do anything a man can do. There is a very small amount of profanity in the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 10 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. It opens in theaters July 12, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Madison W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WHISPER OF THE HEART
WHISPER OF THE HEART - GKIDS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Based on the manga with the same title, this animated film follows Shizuku, an inquisitive young girl and a voracious reader, who longs to be a writer when she grows up. One day she notices that all of her library books have previously been taken out by one Seiji Amasawa. Amid chasing after a large cat, befriending an eccentric antiques dealer and writing her first novel, Shizuku aims to find this mysterious boy who may well be her soul mate.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Whisper of the Heart is a soulful, intimate look at the trials and tribulations of adolescence and a worthy addition to Studio Ghibli's film catalog. This is the next film in the Ghibli Fest, a series of Fathom Events returning Studio Ghibli's films to the cinemas. Whisper of the Heart is director Yoshifumi Kondo's directorial debut and unfortunately, his only film.

This film follows Shizuku, an imaginative aspiring teenage writer who enjoys reading books and writing song lyrics. She spends her time hanging out with her best friend Yuko. The school year begins and she has an unfortunate series of encounters with a mysterious fellow student. She learns that this name is Seiji and he wants to build violins. The pair bond in an antique store and soon fall in love. They encourage each other to elevate their craft. Seiji leaves to practice building violins in Italy and Shizuku challenges herself to write a story about a prominent antique statue called The Baron, belonging to Seiji's grandpa, to improve her writing.

Studio Ghibli mastermind Hayao Miyazaki has directed some excellent animated films, but above all, he's a fantastic storyteller. Every time we get a glimpse at Shizuku's story, the film gains a sudden magic and wonder. The romantic dialogue between Seiji and Shizuku is more often than not, genuine and sweet. This story has very few of the fantastical characters and worlds that have been a mainstay for a lot of Miyazaki's other work. Seeing his characters grow firmly in reality shows a different side of his storytelling abilities.

Something I admire about nearly all of Ghibli's work is that, even when characters are involved in pursuits of mythical proportions, they always bring it back to the human elements of the story. The same goes for this film, although with a more realistic plot. There are some particularly great shots of the city below Shizuku's town that demonstrate Ghibli's skill with bringing worlds to life on the big screen.

If you enjoy the work of Studio Ghibli, in Whisper of the Heart there are Easter Eggs pointing to films like Porco Rosso and My Neighbor Totoro. If you enjoy this film, check out The Cat's Return, which stars the protagonist of Shizuku's story, The Baron. I recommend Whisper of The Heart for ages 10 to 18, and adults. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Fans of Miyazaki will enjoy seeing a new side of his storytelling onscreen.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This 1995 romantic, anime-animated film takes you through the wild high school life of Shizuku. As this film develops, you get see the perspective of Shizuku being a best friend, daughter, sister, high schooler and girlfriend. This dramatic film was written by Hayao Miyazaki, Aoi Hiragi, Cindy Davis Hewitt and Donald H. Hewitt and released through Studio Ghibli.

The storyline follows Shizuku and Seiji Amasawa, her fellow classmate, and many more. Their adventure begins with Shizuku's plan to read 20 books before the end of her week. This plan leads to having to explore for a particular person who seems to pop up in every aspect of Shizuku's life. This search causes Shizuku to get distracted from studying for her high school exams. As this film develops, the exploration begins to seem more meaningful.

The lead characters are Shizuku Tsukkisima (Yokko Honno), Seiji Anasawa ( Isley Takahashe) and The Baron ( Shigeru Tsuyuguchi). My favorite character is Shizuku Tsukkisima, not only because she's the protagonist, but because she cares about others. She always puts others before herself, and thinks about their sensitivity. Another thing I love about Shizuku is, when she wants something, she will do whatever it takes to achieve or accomplish whatever it is.

My favorite scene is when Shizuku's teachers inform her she has a male visitor and he emphasizes the word "male" in front of her class. She steps outside and talks to him on the roof and her classmates follow discreetly, then Shizuku notices and yells "Hello?"

This film shares an important message, which is to be brave and keep on trying even through hard times.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15, as well as adults. This film plays July 1 and 2 at theaters nationwide through Fathom Events. Check it out.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This year GKIDS and Fathom Events are back with Studio Ghibli Fest 2019 and the next film in theaters is Whisper of the Heart. Directed in 1995 by Yoshifumi Kondo and written by Hayao Miyazaki, it is a touching yet bittersweet animated film that deals with the realities of growing up.

It tells the story of a curious teenage girl named Shizuku, who is both an avid reader and an aspiring writer. During her many visits to the library, Shizuku discovers that the books she has been reading have all been previously checked out by a mysterious boy named Seiji Amasawa, voiced by Issey Takahasi. Soon enough, she figures out that Seiji is a boy at her school, who she believes is irritating and rude. One day, when Shizuku sees a cat riding on a train, she decides to follow it, leading her to a whimsical antique shop owned by Shiro Nishi, with a magical cat statue called "The Baron" inside. Later on at the shop, Shizuku gets to know Seiji, learning that he dreams of becoming a master violin maker. Both he and the Baron motivate Shizuku to listen to the whisper of her heart and follow the dreams of her own.

This film has a very engaging plot and heartwarming characters that audiences will fall in love with. Also, this film is perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli films. like myself. This film has outstanding animation that perfectly captures the signature style of the Studio Ghibli films. The artwork really comes alive in the scenes at the antique shop. The film score, composed by Yuji Nomi, include references to the John Denver song "Take Me Home, Country Roads," which is a big part of the movie.

Personally, I enjoy the part where Shizuku first dislikes Seiji, because it's a funny hint to the audience that shows that she actually really likes Seiji. Whisper of the Heart is very different compared to the other works of Studio Ghibli, because its characters encounter real-life situations that most teens and adults can relate to, such as first love and pursuing your passion in life.

It teaches audiences that, even when you don't believe it, dreams do indeed come true. Regardless of how old you are, everyone can take something away as you watch the characters experience everyday issues.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. You can see it in theaters on July 1 and 2, 2019 through Fathom Events.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TOY STORY 4
TOY STORY 4 - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love this film! It is funny, colorful, joyful and impeccably made. The animation is a lot better too! This sequel to Toy Story is not like the other ones, which I like; so it does not repeat the first three. Toy Story 4 goes one step forward and closes the circle... uhmm, maybe? There will be always room for more toy adventures.

In this new film there are some awesome new and unique characters. And there is a transformation of an old character, but you need to see the movie to find out which one I mean!

The story is basically about a little girl, Bonnie, who gets all of Andy's toys because he goes to university. Bonnie loves all her new (at least new for her) toys, but she doesn't play with Woody often. He feels sad but doesn't want to show it. Then one day comes, and it's Bonnie's first day of kindergarten. In class she feels lonely but Woody, breaking all laws (toys don't go to school because they can get lost) comes in her backpack. Woody gets some material and Bonnie makes, literally, a new best friend: Forky. But there's one problem: Forky thinks he's made out of trash and consequently he has issues. When Bonnie's family goes on a road trip, Forky feels he doesn't belong--he gets lost, and from there the toys have to face multiple obstacles to rescue Forky.

The story is mainly focused on Forky and Woody and some new characters that you meet. What is interesting is that you don't really see the other group of old toys that much. Like every Toy Story film, the toys work together to help fix a conflict. But this film focuses on a completely different character, Bonnie, and not on Andy. Woody will go to infinity and beyond to rescue Forky. His sense of loyalty is contagious, and Forky is so funny with his issues. Completely different characters, brand new conflict and new frontiers make this film unique.

I also love the colors which are beautiful. Something I find very interesting is that the animation is so well done that you sometimes forget that you're watching an animated movie. I loved the new characters like Duke Caboom, and I think Keanu Reeves is the only person who could bring life to Caboom with a distinctive voice. I also like the character of Gabby Gabby; she was very interesting, intriguing and the more you find out about her the more you want to know.

The message of this film is be loyal, be the best you can be and listen to your inner voice, so that you can decide your own destiny.

I would recommend watching other Toy Story movies before this one if you haven't already. I love this film so I would give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-10 and adults as well. Toy Story 4 is in theatres June 21, 2019

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

This movie is the best Toy Story film yet! It has our favorite old characters, very funny new characters, a fun and emotional story line and a fantastic new director.

Toy Story 4 begins with Bonnie making a new friend in her kindergarten orientation and bringing it home. His name is Forky and, when he comes alive, all he knows is how to be trash. Forky spends most of his time trying to escape and eventually does so from a moving RV when his family is on vacation. Our hero Woody is forced to go after Forky to make sure Bonnie is happy and to convince Forky that he is Bonnie's toy. During their travels they encounter several new toys and a few old ones as well.

It is so amazing that the Toy Story saga has been going on for 24 years and that so many of the main characters are voiced by the same actors from the previous movies including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Annie Potts. The voices behind some of the new characters include Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Tony Hale. We all thought that Toy Story 3 had the perfect ending, but this movie is even better. The director, Josh Cooley, is brilliant as he is able to pull out the best performance from all of the actors, to the point that you think that the toys are real people, not just animated characters. My favorite part is when Buzz finds his inner voice.

The message of Toy Story 4 is about transitioning from one situation to another through bravery, perseverance and friendship. You should know that there are a few risky things that kids might try to imitate such as jumping out of a RV, messing with a car and going under a carousel.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 15. Adults will love this movie as well. This movie opens nationwide in theaters on June 20, 2019.

Reviewed by Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I absolutely LOVE this film! Not only does Toy Story 4 contain hilarious humor, but also emotional scenes, which make the film well balanced with seriousness and laughter throughout and make an interesting storyline. I love the way the characters use their feelings and gut to help lead themselves throughout the story.

In the film, Bonnie makes a new toy out of recycled materials in kindergarten and instantly falls in love with it. But her new toy, Forky, feels like he is not meant to be a toy. Instead, his heart's desire is to belong to the trash. This results in Forky trying to escape to the trash at every chance he is given. Fortunately, Bonnie's other toy, Woody, stops Forky from running away, but then the toys find themselves lost on the search for their beloved Bonnie. Will they fine Bonnie or stay lost in the woods for good? You will have to see the film to find out!

My favorite part of Toy Story 4 is definitely when Woody and Forky find their friendship through many changes of plans and difficulties. Their journey shows how things can change over time. I also really enjoyed the animation and how clear the voice actors voices are during the movie. The plot, characters, and voice acting are all groundbreaking.

The message of this film is to always follow your heart and do what your heart desires. It is always important to do what you feel is better for you. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Toy Story 4 releases in theaters, June 21, 2019. Be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Jada P., KID FIRST Film Critic, age 12.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2
SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - Max the terrier must cope with some major life changes when his owner gets married and has a baby. When the family takes a trip to the countryside, nervous Max has numerous run-ins with canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a scary turkey. Luckily for Max, he soon catches a break when he meets Rooster, a gruff farm dog who tries to cure the lovable pooch of his neuroses
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Love, love, love this movie! Can't wait to see it again this Friday. This film is absolutely hysterical. Both the audience and I laughed throughout the screening. Everything about this film is dog-tastic, from the screenwriting to the art, animation, sound, special effects and characters.

Secret Life of Pets 2 continues with the story of Max and Duke, but this time Katie gets married and has a son named Liam. At first, Max doesn't really like having Liam around, because he never leaves him alone. Then they start to bond. Max starts to really care about Liam and vows to protect him. Katie decides to take a family trip to a farm and this introduces a whole new cast of characters and funny situations on the farm. Max meets Rooster, a brave dog who rules the farm and teaches Max how to handle a lot of his issues. Meanwhile, back in New York City, all of Max and Duke's pet friends continue with their crazy antics, including rescuing a white tiger from the circus and Chloe helps transforming Gidget into a cat, to get out of a messy situation. My favorite character is Snowball, the white rabbit. His superhero scenes rescuing the tiger with his new pal Daisy are hysterical.

Max's voice is portrayed by Patton Oswalt and Duke is, once again, performed by Eric Stonestreet. The introduction of Rooster, voiced by Harrison Ford, adds a lot of depth and meaning to Max's outlook and the film. The animation is breathtaking, from the first scenes in Central Park, to the various scenes around the farm. The cast are all very talented portraying their various vocal roles. Brian Lynch's screenplay pulls it all together, with amazing humor for every character.

The message of this film is to be brave and embrace change. Max worries about the changes a baby will bring to his family, but learns to love Liam and become his best friend. Max continues to learn about changes at the farm and how to deal with them, as Rooster advises, "Some stuff happens and then it's over." Accept and move on, because change can be positive.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, but adults will enjoy it as well as evidenced by all of the audience laughter. This movie opens in theaters June 7, 2019. Look for it!

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

I absolutely love this family-friendly animated sequel. It has so many superstar voice actors and the animation is dramatic and ingenious. The creators introduce new zany and lovable characters.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is about a bunch of New York city pets and their daily adventures - from parks to farms and more - while their owners are away at work. The writers are very creative. They are successful intertwining different stories throughout the entire movie. For example, when Max and Duke get a new kid named Liam, they take a trip out to a farm where they meet a new character named Rooster. Snowball meets a darling new friend named Daisy and the two of them save a white tiger named Hu. My favorite part is when Pops is doing puppy school.

The best thing about this film is that you don't have to see the previous movie to enjoy the sequel. I think The Secret Life of Pets 2 blows The Secret Life of Pets out of the water with its incredible music and star-studded cast. The voice actors include Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Harrison Ford and Eric Stonestreet.

The messages in The Secret Life of Pets 2 are: It is okay to be afraid and 2. Teamwork is important. Note that it does have some mild violence, a couple fight scenes and some chase scenes. There are a few risky things that kids might try to imitate such as running into forests unsupervised, fighting wolfs and saving a wild animal. But, really, it's pretty tame. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15, as well as adults. I highly recommend this to all pet lovers. This film opens in theaters June 7, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a phenomenal, all-around fantastic movie. The film is enjoyable and puts a smile on your face. It's a movie for everyone to enjoy with their friends and families. The movie has different aspects to it. It is also cool to see how the pets interact with each other and seeing how they work together as a team.

The storyline is about different pets going on adventures and exploring New York City. The protagonist Max goes through changes in his life, when his owner gets married and has a child. On the other hand, a cute bunny named Snowball and a puppy Daisy go on a crazy adventure saving a tiger from an evil circus owner. The movie has crazy, funny jaw-dropping moments that you don't want to miss.

Some of the highlights of this is the cast and storyline. Big ups to writer Brian Lynch for a great screenplay. The message of the film is to always look out for each other, not just family and friends, but others we may not know. In this movie, these pets always have each others' backs and really look out for one another. As human beings, we should do a better job of that, especially in our society. It would make the world a better place.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to18, as well as adults. Note that it has some rude humor. It opens in theaters nationwide June 7, 2019.

Reviewed by Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG: SEASON 2 (2019)
MOLANG: SEASON 2 (2019) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his 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. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This charming DVD takes you from point A to point B quickly in a manner appropriate for the target age. There is no language spoken except an alien language spoken by visitors. We follow a day in the lives of Molang and Piu, Piu and how they get along on Earth. The show is filled with bright colors along with characters and images that are drawn big and simple. This is an animated series with 52 five-minute adventures. The menu allows one to select a specific episode. You can also select different languages. The show demonstrates positive social skills such as how to get along with others. Themes covered in all the shows include happiness, friendship, caring and respect. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite appealing and engaging. I highly recommend it for ages 1 to 5 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Molang: Season 2 is 52 episodes of animated fun for kids. I enjoyed these funny cartoon shorts, each only about 3 to 4 minutes long, following the friendship between a chubby bunny and a tiny little chick. Together they have little adventures, both ordinary and extraordinary. They go on safari, plant a vegetable garden, act in a movie, and dance in the rain.

There's no real dialogue in these short animations, because the characters speak their own made-up language. The only words they use consistently are their names- Molang, the bouncy, happy rabbit, and Piu Piu, the shy and timid chick. This must be a fun challenge for the animators and voice actors because they have to use body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice to help the audience understand what's going on. When there's a more complex idea that needs to be communicated, a speech bubble with a picture appears above the character to show that they're thinking about doing the dishes or riding on a mechanical bull.

The art direction uses soft, beautiful pastel colors to create a peaceful, friendly world that preschoolers will enjoy. The characters are drawn in such a simple way that they look like icons, which makes sense if you've ever noticed them as stickers in apps like Facebook Messenger or on merchandise from night lights to face cream. The music is bright and cheerful, and creates a positive atmosphere that really suits the characters and action.

This series has some positive messages about friendship, working together, and problem-solving in difficult situations. My favorite part is when Piu Piu and Molang grow a prizewinning watermelon so big they have trouble moving it to the competition. They don't give up, though, and eventually they find that a helicopter with a plunger is the solution!

I give this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, but older kids and parents will also be amused, especially since these episodes are so short. Molang: Season 2 is available on DVD now. Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Molang is an adorable and funny series that's great for kids! My favorite episode is Chickenpox; when cute Piu Piu, the little chick, gets chickenpox all over his face. I also love the other episodes, but that one is my favorite. There are so many good episodes in this series including The Side Car, The Aquarium, At the Circus and The Competition to name a few. Each episode is overrun with happiness, which makes me smile nonstop.

Molang is a round, fluffy and happy rabbit who has adventures with his friend Piu Piu. Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship, filled with laughter and giggles. They have amazing experiences such as finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun?

The music for this series, by Nicholas Varley, is upbeat and really adds another dimension to the various scenes. The music is playful and fun for kids to dance or move to and will hold their attention. I love the animation of the imaginative and pastel world created for Molang and thank the many artists that contributed to the production.

The message of this series is to enjoy life and value friendship. In all of the 52 episodes, Molang and Piu Piu find every good thing in each bad or sad moment and they always stick together, no matter what. Friendship is important and the two of them find ways to have fun together.

I rate this DVD 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7. The DVD is available now so look for it. Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive. The directors are skilled in easily conveying the plot, jokes and emotion without the use of dialogue.

These stories take Molang and Piu Piu on adventures near and far, as they help others and bring joy to the lives of everyone they touch. They often run into a friend or neighbor who could use a helping hand or a mood boost. Molang and Piu Piu find unique solutions to everyday experiences and make many friends along the way.

The lexicon of Molang and Piu Piu is incomprehensible, so the animation, sound effects and music work together to transcend words. The animation uses simple images to convey the characters' ideas and concepts. For example, when Piu Piu or Molang have a solution to a complication, a thought bubble pops up to show it in a quick image. The sound effects are either bright or dark, based on the mood of the scene. For example, when Piu Piu gets stressed, which is quite often, he screeches in distress. Furthermore the music, composed by Nicholas Varley, is very adventurous and upbeat, especially during the traveling scenes. It is lively and adds all the more to the jovial ambience.

The art of the animation is pure and simple, yet gives a relaxed and easy going aura. The colors are soft, not too bright or too dark, making the visuals sweet and appealing. Many of the objects such as the houses, characters, trees, vehicles and hills are all rounded creating the huggable, lovable world of Molang.

For me, the most appealing part is the happiness that surrounds each and every episode. Piu Piu and Molang are inseparable and their friendship is beautifully strong. This foundation sets the mood of each episode and their kindness reaches out to my heart.

The message of Molang Season 2 is to brighten the days of those around you and to help those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 185 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SESAME STREET: AWESOME ALPHABET COLLECTION
SESAME STREET: AWESOME ALPHABET COLLECTION - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - It's time for A to Z with Sesame! Little ones will love to learn their ABCs with classics such as "The Beetles Perform Letter B" and "C is for Cookie" plus animation, parodies, and the best from recent seasons covering all 26 letters. Celebrating the alphabet alongside their furry friends are Norah Jones duetting with the letter Y, Tori Kelly trying a little kindness, and Pharrell Williams belting it out for the letter B. Maya Angelou stops by to talk hugs, Sheryl Crow helps "I" soak up some sun, and Ricky Gervais attempts a lullaby.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most appealing aspect of this DVD are the characters. The monsters are so sweet, funny and colorful. The songs are also quite appealing and fun. As an adult, seeing celebrities featured in some of the segments, I found it great fun. It's perfect for co-viewing with your kids or grand kids.

I believe a child will enjoy this DVD because of the characters, the music and how colorful everything is. The segments are short enough for younger minds to stay engaged. Also a child will enjoy that there are so many segments and they are all different.

I love that the DVD starts with a song that covers the entire alphabet in a short, fun way. The use of a white background lets the eye focus on the characters and the messages they are delivering. After the first song we see one or two segments for each letter, which is great. I believe that kids are drawn to this content, as every segment is delivered in a different style of media - puppets, live action, animation. Some of the segments seem to be older, which is great for parents, as I'm sure some parents watched them when they were young children.

This DVD definitely uses concepts that are suitable for its intended audience. The songs talk about one letter at a time. We see the letter displayed in each segment. The vocabulary is simple and suitable for the target audience. This is really perfect for kids that are just learning how to speak. I can see them repeating and learning as they watch each segment. In some segments, you not only learn about the letter of the day, you also learn about animals, different languages and other age-appropriate themes.

The visual appeal is really good. Some segments are newer than others and more appealing for today's audiences. At the same time, the older segments are still fun. I'm just uncertain how kids will respond to them. The cover of the DVD is colorful and appealing, and it represents the content accurately. The menu is pretty standard. It lets you choose different chapters and is clear and very straight forward.

This DVD has a great deal of educational benefits. The kids watching are learning about letters, pronunciation, rhyming and even scientific facts, to name a few benefits. It has segments that teach some Spanish words too.

The material is definitely appropriate for preschoolers and supports inquiry and investigation. I'm sure kids watching will be interested in learning more about the letters and the information given in the various segments.

I loved watching this DVD and can't wait until my daughter is older so I can watch it with her! The most appealing aspect of it are the characters, which are so sweet, colorful and funny! They are also great role-models. The songs are very appealing and fun. As an adult seeing celebrities featured in some of the segments makes for a more enjoyable co-viewing experience.

The DVD starts with a song that covers the entire alphabet in a short, fun way. I found that the one to two segments following the initial song are a great tool for preschoolers to learn literacy in a fun way. I love the diversity shown on this DVD. There are kids from all sorts of backgrounds, and some of the segments seem to have been filmed in different parts of the world. I wish more of what is shown in TV would show the type of diversity found here. I really appreciate the fact that the Sesame Street content manages to make educational content so enjoyable to watch by both kids and parents.

Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Every single scene of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet is lovable. This DVD has the funniest songs and parodies for each letter of the alphabet. Each part has so many cute characters and great lessons for the whole family. Your children will love to learn their ABC's with all of their favorite characters.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet has two hours of fun for everyone! It spends approximately five minutes on each letter. We see a wide range of themes from Tori Kelly singing about kindness to Chance the Rapper in a play with Cookie Monster. In all cases, we are learning about the alphabet with so many talented artists. It's a mix of old and new Sesame Street episodes such as Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus singing a song together to Sia singing about how she loves songs.

The DVD includes many of our favorite Sesame Street characters including Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster as well as some of our favorite people in real life including Maya Angelou and Pharrell Williams. I love the songs because it makes you want to sing along. Also, some of the songs are parodies, which I very much enjoy. My favorite part is when Elmo can't sleep so Ricky Gervais comes in and sings a "celebrity lullaby".

Throughout this DVD, there are a lot of positive messages. My favorites are learning is fun and using your voice in a fun way.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. Adults will also like all of the parodies of the songs. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend buying this for your young kids.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is a fun introduction to the alphabet for preschoolers. This is a two-hour compilation of animation, pop-culture parodies and favorite segments for each letter of the alphabet. The all-star lineup of celebrity guests is enough to hold the interest of parents too.

Sia, Pharrell Williams, Maya Angelou, Tori Kelly, Chance the Rapper and others introduce Elmo and his friends to each letter of the alphabet. There's even a bonus feature, Elmo's Amazing Alphabet Race and ABC-themed printable activities.

Since it's a compilation of segments from over the years, there's a wide range of styles representing older and newer segments.

Even though I'm not in this film's target audience, I still found it entertaining to see various celebrities on the same screen, with puppets, helping kids learn the alphabet. My favorite segment is Ricky Gervais singing Elmo a lullaby for the letter "N", that's anything but relaxing!

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 2 to 5. Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection comes to DVD and digital download May 7, 2019 from Shout! Kids and Sesame Workshop. Look for it.

Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection DVD is just that - awesome! It really brought back amazing childhood memories of watching the show.

This particular collection teaches kids the alphabet. Not only is it educational, but provides a source of entertainment which will keep kids interested while learning. All of my favorite characters make an appearance such as Big Bird, Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch and many more. The music, songs and lyrics are fun to sing along with and are education as well. I love how everything in the video relates to the topic of learning your ABC's. There is lot of repetition, which is a great technique for learning. Something else that caught my eye is how they use different types of animation, such as clay and paper. I really enjoy the mix of puppetry, real people, animals and insects. Some episodes even have celebrities singing along. Look out for Norah Jones, Tori Kelly, Cheryl Crow and many others.

All the Muppet characters are so cute and adorable. My favorite is Cookie Monster (Frank Oz, David Rudman), because he brings laughter to this collection. My favorite skit is when Cookie Monster sings about the letter "C" and how cookies are good enough for me. Ryan Dillon plays the role of everyone's favorite loveable character - red, fluffy Elmo. Carol Spinney plays another fan favorite - Big Bird. They use many real life animals to help you associate with the words that are being taught. This video is very bright, colorful and cheery. You will enjoy every minute.

I recommend this for ages 2 to 7, depending on the maturity level of the child. It's always a good refresher for anyone who is having trouble with their letters or spelling to review the basics. The star rating I give this is 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I enjoyed the Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection on DVD because it is funny, even for me, and I'm 10. It is made for small children, but I still could not stop laughing and enjoying the music.

This DVD is about learning the alphabet. Mostly all of the characters from Sesame Street sing the alphabet and encourage the kids to sing along. There are about three scenes or songs for each letter so that you can understand how to use each one. There are also very different types of scenes and songs, each of them really cool and fun, so it keeps you entertained.

The songs are very catchy, and the scenes are really funny and cute. I like how they use celebrities like Chance the Rapper. I think kids will enjoy seeing these celebrities because they know them. My favorite part is when Sia sings for the letter "S", and it shows her face, because she has not shown her face before on TV. One funny scene is when two detectives confuse the "W" for an "M" when trying to find the criminal W.

The message or point of this DVD is to teach kids how to use the letters of the alphabet and how they sound -- the scenes are put together from all of Sesame Street's "Letter of the Day" specials. This DVD makes it fun for kids to learn the alphabet. I believe these songs can make the process of learning the alphabet simple and fun, and that students will like the characters. I can see it might be particularly helpful for kids with special needs or learning disabilities.

I give Sesame Street Awesome: Alphabet Collection 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 130 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WONDER PARK
WONDER PARK - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-12
Description - June, an optimistic, imaginative girl, discovers an incredible amusement park called Wonderland hidden in the woods. The park is full of fantastical rides and talking, funny animals - only the park is in disarray. June soon discovers the park came from her imagination and she's the only one who can fix it, so she bands together with the animals to save this magical place and bring back the wonder in Wonderland
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love the characters, the animation and the imagination. I also like that it does not drag, flows smoothly and the conflict is resolved. I love the message of always remembering that, even when there is darkness, there is light that surrounds us.

The characters are original and the dialogue and animation are something that children will enjoy. The vocabulary is perfect for the target audience. It is fun. The animation stands out as quite amazing. There is conflict, but it is resolved and there is a happy ending.

It flows well from beginning to ending. There is sadness at times, but there is so much more happiness. The characters are all very likable, especially the main characters. June is creative, bright and has a wonderful imagination.

There is a very important lesson throughout the film about using your imagination. The other message is that even if that even though darkness may be there to never forget about the lightness that also surrounds you. I love this message!

Wonder Park delivers more than I had expected. It shows how important imagination is and shows teamwork and hope. It is entertaining with likeable characters and amazing animation. I recommend for ages 7 through 18, as well as adults. I give it 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for a wonderfully fun and imaginative family adventure family movie? This exhilarating, thrilling, interesting and adventurous film was created by Josh Appelbaum and Andr� Nemec. This refreshing film will have you on the silliest adventure ever. Make sure to buckle up for this wild ride through the imagination of the "Wonders in Wonderland."

This film follows a wildly creative girl named June who, with her mother spend countless hours imagining, designing and building models of an amazing park, all from their imagination. The heart of Wonder Park exists in the relationship between June and her mom, which is extremely beautiful to me. It reminds me of my mom and me.

As the film progresses, you get to see June enter this world in real life and from a different perspective. You also get to see June go on a wildly and festive ride through her imagination. She gets to encounter her own fantasy characters, which she created when she was little.

The lead characters are young June (Sophia Mali), Cooper (Ken Jeong), older June (Brianna Denski), Greta (Mila Kunis), Boomer (Ken Hudson Campbell) and many more. My favorite character is clearly the favorable and cheerful Boomer. I adore Boomer because he is the friendliest and most outgoing character of them all. I also love that he is always positive and gives second chances to all his boon companions. An example is when June explains how she generated the darkness in Wonder Park. When June apologizes to Boomer she feels as if she disappointed him. Though he is always friendly, he felt unhappy when June let him down.

The animation by Peter Chan and Nathan Fowler is simply marvelous. It is colorful, unique and imaginative - from the beautiful sky to the detailed roller coasters, to the crazy popping popcorn machine. This animation should be acknowledged because it is amazing to see the Wonder Park as such a bright and innovative Wonder Land.

The bonus features on the DVD include a heart-warming set of scenes which go along with the original film. You'll understand the meaning behind June, the main characters backstory and the reason of her sadness. I enjoyed the bonus features because they gave me more information to go with the original movie and helped me understand the characters better. In the beginning of the bonus features, there are many scenes showing how June's mother became sick and how Wonderland was created when June was a little girl. My favorite scene is when June and her Mom began to build their own Wonderland.

This film has no bad language or dangerous actions that children might attempt to imitate. It does teach children to always carry an imagination throughout their life because it can be healthful and healthy throughout good and bad times.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. This film is available on DVD June 18, 2019.

Reviewed by Nathalie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This animated fantasy film is awesome! It has a good message for younger viewers, is whimsical, bright and colorful. The music is very inspiring.

The storyline is about a little girl's extraordinary imagination. She and her mom have a special bond, sharing a passion for creating a magical place called Wonderland. Then, an unexpected life-changing event occurs, causing June's world to change forever. She becomes very depressed and decides to put Wonderland away. She quits doing the things she loves most. Will the wonder ever come back to Wonderland?

The lead character June is played by Sofia Mali. Her voice-over work is outstanding. You're really able to connect with her adventurous heart, emotions and struggles as she experiences them. Steve, the porcupine is played by Jhon Oliver. He secretly admires Greta the hog. He had me laughing throughout the film. Whenever he gets nervous, he loses his sharp quills and you had better run!

The jokes in this film are very practical, as June is somewhat of math genius. Some of my favorite scenes are the homemade roller coaster that June and the neighborhood kids attempt to make. One particularly funny scene is when they are on the bus and June wants to escape. This is when she discovers there is really a Wonderland. The park is full of unexpected rides, zero gravity fun and chimpanzee zombies. June remembers how she created Wonder Park by whispering into her stuffed animal Peanut's ear and remembers that anything is possible. Her stuffed animals are her inspiration and caretakers of the park. The music and singing really carries you through the scenes. They are very relaxing and beautiful. The theme song "Wonder" was written by Ali Dee, Doug Davis and Anthony Mirabella and performed by Rachel Platten. The screenplay is written by award-nominee Josh Appelbaum.

I like that this film, which is a fun animation, has a much deeper meaning. It is very emotional and I cried a few times. Junes has a loving father and mother that encourage her to create and dream. However they face difficult times, as many families do. Many children may face times in their life that are not easy to understand. Losing someone close to you and having your life turned upside down breaks your spirit. So you stop being a kid and stop enjoying life and doing the things you love to do. Here, June stops imagining a land where everything is different.

There are some scenes where June and her friend make risky decisions like going off on her own. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 12. Teens may enjoy it also. It is available on DVD June 18, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This movie is really appealing, from beginning too end. There is not a moment when I got bored watching, nor wanted to stop. Not only that, but the movie has a really different and amazing plot.

Wonder Park is about a girl named June that, with her mother, creates a park named Wonderland. They would stay up late to create new rides and attractions for the park, but as time passes June's mother gets sick and has to leave to get treatment. That causes June to loose inspiration to continue creating Wonderland, until one day she comes across something that leads her back to Wonderland.

I like the originality of the story line. I have never before seen a movie with such an idea and it makes the movie catch the attention of the viewer. The animation of the film is very detailed and cute. I like that the characters of June and her mother aren't ones commonly used in movies. The way Wonderland is brought to life is also great. It makes one want to go visit the park in real life. The songs are all quite beautiful and enjoyable. The protagonist, June definitely stands out the most in her very energetic way of being, which makes her unique. My favorite scene is when June and her mother sit in her room and create new rides for Wonderland. Greta the pig's voice is played by the amazing actress Mila Kunis and Mila's Mom's voice is played by Jennier Garner, who is also quite brilliant.

Its message is to not let fear consume you, as it will only things worse and makes you become different that you really are. It affects not only you, but everyone surrounding you gets affected as well. I learned to always keep the light shining within me, no matter how bad thing can get, to always keep going and make the worst things and moments become better.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12, as well as adults. It really is a family friendly movie that parents will easily enjoy with their young children. This comes out on DVD June 18, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Hennesi V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.
Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUN IS ALSO A STAR, THE
SUN IS ALSO A STAR, THE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. She is not the type of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when her family is twelve hours away from being deported. Falling in love with him will not be her story. Daniel has always been the good son, the good student, living up to his parents' high expectations. Never a poet. Or a dreamer. But when he sees her, he forgets all that. Something about Natasha makes him think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store - for both of them. Every moment has brought them to this single moment. A million futures lie before them. Which one will come true?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I don't even know where to start this is a heartwarming, breathtaking, star-studded movie. The Sun Is also a Star is a magical, romantic drama that kind of takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. One scene is exciting, then one is sad or joyful. You might shed a few tears and have a laugh at the same time. But, it is an enjoyable film and I really loved it.

This movie is about a boy named Daniel Bae and Jamaican-born young lady Natasha Kingsley. They meet and fall for each other in one day, amidst the fervor of New York City. Sparks immediately fly between these two who might never meet again. With just hours left on the clock on what looks to be her last day in the U.S., Natasha is fighting against her family's deportation just as fiercely as she's fighting her growing feelings for Daniel.

The best parts of the film are the story line and the screenplay. All of that is on point and should be applauded. Also, the sets and locations are perfect. New York City, the Big Apple is the perfect setting for the situation of the movie, because there are lots of people who live there and have many amazing stories, not unlike Natasha Kingsley's.

The message of this movie is to always have faith and believe, even when you in doubt. The film really portrays that well and it's a real good message. A lot of people don't believe or have faith and they often struggle in life. Always believe and you can accomplish nearly anything. That's what we as human beings should focus on and maybe we'll have a better world.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is funny, emotional, interesting and very well developed. Big ups to Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Dutton for producing this wonderful film and making it so amazing. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Note that it does have some mild profanity and some rude humor. It opens at theaters nationwide May 17, 2019. Be sure to check it out.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PENGUINS (2019)
PENGUINS (2019) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - Disneynature's all-new feature film "Penguins" is a coming-of-age story about an Ad�lie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he's targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind "Bears" and "Chimpanzee," Disneynature's "Penguins" opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This adorable film is the fourteenth Disneynature documentary and follows the parenting adventures of an Ad�lie penguin named Steve. He lives in the icy Antarctic where he finds a life partner and starts a family. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson, Penguins is a great mix of documentary and storytelling. It is educational and funny, and a great family movie about these pretty creatures who are also gracious and noble animals.

The visuals are stunning. The camera follows Steve before his baby penguins are born and shows how male penguins are key in taking care of their babies. Steve takes turns with mama penguin to hatch eggs, and this is an example of great parenting. Once babies are born, he feeds them and teaches them how to survive.

The cinematography by Rolf Steinmann creates a fascinating journey captured by a very creative and professional crew of nature lovers. There are underwater scenes as well.

I love the scenes where we discover the process of baby penguins turning into adults; not just for the changes in how they are fed, but also for everything the babies have to face going into adulthood.

Other important characters are killer whales and leopard seals. They are beautiful creatures but represent big danger for the small, clumsy penguins.

I love the humor in this film. The narration by Ed Helms makes this film entertaining and funny while providing a lot of information. Is not overwhelming or extremely scientific; instead, it is an engaging comedy, fueled with relevant and interesting information about animals, survival and nature.

The message of the film is that parenthood is a shared responsibility. I recommend Penguins for ages 4 to 16. Penguins opened nationwide on April 17, 2019 -- seeing it is a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Disneynature was announced on April 21, 2008, a day before Earth Day and its films make a wonderful contribution of films teaching us about the planet we live on.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
AVENGERS: ENDGAME - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers -- Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner -- must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos -- the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth,Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Kate Gillam, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is in full force, as is the promotion for what is expected to be a record-breaking film release. I'm not going to lie, Avengers: Endgame, the 22nd film release from Marvel, is a cinematic roller coaster ride for everyone. I laughed. I cried. I loved every pop culture reference. Let us remember, I am not the target audience and I can't wait to see it again.

As in past MCU films, the Avengers are a tight group of superheroes who are like a family and showcase the heart of family throughout time in this film. At the end of Avengers: Infinity Wars, the snap heard throughout the universe ended lives and destroyed families like nothing before. How Thanos (Josh Brolin), the villain, could win vs. our super heroes stymied many. The end credit scenes in Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), gave us a bit of a hint about who would live to save the day, but what would bring our heroes together? Again, it's Thanos. The use of time and space is a creative set-up for this film and, without delivering spoilers, it truly has to be seen to be believed.

There is a great historical thread and deep family themes throughout the film. In many ways, it is funnier than the Guardians of the Galaxy films, too. There is a single frame in the film screaming girl power, and we learn more about the back story of many characters including Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). The film is an epic conclusion to a well-told story over the last ten years.

Note. This film is a full three hours long. Avoid the over-sized soft drinks or you will miss the action scenes within the film. You simply must see every frame within the last hour. If you don't have the "Run Pee" app, now is a good time to download it!

I give this film 5 of 5 stars for the casting, costumes, special effects, family themes, humor, awesome comedic pop culture references, make-up (men and women) and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing to younger children. Be sure to look for Stan Lee - it has been confirmed this is his last film appearance. May he rest in eternal peace, protected by the Marvel Universe.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Can you say "epic"? This movie takes you on an epic, wild ride filled with action, laughter, love, heartache and tears. As a superhero lover, there is nothing more thrilling than watching this movie - all three hours of it. Bringing all of the Marvel characters together in one movie is simply brilliant.

Avengers: Endgame is based on an awesome journey, post Thanos destruction, of half the Universe. The Avengers are not used to losing, as they did when we last watched them together, so, they come up with a plan to finally defeat Thanos and save the Universe.

If you haven't seen many Marvel movies, I recommend watching all of them - each worthy of a 4- or 5-star rating. In Avengers: Endgame, we see many of the same characters as in other Avenger films. Tony Stark (aka Ironman), played by Robert Downey Jr., and Steve Rogers (aka Captain America), played by Chris Evans, are probably on the screen the most. The special effects are out of this world. The sound effects make the theatre seats rattle, and the new costumes are super sleek. My favorite character is Rocket because he is a funny, outspoken, genetically-engineered, spaceship-flying raccoon. My favorite scene is when Thor appears in a way we have never seen him before, and it made me laugh out loud.

The message of Avengers: Endgame is about the characters' hunger for the old days, teamwork and determination. Without the team and their determination, they are nothing. Together they are able to be good and do good. Be aware that this movie has some mild profanity, intense violence (stabbings, decapitation, sliced throat, impalement, explosions), alcohol drinking and other risky behavior that kids might replicate.

I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for ages 10 to 18, and for adults, for sure. Avengers: Endgame is in theaters on April 26, 2019.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Avengers: Endgame is the epic conclusion of 11 years of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and is nothing less but spectacular! It is a constellation of the biggest Hollywood stars in one event that is entertaining, heartfelt and fun at the same time.

The basic premise is: the remaining super heroes from the previous film Avengers: Infinity War fight together against evil Thanos to restore peace based on their faith on humankind.

The story develops in three acts. Act 1 is very dramatic and gives the actors the opportunity to develop their characters in scenes that are not action related. We see the most human side of these heroes here. This Avengers film has the best acting of all. Among my favorites performers are Robert Downey Jr. who plays Iron Man and steals the show. Chris Evans, as Captain America, carries the spirit of the team and is always very enthusiastic. Brie Larson brings a lot of gravitas. I can't mention other favorites, because it would be a spoiler. In this act the Avengers reflect about what might happen if they could turn back time and do things differently. We see how these characters react to loss and hope.

In Act 2 we see the action plan. The movie deals with the concept of time travel and references a lot of films also developed around concepts of present, past and future. During this act, the movie gets a little slow, despite the fun and dramatic action scenes. There are flashbacks and you need to follow carefully to figure out what happens. Even though this film's run time is three hours, it's necessary to fit everything in needed to develop the story.

The finale is a total extravaganza and makes this film a unique and total experience. The special affects are fantastic, especially in the Act 3 when we see most of the action scenes and intense battles. The music is very orchestral, but of course it includes contemporary pop and rock songs.

There are so many surprises that make the whole experience very enjoyable. There are also so many details and, although you don't need to see the previous films to enjoy this one, there is a lot that is directly connected with the previous films, specifically Avengers: Infinity War.

The message of this film is: the world is in our hands and we have to do something to preserve it. We can have a second chance as long as we want to accomplish something. This is part of the beauty of Avengers: Endgame - a lot messages will resonate and touch you like no other super heroes movie does. I am very sad this is the last film, so there will not be another one like this one.

I recommend Avengers: Endgame to ages 10 to 18. This is not as violent as Infinity War, but obviously parental guidance is important younger viewers. Avengers: Endgame opens nationwide on April 26, 2019. Look for it!

Reviewed by Zoe C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Avengers: Endgame is the ultimate payoff for ten years of Marvel movies. Full of surprises, Endgame thrills with exhilarating action and tons of inside jokes for longtime MCU fans.

Picking up from the end of Infinity War, Thanos has decimated half of all life in the universe with just a snap, and the world is left reeling from the catastrophic actions of the mad Titan. The Avengers mourn their fallen comrades and plot to recover the Infinity Gauntlet and its stones in order to reverse Thanos's damage.

I really like the story. Endgame is just as much about the fight against Thanos as it is about the Avengers dealing with their own losses. This film sees our heroes at the lowest they've ever been. Watching each character deal with pain and grief says so much about who they are and how far they've come. My one gripe with the story is a plot element is introduced that makes the movie more complicated than it should be and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. But for the rest, Endgame has so many wonderful twists I wasn't expecting, and the more predictable plot points are executed in an entertaining way.

Endgame doesn't drag for a second. The film is fast-paced and its three-hour running time flies by. Endgame ties up all loose ends and didn't leave me wanting anymore than what I got. I really like the score by Alan Silvestri. Silvestri uses the rousing Avengers theme sparingly but masterfully. He also mixes in musical cues from scores in other Marvel films that really adds to the experience.

The main flaw in this film is the tonal inconsistency. Endgame, for the most part, jumps between quips and drama really well, but, sometimes those tonal shifts feel less effortless than they're supposed to be.

For all the build up to this movie, Endgame is a fantastic film and a brilliant conclusion to the Marvel saga. If you're just getting into the MCU, I don't recommend seeing this film, but if you're already a Marvel fan, you're going to have a blast. I give Avengers: Endgame an age rating of 11 to 18 for some sci-fi violence and quite a few scenes of peril. And I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend you see Avengers: Endgame when it opens in theaters April 26, 2019.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MUNKI AND TRUNK: MEET THE JUNGLE CREW
MUNKI AND TRUNK: MEET THE JUNGLE CREW - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Description - 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 - Munki and Trunk is a short form animated series featuring a titular monkey and elephant as they have little, fun adventures in the jungle. There is no spoken dialogue, as the cast communicates through giggles, gasps and guttural noises. The guttural noises go a long way in making some this considerably younger focused program not wear out its welcome with the older crowd. It adds a level of comedy for adults or older siblings watching this program with younger ones. The episodes only seven to ten minutes and usually consist of the protagonists having a tiny mishap or adventure. I enjoy that the series excels in communicating and telling stories without a narrative. The animation is very cute and simple. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The characters are so adorable and hilarious. This is such a fun DVD to watch as it teaches the importance of friendship and teamwork. There is no dialogue, so the story can be understood universally.

The only characters that are named are Munki (the monkey) and Trunk (the elephant). They are best friends and the main characters. The other characters include a giraffe, an ostrich, a baby ostrich, a chameleon, a rhino, a porcupine and a frog.

The animals communicate with each other through sighs and grunts. Brent Dawes, voice of Munki, and Alison Lambole, voice of Trunk, really bring their characters to life. Somehow they make it possible for us to understand their emotions or motives through small yelps and wails.

In terms of the animation, this is one of my favorite animated films. I love how realistic it looks with so much detail and additional adorable elements. The animators add great details to the patterns on the vegetation and the hairs on the animals. The animals closely resemble actual animals with the only difference being giving them bigger eyes.

My favorite parts of this DVD are whenever Munki and Trunk interact. They have such an amusing friendship. Since Trunk is an elephant and much bigger than Munki who is a monkey, Trunk throws Munki around or sometimes she catches him. Munki often jumps on Trunk's back like a trampoline.

The moral of this show is centered on friendship and working together. Throughout all the conflicts and problems they work together. Although the pair is not the brightest in coming up with solutions, they succeed in the end. This message of friendship and teamwork is always a good message to be taught to children over and over again.

I enjoyed watching this hilarious DVD and it made me laugh. Munki and Trunk's interaction is entertaining and I love the cute animation. I recommend this for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Munki and Trunk: Meet The Jungle Crew! is available on DVD now so check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I enjoyed watching the DVD Munki and Trunk: Meet The Jungle Crew. I enjoy their attempt at making the characters not talk and only use moans and weird noises, but there are some moments where it looks as if one of the characters is about to talk and just doesn't. I sometimes wish they did. So it is good, but I would prefer that they use words.

Munki and Trunk is about a monkey named Munki and an elephant named Trunk that find a new fun adventure every day. The adventures are very fun and colorful and they always result in a problem or an emotional conflict that Munki and Trunk easily overcome. Mostly, they are joined by other friends that make a small but valuable addition to the show.

The show stars Brent Dawes as Munki and Alison Lamble as Trunk. It is directed by Sam Wilson and animated by Lynton Levengood. I have a bit of a problem with the animation. Whereas the trees, Trunk and all the animals look great together very well, Munki looks like he belongs to in totally different series. Perhaps it's because he is the only one that has actual texture on his skin. Also, he walks on his back legs like a human, which is a little weird. And, his eyes look very creepy. As for all of the other characters, their personalities are developed very well by the actors, but I would like to see more detail in most of them.

The message of this film is to explore and have fun. You should be aware that they do some dangerous stuff such as swinging off of vines, bouncing off of mushrooms and climbing really tall trees. But, no one would really try doing that, would they?

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. It is available now on DVD, so check it out.

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

Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew! is a simple delight! Although simplistic, the plots never fail to surprise me with the direction that they take, making me laugh, gasp and empathize with the characters. I fell in love with main characters again and again as every episode elaborate on their relationship.

The story follows best friends Munki and Trunk who run into troubles as their playfulness unexpectedly backfires. These bumps in the road strengthen their love for each other. Several episodes also explore the beauty and differences between the two characters, a concept that teaches the importance of being unique.

The series is devoid of any dialogue, an aspect that is for the best. It makes the relationships of the jungle crew more authentic as the emotions surpass the language barrier between the different animals. Despite having no dialogue, the series masters individuality by giving side characters personality through glimpses of their lives. For example, a porcupine named Humph is always found in a bad mood, either disapproving Munki and Trunk's antics or mowing his lawn. From these few scenes, one can determine that Humph is like the grumpy old man of the jungle who has his soft spots. Additionally, when one of the animals re-enters the plot like Humph, I became excited, because they are all humorous in their own way and different from each other.

The animation has its strengths, but also some weaknesses. There are several strong cinematography moments that create humor, shock and curiosity. For example, in one scene, it cuts to a first person perspective with someone running, but is unclear where they are running to or why. The excitement of the moment glued me to my seat. The only criticism I have is with the brightly colored scenery in certain scenes. For instance, one scene involves Munki running through the prairie's tall bright yellow grass. It is so bright that becomes blurred against Munki's darker brown fur. Otherwise, the simple animation adds to the overall effect and specialty of the series.

The message is that friendship can lift you up in difficult times and bring out the best in you. I give Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew! 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. It is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TEEN SPIRIT
TEEN SPIRIT - BLEECKER STREET MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Can I say catchy! Teen Spirit, directed and written by Max Minghella, is ever-lasting, vivid, enthralling, remarkable and a momentous film. It is loaded with important messages that can be applicable during life. Let me warn you, it's an entertaining ride. Get ready to sit back and enjoy some beautiful music.

The story follows a shy, stylish, and deep feeling youth named Violet (Elle Fanning). Wow! What a dream she has of pursuing her passion to sing and break free from her small town. With the help of an unexpected mentor, she enters a local British TV talent show that will test her patience and ambition. This film allows you to experience one of the most beautiful and emotional touching stories ever.

The lead characters are Elle Fanning (Violet), Millie Brady (Anastasia), Elizabeth Berrington (Lorene), Jordan Stephens and Rita Zmitrowicz (Hayley).

My favorite part is undeniably when Violet executes a breathtaking performance during the finals. I enjoyed this moment because it really inspired me to take big leaps of faith just like Violet did. I also enjoyed this moment because it shows how far Violet has come to achieve her dream.

My favorite character is the inspiring and hard-working Violet, not only because she is the lead character, but because she inspires us to believe in yourself and don't let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish a dream, big or little. An important aspect of the movie is the creative and story-telling music. I enjoyed numerous performances throughout the film because the songs aren't just up-beat catchy tunes, they also tell a powerful and moving story which explains Violet's past.

This film promotes many positive, heart-warming, uplifting and inspiring messages such as being true to yourself. For example, Violet has a dream that she wants to achieve, but she doesn't change for anybody to accomplish that dream. She works hard to accomplish it though. Another important message is about how peer pressure influences you, but you most follow your heart and be strong.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, adults can enjoy as well. You can catch this film at your local movie theater on April 5, 2019. So look for it.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This is a different musical: Teen Spirit is not about the typical dream of becoming a star, but the situations and temptations you face throughout the journey. It is fueled with great acting and a powerful soundtrack. It's definitively a nontraditional coming of age story.

Violet (Elle Fanning) loves singing, but, more than becoming a star, she wants something different in her life. She wants to escape from her small town and auditions for a popular singing competition in the U.K. called Teen Spirit. A stranger she meets in a small bar, Vlad, becomes her mentor; although her mother doesn't like the idea at first, later she approves. With her mom's blessing, Violet embarks on a journey in which she will face obstacles and make important decisions.

This is a good film for teenagers; the classic Cinderella story is retold in a modern world with current events and situations. Although I am slightly disappointed with the ending, the story flows slowly but nicely, and the music is enjoyable. The ending should tietie the movie all together, but this one seems to be missing something. There are a couple of parts that I don't feel are complete or well-developed and the storyline was kind of plain.

Elle Fanning is great in her role. Teens can connect to her character, Violet; Elle actually sings most of the songs, making this connection even stronger. It is very remarkable her ability to perform a "triple threat" meaning she can act, dance and sing. She also speaks a foreign language fluently (her character is of Polish descendent, and Violet exchanges some lines in this language with her mother).

The relationship between Violet and mentor, Vlad, ( Zlatco Buric) is key in the film. It is unconventional but somehow predictable.

This film is produced by a La La Land producer, and has elements in common but with a European flavor.

I love the wardrobe and the makeup is good as well. I love all the songs and the montage in the main audition scene.

The message of this film is that if you have a dream don't lose yourself. Stick to your dream and don't let anything stop you from accomplishing it. I give Teen Spirit 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Teen Spirit opens nationwide on April 19, 2019

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

I enjoyed this dramatic, vibrant, pop culture movie! Teen Spirit is written and directed by Max Minghella, a filmmaker from Hampstead, London, England. The music, costumes and storyline are very intriguing. I really like the way the director shot the scenes.

The film is about a teenage girl, Violet, who has a complicated life. She has a single mom, and they are on the verge of losing everything. They both work multiple jobs just to survive. Violet has many interests and is more of an introvert, although her passion is singing and dancing. She enters a local talent contest with the help of a friend she meets in a nightclub. This friend has an interesting past. By entering the contest, Violet brings hope to her small town. The movie has some unexpected twists and turns.

Violet is played by Mary Elle Fanning. Her performance is amazing. She is a natural beauty, and I love her style in this film. This is a difficult and complex character to play. Violet is an introvert and a sort of sad young lady. You really feel for her and Maria, her mom, in their everyday struggles with life and school. On a brighter note, the music and lyrics are so well done. I am really impressed with her ability to sing. Her voice is mesmerizing -- it gave me goose bumps!

Agnieszka Grochawska plays Violet's mother Maria. They are both of Polish decent. Agnieszka is very intense in this role and also made me laugh in a few parts. The bar friend and manager, Viad, is played by Zlatko Buric. He plays a very important supporting role. I like the backstory with this character as it is unexpected. His character and relationship with Violet really pulls the plot together.

The scenes are great to watch. I enjoyed the color scheme, lights, music and costumes which support the entire vibe of the movie. This film reminds me of other iconic movies such as Flash Dance and Footloose. TheTeen Spirit helps you understand how the music /entertainment industry is full of "smoke and mirrors." The message is to keep people around you that you trust and that have your best interests at heart.

I give this film 4 out 5 stars. It is for an audience range of 12 to18. Adults will definitely enjoy this movie, too. I do not recall any bad language so I give it thumbs up for that. There are a few scenes with drinking, smoking and slightly risky behavior. It opens in select theaters everywhere April 19, 2019.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TITO AND THE BIRDS
TITO AND THE BIRDS - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Tito is a shy 10-year-old boy who lives with his mother. When an unusual epidemic starts to spread, making people sick whenever they get scared, Tito quickly discovers that the cure is somehow related to his missing father's research on bird song. He embarks on a journey with his friends to find the antidote. Tito's search becomes a quest to find his missing father and save the world from the epidemic. "One of the most memorable films for 2018" - Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tito and the Birds is an oddly dark tale that is highlighted by its remarkably original art style. By dark, I don't mean gritty or vulgar. It is heavier in tone than many young adult films, but anyone that has seen Corpse Bride or Coraline won't be addled in the slightest by this story about a fear pandemic. The BIG selling point of this film is its sensational art! It is an interesting mesh between digital animation and what appears to be layers of living oil paintings. It's hard to accurately describe the visuals in a way that gives credit in which it richly deserves. I assure you, this film deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates the medium of animation. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, however, younger and older viewers may enjoy it as well. I certainly did. I give it 5 out if 5 stars because it is so stunning.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the moment I saw the artwork on the cover of the packaging for the Brazilian animated film, Tito and The Birds, I knew I had to see it! The animation style is beautiful! I love the look of it. Its Brazilian directors Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and Andre Catoto have made something that looks like a moving painting.

The story is based on a boy named Tito (Pedro Henrique) and his friends working to stop an epidemic from spreading through their town. It gets pretty intense! Luckily, they have the help of Tito's dad Rufus (Matheus Nachtergaele), a very smart scientist. Hopefully this will be enough to save the town.

The supporting characters, besides Tito's father, include Tito's mother Rosa (Denise Fraga) and his friends: Sarah (Marina Seritiello), his brave female friend who gives him hope; Bui� (Vinicius Garcia), his best friend, who becomes sick and is the main reason they want to find a cure. And then there is T�o (Enrico Cardoso), his rival. I relate mostly to the character of Tito because he is brave and wants to help. He cares about people. There is a good lesson wrapped inside the story of Tito and The Birds: never be afraid, and help when it's needed. Also, another lesson is to be yourself, and let no one tell you to be anyone else.

I give Tito and The Birds5 out of 5 stars ! I love it! The animation is amazing! The storyline is told beautifully. I love the voice actors' performances.

This film is perfect for ages 10 to 18, because the epidemic and sickness storyline could be a bit scary for younger audiences. I also think adults will enjoy this movie, too. Go and check it out! I recommend it! You can get Tito and The Birds digitally or anywhere that your favorite DVD's are sold.

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

Tito and the Birds is about real life problems that people face. Even though it is an animation film, it is serious. Sometimes movies teach kids about real life and that is what Tito and the Birds does. It is a little scary because it is so real.

The first thing I noticed, besides it being a dark film, is the relationship Tito has with his dad. Tito and his dad work together to help their community overcome fear of a disease that is spreading. Everyone is getting the disease and they do not know why. Everyone is scared to catch this disease because it makes people turn into rocks. The fear that everyone has in the community is so strong that people can't live their lives. They are panicking and the news makes it worse.

Tito's friends are awesome because they stick by his side and believe in him. He even makes friends with a boy who wants to beat Tito in a contest. Tito has some good friends, and we all need good friends when we are having a hard time in life. The friends show that they are real friends, not fake.

Tito learns a lot in the movie. He learns not to give up and to believe in himself. He also understands that sometimes things are hard and that everything is not going to be easy in life. He keeps trying to make his dad proud and build the machine right. Tito also learns that even a kid can make a difference.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 14. It is too scary for little kids I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars, because it is so frightening. However, we all can learn about being brave and being different, so check it out if you find this intriguing.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 73 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 27.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUMBO (2019)
DUMBO (2019) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction -- bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant's magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Director Tim Burton's mind truly is a circus - a beautiful, colorful, vivid and artistic mind. While he adds his dark macabre to this classic Disney tale, it is done in such a way to engage the viewer and bring another dimension to the film. Dumbo is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, and I've seen thousands of films. What's impossible is possible when you believe. I believe in Dumbo.

When I heard Disney was creating a live-action version of their classic animated film Dumbo, I was skeptical as Dumbo is one of my childhood favorites. The live-action film I screened brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. It is so BEAUTIFUL - the colors come alive in every frame, from the costumes to the imagery. Dumbo is so loveable, believable and beautiful. His eyes captivate you from the first time you see the baby to his final frame. For the only character in the film who doesn't speak, you hear his journey of love and pain purely.

Dumbo plays homage to a Mother's love and a quest of survival for motherless children - human and animal. It is so beautifully cast from our hero Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), to his amazing, innocent children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), to the nefarious V. A. Vandevere (evilly played by Michael Keaton) and the con-man we come to love, Max Medici (Danny DeVito). In my eyes, the children and Dumbo are the stars of the show. V.A. Vandevere teaches the audience a lesson in greed and Max Medici showcases his desire to make a buck with true transparency! This traveling circus offers many journeys for the cast and audience.

As a true Disney fan, I see the essence of many iconic Disney places and films. The balloons remind me of UP. The pink elephants remind me of Fantasia. Dreamland, a fictionist theme park made me think of Disneyland (I mean, DL...) - and all the theme parks at Walt Disney World and the merch! Plenty of merch to sell at Dumbo's circus tent. The sublime imagery is seen throughout the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Warning: there are some scary parts (Nightmare Island in Vandevere's Dreamland theme park and hallucinogenic pink elephants) and a SNAKE! Not my favorite creature. The casting is great. The costumes are authentic and the music will move you. Danny Elfman is the master of music in film! Could this be another Oscar nomination? Pay attention to a new twist on the classic song "Baby Mine." You won't believe who sings this classic song!

Bring your tissues! This film opens in theaters nationwide March 29, 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is absolutely amazing - a bit dark, but beautiful and the visual effects are very good. I was so excited to see this film because Dumbo is such a classic and I really wanted to see it not in animation form. It is a story about outsiders and the beauty in the strange. This is the perfect tale for the imagination of the great director Tim Burton.

The story is about a circus elephant who is a baby. His name is Jumbo but later he is renamed Dumbo. He was born with big ears and people around him think he is weird and worthless. In this environment with lots of extraordinary people, this peculiar elephant shouldn't be so strange, but people make fun of him and are actually cruel. His protective mother who works in the circus gets really mad and is sent far away for misbehaving. Dumbo is sad because he is separated from his mom. The kids in the circus, Milly and Joe, don't have a mother either. They are the sons of Holt (Collin Farrell) who returns from war to work at the circus. The kids feel empathy for the baby elephant and try to comfort him. They come up with a way to get Dumbo involved in the circus after they discover he can fly. They think if they make enough money they can buy her mom back and the elephants can be reunited. The flying baby elephant becomes the circus' main attraction and the owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) receives a tempting offer. The family circus becomes part of a huge amusement park, but they are losing all that kept them united.

The story develops a little bit slowly at the beginning. I definitively love the scenes with Dumbo flying and the scenarios and costumes are gorgeous, but overall it is not as emotional as I expected. The cast is amazing, but the kids don't deliver as much sentiment as the story requires and they play a key role. Eva Green is charming and believable. Her character Collette Marchant, the girl that "flies" is many the most intriguing one. Danny Elfman's music creates an ideal atmosphere.

This film has a very positive and powerful message - even if we are different, it doesn't mean we should be treated differently, because that's what makes us beautiful and makes us stand out from the ordinary. We have to accept people the way they are. I give this film 4.5 out of five stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and adults as well. Dumbo opens in theaters March 29, 2019.

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

Despite Tim Burton's flair, Dumbo shows promise, but ultimately fails to take flight. Still, the movie does boast apt direction and talented cast. Any Disney fan may want to check this out, but proceed with low expectations.

The story expands upon the beloved classic story as Dumbo, a newborn elephant with oversized ears, becomes a star. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) to caretake the young one. Dumbo quickly becomes the laughing stock. But, once Holt's kids discover he can fly using his ears, Dumbo soon becomes the superstar of the circus and gains the attention of beguiling tycoon V.A. Vandevere with his Dreamworld amusement park. Vandevere's schemes are not what they seem as he wants to monopolize Dumbo and threaten the circus's goodwill.

First off, Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, as Milly and Joe Farrier, are absolutely fantastic in their first-ever roles. Nico shines with her scientific interests and discovering Dumbo's flying capability. Whereas Finley nails his jockey attitude. Colin Farrell, as Holt Farrier, shines as their father who always means well for his kids and the safety of all. Sure, his Southern accent is quite jarring at first, but he grows into it. Danny DeVito, as Max Medici, is my favorite character as he has many scenes in the first half and is truly funny in every scene. It's a shame that a lot of his screen time is axed by a meandering second half. Michael Keaton, as V.A. Vandevere, unfortunately falters with a comically over-the-top performance. While Keaton's work is normally strong, here it just doesn't mesh with the movie's scenarios. Sure, at times, he sells the role of a tycoon well, but really his character always appears out of place.

Tim Burton aptly directs the movie, but the writing doesn't do this visually spectacular experience any wonders. Every scene is well produced, but the movie's pacing is all over the place. The special effects are also quite underwhelming at times. Some moments are impressive, but at times it comes across as artificial and unreal. The movie's second half also meanders into some bizarre territory, primarily due to its unimpressive villain. In spite of this, Dumbo's first flight scene is awe-inspiring, and is definitely my favorite scene.

The message of this film is that being different isn't always bad. It can come to be a true talent. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 due to some intense scenes and mild language. The movie releases in theaters on March 29, 2019 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BIGGEST LITTLE FARM, THE - FARMLORE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - Documentarian John Chester and his wife Molly work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This interesting and captivating documentary gives you the opportunity to view the experiences and hard work of John Chester and his wife Molly who developed a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. Get ready to take in different emotions as you join their personal journey throughout the film.

The documentary follows two visionaries and a dog on their journey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. The story all begins with a promise to a dog named Todd; not just any dog, but a very special dog. When the barking of their darling Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny L.A. apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and into the foothills of Ventura County, simply striving to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete co-existence with nature.

The land they've chosen is tremendously devoid of nutrients and suffering from a cruel drought. The film records eight years of discouraging and encouraging work as they are challenged to create the ideal farm by planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and by bringing in animals of every type. Molly and Josh work day and night to build the farm, along with the help of their mentor. As the documentary continues, you'll see the helpful and kind hearts the animals have for each other.

The lead characters in The Biggest Little Farm are John Chester and Molly Chester. The writers are John Chester and Mark Monroe.

There are many important messages here, such as: believing that you can grasp your dreams if you work hard to accomplish them. For example, Molly Chester never gives up. She moves an hour north of one of the most polluted cities on earth and pursues her family dream of growing every ingredient she could possibly want to cook. I truly enjoy this true and challenging story of this "power couple."

The Biggest Little Farm is an educational film , which promotes a deeper understanding of the fundamental joy of farming, family and love. This film delivers an expressive, booming narrative with plenty of cute animals to spare.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. You can catch this film at your local theaters on May 10, 2019.

Reviewed by Nathalia Marie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STORM BOY
STORM BOY - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele's classic Australian tale. 'Storm Boy' has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can't explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr. Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This emotional, happy and humorous film is so interesting. This film was very fun to watch and I was interested in almost every scene.

Storm Boy is about a grandfather (Geoffrey Rush) who is a retired businessman and tells a story about when he was a kid in his old home town. As a young boy, he (Finn Little) made friends with a Native kid who was kind of a loner. The two of them found three baby pelicans and raised them. Michael (aka Storm-Boy), over the years, falls in love with the birds - Mr. Percival, Mr. Proud and Mr. Ponder. And, when he has to release the pelicans he is not happy. Even though he doesn't want to, he knows he has to. Over time Mr. Percival comes back to Michael and never leaves his side again. After a tragic event, everything changes and Michael gets in a fight with his dad because he finds out he might have to go to boarding school.

I like how clear the actors speak, because I could understand everyone and everything they talked about. The movie is long, but I wish it was longer. That's how good it is!

I couldn't believe that they were able to get these birds to do all the things they did. Finn Little who plays the boy really delivers a great performance and the way he interacts with the pelicans is cool to watch. Watching him is a highlight of the film.

This film has some language, but it is still kid appropriate. What other people can learn from watching this is to love and enjoy something while you have it, or just be thankful and be full of gratitude. The film is one that both children and grownups can enjoy. Warning: you might get teary eyed, so have a box of tissues!

I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it is great. This opens in theaters April 5, 2019. So look for it!

Reviewed by Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPERPOWER DOGS - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - Join an immersive IMAX adventure to experience the life-saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world's most amazing dogs. In this inspiring true story, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners. Follow 'Halo', a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America. Meet 'Henry', an avalanche rescue expert in the Canadian Rockies, 'Reef', a Newfoundland lifeguard with the Italian coastguard, 'Ricochet', a Californian surf legend helping people with special needs, and the Bloodhound brothers, 'Tipper and Tony', who are leading the fight to save endangered species in Africa. As we discover the incredible abilities of dogs and the astonishing science behind their superpowers, we'll never look at our best friends the same way again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I loved watching the film Superpower Dogs. The camera work is absolutely amazing with so many interesting shots and lighting angles in this 3D IMAX production. The director really worked with so many special effects to get lots of close ups and precise detailing. You really see things from the dog's point of view, as well as its trainer's. It is a very entertaining movie that appeals to all ages. This movie really shows that all dogs have super powers with their amazing senses, even if they are not trained to dig 15 feet into the snow or lift forty times their own weight.

The movie features a disaster response dog named Halo and her journey to become a service dog for disaster response. She is joined by five other dogs named Henry (avalanche rescue), Reef (water rescue), Ricochet (emotional support dog who enjoys surfing) and Tony and Tipper (endangered species protection in Kenya). Their trainers play extremely important roles in the film and also in their training. It shows what all the dogs do, but the main focus is on Halo.

This is a documentary so there are no actors involved. It is directed by Daniel Ferguson and produced by Dominic Cunningham-Reid, George Duffield and Taran Davies. The cinematographer is Reed Smoot. Big propos to all the crew! There are all kinds of special effects where they show us a peak of the dog's anatomy. It is very realistic, but purposefully made as a special effect, which is so great. Also, they show a physical representation of scents from a dog's perspective, since they have very exquisite smelling skills. It is difficult to bring smells to life but this IMAX movie does it!

The only bummer for me was I wish they gave a little more attention and time to the other dogs in the movie. I think the director only had 45 minutes, so I imagine it would be hard to include lots of details about all the dogs and their trainers.

The message of the film is that all dogs have superpowers, even if they are not rescue dogs. This movie can will appeal to all animal lovers (even cat lovers), even though the main focus is on dogs.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. This film is playing now at select IMAX theaters. Go check it out!

Reviewed by Lukas L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! S2, V 2
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! S2, V 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Enjoy the second volume of the second season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary 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 the answers to questions like what is the Earth s atmosphere, why do we need bones, and how is paper made. The discoveries don t end there! We learn how polar bears survive the arctic winter, how our ears work and so much more! So let s go, go, go, go on an adventure, we re flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I'm a big fat of The Cat in the Hat! I have been since I was a little girl. Now, as an adult, I'm still a big fan! This DVD does not disappoint! It has 20 episodes! Directed by Tony Collingwood, the Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) definitely shows us that he knows a lot about many things from names and locations of the planets in our solar system to how animals walk with more than two legs. It is entertaining, engaging and great for preschool and school aged children, as well as their parents. Children will enjoy watching the Cat in the Hat and his friends Sally & Nick as they go on adventures to learn new things. One of my favorite episodes is about the solar system as the Cat in the Hat teaches Sally & Nick the order of the planets and their names. Martin Short as the voice of Cat in the Hat is perfect! I just love him. I also enjoyed the theme song. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars, because I think it is a perennial hit. It's engaging, entertaining and educational What more could you want! I recommend it for ages 3 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Here we go, go, go, go on an adventure! I love this DVD because it is bursting with awesomeness. You find stories with snappy songs, wildly creative graphics and colorful animation. The voices of all of the characters work in perfect harmony, which makes each episode very engaging.

In The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That: Season 2, Volume 2, the two, adorable 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick set out on many quests for knowledge. Nick and Sally learn a lot about why tummies grumble and how to walk on more than three legs. They also learn to name the planets in a splendid trip to space (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). In another adventure they learn how cloth is made. The DVD has 20 different stories averaging a little more than 10 minutes each.

Martin Short is the voice of the Cat who does a remarkable job! The creativity in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That is so very clever, including the names of the Cat's friends, the places that Sally, Nick and the Cat go, and of course, all of the things that the thinga-ma-jigger can do. My favorite character is The Cat in The Hat because he has loads of fabulous and brilliant friends from all over the world. They are always happy to educate and teach Sally and Nick all they know. And something I also really like is that The Cat in The Hat's friends seem to always have wild and wacky hairstyles. They are really funny. My favorite part is when Sally, Nick, and the Cat go to space and how the thinga-ma-jigger transforms into a space thinga-ma-jigger.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to want to learn, be curious, and the value of friendship. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that children might try to imitate. It promotes positive behavior and they treat everyone appropriately.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this DVD for ages 3-8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids. The DVD is currently available.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Calling all Dr. Seuss fans! Here's two discs, 20 episodes, fully loaded of extraordinary voyages of two best friends. Not only is this a fun Dr. Seuss cartoon for all, but it is also educational. Have fun while learning about the earth's atmosphere, the human skeleton, how paper is made and much more! So, let's jump into our imaginary Thinga-ma-jigger and go go go on an adventure with Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.

In each episode, I learned something I never knew before. In each of the 20 episodes, a lesson is taught through the journey of two best friends. It had me saying "wow, how interesting !" In one episode, I learned how paper is made. Who would have thought a tree, that I see every day in my young life, is chopped down to make paper? I use paper everyday. This is what I liked about this DVD. I learned something new in each episode.

What is less appealing about this show are the settings and colors. It felt like this film was created back in the 80s. I thought it needed to be modernized to capture the attention of today's young viewers.

My favorite characters are Sally and Nick. They are six years old and best friends. I like the bond they share in each episode. They communicate and work well with each other - team players, if you ask me. They have tons of fun and experience their journeys together. It truly shows the true meaning of best friends. I have a best friend and she and I love to take pretend voyages together.

Each episode has a different message, but the one thing they have in common are the lessons that are being taught through Nick and Sally's voyages. In each show, you learn scientific knowledge. This is a neat way to gather your children together to sing along while taking an amazing educational journey. Knowledge is key and there's no better way to learn but through a cool Dr. Seuss show.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It is very educational and fun. The music had me bopping my head along with it. I would like it even better if it was more modernized. I recommend it for ages 3 to 14. My baby brother is three and he sung along with Nick and Sally. My mom is 39-years-old and she learned something about the human skeleton, that she never knew about before. This DVD is available now so, look for it.

Reviewed by Sev'n S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

This is a delightful animation adaptation DVD collection with the Cat in the Hat and friends! It is very creative with catchy songs to sing along to and, of course, the famous rhyming. It teaches many different things in each episode.

When I was around 6 years old, I read the books and watched this show. I was really excited to see the new episodes. This Season 2, Volume 2 has 20 episodes, each taking you on another adventure. The Cat in the Hat is an anthropomorphic character that escorts the kids on adventures in the Thing-a-ma-jigger, a contraption that can fly, sail and do so much more.

In every episode, Sally and Nick ask their Mom for permission to go on an adventure. Of course my mother likes that part. Then Sally and Nick are off to learn many new things about animals, insects, our solar system, constellations and even recycling.

The storytelling is great and so creative. Every adventure takes them to a new place - the Arctic, dessert, beach or jungle. The fish always tags along and ends up in some sort of trouble, which is funny to watch. Sally and Nick also learn physical things like swimming, balance, wrapping and digestion.

The storyboards and drawings are very colorful in this film. The characters' outfits change and go along with the storyline. The characters are interesting to watch. They really hold your attention. In some scenes, new characters appear like Doctor Giggles. He helps them explore science and the body. They use the shink-a- bobber to shrink themselves and explore the ear. I enjoyed the singing and rhyming in this film and all the catchy phrases. Thing 1 and Thing 2 make an appearance to assist and they always make me laugh. The voice-over for The Cat is Martin Short who is fantastic at portraying The Cat. I like one of the episodes when they go to the beach and Pirate teaches about how glass is made and all its many uses. It can be recycled and used over and over. One catchy phase they use is "glass can change the way you see things."

This DVD offers so many ways for kids to learn. Parents will like it because it teaches children about safety, listening and buckling up every time they go exploring in the Thing-a- ma- jigger. I really enjoyed this and I think you will too! I recommend it for ages 3 to 8 years of age. I give this DVD 5 out 5 stars. It is mostly for younger children, but adults will enjoy it too. You never know where you will end up at with Cat and the Hat!

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 220 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
APOLLO 11 - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The documentary Apollo 11 is so fascinating, especially for those that love space. Apollo 11 is not only educational, but it's also very memorable and touching. I love that it not only shows space exploration, but it also shares the examples of teamwork applied when they were sending the first man to the moon. The whole space station team split into groups and would come in at different times so that each member had a chance to rest. I also like how this story shows determination, commitment and how hard they worked to get those three men to the moon. Anyone that wants to learn about the first man on the moon should definitely watch this documentary.

This documentary follows NASA's mission to send the first two men to the moon on the spaceflight Apollo 11. It shares the details and facts about the Apollo 11 mission and the astronauts sent to be the first to set foot on the moon. It took over 50 years to build and complete the Apollo 11, which safely got the men to the moon and back.

The stars of this documentary are Neil Armstrong (Commander), Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot) and Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot). The message of this film is that you can achieve anything, as long as you put your mind to it and have confidence. Also, we see how important teamwork is. With the help of others, we can do so much more than we can alone.

My favorite moment in the film is when Neil Armstrong sets the American flag on the moon, showing that the USA was first to put a man on the moon. When Neil Armstrong puts the American flag on the moon, it stands as an honor to all those who worked so hard to get Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin there.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. This story is absolutely fascinating, educational and outstandingly retold! All of those that watch this documentary will definitely love it, as much as I did. It is playing at select theaters now in IMAX and opens in other theaters March 8, 2019 so look for it.

By Nancy F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Description - As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup's reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - All of the How to Train Your Dragon films are well illustrated, with a huge variation between the different characters. The animations are very creative and realistic, accurately depicting the personality and essence of the character they portray. It is enriching how technology and the different ways of communicating a story through different platforms is advancing and growing in exciting ways. I have been following this series I was a kid and watching the third movie made me realized how remarkably this series has affected a large number of people with the message it passes through its amazing animation.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a story about an unexpected friendship between a teenage Viking and a Night Fury dragon that turns into an epic adventure between them that changes their lives completely. In this film, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they have known and travel to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth and by Hiccup's father. They face this new chapter of their lives along with the rest of the Vikings and dragons in fleeing from the danger that will put the security of the dragons on the line.

My favorite scene of the film is when the landscape and full pan of the village is shown with all the distinct Vikings and unique dragons that accompany each character. Apart from the fact that you get to admire the different animation styles and how much creativity is involved in bringing all these characters to life, this is my favorite scenes, because it introduces the audience to what will be shown in the movie. You get an idea of what is going to happen and start predicting the events of the story, based on the personalities of each Viking and dragon.

The important message gleaned from this film is that finding the courage to face the unknown is important in one's life. In the movie, as soon as the dragons are in trouble, the whole Viking village decides to do anything in their power to try and save them, even if it means leaving their home and journeying to a place that is mythical. The sacrifices that are made are worth it in the end. I rate the film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World is a film with colorful explosions that includes magic and it made me say "wow!" It is the third film in the series and now, I need to check out the previous two films.

As it begins, we see that Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is now chief, after the death of his father, and leading his mixed group of friends and their respective dragons on rescue missions to free captured dragons and take them home to a now densely-populated Berk. But their work is getting them noticed by those that don't agree that dragons should be treated as equals.

There is a bit of violence, without blood, and lots of battles that between dragons and humans. We see the young Viking chief and his trusty alpha dragon, Toothless facing big decisions and going up against evil forces who want to kidnap and enslave dragons. My favorite scene is when Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) is captured by villain Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham). Grimmel thinks he will be able to use Ruffnut as a pawn against Hiccup. However, to his dismay, Ruffnut keeps talking nonstop until Grimmel is not able to take her babbling any longer and sets her free. It is a very funny scene.

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World has messages about courage, love, determination and commitment. Hiccup and his relationship with Toothless show us the challenge of love and commitment between a human and a creature. Toothless finds love and Hiccup must let go for the benefit of others, yet he needs his long-time pal to fight the dark forces and protect the dragons.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18, and some adults will enjoy it also. I give it 5 out 5 stars. This film opens in theaters February 22, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World is the best movie of 2019, so far. This movie has something for all ages. It's filled with lots of action, surprises and humor. This full length animation, co-written and directed by Dean DeBlois, is a definite must see!

Following the format of any great adventure, screenwriters DeBlois and Cressida Cowell, include everything needed to keep the continuity flowing from the first installment of How to Train Your Dragon to this one. In what is supposed to be the last movie of this trilogy, we see Hiccup, now as the spirited ruler of Berk, protector of the dragons and boyfriend of his longtime friend, Astrid. Hiccup discovers that Toothless, his best bud, is not the only Night Fury alive. He learns that danger is coming and that the only option of surviving is to seek out the Dragon Utopia that his late father once spoke of before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. There's lots of fire, fighting, roaring, funny bits and mushy stuff too, but you have to watch it to find out who gets the best of who.

Cinematographer, Gil Zimmerman, is terrific at laying out the scenes, which help the viewers understand the story. We get to see how the Vikings really feel about their dragons and what happens when Hiccup finally meets his match. Every moment feeds off the first and excitement is built off of reflections from the first two movies. The production designers and art directors help keep viewers connected to the characters by giving us realistic scenes and sets that capture you with bright lights and strong graphic details. When darkness comes, critical moments become more authentic. When there's action, you can't help but stay focused. Toothless' upgrades and the new, much larger dragons are epic!

Jay Baruchel is super cool as Hiccup, my favorite character. He's grown, has the best dragon ever, is Chief of the Vikings and everyone loves him, except the Night Fury Slayer and those dragon captors. He has crazy friends like Tuffnut & Ruffnut, who keep you laughing throughout the movie. Hidden World is a screen adaptation of the book series by children's author, Cressida Cowell. It sends you on a fun journey with some curious characters with strange outlooks on life. These anthropomorphic characters make you forget that you are actually watching an animation.

Lessons to take with you after seeing this flick are to make good choices and to allow others to do the same thing, even it doesn't benefit you. I give DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It's one film for everybody! Grab your friends and parents and get to your local theater for the premiere, February 22, 2019. Remember to like and subscribe to our channel. Until next time, I'm Brandon for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics. That's a wrap. Peace out!

Reviewed by Brandon James R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings one of animation's best trilogies to a beautifully done conclusion. Maturing voice talent and wild animation make for a mix of satisfying and bittersweet that just works. Any fans of this franchise in general must check this out.

The movie follows Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), now chief of Berk, alongside lover Astrid (America Ferrera) seeking to create a dragon utopia. Plans take a shift when Toothless smittenly chases and falls in love with a female Night Fury, dubbed Light Fury, the last of its kind. However, when dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) seeks to finish what's he started and eliminate all the Night Furys, starting a cat and mouse game, all of Berk must leave the only home they have known and journey to a mystical hidden world and prepare counterattack. True destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will do whatever it takes to protect and find peace for all they treasure.

Jay Baruchel leads this ensemble cast as my favorite character Hiccup and is impressive in showcasing the growth of the character. From the first movie, we follow him from teen to adult, and his struggles to lead or even marry Astrid remain the movie's compelling center. His iconic bond with Toothless goes to further extents as he finds wrong in not providing his pal with the life he truly wants and a loving partner. Light Fury provides a great love interest for Toothless and some of the movie's most impressive special effects, with their chase being one of the most visceral scenes put into any animated film. America Ferrera provides a smart adviser to Hiccup and also a best friend, with their decision to marry being one of the most beautiful and realistic aspects of this conclusion. This line-up of heroes wouldn't be complete without a formidable villain and F. Murray Abraham's Grimmel gives us one. Grimmel is truly charismatic and a force to be reckoned with. He steals every scene he's in. Watching his cunning plans unfold is a true treat. Cate Blanchett returns as Valka, giving Hiccup more advice in his adulthood. However, Gerald Butler's cameo appearances in flashbacks truly characterize Hiccup's bond with his parents. Most of the other Vikings from past movies return, with Kristen Wig's Ruffnut being a huge standout, and her improvisation is the funniest scene.

Dean DeBlois spectacularly directs this film, with a mastery of some of the greatest animation of the decade. He continues the great work found within the past two entries and challenges himself with the Hidden World, which is the biggest visual feast of the film. My favorite scene is the entire epilogue which wraps up the movie and series perfectly. It remains one of the most emotionally effective conclusions in any movie, and no fates are left unanswered. My only problems with the film are with its initially slow pace, that don't showcase the truly grand, epic ending at first. Still, the pace quickly picks up with its fair share of epic battles and, while it's not always of that same epic scale, the characters bring out the heart of the film.

The message of this film is that love is an irreplaceable bond, unlike any other that applies to all living things, from family to lovers, to even pets. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, due to some intense scenes and mild language. The movie releases in theaters on February 22, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

This bittersweet film, directed by Dean DeBlois and set in medieval times, is a very fantastic adventure. As the last movie to the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy, it is the perfect ending to the lives of a young Viking boy named Hiccup and his unexpected friendship with a fearsome Night Fury dragon, Toothless.

This time, Hiccup is now the Chief Ruler of the chaotic city of Berk, where dragons and humans live peacefully together. When he and Toothless discover the mysterious appearance of a Light Fury, they realize he is not the only one. Their relationship is tested as they must search for the hidden world - a dragon paradise where no one has ever traveled, before a greedy dragon hunter finds them. Everything is at stake as Hiccup must not only save Toothless and his people, but the entire population of dragons.

I am really amazed by the incredible animated scenery throughout the film and how it successfully compliments the mood of certain scenes. One of my favorite parts is when we are first introduced to the village of Berk. It is stunning to see the varieties of dragons inhabited there. Also, the city is very colorful and quirky, which I really like. The movie is full of humor, action and tearful moments. Throughout the film we get to see how all of the characters change, grow and discover who they are and who they can become.

The film explores the message of finding courage to journey to the unknown and how love comes with learning to let go.

I rate this film 4 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as well as adults. It opens in theaters February 22, 2019 so look for it

Reviewed by Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SESAME STREET: CELEBRATE FAMILY
SESAME STREET: CELEBRATE FAMILY - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Celebrate your family with this fun-fest of five family stories from Sesame Street! First, Abby's family has dinner at Elmo's house, where Abby learns that different families can have fun working together to make a meal. Then, Cookie Monster realizes he's forgotten a gift for his mommy for Mother's Day what should he do? For Father's Day, Rosita wants to make a video for her dad, but she needs some help from her friends. Next we meet Rudy, Abby's new stepbrother! And finally, Hooper's Store is throwing a special party for kids and their grandparents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This delightful DVD carries the Sesame Street legacy of learning and fun, mixed with new characters, updated theme song elements and scenery. The various segments included here celebrate family, including Mother's and Father's Day and introduces one of the main character's new stepbrother.

The storylines have meaning and there is nothing threatening about them. One can rely on Sesame Street for great live action cinematography, great characters and thoughtful stories. I always enjoy the uniqueness of the Muppet costumes along with the Sesame Street set. The characters bright colors stand out and help hold the attention of younger viewers.

As to the characters in this show, I like seeing the older characters along with some new ones. We see Oscar, Elmo, and Abby meeting and learning about new human fraternal twin siblings.

Another favorite part for me is the segments where they sing about different types of families. In one segment, the human twin siblings argue over music until they find common ground with jazz. That's fun!

Sesame Street excels at presenting humor in their sketches, effectively making kids and older viewers laugh along. I enjoy that this DVD celebrates all different aspects of family. It is geared primarily for young children and they will benefit by learning about sibling rivalry and other aspects of family that may be unfamiliar to them.

There are no unsavory aspects to this show. Sesame Street has a long-standing reputation, since 1969 of creating conscientious programming for preschoolers and this DVD is reliably thoughtful, educational and fun. The DVD is 140 minutes in length and can easily be enjoyed by watching it in segments. I truly enjoyed it and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 2 to 5, as well as adults. It is available now on DVD, so look for it.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love each episode of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family, because the characters are so colorful and cute. Each episode has an abundance of vibrant energy and many great lessons for families. This DVD is a great place to learn about the importance of family.

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family has five parts covering different topics with all of the different Sesame Street characters. The stories include Abby and her stepfamily visiting Elmo for a fun "father/kids' night" learning about the different things families do together. We get to see the challenges that Cookie Monster has trying to make something for his mom on Mother's Day. He just likes to gobble everything up because it reminds him of cookies (surprise!). For Father's Day, Rosita makes something special for her dad since he's away from home. We also get to see a grandparent's party and learn about different grandparents such as Baby Bear's grandpa.

The main characters are, of course, Elmo, Abby, Rudy (Abby's step brother) and Rosita. The puppeteers are fabulous with all their actions and different voices. The songs are so stinking cute, catchy and easy to follow along with. My favorite part is when Cookie Monster eats the locket he planned to give to his mom because the picture reminded him of how they eat cookies together. You probably guessed that my favorite character is Cookie Monster. If so, you guessed right.

There are several positive messages throughout the DVD. My favorite is that family is so very important, and you should take time to celebrate with them. Family is important no matter what you do or how different yours is. These episodes also touch on ways to have self-control, acknowledge your differences and give love to your family and friends. They also show that it is okay to be nervous about meeting new people, and that you can still celebrate even if your special person isn't there. Each episode makes me want to celebrate family even more.

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is very kid friendly. It promotes positive social behavior and treating one another appropriately. There is no bad language and nothing risky or dangerous that children might imitate. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 11. Adults will also enjoy this this show. This DVD is available now, so look for it. I recommend it.

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The DVD Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is incredibly adorable! It is absolutely amazing to watch, focusing on positive messages that teach kids about family values. It also shares terrific lessons about kindness and many other uplifting messages. What I really love and appreciate is how each character highlights a different point of view that all relate back to friendship and family. This film is filled with catchy music, comedy, valuable lessons, and features funny and adorable characters.

The DVD is centered on five family stories from Sesame Street! The first adventure is about Abby and her families' dinner with Elmo's family. She discovers that not all families are the same; each has their own way of doing things. The second story involves Cookie Monster and Mother's Day. He is great at creating gifts, but always ends up devouring them. He finally is able to restrain himself from eating the cookies he gives his mom as a gift for Mother's Day. The next story is about Father's Day and how Rosita wants to make a special video for her father. In order to complete the video she needs help from her friends. Then there's a story about Abby and her new stepbrother Rudy! The last adventure shows happiness through a special celebration held for grandparents at Hopper's store.

The characters we see here include Elmo (Kevin Clash), Abby (Leslie Cadabby), Rudy, Rosita, Cookie Monster (David Rudman), Oscar (Caroll Spinney), Slimy, Prairie Dawn (Fran Brill), Elmo's Father (Bill Barretta) and Abby's Father. I love all the messages that are taught in the different episodes. Each gives cute and warm fuzzy feelings as it focuses and draws attention to the importance of family relationships, family support and having family right by your side.

My favorite moment on this DVD is when Elmo Face Times his grandparents. It is a simple gesture and form of communication, but their reaction of joy and happiness is priceless. It teaches us an important lesson that, even if distance separates us from family, there is always a way to keep in touch, especially in the world of modern technology.

I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11 and adults as well. This DVD is so adorable, with meaningful lessons and teachable moments. I'm sure that anyone that watches it will truly enjoy it! It is available now so look for it!

Reviewed by Nancy F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 140 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LEGO MOVIE 2, THE: THE SECOND PART
LEGO MOVIE 2, THE: THE SECOND PART - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - The citizens of Bricksburg face a dangerous new threat when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space start to wreck everything in their path. The battle to defeat the enemy and restore harmony to the LEGO universe takes Emmet, Lucy, Batman and the rest of their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds that test their courage and creativity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a superb follow-up to the original film that lives up to the years' worth of hype surrounding it. Vibrant voice talent, including new standouts, and quippy writing make for a cartoon genre-defying blast. Any fans of the LEGO franchise must check this out.

The movie follows five years since "everything was awesome," as the citizens of Bricksburg suffered irreparable damage from the forces of LEGO DUPLO invaders. Bricksburg descended into Apocolaypseburg, where the citizens brood. Luckily, Emmet (Chris Pratt) always retains hope, even when General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) captures many of his friends. This takes Emmet on a journey across multiple unexplored worlds, including a central DUPLO musical land, as the fate of the LEGO galaxy relies upon him.

The ensemble cast not only features one role from Chris Pratt as, of course Emmet, but also as Rex Dangervest. He continues to shine as Emmet, with the reluctant hero taken to deeper territories as his hope to regain his friends is tested. Rex Dangervest shines and is my favorite character, as he remains a charming presence and even mirrors many of Pratt's roles in Hollywood. His relevance to the plot also provides for some mind-bending revelations. Elizabeth Banks, as Lucy/Wyldstyle, continues in her heartfelt buddy dynamic with Emmet, as she even wants him to do something more intimidating. This proves for an interesting drive in his quest to find Lucy. New additions from Stephanie Beatriz and Tiffany Haddish are welcome ones, with their unique DUPLO builds taking the spotlight. In particular, Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi, shines with her malicious intent and deceitful musical numbers. Will Arnett, Allison Brie and Charlie Day return from the previous movie and continue their signature work, with all even having a moment to shine amid this gigantic cast.

Mike Mitchell spectacularly directs the movie with a great mastery of unconventional animation found within, that pans out beautifully. Also, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller return with a script that might even be funnier and more meta than the original. My favorite scene is the musical number between Batman and Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi that is just a true showcase of this series' unique sense of meta-commentary and humor. My problems with the movie do stem from the real world scenes. Even though the dynamics between siblings Finn (Jadon Sand) and Bianca (Brooklynn Prince) is a very touching and even humorous one, it just doesn't lead to much and feels tacked on, with the time gap seeming like something of an afterthought.

The message of this film is that everything will not always be awesome, but in times like those, we must always let people in and help others as much as we can. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on February 8, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

With all its clich�s, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is as original as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie! An intricately, well thought out plot steals the show along with jokes that hit my funny bone. The two types of animation, stop motion and CGI, are used at appropriate times, connecting the LEGO world and our world to merge reality with imagination.

Starting right where The LEGO Movie ended, the story follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) and his best friend, Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) who are now living in a post-apocalyptic world. When Lucy and his other friends, Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) and Benny (Charlie Day) are kidnapped by General Mayhem, Emmet must embark on a dangerous quest to save them and unravel an evil plot.

Chris Pratt voices two characters, Emmet and Rex, who are disparate characters. Emmet is innocent and kind while Rex is more hardened and a typical action hero. It is evident that Chris Pratt voices Rex because of Chris Pratt's experience in the role of the action hero, but the way that he is able to contrast that with the sweetness of Emmet is commendable. Tiffany Haddish has an abundance of personality in her voice that is necessary for her character, Queen Watevra Wa'nabi. The uniqueness of her voice is key in helping understand who she is. Her character has an ability to change shape, preventing us from viewing who she really is, so her voice tells us the most about her personality.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is surprisingly a bit of a musical, with original songs. Ironically, my favorite song is actually in the end credits, although it is hard to pick a favorite. Each songs' lyrics are comedic and manage to have very catchy beats. By the time I finished watching the film, "The Catchy Song" was stuck in my head all day, but I honestly did not mind. It might even be my favorite soundtrack from a movie.

The message of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is to never change who you are. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, because the jokes are suited for all ages and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Be sure to check out The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part when it opens in theaters on February 8, 2019.

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

The LEGO Movie: The Second Part is fascinating and I loved that everything is still awesome! It's dynamic, colorful and funny. While watching this film I saw how cool all the little LEGO figures look, because the animation is so well done that they look like they're really moving and the amount of detail this film is incredible.

This movie picks up where the first LEGO Movie ends and adds new exciting scenes. This film is about our hero Emmet (Chris Pratt) and his friend Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) battling in outer space. The Duplox LEGO blocks attack the regular LEGO world, specifically the citizens of Bricksburgh. Everyone tells Emmet he should grow up, because he thinks everything is always awesome and LEGOS are facing a terrible menace. We meet a new character named General Mayhem (Stephany Beatriz) whose identity is unknown and whose voice is very intriguing. She takes all of Emmet's friends, including superhero Batman (Will Arnett) faraway for a strange ceremony. In this journey, they travel into galaxies and planets and they are part of several music episodes. While Emmet is sometimes insecure and Lucy is battle ready, they are forced into parallel adventures that lead them into a re-discovery of empathy and friendship.

I love how the movie uses all kinds of LEGO brands - LEGO Friends, regular and Duplox. There are many twists which make the movie a lot more interesting. At one point, you think the movie is over, but it's really not. There are lots of new, fun characters and the jokes appeal to both kids and grown-ups. I also love that you can never really guess what is going to happen next, because there is always a twist. All the characters have very distinctive personalities. The work of the voice actors is fantastic, as they are in the first one. And, there are a lot of references to classic films.

In this film, human participation seems even bigger than in the first one. I like those scenes, because it makes it more evident that the story is told from the LEGO's perspective. The rhythm is great and it is funny and touching at the same time. It's awesome how the producers have created a world made of little, and not so little bricks, that is so engaging for all audiences.

Another thing I love about this film is how they took songs from the original movie and made them completely different. And, you don't need to see the first movie to understand this one. This film proves that sequels can be awesome!

The message of this film is that we don't always need to grow up. Being mature does not mean that we lose our kindness, sweetness or imagination. I give this film 5 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and adults as well. The Lego Movie: The Second Part opens February 8, 2019 and I totally recommend it! Be sure to watch our YouTube Channel for my videotaped review of this one.

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

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part keeps everything pretty awesome. This sequel has a lot of what I loved about the first film, but isn't afraid to go in some pretty bizarre directions and explore new aspects of the characters.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part follows Emmet Brickowski. Years after attacks by the destructive Duplo, Emmet lives in the town of Apocalypseburg. He and his positive demeanor are still having trouble adjusting to the hardened wasteland of chaos and disarray. Emmet still has his friends by his side, but when they are taken by a masked figure, he searches for answers on how to get them back. Emmet teams up with the macho Rex Dangervest to bring his friends home from the clutches of an evil alien queen and save them from impending doom.

I really like the humor in this film. As with many of the other LEGO films, there are so many jokes coming at one time. Screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller take full advantage of the LEGO toy box at their disposal having Velma from Scooby Doo, Aquaman and Beetlejuice ALL show up in the same scene. This film takes on a lot of new characters and develops the world of this franchise, but above all LEGO Movie 2 is a blast.

I love all the characters. Rex Dangervest is a great character for Emmet to play off of. Emmet is a carefree do-gooder who always looks on the bright side of things and goes on an adventure with Rex, the hardcore adventurer. This is nowhere close to who Emmet is, but he wants to prove to his fellow LEGO people that he is capable of living in a wasteland. He learns that maybe the person he wants to be is more complicated than he thought.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18, due to some crude humor. I think adults will really like the countless pop culture references. The fact that this film can make me care so much about a bunch of plastic bricks is impressive. Seeing these characters back on screen is more than worth the price of admission. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters February 8, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! SEASON 3, VOLUME 1
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! SEASON 3, VOLUME 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Enjoy the first 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 how accidents and mistakes can lead to discovery, how the shape of an object impacts the way it bounces, and how changing the direction of a force can make heavier things easier to move. But the discoveries don't end there! We learn how mirrors reflect and bounce images, how to change the volume and pitch of a sound, and much, much more! So let's go, go, go, go on an adventure - we're flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this DVD, the Cat in the Hat, along with 6-year-old best friends Sally and Nick, Thing #1 and Thing #2 and Fish go on numerous adventures dealing with scientific discoveries. The separate stories include dealing with the phenomenon of shadows and how they are made, why a slide loses friction, why accidents can be a positive thing and why some magnets attract and others do the exact opposite. The stories are approximately 15 minutes each. The set consists of two discs and is approximately 220 minutes long.

The DVD consists of 20 episodes plus a bonus section with five snippets around two to three minutes each, all of which reinforce the scientific facts in the stories. Also available is a Spanish language sub-title option. The Cat in the Hat is voiced by well-known comedian Martin Short.

The segments are short enough to hold the attention of the target age group. Children will most likely want to see more than one story at a time. Thus, they can absorb science information in an exciting way. I like the separate adventures that deal with science facts. I could relate to the story about the children's slide because I recall being at a popular amusement park as a child, where one of the popular attractions was a gigantic slide. When I was younger, I was able to slide down gracefully. Years later, as a pre-teen, I was not able to slide down the slide without becoming stuck at some point because of the friction issues. This was probably because of the bumpiness in the aging attraction. After many complaints, it was dismantled. Another story segment I found interesting was the opposites magnets attracting. I enjoyed when they were streaming down the river in red and blue boats and have to match the color of the boat with the same color of the oncoming rock in order to keep from crashing into it.

I recommend this DVD for ages 5 to 9 and give it a 5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now, so check it out!

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To start off, I want to comment on how The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Season 3, Volume 1 and the rest of this series impacts children in a positive way due to the vocabulary and other lessons taught in each episode. This series is very enjoyable for kids to watch since the plots are well prepared in a way that kids can both understand and relate to. I didn't follow The Cat in the Hat when I was younger, but I feel it is very attracted to its target audience. The way the show is made, with all the colorful objects and the plots that draw you in is quite interesting.

The episodes on this DVD contain different stories and plots, but the format and the meaning are consistent. All the adventures have different plots and all the characters are inquisitive and enthusiastic about learning. This motivates kids' curiosity about the natural world and encourages them to follow the positive examples.

My favorite scene is at the end of when episode when The Cat in the Hat, his cat cousins, Nick, Sally, Fish and all his family gather together for a great musical finale where they are celebrated as true adventurers. I like this scene because it is a very creative with great songs and how the it is organized. It definitely gets children's attention in every way possible.

The important message that this show teaches is in encouraging kids' curiosity about the natural world. The series answers questions about natural science in a kid-friendly way. They learn about the seasons, animal behavior, habitats and more - learning to appreciate the wonder of exploration and discovery. The day and night concept, animals, plants, planets, gravity and a lot more are taught in fun ways and make kids catch it fast. I recommend this for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Cat in the Hat is superb! I love the Cat in the Hat because he makes me laugh with his made up words and his corny jokes. The first episode that I watched was about Sarah the Inventor. This series has been around since 2010, but every time I watch it, I see something new. I think it is for everyone. The family can learn lots of lessons from each show. Sarah is an inventor like me. I create masterpieces on canvas, but Sarah invented the paint fall. When Sally hits the paint fall, all the colors get mixed up and start forming a color that one of the characters needs for his mountain. This episode is called "Accidents Happen if You're Lucky." As we get older, we learn that sometimes the things we plan don't go the way we want them to, but can still have a good outcome. Different doesn't always mean better and that is something we should understand about people. All people do not look alike, but we are all important in our own ways.

The second episode is called "Play Ball." It is a funny story about Sally getting a new ball and a boy loses it when he throws it up and it gets caught in the tree branches. Cat then takes them to a really cool ball palace with lots and lots of cool balls. They try to find the right bouncy ball for Sally. Cat gives her a tool that helps her look closely to see if the balls bounce. They finally find a ball she likes. Sometimes, things can be replaced and sometimes they can't. One thing is for sure, we will always lose stuff, even people. We have friends and sometimes they might lose our belongings and we get mad. Sometimes friends do stuff to hurt our feelings. We have to decide if the object is more important than our friend or is our friend more important. Losing anything is not fun, but it happens.

The third episode is "Gravity Drop." This is my second favorite episode. It is about a boy getting his plane stuck in a tree. They go to a valley that allows you to have more or less gravity. It looks fun because they are floating through the air when there is less gravity. It reminds me of going on a rollercoaster and going up into the air and then getting dropped back down. This is like a learning video because it teaches the viewer about gravity.

The last episode, "Design Time" is my favorite of all. It is my favorite because Sally makes a vase for her mom and the boy makes a robot for his dad. Sally has trouble making the vase so Cat takes them to blueprintia where they learn how to create blueprints of what they want to make. They learn that they must have a plan in order to do something correctly. That is like life, too. You have to have a plan. You have to think before you do something or make something. If you want things to go right, plan it first. I give this DVD 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

By SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 220 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: REEF RESCUE
OCTONAUTS: REEF RESCUE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
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 a colorful coral reef to rescue the creatures that live there! Come along with Dashi as she saves a pair of surfing snails. And when poisonous sea snakes get stranded on a beach, Peso must figure out a way to get them back into the ocean. Enjoy these adventures and more with the Octonauts!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Octonauts are a group of anthropomorphic animals that go on maritime adventures which often include educational experiences with undersea creatures and locations. Despite how cutesy this series may look on the surface, it has a decent amount of depth in its premise, with the characters going on adventures that feel like something you might find in Star Trek. Though, this may be a little too slow and difficult for younger ones, this show is best enjoyed by kids ages 4 to 8. As for the adults watching along, it is certainly entertaining for them too. In my opinion, that is quite a compliment for a children's television program that is so very cutesy. Bottom line, I definitely recommend this and give it 5 out of 5 stars! I thoroughly enjoyed it while watching with my preschooler.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I surprisingly really enjoyed watching the loveable Octonauts: Reef Rescue. The character animations are very simple and that works for me. Also, they have the most adorable little personalities and vegetable helpers.

The stories on this DVD are about a polar bear, cat, a penguin and their friends that explore, rescue and protect underwater sea creatures and their habitats. In these episodes, we learn about baby sea turtles, sunfish, tiger sharks and more. There is always a conflict in every episode and they manage to come up with the cleverest ways to save the day.

The series stars voice-talent actors Ross Breen, Teresa Gallagher and Simon Greenall and is produced by Adam Idelson. I really like the animation and give props to the animator Willian Muir. He keeps it very simple so that all ages can enjoy watching it. It is not just the main characters that I enjoyed. Oh, no no no, I really enjoyed the animated sea creatures as well. A lot of these sea creatures have very hard textures to mimic, so they make it through very nicely, plus we get a little sneak peak of the actual animals themselves at the end and that's pretty cool.

This is the kind of where they make learning fun, which they succeed at. There is not really a moral, but I it definitely promotes a love of ocean life. This show is great at teaching kids marine life and their habitat. When I was younger, I was obsessed with animals of all sorts and I adored this show. Watching it again reminds me why I loved it so much! There are not a lot of other shows that are dedicated to teaching kids about ocean life, so that's a plus.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. Reviewed by Lukas L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - 'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the yard the Cat in the Hat and his guests partied hard. When the party was over, and the guests all departed one poor baby reindeer was left broken-hearted! Can the Cat in the Hat, Sally, Nick and the Fish help make come true little Ralph's Christmas wish? to be with his family, in far-off Freeze-Your-Knees. Will you help see him home? Come be our guests, please!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Looking for an original family fun DVD to watch with the younger kids during the Holiday Season? The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas is the one to watch This is a great addition to the other Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That shows. Like the others, it features Martin Short as the voice for the Cat, is colorfully animated, has very catchy music and is just fun to watch. It starts out at the Cat's big Christmas party with all his various creature friends, from elephants to a very little mouse. We learn that a caribou is the same as a reindeer. There is a delightful story about finding Ralph the Caribou and taking him home for Christmas. I highly recommend this for children ages 3 to 8, and their parents too. I give it 5 stars out of 5 for its terrific entertainment value. Reviewed by Denise A. B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say -

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas is filled with excitement, adventure and teamwork. The setting takes place on Christmas Eve and is based on the struggles of an inquisitive reindeer, Ralph, who needs to get home in time for Christmas. We travel through a town called Freeze Your Knees, a waterhole, and even Christmas Island where the crew faces lots of mysterious circumstances. There are creative moments of learning, laughter and problem solving. The climatic moments of this film teach us not to give up, no matter where we end up. The holiday season is most known for caring and sharing and this film focuses on that message. There are lots of surprise appearances from family members and animal friends of the Cat, Nick, and Sally. There are many moments of music the encourage you to sing along. Every character has a helpful role that contributes to the journey to save Christmas. Opportunities for education are surely part of this film. This is a great film to view with friends and family, especially during the holidays. The story has messages about being brave, working together and finding your way back home. I recommend it for ages 5 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Elle Stewart, KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE
SNOWMAN, THE - 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
LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Adventure and learning await 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 safe, friendly hometown and make childhood memories. On this DVD, watch Llama Llama at his first sleepover with friends! Learn how to share on a play date with Nelly Gnu! Discover what makes Llama Llama's red pajamas so lucky and so much more! Learn and play with Llama Llama and pals!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found this DVD quite appealing. I like Llama and the other characters, especially Mama Llama. As a mom, even though my son is now a teenager, the first episode on the DVD brought back memories about a young child not wanting to go to bed. I also like the catchy rhyming. It's a fun series of shows. There are eight different episodes on the DVD featuring Llama Llama and his mama and friends. All are engaging and have different storylines and are appropriate for young children and some may even teach children how to share.

I like the story lines because they are fun to watch. They are engaging with likable characters and perfect for preschoolers. The shows are all animated with bright colors and different scenes. I like that there are different types of stories and not all based on the same theme. The characters are unique because - well, how many cartoons feature llamas? I especially like Mama Llama because she is easy to relate to and is a good mom character. The costumes fit with the characters. Most of the scenes take place where in Llama and Mama's neighborhood and in their house. They may not be memorable per se, but they fit the story lines. The music sticks out, especially the theme song which is catchy. I can imagine young children singing along.

There is a message to the shows about being kind to others and learning how to share and be a friend. Young children will learn things such as being a friend and how to share. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5 years old. It is available on DVD now from NCircle Entertainment so look for it.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow, this series is so adorable and imaginative! This series is adorable and imaginative because the characters are so curious and always find a new adventure! Llama himself is very, very curious.

The series is about Llama, his mama (Mama Llama) and one of Llama's best friends, his favorite stuffed animal Fuzzy! In each episode, the characters face a problem and always seem to find a way to get around them! Llama loves his friends and cares about them a lot. Llama and his friends go through almost everything together. Llama and his friends are inseparable!

I like the way Noelle Wright wrote this series! It has a good plot, a very curious Llama which kids love and finds a way to put humor into the story. I also really like the intro music. It gets me in the mood! My favorite part of each episode is when Llama finds a problem because it gets me more into the story or scene.

This series is perfect for kids and has no bad actions or bad language. The message this show is trying to teach is that whenever there is a problem, you can get past it. Also, it reminds you that you can do anything if you put your mind to it!

I give this 4 out of 5 stars, because I like the lesson they are teaching. I wish there had more challenges for Llama and his friends though. I recommend this series for kids ages 2 to 18. It is available on DVD now, so look for it!

Reviewed by Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Are you ready to join the adventurous characters Llama Llama, Luna Giraffe, Nelly Gnu, Euclid the sheep, Gilroy Goat, Mama Llama and more? This kid- friendly, adventurous, funny and teachable series, created by Anna Dewdney, will have you laughing and giggling throughout most of the episodes. It is intriguing, attractive, hysterical and mirthful.

Adventure and learning awaits in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series. The stories follows Llama Llama and his five friends as they explore their friendly hometown and make childhood memories. They face different problems, but always find a way to get around them. You get to see Llama Llama's get-go sleep-over with three of his friends. You also get to watch Llama Llama as he learns to share at his play-date with Nelly Gnu, which involve his new car his grandparents give him.

My favorite part is when Llama Llama learns how to be separated from his adorable bear named Fuzzy Llama, who is his best friend and who he can't sleep without. I love this part because it's unquestionably relatable. Fun Fact: I also have my very own Fuzzy Llama, who I can't bear being separated from. When I'm away from home, it's my bear CJ and my blanket Cozy.

My favorite character is Mama Llama, because she is such a kind, peaceful and loving mother and definitely proves that throughout the series. This DVD's message teaches you valuable life experiences. It is fantastic for kids and has no bad actions or bad language.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 10. It is available January 29, 2019. So, look for it! By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Llama Llama Red Pajama, based on the book by Anna Dewdney is cute, relatable and playful. You get to meet llama llama's adorable friends such as the adventurous Nelly Ngu, the fashionable Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Genius sheep and the Bully who becomes a friend of Gilroy the Goat. I love how these friends become closer through service, sleepovers and playdates!

In the episode "Noisy Neighbor," Llama Llama and his friends take up community service where they have to clean up the yard of a scary neighbor. They are interrupted several times by the neighbor and can't finish their work. Eventually, they figure out who the scary neighbor really is. To find out who the neighbor is you've got to watch this DVD.

I have so many favorite parts, but if i had to pick one, it would be from the episode "Time to Share." Nelly Ngu accidentally rips off Llama Llama's favorite teddy bear's arm. Mama Llama saves the day by sewing the arm back on and their friendship is saved. In that moment, they realize that sharing is really caring. Luna the Giraffe is my favorite character. Besides the fact that she's so fashionable, she's also silly and crafty. In the episode "Lucky Pajama," Luna helps Llama Llama spread the luck with their friends. She does this by making accessories out of the red lucky pajamas. The music is lighthearted and made me feel like I wanted to be apart of their town. Llama Llama lives in a little peaceful town where he bike rides almost everywhere with Mama Llama. In this little town everyone knows each other.

There are many messages that I took away from this, but the most important is to be kind, practice patience and realize that your actions can effect others in a positive and negative way. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. This DVD is available January 29, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: CHRISTMAS TO THE MOON AND BACK
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: CHRISTMAS TO THE MOON AND BACK - SLR PRODUCTIONS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-7
Description - On a snow-covered Christmas Eve, Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends stumble across a little Brown Bear who is lost. Determined to return their young friend back to his mother in time for Christmas, the friends venture bravely into the unknown woods. Through this epic journey we are reminded that the greatest gift of Christmas is being with the ones you love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this short film and highly recommend it for kids and families. This is a heartwarming tale about Little Nutbrown Hare who wanders outside one night when he can't sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades Little Nutbrown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Nutbrown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Nutbrown Hare when no one believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally see her and believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Nutbrown Hare by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend's honor in doing so. The educational and social elements that make this film valuable emphasize the various ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to. The production values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them! I recommend this for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and charming. If you have a festival for preschool and early elementary kids, this will fit right in. Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is based on the British book series written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, published in 1994 in the UK and in 1995 in the US. The book was a ALA Notable Children's book and sold over 28 million copies worldwide!

Now, I have an adorable special guest who helped review the film with me, Little Field Mouse. I really love this film because it captures the Christmas spirit by showing us all the characters telling us what they think about Christmas. They show us that Christmas really means family. It's really about spending time with your family, not about giving gifts or any of that stuff. It's spending time with your Mom and Dad and anyone else you love. That's what I really respect about the film.

I really do cherish the story and also the animation in this film which is true to the original illustrations in the book. It really captures the adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare and his adventures. The show is produced by SLR Productions Australia (Suzanne Ryan) and Scrawl Studios and stars the voice of Ky Baldwin. They really capture all the original pictures from the book which look just like watercolors. I love them. It looks like a beautiful story that was drawn by a little kid. I really love that! The animation is something that everyone will truly enjoy.

I really love the characters in the story, especially my friend Little Field Mouse. Of course Little Nutbrown Hare is my favorite character. He's absolutely adorable and at the same time, kind and thoughtful. Just his love for everything around him makes me love him more. He's kind of fun and silly, but really he is just adorable.

The film is really suitable for preschoolers but also older kids, up to age 8 will enjoy this because of all the fun and silly stories. I even think tween and teens will like this show. Of course, adults can enjoy this as well and it makes a great show for families to enjoy during the holiday season. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 Magnificent Stars. It is available now on DVD so, look for it!

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 26 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CECIL
CECIL - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Cecil Stevens' name reveals his lisp so he changes it to "Michael Jordan." His whole school learns a lesson about acceptance after he and his friends start a business with the corrupt principal that sells celebrity names to kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has made my top five favorite kids' movies. This film is completely engaging and entertaining. There are common factors that challenge these school aged kids and force them to accept themselves in order to be accepted by their peers. There are, of course, such relatable issues that we all have experienced at least some point in our lives. Abby is a master at expressing her passions through the school newspaper. She may not offer the best advice to Cecil, the protagonist struggling with speech issues due to his lisp, but she does genuinely care for him and other classmates. There is also lots of comedy in the movie which is great for kids and adults to enjoy. There are excellent development skills offered such as strategic planning, friendship, self esteem and social acceptance. All the characters are diverse. The quality of the film is excellent and it flows nicely, even when live action is merged with awesome animation. It offers excellent visual appeal, great pace and very good sound quality. The genre is comedy which is appropriate. I like how it shows a cool way for a kid to dream through animation. There is also a super cool teacher that discusses educational topics in a friendly setting. I recommend this for ages 8 to 12 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars as it resolves all issues, kept me engaged as a viewer and, best of all, kept me laughing. Do watch this film. It has a bonus clip that leaves a positive impact with you.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is interesting and sometimes, quite unpredictable. The storyline follows the typical middle school route of becoming popular and having all the girls like you, but in a totally different way. The way they incorporate the moral of acceptance is interesting as well.

Cecil and his mother move in with his grandma because Cecil's mom needs to get away from his father. Cecil moves to a different school too. His grandma has a friend named Abby who goes to his new school and they become very close. One day Cecil tries to tell a group of boys that his name is Cecil, but he has a lisp and they make fun of him. Abby instructs him to never say his name again, so Cecil decides to change his name. Abby and Cecil think it is a great idea and start to sell names. Then, something weird happens to the principal, causing him to desperately want to take all the money he can and he forces Abby and Cecil to give him most of their profits.

The actors in this film are very good. They portray emotions well and smoothly deliver their lines. Having actors that are very professional makes the film enjoyable and realistic. The cast fit perfectly with the personalities of their characters. I love the originality of the characters and the moral of the film. Acceptance isn't something often taught in films.

There are clips in the film showing long segments of an educational cartoon that the teacher plays for the class. The animation in these segments is unique. It has an artistic style that I have never seen before with drawings of the film's characters. They are pretty realistic.

My favorite scene is when Cecil changes his name and makes the basketball team. I like this scene because it is the first scene where Cecil feels confident about himself. It made me happy to see him light up with delight. The actor playing him (this is not on imdb) portrays him with a show of confidence.

The moral of this story is about acceptance. From the beginning, Cecil is made fun of because of his name and the fact that he can't say it properly. Cecil is embarrassed and decides to change his name. It gives him some temporary happiness, but it backfires and brings him back to square one. Once he accepts himself, his name and agrees to go to speech therapy lessons, he becomes confident about himself. It also is easier for him to stop hiding behind a fake identity.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Kids in middle school can relate to the film and might learn something from the moral. It is available now so watch for it.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Let us set the stage. I love rock music. I love Queen. Live Aid has a distinct and personal memory for me. That said, this film's telling of the band's evolution from a bar band to a trans-fixing rock band with a legendary performance at Live Aid had me engrossed and, at times, weeping. The storytelling is intoxicating. Enough about me.

This film has been on a journey of its own. It was widely reported when director Bryan Singer was replaced before the film's production concluded. Yet, due to DGA (Directors Guild of America) rules, he is the named Director. My hat is off to Mr. Singer and his team for the casting of this film. The band members are believable. At times, I forgot I was watching actors. The story is about the life of Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek "Mr. Robot" TV). Mr. Malek brilliantly plays Freddie Mercury. The film's story follows Freddie Mercury's humble beginnings to living his dreams as the band develops and their unbelievable performance during the 1985 Live Aid concert. By the time the group hits the stage, we know Freddie Mercury has been diagnosed with AIDS and this became the last performance of his career. As I listened to the 20 minute set afforded each band in the line-up, I was in tears. I encourage you to please do your research to see who else shared the stage with at this unprecedented event. Given the large body of work from Queen, I heard the song selection differently, knowing what was happening to Freddie and his band mates. Trust me, I heard it differently live in 1985.

Another facet of the film involves Freddie's relationship with his family, the rise and demise of his career, his love affair with Mary (Lucy Boynton, Murder on the Orient Express), who received the majority of his estate when he died in 1991. His male lovers do not hold a candle to her, as this story goes.

Queen's original band members are so well portrayed in the film. You see they were truly a band, not just backup for a lead singer. Bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello, The Cure), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy, X-Men: Apocalypse) and guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee, "Jamestown" TV), discuss many nuances of a band from writing credits to performances. Brian May and Roger Taylor serve as music co-producers, which adds authentication to the story.

Bottom line - Queen is KING! The music should have a casting credit. See it. Enjoy the rock and roll fantasy. I dare you not to cry during the last 20 minutes. Long live rock and Queen!

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. You should know that there is alcohol and drug use, gay themes and discussions about AIDS, all of which are inappropriate for younger children. This film opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Before seeing this movie, I was mostly neutral about Queen. I did like their songs, but I was never really a fan. However this movie completely changed my perspective of the band. Even though I only knew the most famous songs, that doesn't matter. You don't need to be a fan to enjoy this film. It belongs to everyone, like Queen does.

The story follows Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), the lead singer of Queen, and his rise to fame, but also his fall from grace. It sounds really simple, but the other aspects of the movie, such as the writing and acting, really set it apart from other similar films.

First, the script is amazing. Kudos to the script writer, Anthony McCarten. There are so many scenes in this movie that are genuinely full of tension particularly scenes showing the band arguing and practically any scene with Paul Prenter (Allen Leech). The writing really helps deliver tension in the darker scenes and make the more uplifting scenes really motivating. The writing makes you feel Freddie's downward spiral. The scenes with Paul especially made me genuinely nervous. Because, you know he doesn't care about Freddie and he just wants to leech off of him. All you want is for Freddie to cut ties with Paul. Thankfully, this movie isn't a complete downer, as there are some genuinely heartwarming moments, especially in the beginning. Then, things get dark pretty quickly. It's nice seeing the band get together and hang out. You genuinely believe in their friendship.

This movie also shows Freddie dealing with real issues - his race, his sexuality and not feeling like a disappointment to his parents. Life is complicated, whether or not you are rich and famous. We also got to give special attention to Freddie's actor. Rami Malek really is Freddie Mercury! It is so spot on that Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury look almost identical. That's what I call amazing casting. While the rest of the cast is really great as well, Rami Malek completely steals the show.

This movie also excels at showing how destiny works in mysterious ways. For example, five minutes before Freddie asks to join to the band, the lead singer quits. I find that really interesting. To be honest, the only issue I have with this movie is the final scene. It's a recreation of the Live Aid performance Queen did, which seems fine at first. However, the scene goes on forever. It is a good scene and I get why they made it so long, but after awhile I kept wondering how much longer the scene was going to last. That's really my only issue with the film. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. Even if you're not a huge Queen fan, I think you'll enjoy this. It opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018 so look for it. By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This live-action, biographical or biopic film is electrifying! The music is absolutely incredible! Of course, it's the music from the British rock band Queen. I am familiar with the band's music; because my mom is a 80s rock fan and I grew up listening to this and other bands. I do like and know the songs and enjoyed summer camps at "School of Rock" playing music from those bands.

The actors are great. The actor that plays Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek looks exactly like the real Freddie Mercury. He mimics his stage movements and reflects on the artist who loved music and art in general. The rest of the actors' are flawless as well. At first, I didn't think I would like this film, but when I watched it, I absolutely fell in love with it. It is amazing. At least half the songs that are in this film I didn't even know were by Queen!

The story is narrated through Queen's hit songs. It starts showing how Mercury joined a band that played at bars and became one of the most important rock bands in the world, creating iconic music. The film focuses on Mercury's story and tells it with so much respect. Once he joins guitar player Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), they start composing songs. They got the attention of important music producers and record labels and became Queen. The film shows the creative process - how these songs were made, how the band members agree and disagree, go on tours and got tired of the routine of making albums and touring. At one point, we see Freddie Mercury becoming so popular and later kind of losing himself. But, the band members were a family and the movie shows those who always stood by his side as well as those who betrayed him. Freddie decided to go solo, but he reunites for the spectacular Live Aid Show in 1985 that was impeccably recreated.

The photography, production design and costumes reflect the look and feel of the 80s. They look exactly as they do in Queen's music videos and live shows. The editing mixes the drama of Mercury's life together with the songs really well and the camera work is remarkable. My favorite scenes are all those when music is involved, especially the operatic "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," both written by Mercury.

I watched the film under my mom's guidance. I don't recommend this for kids under 13. The film shows, in a very elegant way, Mercury's dark side and relationships in his life. There are no explicit scenes, but is definitively a movie for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I definitely give this film 5 out of 5 stars, because it is amazing and actors and filmmakers have worked really hard to interpret and recreate an important moment in music history. I truly love this film and definitely recommend it. You are not going to want to miss this extraordinary film. It opens nationwide in theaters November 2, 2018 so, check it out. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biographical film based on the life story of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the incredible British super-band Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody takes place when a young boy named Farrokh joins a college band which later becomes Queen, the band that revolutionized concerts with audience participation and became one of the biggest stadium bands in history. The movie mainly focuses on Freddie Mercury's relationship with the band, his family and other people around him and how he remained true to his unique personality.

I like how they used lots of clips from that time by inserting televised shots of important moments. I also enjoyed the use of montages to Queen's songs to show different things. The format never gets boring because there is a unique twist to each one. I especially enjoyed how they started the film by setting up for Live Aid, the most ambitious charity concert ever, and ended at Queen's mind-blowing performance of that same concert. I also like how they used the running joke of lateness to show power throughout the band's life.

The cinematography in the movie is wonderful. There are lots of shots showing the entire room which really helps you understand the locations. I particularly like the shots showing how low the ceiling is in the drummer's room. There are some very emotional shots of Freddie communicating with his girlfriend using lights in their opposing apartments.

My favorite scene is when they try to sell their new song, Bohemian Rhapsody, to Ray Foster. I like this scene because it shows how the members of Queen really didn't allow themselves to work the same way that other bands do. It shows that they wouldn't use a formula to write any of their songs. I also enjoyed the scene when the band writes Bohemian Rhapsody, because there are lots of good jokes in it. They use simple digital transition effects that wouldn't usually be in a professional movie to show how the band was different. These transition effects are also true to the 70s and 80s when the movie is set.

The moral of this film is to be yourself, even if you're different. This moral is important to the story. It influences every decision Freddie Mercury makes and is an important part of his legacy. Freddie Mercury was a unique individual, but by staying true to himself, he gained acceptance in the world and became an icon.

They use mostly Queen songs (of course) and they use them well. There are a lot of cuts in the music, but they aren't too noticeable. The songs that aren't by Queen are used mainly as music the characters are listening to in the background.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to for ages 13 through 18, as well as adults. I believe lots of adults will enjoy it, especially those who were teen and young adults during this time. This film opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018 so look for it. By Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Bohemian Rhapsody is a film that hits plenty of high notes, both figuratively and literally. It is a foot-stomping film showing how Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become a legend, in not only the rock and roll community but the music industry as a whole. The film does go deeper into Freddie Mercury's life, due to its PG-13 rating.

Bohemian Rhapsody follows Queen's journey to become the world's most famous band. It starts off showing Freddie as an airport baggage loader who aspires to be a musician. He has been following Smile, a local rock band. One night when their lead singer quits, he offers to sing for them. They blow him off, making fun of his teeth and saying how he will never be able to sing with those. But he proves them wrong by singing better than any of their past singers. Once on the road, Freddie has the idea of selling their van and recording a song. The record gets the attention of the legendary music producer John Reid, which gets them the break they need and immediately they start touring the USA, where they are a huge hit.

My favorite part of this film is definitely the Live Aid concert where we see Rami Malik's best performance as Freddie Mercury. Queen performs numerous songs including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." This scene is so convincing. It made me think it was a high definition version of the actual Live Aid concert.

This movie has lots of excellent talent in it. Most notably, Freddie Mercury is played by Remi Malek, who has starred in movies such as Night at the Museum and won an Emmy for his performance in IRobot. Lucy Boynton plays Mary Austin, Freddy's girl friend. She has notably appeared in Murder on the Orient Express and Sing Street.

The message of this film is that you shouldn't hide who you are and people should accept that. There is one F-bomb in the movie and several other swear words, also there is heavy drinking and partying. I recommend this film if you're a Queen fan or just looking for a great film about rock. I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18, as well as adults, and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS, SEASON 2
OCTONAUTS, SEASON 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves!

Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines immersive visuals and 'submersive' humor to transport young children into a world that is both real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner.

In this season set, encounter all types of creatures from the Great White Shark to Lionfish and more! The adventures don't end there! Embark on an Amazon adventure with the Octonauts as they travel down the Amazon River in search of a lost city and Kwazii's long lost grandfather, Calico Jack! So come aboard the Octopod for 24 exciting missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - It's the Octonauts to the rescue! Well, they actually do more than just rescue, but I really enjoyed the rescue. They also explore and protect and I can add another one - they educate young children. The characters are extremely likable and engaging. There are so many different adventures in this season's collection. I especially enjoyed the one about the Great White Shark which the group needed to rescue and at the same time had to be very careful so they didn't end up as the Great White Shark's lunch! The underwater scenes are fun to watch. The dialogue is creative. I highly recommend for ages 3 through 7. One of my favorite things is how, at the end of each show, they give facts about sea animals such as the Great White Shark and Sea Snakes. I give this 4 stars out of 5 stars for its entertainment and educational aspects. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Octonauts: Season Two is a very cute children's television series animated in Ireland and voiced by British actors. The show is based on American-Canadian children's books by Meomi Design Inc., which make it ideal for young kids! The series is very entertaining and educational. It contains lots of information and if you love the ocean, I definitely recommend this series for you.

You don't need to watch Season One to understand Season Two. From the very first episode, you are immersed in a colorful underworld, discovering the adventures of the very likable characters. The intrepid Octonauts travel in nautical space ships and the Octopod and will remind parents of Star Trek and the expeditions of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. I like that they work as a team and how they respect each other. Each character brings something different; they have different specialties and each one is unique.

My favorite characters are Peso, the penguin and Barnabas the polar bear captain which I found very classy. But, all six adventurers are fun to watch - Kawazii (the cat), Inkling (the Dumbo octopus), Shellington (the sea otter), Tweak (the rabbit), Dash (the dog) and Tunip (half animal, half vegetable). They are not only adorable, but it is easy to relate to them. They all have different accents and, by the sound of their voices, they are different ages too.

Everything is very interesting in this show. Each episode follows a different mission where you learn fascinating information about the ocean and marine life in a very fun manner. Each episode is based on one particular sea creature or animal and the Octonauts not only explore the ocean but also protect their habitat. The technology in the series is imaginary, but the creatures are based on real ones.

The show's color palette is beautiful with lots of light blues and greens. It's quite refreshing and calms you down, which I think is ideal for little ones. I really like the animation, especially the graphic transitions at the end of each episode as it gives a recap (Creature Reports) to the episode and additional information about each animal. Each episode is also focused on a particular conflict or problem, but you can enjoy them individually since there's no sequence between them.

Season Two comes with two discs, with 12 episodes each and 12 Creature Reports, which are music videos about the animals featured in that episode. This gives a nice recap on that segment. The message series is "explore, rescue, protect." There's a whole ocean out there to discover, but we have to care and preserve our nature for future generations and ourselves.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, but parents watching with their little ones will enjoy as well. It's available on DVD now, so look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

In this animated deep-sea adventure series, Captain Barnacles and his group of explorers roam the oceans in search of finding a creature that needs help. The Octopod is home to Kwazii, Shellington, Dashi, Captain Barnacles and Tweak. Throughout this season 2 collection, the Octonauts save many sea creatures including sharks, manatees, bowhead whales and many more.

This show is great for any kid over the age of 3. It's a wonderful way to learn about different types of sea animals. One episode starts with the Octonauts finding a sea animal needing help and, as the episode continues, the problem is solved. As they solve problems throughout each episode, we learn lots of information about the creature they save.

This really is a terrific show. It is well produced with excellent and colorful animation, has great informative content and it's fun! I recommend this for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's available now on DVD so look for it. Reviewed by Cimre C., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I like the Octonauts series because it teaches kids about sea creatures. I also like how cute the animation and the characters are.

This series is about a bunch of underwater explorers that research sea animals. It is based on the books by the author Meomi. The Octonauts are led by Captain Barnacles. The three main characters are Captain Barnacles, Peso and Kwasii. Every episode is a fun adventure of learning about sea animals such as the Great White Shark, Long Armed Squid, Lionfish and more!

The animation in this show is adorable. The animation looks just like the book version. I love how colorful everything is and appreciate that they put a pop of color in every scene. They use colors to show how vivid the ocean is.

The characters in Octonauts are adorable. My favorite is Kwasii because of how funny he is. I love his stories about his days as a pirate. I also love how much of a daredevil he is. It's very thrilling to see him barely getting away from a shark or fighting with Swordfish. I also love his accent because he truly does sound like a pirate. I also like Peso. I love how knowledgeable he is about sea animals. He loves to help sea creatures and I think that's great.

I'm glad that this show teaches children about sea animals. It's important that kids know about animals. A lot of kid shows do not teach kids about meaningful things, but this show does. It's refreshing to see that kids are being taught things that can help them in the future. It is so important that kids learn about the oceans and marine life. It's important to learn about the necessity of protecting the ocean and its creatures.

I give Octonauts: Season Two 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. This is available now on DVD so look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 286 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
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 - This is one of the absolutely cutest stories I have ever seen. I have read several of the short stories that spawned this movie and loved all of them. In this Little Wolf Adventure, his family is concerned that perhaps Little Wolf isn't as big, bad and tough as he should be. Their reaction to this is shipping him off to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad, whom is voiced perfectly by Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter film series). During his time at the college he continuously struggles with the ideas of being such a bad wolf, but at the same time he just wants to make his family proud. At one point his uncle gives him the terrible task of fetching some unsuspecting boy scouts to gobble up. Little Wolf sees all of these things that the scouts do and decides he wants to learn to do all of these amazing things himself. He may not be a bad wolf, but he sure is a big wolf now! I love the fact that this is a little story where we actively see a child decide who they want to be and being so proud of themselves. This is the kind of feel good story that every child needs to watch. This is great for ages 7 to 11 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being so cutely inspirational. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
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: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD



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