The KIDS FIRST! Endorsement category has 2063 titles

Below are records 1 - 50 of them

KIDS FIRST! has linked to external websites through which you may order many of the KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CUPCAKE GUYS, THE
CUPCAKE GUYS, THE - THE ROKU CHANNEL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - When former NFL teammates Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo decided to dip their toes into entrepreneurship, they knew they wanted to go about it differently. The former Pro Bowlers saw the hands-off, detached approach some athletes take in their investments and recognized they needed to be more attentive about the steps they took to ensure success. Prior to being cupcake guys, Griffin and Orakpo played for the Tennessee Titans as safety and linebacker respectively. It was in Tennessee that the men ate and fell in love with Gigi's cupcakes which was based in Nashville and was the largest cupcake franchise brand in the country. After finishing in the league, Griffin opened a franchise of Gigi's Cupcakes in Austin, alongside Orakpo and their longtime friend Bryan Hynson. The Cupcake Guys shows how our cast goes from Football stars to Cupcake Kings.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the Pro Bowl to the mixing bowl, Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo adjust to an unexpected chapter in their lives. As someone who is interested in baking and the process of owning a business, watching this series was an enlightening experience that sparked even more interest in these topics.

The Cupcake Guys is a creative new TV series with a combined focus on baking, business, football and family life. The Cupcake Guys follows Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo as they navigate the ups and downs of their business, Gigi's Cupcakes, with their close friend Bryan Hynson, after retirement from the NFL. Aside from focusing on cupcake-making and the business aspects of it, the series also shows the personal lives of each of the characters, including their relationships with family and friends. Each of the six episodes has a primary business focus and a primary personal focus for the three main characters. This provides a good balance and generally kept me engaged.

This TV series is so much fun and perfect for a family binge-night. The Cupcake Guys has consistently interesting storylines, with some being geared towards adults; some towards teens; and some towards kids. This is accomplished by including elements of humor for all ages and conflicts that everyone can relate to. For example, Michael Griffin's daughter, Mya, wants to play football at her school but worries a bit about how the boys on the team might react with her being the quarterback and only girl on the team. Many kids are probably able to relate to this in some way, whether it be the aspect of youth sports or feeling alone within a group of people. With all of this being said, the series can be a bit slow moving at times, with the same point getting too much screen time. However, The Cupcake Guys is still entertaining and I would be very interested in a second season. One of the best parts is when they show the actual making of the cupcakes and how the business works behind the scenes. As someone who is interested in baking and the process of owning a business, watching this series was an enlightening experience that sparked even more interest in these topics.

The Cupcake Guys has many important messages that address various business and family conflicts. The series focuses on teamwork and cooperation. However, with many different workers, there are often disagreements about business opportunities or personal situations. The Cupcake Guys also emphasizes equality among races and genders and highlights the importance of parents maintaining an even distribution of time spent on business and time spent with family. There is some very minor inappropriate language.

I give The Cupcake Guys 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can stream The Cupcake Guys on the Roku channel for free beginning January 18, 2023.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING
MISSING - STAGE 6 FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - From the minds behind Searching comes Missing, a thrilling roller-coaster mystery that makes you wonder how well you know those closest to you. When her mother disappears while on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend, June's search for answers is hindered by international red tape. Stuck thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, June creatively uses all the latest technology at her fingertips to try and find her before it's too late. But as she digs deeper, her digital sleuthing raises more questions than answers...and when June unravels secrets about her mom, she discovers that she never really knew her at all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing is absolutely breathtaking. There are many suspense films, but the way this one is made is so new and different. It's a new era of filmmaking because we never see a real shot; it all takes place on a computer.

The storyline follows Junes' (Storm Reid) mom, Grace (Nia Long) who goes on a trip to Colombia and mysteriously goes missing.

This film has a lot of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat, plus I cried because there is a very touching mother and daughter relationship.

This film will most likely become a fan favorite because it has a really good cast and the story line is amazing. I saw some of them coming but I was still shocked at things that happen. It is also super funny. There is a lot of Gen Z slang and different inside jokes that Gen Zers understand. The best part is how the characters look and act in their respective ways. We see a side of different people but we really don't know if it's really them or just an act until the end. There is also a lot of suspense and I got scared a lot. It's also crazy seeing how much Storm has grown up and it's really cool seeing her appear in more mature and darker roles. She is a great actress who is not afraid to take risks.

The message of this film is that everyone can know absolutely everything about you from the internet so really look at what you say and post. This movie definitely is on the more dangerous and darker side because it addresses kidnapping and there are parts where we see some hostages and some inappropriate behavior and words such as someone getting shot and other physical violence.

I give Missing 4.5/5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Missing comes out in theatres January 20, 2023.

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST!* Film Critic, age 13


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LIVING
LIVING - SONY CLASSICAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Living is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the eleventh hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Living illustrates that films are not just a source of entertainment. They can make us examine social awareness, consciousness and our values. This film tells a heartbreaking story about a bureaucrat who learns he has a terminal illness and is then galvanized to make a difference in his life and in those around him.

Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy) is a civil servant in 1950s London whose life is one of dull routine. Once he is notified that he has roughly six months remaining, he realizes that he no longer knows how to enjoy life and has become trapped in a meaningless existence. He attaches himself to others to observe life and thus makes changes from his friendship with his subordinate, Ms. Harris (Aimee Lou Wood) who notably adds spark to the movie and his life. He enjoys her appetite for life and remembers what it is to be alive. This realization motivates him to return to work and make important changes. His colleagues in the Public Works Department notice his dramatic change and he sets an example for his team to follow.

Living is a historical drama with splendid costuming and detailing in all the various sets used throughout the film. Every minute detail under director Oliver Hermanus provides the viewer immersion into this period piece. Costume designer Sandy Powell, along with the various artists who work on hair and make-up support the depth of this story. Bill Nighy gives a compelling performance as a man who resurrects his life and I particularly enjoyed his singing in this movie. The cast is very good in this film and it was a pleasure to watch him interact with all of the various actors as they portray various work stereotypes.

The film's message is that it is never too late to change the direction of your life and to influence those around you. Mr. Williams remembers not to push things under the rug and not to shy away from responsibility. It is an important message and reminder to us all to live life to the fullest. There are no scenes that younger viewers cannot watch, but the seriousness of the film and topic does not lend itself to younger viewers.

I give Living 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in select theaters January 17, 2023.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAND OF SECRET SUPERPOWERS: VEGETABLES
LAND OF SECRET SUPERPOWERS: VEGETABLES - HAVE IT ALL PRESS
Series: EBOOK, AGES 2-5
Description - The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is health and lifestyle expert Devin Alexander's first book for children. Geared towards toddlers and preschoolers, the delightfully illustrated book entices little ones to open their eyes (and their mouths) to the heroic possibilities of a myriad of delicious vegetables, setting them up to be healthy humans and also help set parents up for peace in the kitchen!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is an educational and charming children's book that instructs children about vegetables and their benefits while also making healthy eating relatable and fun. I love how each vegetable is used to introduce a new concept related to health. My favorite illustration is a cute carrot checking a kid's vision on an eye chart!

There are two pages dedicated to each vegetable - one a drawing, and one a description with a related cartoon. All 12 of the vegetables are uniquely associated with a different activity or action like tennis, swimming, and healing.

The illustrations are engaging and cater to kids who are learning to read and children who enjoy colorful images. The images are a great way to get kids interested in vegetables they might normally avoid. The language in the book is simple, but there are a few words that preschoolers may not understand, yet allows them to learn new vocabulary such as "fate," "sluggish," and "bask." As we all know, children's books with rhymes are just that much better, and the rhyming phrases in each stanza are fun and memorable. Each page has a different kid featured that your child may relate to. As a tennis lover, I would have enjoyed the beet playing tennis when I was younger. Children love naming inanimate objects, so the alliterative names for each of the vegetables are fun and catchy.

This book caters to children who are just learning to read and pronounce words as well as children who will enjoy a fun bedtime story. If parents want a cute and educational book to read to their kids (or if you kids refuse to eat vegetables) this is great!

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. It is available wherever books are sold.

By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is an engaging and colorful book that teaches toddlers and preschoolers that eating healthy can be fun!

Health and lifestyle expert Devin Alexander's first book for children, The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables, assigns each major vegetable a different persona. For example, Cayenne Carrot has such good vision that she hardly needs a flashlight at night. The rhyming style of writing is perfect for young audiences!

The illustrations by Michele Pederson add character and vibrancy to the storytelling by Alexander, and they gave me a shot of nostalgia -- as I read The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables, I remembered all the fun picture books I used to love! Alexander is a New York Times bestselling author, and part of that stems from her knowledge of her audience. Although this is her first book for children, she hits the mark perfectly. It is such a smart idea to make vegetables into little characters and give them superpowers, so toddlers and preschoolers will be interested!

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables obviously promotes eating healthy, but also asks "why" before doing so, and helps us understand how each vegetable we eat can help us.

( give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8.The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables releases January 24, 2023.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST!, age 16

The most appealing thing about the book The Land Of Secret Superpower is the hook, and how it makes me want to read more. I particularly enjoyed the part when they list the powers each vegetable gives you.

The book The Land Of Secret Superpowers is about the benefits of eating healthy. It starts with a group of kids who are friends with vegetables. The story is told by a narrator outside of the story who talks about the vegetables, and the things they do for you.

The structure of the book is awesome. It held my attention from start to end with all the interesting facts. It's an awesome way to encourage kids to eat healthy foods. The book, which gives vegetables different names to call them, explains how different vegetables benefit your body and mind. For example, Scarlet Sweet Potato gives kids more endurance which means lots more time to play outside. Beets make you jump high which is good for sports. Avocados make you move fast, which is good for things like track. Mushrooms can help improve your mood; so if you're sad, eat some. Spinach makes you super strong, so you can lift heavy stuff. All these great benefits you can get from eating vegetables are great, and there are even more benefits from lots of other vegetables, so make sure you eat your vegetables and eat healthy. The facts throughout the book are pretty accurate; all the "superpowers" they can give you are true. The vocabulary is good for the target age group. One special feature is the amount of color and all the various types. The book is laid out well for preschoolers and is easy to read.

The message of the book is to encourage kids to make healthier food choices. Many kids do not eat healthy foods these days, and this book shows the benefits of healthier foods.

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. It is available wherever books are sold.

By Gavin S., KIDS FIRST!, age 10

I really enjoyed the children's book, The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables. It's full of helpful, interesting information that can benefit your body and mind through your diet.

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is about the numerous foods, especially vegetables, that your body positively reacts to. Each vegetable targets a certain part of the body. For instance, tomatoes boost height, while spinach increases strength. Each kid incorporated has a story relating to a particular vegetable.

I love that this book incorporates rhyme and alliteration. This exposes children to new language styles that will be used in school and beyond. My favorite parts of the book are the drawings, which express how the kids in the book are having a blast with the help of vegetables. Along with entertaining imagery, this book provides important information about healthy food choices. Ever wondered why you felt energized after eating a certain type of food? You probably ate mushrooms! The way the author, Devin Alexander, balances all these key points in this children's book is very impressive and astonishing. Parents might benefit from reading this book too - less forcing your kid to eat vegetables. Devin Alexander is known for her culinary work; she is a celebrity chef and has been a New York Times bestselling cookbook author three times.

The message of this book is that vegetables can really make positive changes in your body, and give you your own "superpowers!" Knowing this, kids can be genuinely excited to eat a healthier diet. It's a fantastic, unique way to encourage kids to eat things that they may not normally want to.

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. It is available wherever books are sold online and in stores beginning January 24, 2023.

By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 16.99 Media: Book


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
MATILDA THE MUSICAL - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Matilda the Musical is full of nostalgia and catchy songs, giving a new generation the chance to experience Matilda and her magic. Besides, who doesn't enjoy being a little naughty sometimes?

Matilda the Musical is the retelling of the classic 1996 film, Matilda. Matilda (Alisha Weir) is a young girl with a brilliant mind and a vivid imagination. After meeting a kindhearted and loving teacher named Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch), Matilda finally gets to go to school and get relief from her neglectful parents. It isn't all sunshine and rainbows, however, as she soon finds herself fighting back against the merciless principal of the school, Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson.)

Matilda the Musical is a musical whose songs will stick in your head all day. The casting for this musical is perfect for the characters and the story, especially in the roles for Alisha Weir and Lashana Lynch. They are both able to convey the delicate and innocent personalities that are Matilda and Miss Honey. When they are on screen together, the only thing the audience thinks about is how they want everything to work out for them. Matilda and Miss Honey are the definition of lovable characters. The process of Matilda developing telekinesis seems somewhat rushed, though -- it is such an important factor to the original story, and it might feel random or as though it came out of nowhere for some. We don't see Matilda building up her skills, so that is rather abrupt. The choreography, by Ellen Kane, is intricate and advanced. One of the concluding songs, Revolting Children, led by Hortensia (Meesha Garbett) and Bruce (Charlie Hodson-Prior) has choreography that has already become a fan favorite. The moves--combined with the talented dancers--capture everyone's attention.

The message of Matilda the Musical is that if there is something in your life that you believe is detrimental, or not adding value, it's okay to move on. Matilda the Musical shows the audience that you don't have to feel bad for choosing something better for your life.

I give Matilda the Musical 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Matilda the Musical comes out on Netflix in the U.S. and in cinemas in Ireland and the U.K. on December 25, 2022. Make sure you check it out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC PRIME
SONIC PRIME - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-12
Description - It's the Sonic you know and love until an incredible twist thrusts Sonic into a new adventure featuring a reinvented cast and Sonic like you've never seen him before, where the fate of the multiverse rests in his gloved hands. Sonic's adventure is about more than a race to save the universe from the evil machinations of his longtime nemesis Dr. Eggman and his army of badnik robots, it's a race to save his friends, friends that he took for granted.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sonic Prime is an entertaining eight episode series with a lot of adventures, including traveling through different universes and meeting different versions of Sonic's friends. If you are a Sonic the Hedgehog fan or are looking for an enjoyable show to watch, check this out.

This series is about Sonic (Deven Mack Jr.), Tails (Ashleigh Ball), Amy Rose (Shannon Chan-Kent) and Knuckles (Adam Nurada) as they fight crime together to keep the town safe. As they are fighting Doctor Eggman (Brian Drummond), Sonic accidentally gets sent to a new universe, one where no one talks and no one knows who Sonic is, even though Sonic knows everyone there. Even in the new universe, it is up to Sonic to keep a new city safe.

I like how in almost every episode Sonic ends up in a new universe, every one of which is different. There is a universe where there are cavemen; a universe where there are pirates; and more. My favorite episode is episode seven, "It Takes One to No Place," because it's the most entertaining episode, ending with a great cliffhanger leading to the next episode. It made me want to continue watching more episodes. Watch out because you might not want to stop! My favorite character is Sonic, because he learns from his mistakes and he perseveres. These are great characteristics for anyone to have and it's why Sonic succeeds so much. Also Sonic is a really funny character and I like that.

The message of Sonic Prime is that mistakes can be fixed; you just have to fix them the right way. In the beginning, Sonic makes the mistake of not listening to people around him and he ends up in a parallel universe. He has to work with what he gets along the way and he fights to make it back to his universe. This show is very kid-friendly.

I give Sonic Prime 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Sonic Prime is available now on Netflix. Be sure to check it out!

Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Video game fanatics, does Netflix have a treat for you. If you value nostalgia in the form of binge spree TV series, sit back and prepare to catch some as Sonic rings in this new adventure-filled, action-packed, family-fun animated series. It's back to the 90s with as Sonic and some of Sega's most memorable console characters returning in the new series Sonic Prime where they travel about multiple universes trying to protect their home.

Sonic Prime takes viewers on a thrilling ride as they watch Sonic (Deven Mack) and his friends' trusted companions warp in and out of new universes to protect their home from the iniquitous Dr. Eggman (Brian Drummond). Sonic must advance through the Shattervierse into new terrifying dimensions to locate pieces of the shard of the Paradox Crystal. Prepare to be astonished as Sonic encounters various versions of his friends and new enemies, including Tails (Ashleigh Ball), Knuckles (Adam Nurada), Big the Cat (Iam Hanlin, Amy Rose (Shannon Chan-Kent) and Rogue (Kamuzi Evans). Sonic is determined to gather all the missing shards, so Tails can put them together and save them.

This eight-episode arcade-inspired remake is "to the brim" with speed and action. Sonic is known for his incomparable speed, ability to curl into a ball and use himself as a weapon, and his lionhearted personality. This CGI animated series does not neglect to include these notable unforgettable qualities in every episode. There are some genuinely magical otherworldly moments in this series; one being the sound effects. Memorable moments such as Sonic traveling to new universes or collecting his golden rings are amplified by high-quality sound effects. Some mind-blowing action moments accommodate the nature of this series as well. This is a fast-paced series; the camera work and animation bring this production together in a delightful way.

Sonic Prime offers a message of resilience and friendship. This series depicts the dedication of friends and the power of unity and Sonic and his friends make a great effort to save their world and protect others. While this series makes your head spin faster than Sonic himself, some people may be disappointed by the ending. If you despise cliffhangers, brace yourself.

I give Sonic Prime 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus loyal Sonic fans. This animated series is designed with game lovers in mind. Sonic Prime releases on Netflix on December 15, 2022.

By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FANTASY FOOTBALL
FANTASY FOOTBALL - NICKELODEON ONLINE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - In this hilarious and heartwarming father-daughter sports fantasy, everything changes when Callie A. Coleman (Marsai Martin) discovers she can magically control her father, Bobby's (Omari Hardwick) performance on the football field. When Callie plays as her dad, a running back for the Atlanta Falcons, in EA SPORTS Madden NFL 23, Bobby is transformed from a fumblitis-plagued journeyman to a star running back bound for superstardom alongside his daughter and wife Keisha (Kelly Rowland). With the NFL Playoffs looming and the pressures of Callie's new commitment to her friends on the robotics team mounting, the two must forge ahead to keep the magic a secret as they juggle the highs and lows of their newfound success, all as they rediscover what it really means to be a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fantasy Football is a film that has the potential to become a favorite. Since American football is one of the most popular sports in the world, what could be better than to combine a seasoned cast with beloved sport in a new movie?

The storyline follows Bobby Coleman (Omari Hardwick), an NFL running back constantly hit with misfortune on the field. As his life fills with questions, he and his daughter Callie (Marsai Martin) argue and Callie's discovers she can control Bobby's playing through a video game. You have to watch the film to find out if Bobby is able to use this to his advantage, or if it creates more trouble for everyone.

Fantasy Football is a comical, family friendly movie. Bobby's big problem is that he cannot keep the football in his hands long enough to land himself a starting spot or make a positive impact on any team. Although actual NFL players may not be in the exact same circumstance as Bobby, this movie nicely represents what their real experiences may be like. For me, it was fascinating to see what the life of a professional athlete might look like. The actors express multiple emotions, and their ability to drop hilarious lines and make faces that catch the audience's attention is what makes this so much fun. The dynamics and banter between Bobby and Anderson (Rome Flynn) helps carry the movie, and make it one that I would watch more than once. Led by Sekinah Brown, the costume designs display dedication and attention to detail. The uniforms that Bobby and the players wear look identical to actual Atlanta Falcons' uniforms.

The message of Fantasy Football is that nothing worth having comes easy. Bobby has had the worst luck in the NFL, after not breaking the rushing record, but all of his struggles become worth it when he finally gets his opportunity to shine.

I give Fantasy Football 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Fantasy Football is available now on Paramount+. Make sure you check this out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE FOOT 3
LITTLE FOOT 3 - WOW NOW ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATUREM, AGES 5-8
Description - Say it isn't so! Little Foot has a foot odor problem! Will King Arthur defeat Little Foot's crawly, stinky, creepy foot cooties just in time for the Yeti Snow Party? Join the adventure and find out in Little Foot 3!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found Little Foot 3 entertaining, especially for its target age. It is a funny and heartfelt story about a Yeti named Little Foot who has a foot odor problem. He embarks on a journey to cure it in time for the Yeti Snow Party. This film is all about how you should never give up. I really enjoyed the animation of this film and the vibrant colors for the characters. It is amazing that the film's 14 voices are all made by five voice actors. I give Little Foot 3 - 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. It releases on DVD and VOD December 6, 2022. By Elizabeth V., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Foot 3 is a fun, family-friendly mystery - full of adventure and definitely grabs your attention.

Little Foot 3 follows Little Foot the Sasquatch who goes into space with his snowman friend. While he's there, he visits Santa, who reveals to him that he's suffering from something called shadow toes. This is when your feet have a terrible odor, making you, and every room you enter smell. Throughout the film we follow Little Foot as he undertakes a journey to end his shadow toes.

Something that I really enjoy about the movie is its adventurous storyline. Little Foot's expedition is a constant process. He is always meeting fun new characters, some of which are helpful, and some -- not so much. Either way, it's entertaining to see Little Foot interact with all these different personalities. Additionally, the picture quality stands out. All the colors are very vibrant and fun. However, I will say that the audio track isn't always in synch with the characters' lip movement. At times it's very noticeable and can be quite distracting. This takes away from enjoying the film, because viewers are distracted. Lastly the storyline has a lot of creativity. They take already well-established characters like Snow White and Santa Claus, and put their own twist on them, by giving them different personalities or traits.

The message of the film is to never lose hope in finding a solution.

Little Foot 3 gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 8. You can watch Little Foot 3 on DVD and VOD beginning December 6, 2022.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Little Foot 3 is one that I think younger kids would enjoy. The storyline is very unique, maybe a little repetitive. However, it is a funny story with many different and diverse characters.

This storyline is about a Yeti named Little Foot (Simon Hill) who has a foot odor problem. He treks all over the galaxy in search of King Arthur (Kelsey Painter) who can cure his sickness. He needs his foot to be odor free for the Yeti Snow Party. On his way he meets many characters in faraway parts of the galaxy including Santa (KJ Schrock) and Mr. Fox (John Thompson) from Robin Hood. It is a standalone sequel to Little Foot 1 and 2.

Little Foot 3 has a very impressive cast of voice actors. One thing that is so amazing is that there are only five voice actors, yet there are 14 voice parts! However, until I watched the credits I had no idea some actors voice multiple characters. The storyline is quite repetitive; every scene mostly involves Little Foot meeting someone and finding out where King Arthur is. There is one character that simply made me laugh every time -- Misty the Snowman; he never speaks and only makes sounds. Yet somehow Little Foot understands every sound he makes. The animation style is very unique; it uses a blurred background and the animated characters have very big heads.

The message of this film is to never give up and keep on searching as you may find what you are looking for.

Little Foot 3 gets 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8, plus adults. Little Foot 3 releases on DVD and VOD December 6 2022.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ELVIS THE PIG
ELVIS THE PIG - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Description - A young girl learns she may have to sell her beloved pet pig Elvis to a local farmer to save the family farm. Unbeknownst to her, the farmer is planning a pig roast and not a forever home. The whole family bands together to save Elvis, uniting to reclaim their farm, proving that love is worth more than money.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Elvis the Pig has a wonderful message and gives a child plenty of issues they can relate to. The story is well written and delivered.

The story follows a family that has to move from their farm to the city due to financial stress and a young girl's beloved pet, Elvis the pig, has to be left behind. The farmer who buys the pig only wants it for food. With sheer determination, the girl tries to save Elvis from that terrible fate, and it motivates her whole family to join her adventure, ultimately proving that family relationships are worth more than anything. I found Elvis the Pig appealing in many ways and the message is evergreen. A favorite scene is the one at the market scene when Elvis hears the air horn and rushes towards it, wreaking havoc on the market, which is quite comedic. The ending is also very funny when the two antagonists are in the pile of waste. There are some scenes that are less than appealing, such as the negotiation of moving to the city and when the two antagonists first show up to buy the pig for food. It is very atypical for introducing villains.

The structure of the story is divided into very simple pieces -- girl gets the news of their move; she tries to convince her father to take Elvis with them; she takes matters into her own hands; finally, everyone joins in and, with their help she accomplishes her goal. The characters are well developed, especially the father as he changes from moving to the city and back to the farm, in spite of the hardships he has to deal with. I can understand the father, as the head of the household, does what he does. The young girl is the heroine of the story, as she remains undeterred in reaching her goal of saving Elvis. We are empathetic with her as it's hard to say goodbye to a pet or anything we've been attached to for a long time. The locations are very realistic, from farm to city. The easy-to-follow storyline is very suitable for its target audience, including the humor. In a good way, it emphasizes the importance of family bonding and the importance of determination. Although the father wants to move to the city, in the end he decides to stay at the farm for his daughter.

The message of the film is that sometimes, family love is more than anything.

I give Elvis the Pig 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It releases on DVD and VOD December 6, 2022

By Tom W., KIDS FIRST! .
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How far would you go to save something you love? Many people have been faced with a dilemma such as this and, no matter how old you are, your love for something can run so deep that your heart involuntarily leads the way. Elvis the Pig is a film that allows viewers to appreciate the concept of deep love for family, even if that member is not human.

This drama film is about a young girl named Riley (Aggie Bell) and her beloved pet pig, Elvis, who live a great life on the farm they love until the family is forced to sell their home due to financial hardship. Riley's life is soon turned upside down when she learns that her best friend Elvis will not be moving to the city with their family. A local farmer makes a deal with the family to give Elvis a good home but his intentions are deceitful as his real plan for Elvis is to host a pig roast with Riley's best friend as the main course. Riley and her older sister, Nylee (Camryn Macdonald) make it their mission to find their missing family member and reunite him at the farm.

What I really like most about this film is the dedication the family has for one another and their willingness to bond together when they need each other the most. Riley and Nylee don't appear to have a close sister bond, but when Elvis's life is in danger, Nylee is not going to let her sister's best friend fall victim to a horrible fate. The film is very relatable as many families have pets which seem to be the glue holding families together. Elvis the Pig is a bit slow to get going and some of the scenes tend to be drawn out, but overall the storyline is enjoyable and it is a wonderful family movie. The set location of the family farm with its variety of animals is a dream come true for many kids and the talking animals give the film a special touch.

You don't have to be a big animal lover to connect to this film's message. Elvis the Pig is about love, friendship and special bonds. Love runs deep, no matter if that love is between family, friends, or pets; many people will go to great lengths to protect those bonds. Elvis isn't your "usual" pet, but one thing is for certain, he has won the hearts of his family and their lives would not be the same without him in it.

I give Elvis the Pig 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Elvis the Pig releases on December 6, 2022 on DVD and video on demand.

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Elvis The Pig is such an exciting film; it keeps you on your toes and puts you in a good mood as you watch the show. Elvis' constant remarks lighten the mood of the film.

The film is about Elvis, a funny character with a good sense of humor that he portrays even in difficult moments. We witness quite a bizarre relationship between a young girl named Riley and Elvis the pig who are best friends. However, Riley's family struggles financially and has to sell their family farm and leave Elvis behind. Little does the family know that the new owner has plans to roasting a pig (Elvis), but this leads to new adventures and a better understanding between all the family members.

The theme of the film revolves around family and friendship. I enjoyed seeing the quality time that the family spends together and how they are able to put aside their differences and come together solve the issue at hand. The story is really beautiful and demonstrates how unity can help overcome our difficult moments. Elvis captured my attention from the start, especially with his humorous comments. He motivated me to continue watching the film. What really stands out in this film is how involved the animals are and how they are personified they are in communicating their thoughts. It gives you an insight of how you will imagine animals talking. I particularly enjoyed the voice of Elvis, by Ryan Coates, which is brilliantly done. From the beginning of the film, through the end, you are drawn to Elvis' comments.

The message assures kids that things always work out regardless of the situation you find yourself in. It also showcases the importance of family relationship. Lastly, it reminds you that "a man's best friend" doesn't only apply to dogs, but can be any pet.

I give Elvis The Pig 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It releases December 6, 2022 on DVD and VOD.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIFRST! Film Critic, age 16

Elvis The Pig is an incredible film, full of life lessons that will influence audiences. I loved this beautiful story from beginning to end.

The storyline follows a little girl named Riley (Aggie Bell) who is unsatisfied with moving to another city and being away from her best friend, little Elvis, a pig. Something wrong happen and she and her sister help to rescue the pig from the hands of two silly bad guys.

The story is well written. I especially enjoyed the characters and their development during the film. They are special. My favorite parts are when the bad guys appear. Their scenes are so funny, because every time they plan to do something bad, they fail in a funny way. I also like the part when the parents are watching old family videos and they are emotional. I was emotional too during those scenes. The scene transitions are good and everything happens naturally. I love everything in this film. Congratulations to the production team!

The film's message is that love is above everything and, with teamwork, we can do things easier.

I give Elvis The Pig 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film releases on DVD and VOD December 6, 2022.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DISENCHANTED
DISENCHANTED - DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - It's been fifteen years since Giselle and Robert wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city. They decide to move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life - unfortunately, it isn't the quick fix she hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe, who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn't been easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale, placing her family's future happiness in jeopardy. Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disenchanted is a magical combination of part musical, part fairy tale and part adventure. The acting, singing and animated segments make the film truly shine as a worthy sequel to Disney's beloved Enchanted.

Disenchanted follows Giselle (Amy Adams) and her family as they move from New York City to suburban Monroeville to find a new "happily ever after." However, they are met with many challenges, specifically Giselle's daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) has trouble fitting in at her new school. When Giselle makes a wish to try to solve all of their problems, it backfires, and they are left in a fairytale mess once again. Who knew that Malvina (Maya Rudolph) had the potential to be an evil queen? Will Andalasia disappear altogether? Or will Giselle find a way to save both worlds?

Featuring the entire original cast, Disenchanted is an excellent sequel. Although it includes all the same core pieces as Enchanted, it is more than a rewritten version. There's more music, with plenty of songs spread throughout the entire film. These upbeat and intense songs grabbed my attention; the ballads help tell the story and the softer pieces bring out the character's emotions. The dancing and animation help bring out the best in each song. One thing I noticed is that the songs are slightly repetitive. Sometimes, the song you're listening to sounds very similar to one you heard just a few minutes ago, which detracts from the musical aspect a bit. However, the singers are very talented. Specifically, Idina Menzel brings a lot to the table whenever she sings. The acting is also incredible. Amy Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino and Patrick Dempsey (as Giselle's husband, Robert) create a relatable family dynamic. The switching back and forth, between animation and live-action, is so cool. It makes the distinction clear between Andalasia and Monroeville, which could otherwise be a very confusing transition.

The message of Disenchanted is that you should be careful what you wish for. It may seem like there are so many problems that need to be fixed, but sometimes people need to solve them for themselves. Giselle wants to help Morgan fit into her new home, but her wanting to do that is unclear and causes more problems than before. Disenchanted also emphasizes the importance of family. Note that there is some very minor inappropriate language and some violence.

I give Disenchanted 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. You can watch Disenchanted on Disney+ now.


Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
COLOR QUEST AR
COLOR QUEST AR - ST. BEDE SCHOOL
Series: APP, AGES 5-8
Description - Color, learn, and discover fun characters that come to life in your exciting augmented reality quest for health! Stayhealthy's new educational app includes fruits, vegetables, and a magical look into the human body with engaging new characters every month! Color your favorite character, press the magic button, read a fun health fact, and see your new creation come to life and dance in front of you in augmented reality (AR). Keep on coloring to unlock all the characters to win badges, play bonus games, and become the ultimate Magic Health Master in this coloring adventure!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Color Quest AR is a fantastic, interactive new app that I highly recommend. It is the ultimate creativity app, with a combination of digital drawing, coloring and augmented reality features that blew my mind.

In Color Quest AR, you can choose one of three fun characters available for free, or purchase any of other themed characters for a fee. Then, you proceed to the coloring screen, where you choose between various colors and brush sizes and use your finger to color in your chosen character. Once satisfied with your character, head on over to the augmented reality feature, where you can look through the screen and watch your personalized character come to life in front of you, no matter where you are!

There are apps for digital coloring; there are apps for augmented reality. But this one-of-a-kind app allows you to pursue both interests in a single app. My jaw dropped when I first saw my personally-colored character appear in front of me. I am so impressed by how real it truly seems. Your character just pops up in front of you, wherever you are. Another detail of the app that stands out is the wide variety of color options. There are six main colors, with five shades within each color option. In addition, there are four brush sizes. This allows you to color smaller areas without going outside of the lines, and use the brush more efficiently in larger areas. Even the eraser feature has different thicknesses, making it easier to make deletions. Color Quest AR has so many additional features that I can't even begin to name them all. An important one to call attention to is the educational aspect. While the character is being loaded into augmented reality, a health fact pops up. These involve animals, parts of the body and many fun facts. This helps hold your attention during the time the loading circle spins. There is also a music video with the app's characters, and background music options to immerse yourself in. If you look in the menu, you can even click to find a playlist that'll spark your creativity and motivate you as well.

Color Quest AR excels at developing creativity, problem-solving skills and patience while also being educational and tons of fun. It is totally child-safe. One thing I will note is that there are optional in-app purchases. While the app can still be enjoyed and used without these paid features, be sure that your child doesn't accidentally buy something without permission.

I give Color Quest AR 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Color Quest AR is available now anywhere you get your apps.


Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: App


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIRITED
SPIRITED - APPLE TV
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Each Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) selects one dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits. But this season, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) turns the tables on his ghostly host until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future. For the first time, "A Christmas Carol" is told from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical twist on the classic Dickens tale. From Director Sean Anders ("Daddy's Home," "Instant Family"), written by Sean Anders and John Morris, with original songs by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ("La La Land") and production numbers choreographed by Chloe Arnold ("The Late Late Show with James Corden"), this modern retelling is a sweet and spicy holiday treat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Spirited is a fresh new take on Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol, paired with beautiful visuals and comedy. The film is incredibly entertaining, but misses the mark a bit in regards to the music and storyline.

Spirited follows the story of the Spirit of Christmas Present (Will Ferrel), on his mission to reform Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) and his heartless ways. With the help of Past (Sunita Mani) and Future (Tracy Morgan), the spirits hatch a plan to teach Briggs about the error of his ways. Through a series of events, Briggs turns the tables on the Spirit of Christmas Present and together they re-examine their past in order to live the lives they always dreamed of.

Spirited is a fun and upbeat film, but the music leaves much to be desired. Ferrel and Reynolds are excellent comedic actors and every scene that they are in together is super entertaining and funny. Although they are great actors, neither of them is particularly musically inclined, so unfortunately, many of their songs and musical numbers fall flat. However, one musical number that I really enjoyed was the "Good Afternoon" scene as it is filled with great choreography and energy, which makes it really fun to watch. The concept of the film is so clever and refreshing, but its downfall is that the plot has a lot of holes in it. There are a lot of plot-lines that are introduced, but never followed up on, which leaves the audience hanging with questions regarding the storyline. Plus, the consequences that Clint Briggs has to his "cancel culture" concept lack impact. Spirited has a lot of jokes relating to current pop culture and news, which makes it lose its timeless quality, as many of the jokes may be funny today but will not make sense for future viewers. It also has a lot of curse words and adult jokes, which makes it a little less family-friendly. The visuals in the film are all beautiful, especially in the scenes with the Spirits and their office and also in the "transitions."

Spirited addresses the negative impacts of social media and finding yourself. The scenes regarding social media and cyberbullying are very impactful, especially for teenagers and younger audiences. Parents should be aware that the film has a lot of curse words and adult jokes, which may be inappropriate for younger viewers.

I give Spirited 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available now in select theaters and will be available on Apple TV+ beginning November 18, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DEVOTION
DEVOTION - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Devotion, an aerial war epic based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the inspirational true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots who helped turn the tide in the most brutal battle in the Korean War: Jesse Brown, the first Black aviator in Navy history and his fellow fighter pilot and friend, Tom Hudner. Their heroic sacrifices and enduring friendship would ultimately make them the Navy's most celebrated wingmen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Devotion is an epically inspirational, heartbreaking and high stakes, action-packed war movie based on actual events. It's an emotional roller coaster that will fly you high into the sky and then crash you down into the ground.

Devotion is based on the inspiring true story of the first African American aviator in the U.S. Navy, Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and his friendship with another aviator, Tom Hudner (Glen Powell). It follows them as they help change the course of the Korean War.

This movie is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, written by Adam Makos. The cinematography is profoundly marvelous. The scenes of the pilots flying are intense as you feel the pilots' bravery and the dangerous situations they find themselves in. I highly recommend watching this movie on the biggest screen possible to appreciate the film's full effects. This movie takes place in the 1950s and the sets, locations, props and costumes perfectly capture the era, making you feel as if you are transported back in time. Jonathan Majors (Jesse), Glen Powell (Tom) and Christina Jackson (Daisy) have the best performances. Jonathan Majors' embodiment of Jesse is truly so realistic and believable. Glen Powell seems to have a knack for playing airmen, and once again executes his role wonderfully. Christina Jackson is such a strong mother and wife in this movie, and she and Jonathan Majors have so much chemistry that they really create a real family dynamic.

The message of Devotion is to never give up, even when the odds are against you. This movie has violence, war and death, as well as tobacco and alcohol consumption. It also has profanity.

I give Devotion 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out in theaters November 23, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STRANGE WORLD
STRANGE WORLD - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Walt Disney Animation Studios' original action-packed adventure Strange World introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures. The voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Dennis Quaid as Searcher's larger-than-life explorer father, Jaeger; Jaboukie Young-White as Searcher's 16-year-old son, Ethan, who longs for adventure; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher's partner in all things; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, Avalonia's fearless leader who spearheads the exploration into the strange world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Strange World certainly is strange! This sci-fi adventure is full of surprises, highlights the dynamics of a modern family, and is filled with diverse characters and strong messages.

Strange World follows the Clades - Jaeger and Searcher - legendary explorers of the city of Avalonia who could tackle any challenge and adventure. However, when Jaeger goes on a mission and doesn't return, Searcher stops exploring the outside world and finds an energy source called "pando" that greatly affects Avalonia. But when pando suddenly starts dying, Searcher must go on an important mission to fix the problem and explore the untraveled and "strange" lands.

My favorite part about this movie is the production quality. The world building of the "strange world" is so detailed - it's phenomenal. The new and weird creatures that they discover look like they could be straight out of Dr. Seuss or Avatar, and they fit right in. All of the places they discover are so exotic. This movie also intentionally focuses on representing a diverse and inclusive set of characters and shows us what the world is actually like. My favorite voice performances are by Jake Gyllenhaal (Searcher), Gabrielle Union (Meridian) and Dennis Quaid (Jaeger). Jake Gyllenhaal is perfectly cast as Searcher, the protective and caring dad and husband. Gabrielle Union portrays her character, Meridian, as a wise and admirable role model. Dennis Quaid's voice really fits the big and booming Jaeger Clade. The first half of the storyline is strong. However, closer to the end, there is a big plot twist that younger kids may find confusing as it is a bit complex.

The message of the movie is to remind parents not to put too many job and profession expectations on their kids and allow them to make their own choices. It also has environmental messages about respecting and caring for the Earth and its resources.

I give Strange World 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. This movie releases in theaters on November 23, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SALVATORE: SHOEMAKER OF DREAMS
SALVATORE: SHOEMAKER OF DREAMS - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Salvatore: Shoemaker Of Dreams is a portrait of a man whose vision, passion, and craftsmanship made him "shoemaker to the stars," an architect of Hollywood magic, and an enduring cultural, fashion, and artistic influence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams is a striking documentary that's inspiring and innovative. It welcomes you into a creative world that shaped multiple aspects of life today.

Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams follows the life of Salvatore Ferragamo, the incredible shoemaker with insane intellectual talent. By the age of 16 he was off to America where his career exploded as he built a huge reputation in the film business. Although he provided shoes for some of the biggest icons in history, life wasn't always the easiest for him. However, Salvatore Ferragamo remains one of the most loving, caring and well-known shoemakers to this day.

I really enjoy the storyline of this film; it's not only extremely inspiring, but educational as well. It shows viewers how you can do anything that you put your mind to. I also appreciate the fact that it includes interviews with people who know Ferragamo and understand his culture. It really emphasizes the importance of his childhood and how that shaped him. Additionally, the structure of the film is really helpful. Using actual video clips from Ferragamo's life, plus close friends and family members that explain his history is a really nice feature. This allows us to view Ferragamo on a more personal level. Plus, the quality of the more dated clips still have great sound and picture quality, which gives it a modern feeling, while remaining authentic to the time period. I also enjoyed the soundtrack and background music. The music is subtle and really makes a difference. In most of the montages, there is light piano playing in the background which elevates the film and really sets the mood/tone.

The message of Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams is to always follow your heart, passions and dreams.

I give Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams in select theaters now.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHRISTMAS STORY CHRISTMAS, A
CHRISTMAS STORY CHRISTMAS, A - HBO MAX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Follows the now-adult Ralphie as he returns to the house on Cleveland Street to give his kids a magical Christmas like the one he had as a child, reconnecting with childhood friends, and reconciling the passing of his Old Man. Peter Billingsley returns to the role that has made kids of all ages anticipate Christmas morning like no other.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Christmas Story Christmas is the highly anticipated and long-awaited follow-up to the classic Christmas movie, A Christmas Story. It's full of new and old faces and, of course, plenty of hilarious scenes. This movie certainly gets you ready for the holiday season.

Peter Billingsley returns as Ralphie in A Christmas Story Christmas. He's back and all grown up, and tries to give his kids a magical Christmas, just like the ones he had when he was younger. But with an unexpected loss, he must do it by himself. Can he live up to his dad's standards and give his kids the perfect Christmas?

As the title suggests, this movie is the sequel to A Christmas Story, nearly 40 years in the making! It isn't necessary to watch the original movie to make sense of this one; however, there are references to the original movie that may be a bit confusing for those who haven't viewed it. Also, A Christmas Story is one of my favorite Christmas movies and is a joy to watch, so I do recommend it before watching this one if possible. One of my favorite parts of this movie is the fact that most of the original cast members play their same characters. Flick (Scott Schwartz), Schwartz (R.D. Robb), Randy (Ian Petrella), and even Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) all make an appearance. It is surreal (in a good way) to see what these former childhood actors now look like all grown up. I've never searched for their current appearances, so they are all a pleasant surprise. I also love how the sequel stays true to the original movie with all the sets, transitions and personalities of the characters. The narration is even similar to the first movie. Peter Billingsley, on top of just acting in this movie, also co-wrote and produced it. Kudos to him for all the work he did to bring us this movie. Speaking of some of the actors, my favorite performances are from Peter Billingsley (Ralphie), Julie Hagerty (Ralphie's mom) and Erinn Hayes (Sandy). Peter Billingsley keeps all his mannerisms and quirks from Ralphie even in his adult years, which makes this movie feel familiar and comedic. Julie Hagerty replaces Melinda Dillon as Ralphie's mom, and she fills her shoes so well. Erinn Hayes plays the newly introduced character Sandy and fits right in. She makes me feel as if she has been there forever because of the amusing interactions she has with other characters. The actors have so much chemistry, no doubt due to the fact that most of them have known each other for so long.

The primary message of A Christmas Story Christmas is that sometimes, it's the thought (and effort) that counts. This movie also deals with the loss of loved ones. There is some mild profanity and consumption of alcohol.

I give A Christmas Story Christmas 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Fans of original movie will enjoy this movie as well as those who are unfamiliar with the original. It comes on HBO Max November 17, 2022.

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

A Christmas Story is a must-watch and part of many families' holiday traditions. Holiday memes, ads, cards and messages are riddled with the film's iconic quotes and scenes (remember the LEG LAMP?). For diehard fans of this Christmas classic comes the long awaited sequel, full of the adventure and comedy like what made the first movie so memorable. Can Ralphie Parker honor his dad, create holiday magic and achieve his dream of becoming a writer - all before Christmas day? A Christmas Story Christmas is a hilarious and touching continuation of the life of the character we know and love which will pull at your heartstrings this festive season.

A Christmas Story Christmas follows a grown-up Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) as he tries to navigate the adult struggles of Christmas after his father passes. Ralphie and his family - his wife (Erinn Hayes), daughter (Julianna Layne) and son (River Drosche) head to Indiana from Chicago to console Ralphie's mother (Julie Hagerty) and spread some holiday cheer. What Ralphie doesn't know is that filling his late father's shoes is no small task. Frantically shopping for presents and buying the biggest tree imaginable, Ralphie tries to create the best Christmas for his family, all while trying to meet his Christmas writing deadline. Yuletide joy and Christmas spirit are ever present throughout this exciting film.

The true magic in this movie is in how sentimental and relatable it is for families who have lost a loved one, but still have the audience cackling with laughter. I don't think I have ever heard so many giggles in one theater. Layne, as Ralphie's young daughter, contributes many funny moments, displaying expert comedic timing, being sarcastic, adorable and relevant all at once - a huge feat for such a young actress. Another hilarious element of this film is the relationship between Ralphie's mother and his wife. These two actresses perfectly capture the beauty and awkwardness of in-laws. Their petty remarks had the audience rolling on the floor laughing. A Christmas Story Christmas is definitely a feel-good classic in the making.

The key message of this film is that when people show up for each other, there can be magic. Ralphie is only one hero of this story. Each Parker family member comes through in times of need, and that is what makes their Christmas so memorable and full of light. Without the support of family, such happiness and prosperity is far less likely.

I give A Christmas Story Christmas 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 18 to 18, plus adults. You can see A Christmas Story Christmas on HBO Max beginning November 17, 2022.

By Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PAY DAY, THE
PAY DAY, THE - VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Set in a post-pandemic world, The Pay Day follows a broke and frustrated IT technician (Kyla Frye) who is charged by a crime boss (Simon Callow) to embark on a one-woman heist to steal valuable data worth millions on the black market. As if the dangerous pitfalls of her mission weren't enough, the sting gets more complicated when a charming con artist (Sam Benjamin) interrupts her mission attempting to swipe the loot for himself.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A supremely well-shot entertainer, The Pay Day is a perfectly pleasant film for those looking for a heist film, even though there are some stilted dialogues and scenes that drag.

The film follows a frustrated and recently-fired IT technician (Kyla Frye) who is charged by a crime boss (Simon Callow) to embark on a one-woman heist to steal valuable data worth $500 million on the black market. Like all good heist films, it's about people who feel neglected in society. Frye's character is being evicted, and she feels that the whole world is against her. This opportunity to steal data is her chance to make it big. When a suave conman (Sam Benjamin) interrupts her mission to steal the loot for himself, matters grow even more complicated.

The cinematography in The Pay Day as well as the casting are two of the high points. Frye's portrayal of a harried, desperate programmer looking for a way to make some cash is equally stirring and entertaining... though the film does focus on the latter more, due to the writing. This heist film sometimes wants to be a comedy and other times a romantic film, which makes it feel a little disjointed and somewhat like a series of sketches. For example, random flirting between Benjamin and Frye occupies 20 minutes of the film while Frye tries to extract files from a computer -- whose, we don't know yet. Speaking of random things, there are a bunch of odd elements in the film that seem either implausible or infantile to the point of being ridiculous, like a scene where a character survives a shot to the heart and another with a stilted and suggestive exchange about pomegranates. It's largely the writing that makes the first half of the film drag, save for some scenes that really hit it out of the park. There are also tons of stereotypes thrown in, and some will make you cringe. For example a crime boss lounging with his cronies in a dimly lit bar; Pink Panther-esque background music; the typical green zeroes and ones speeding across the screen of a computer being hacked; and a scene where the protagonist sprints through sterile white walkways of every generic office complex.

The Pay Day promotes resourcefulness and resilience. There are some sexually suggestive scenes and discussions of smoking and alcohol.

I give The Pay Day 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Pay Day releases in theaters on November 14, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD: CAMP CRETACEOUS HIDDEN ADVENTURES
JURASSIC WORLD: CAMP CRETACEOUS HIDDEN ADVENTURES - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Based on the show Camp Cretaceous, Hidden Adventure is an interactive special series where the campers survive more danger put against them on Isla Nublar. After a big storm, food is scarce -- and hungry dinos are everywhere. It's up to you to help the Camp Fam survive in this thrilling interactive special.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures is an interactive episode that gets you involved and keeps you more entertained by deciding what happens next. It's fun to be able to choose what the characters do and what leads up to that because it's not something you can do with a regular movie or show.

This interactive episode is about Darius (Paul-Mik�l Williams), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Brooklyn (Jenna Ortega), Yasmine (Kausar Mohammed), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) who are struggling in the aftermath of a huge storm that happened on the island. They have no food, no shelter and, to make matters worse, the dinosaurs have no food so the dinosaurs are out of control. The kids learn that someone has hidden food somewhere on the island and we have to make decisions for them to keep them safe and direct them to the food.

This is a great episode to watch. Something that I like about this show is the teamwork and the communication between the group. Even in such a dire situation, they communicate and run their decisions with each other before making it. I also like how, even if things take a wrong turn, you can always undo your answer and try again. My favorite character is Darius because we are Darius's thoughts and we make the decisions for him when he doesn't know what to choose and when the others don't know as well. Something that confuses me in the show is that, in the series before this, the group leaves the island - so how did they get back on the island? Regardless, I was entertained the whole time and the concept is just a great idea.

The message of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures is that if you argue you won't get anything done; you need to compromise and work together. At times in the episode you see the group get into arguments about what to do next, and that's where your choices come in. You help them decide and you help stop their conflict. This show is totally family-friendly.

I give Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventures 4.5 out 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. You can watch this on Netflix starting November 15, 2022. Be sure to check it out!


Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAMILY MATTERS CHRISTMAS, A
FAMILY MATTERS CHRISTMAS, A - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Christmas is anything but ordinary when three bickering siblings from a newly blended household cannot see eye to eye. The youngest one, while completing his annual science project, accidentally calls upon the spirit of Christmas. They wake up to find themselves having switched bodies, unable to change back until they learn to spend the holidays together as a loving family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Family Matters Christmas is a fun, enjoyable film that really puts you in the Christmas spirit. It teaches an important lesson, while delivering a cute and interesting storyline.

A Family Matters Christmas follows the lives of three siblings living in a newly blended household. They are all struggling to adapt to their new family, especially during the holidays and this causes them to fight all of the time. However, when the youngest sibling Aiden, (Randy Vince Iii) starts to read fairy tales about Christmas legends who haunt siblings who can't get along, he realizes that they need to stop the bickering. Unfortunately, it's a little too late and their household is greeted with a special elf who causes all three of them to swap bodies. Now, the siblings must learn to tolerate and help each other, or else they will be stuck inside these different identities forever.

This film is truly an enjoyable viewing experience. The cinematographic quality of this film really stands out -- the camera work is very clear, and the colors jump. I really enjoyed the plot; the concept of the characters swapping bodies is really cute, and definitely creates a fun twist for a Christmas movie. It's really interesting to see how they all work things out in the end. Plus, all three actors portray multiple personas in different bodies exceptionally well, as they show us how their switched character might react to a particular situation. Additionally, the message of the film is really strong. It really emphasizes the importance of family, particularly around Christmas time, and reminds viewers how valuable our families are. This is an important highlight, especially for younger audiences, because it's something that can sometimes be forgotten.

The message of A Family Matters Christmas is that family is very valuable, and you should always hold to them.

I give A Family Matters Christmas 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. It releases on VOD and DVD November 8, 2022.

By Mikella G, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 16

A Family Matters Christmas is all about family and love; it's the perfect movie to get you ready for the holiday season.

The storyline for A Family Matters Christmas is told by a grandma to her grandchildren. The story follows a boy named Aiden (Randy Vince III) and his sister Emily (Cheyenne Cummings) who are having a hard time getting along with their new step-brother, Brandon (Chase X Drewery). Ayden conducts a science experiment gone wrong and ends up summoning a Christmas spirit who makes him and his siblings switch places. They now must figure out how to walk in each other's shoes, and how to switch back.

The plot of this film may seem kind of basic, but there are a lot of twists that turn the basic story into something more. I really love the cinematography -- at the beginning, behind the opening credits, are some beautiful shots of the city which are just stunning. All the acting is outstanding and so is the script. I love the character of Grandma (Jo Marie Payton), because she's really sassy; I love the way she teaches her grandchildren to be nicer to each other. Another great character is Aunt Tracy (Tamieka Chavis), who is quite feisty as well and has a very powerful personality. I especially love the character Alternis (Stephen Fischer), the Christmas spirit, because his eccentric and loud personality is very exciting and fun. My favorite part of the film is when the kids first change places and don't know how to behave in each other's bodies.

The message of A Family Matters Christmas is that family is important, whether you are related by blood or not. Throughout the film, Brandon has a hard time learning to love his new siblings, but the body switch really helps him realize what family means.

I give A Family Matters Christmas 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This film releases on VOD and DVD November 8, 2022.

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

The "switch-mas" spirit is in the air with the new film, A Family Matters Christmas! It's a fun family film that forces you to think about the true meaning of Christmas and shows just how important it is for family to come together and get along.

A Family Matters Christmas follows siblings, Aiden (Randy Vince III), Emily (Cheyanne Cummings), and their soon-to-be brother, Brandon (Chase X. Drewery), whose parents are looking forward to getting married and spending their first family holiday together. However, the sibling's constant bickering threatens to make Christmas not-so-merry. Aiden creates an experiment to bring his family together, but with a little "help" from the "forgotten Christmas Spirit," Alternis (Stephen Fisher), his spell causes the three siblings to switch bodies. They must work together to learn the true meaning of family to break the spell and switch bodies back before Christmas morning.

The main characters are Aiden, Emily and Brandon. I love how much each sibling changes the other sibling's life, just by switching bodies. My favorite part was seeing the sacrifices each sibling makes for the sibling whose body they took over. It forces each one to experience life as that sibling, and even helps them. For example, since Emily is more outspoken, while she is in Aiden's body, she is able to stand up for him against bullies at school -- something Aiden would never do himself. The "switch" really creates some hilarious moments, like when Brandon is in Emily's body and get a dose of what it is like to be a girl. The film is so entertaining, that you forget it starts off as a story being read about the characters' journey. This is a storyline that some people will say has been made before and, while that's true, what's important is the message behind it; plus it is entertaining.

A Family Matters Christmas shows us that family really does matter and that it's possible to get along if you take the time to get to know one another. While you may not always agree with your siblings or be best friends, it's still good to create some kind of bond with them. Parents should look out for adult drinking and some slightly intimate parts.

I give A Family Matters Christmas 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to18, plus adults. A Family Matters Christmas releases on Digital and DVD November 8, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HONK
HONK - VISION FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 7-18
Description - The power of love shines in this heartwarming tale of f friendship and inspiration between an unlikely duo. Cheryl inadvertently befriends a mourning goose, Honk, while recycling in the local park. As the budding friendship blossoms and Cheryl seeks Honk a new home, he becomes a viral sensation capturing the hearts and minds of millions.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Honk is incredibly sweet and heartwarming documentary. The subjects are interesting and the story is exciting, due to its oddness. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story follows a woman who forms a friendship with a goose during the pandemic and ends up getting over 80K followers on Instagram.

Cheryl's story of meeting this goose during the pandemic is so unexpected and slightly crazy. The idea that she met Honk the good during a time when we were all social distancing and formed a relationship with him is endearing - both of them needed a friend, someone to be with. The cinematography is very good, keeping things exciting while also staying simple. A lot of this film is filmed on a cell phone, which works just fine. I love the locations, especially those at the park. And I like how Cheryl added little hearts on the side of her phone videos - which worked particularly well for attracting attention on social media. Her videos on social media are absolutely adorable. This story is so unusual, and Cheryl's motivations are honest and pure. When someone tells her that he must be a domestic goose, not a wild one, she is concerned about returning him to an appropriate environment and feels that she needs to find his mate. Honk is a character in his own right as well, something not always explored in the usual animal documentaries. Honk is the best "pandemic pal" a girl could ask for. He's safe, he's devoted to her, and he has a charming personality. There are some sad aspects to this documentary, such as when Honk dies two years later which Cheryl tells Honk's social media followers on Instagram, accompanied by sad music and clips of better times.

The message of this film is about the importance of bringing love and hope into people's lives - whether through a human or non-human. If you show love, you get love!

I give Honk 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Bring your tissues because Honk's passing is a reminder to us all how life is eternal. By Sandrine A. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

Honk is a heartwarming documentary that follows the friendship between director and editor, Cheryl Allison, and a lovable goose. She successfully shows viewers how her friendship with a goose impacted her life. At a time when everything was uncertain in the world, this goose was the "honk heard 'round the world." He was able to reach out, in spite of social distancing constraints, and spread happiness to others.

This documentary is set during the COVID pandemic, when social distancing regulations were in effect. While on a walk Cheryl notices a goose approaching her. She names him Honk and they become instant friends. Cheryl decides to record her time with Honk and her videos and posts with him go viral on social media. She receives word from her friend, Mary Beth Purdy that Honk is a domestic goose and is in danger. Now Cheryl is on a mission to help save her goose friend from a harmful environment, predators and the new risks that social media has brought to him.

This documentary is touching and beautiful. My favorite scene is when Cheryl goes back to the pond the day after she first meets Honk and records herself calling to him. Honk immediately recognizes her voice and swims to her. She talks to him and he responds with his honking sounds. This shows how attached Honk was to her from the start. The film is a mix of interviews, zoom meetings and videos of Cheryl with Honk. The added footage of her initial recordings with Honk are delightfully entertaining. It gives viewers a better understanding of Cheryl and Honk's friendship and the bond they create with each other as time progresses. The information about animals in the film, by experts Mary Beth Purdy and Kathy Rogers, is insightful and adds depth to the understanding of caring for these types of animals. In addition, the music at the end of the documentary fits well with the theme.

The message of this film is about love and the connections you make with others. Love and a need for companionship is what drove Honk and Cheryl together. It then drove her to protect him. While watching, we also gain a better understanding of what animals need, the importance of protecting animals, and what we can contribute to help keep these animals safe.

I give Honk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Honk releases November 15, 2022 on digital platforms and DVD.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Such a wholesome joy of a film is hard to come by. Honk should be required watching for those who feel like they're losing faith in the goodness of humanity and the beauty of companionship. Beautiful, raw emotion is captured in a mix of videos that were either collected from social media or filmed by the camera team, but beyond the technical bits of the film, the plot is what shines through. Especially for animal-lovers, this is a great watch.

Honk is a remarkable tale of unlikely companionship. Dallas native Cheryl Allison inadvertently befriends a loud, chatty goose she names Honk; she realizes he is mourning the loss of a loved one and their bond grows deeper. As the friendship blossoms, Cheryl seeks to find Honk a new home and he becomes a viral sensation across nations. The beautiful relationship between the two (not owner and pet but two equal friends) is wonderful to watch.

The direction and editing by Cheryl Allison are beautifully-executed. What's really nice is that the subject of the documentary is the same person who directs and edits it; this means that she has been able to choose the most moving portions of footage and cut it together. I also love how the choice of music accentuates the mood of the more emotional scenes; the lyrics from the credits -- "think about where we have been, the joy we shared with friends who cared, all the things we've seen" -- were especially touching as they summarized the theme of the film. I like the contrast between the footage taken by the camera team and how formal and traditional it feels compared to the footage taken by Cheryl, which is more fun and informal.

Honk promotes finding those who support you and, in turn, helping others, whether animal or human, in times of difficulty. The compassion exhibited by Cheryl in this film also serves to push the message that we should care for animals, even those we wouldn't consider domesticated or "pets," because they too have highs and lows in their lives like we do.

I give Honk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Honk releases November 15, 2022 on digital and DVD.< p>By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16


Runtime: 46 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GOODNIGHT OPPY
GOODNIGHT OPPY - AMAZON PRIME
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The film follows Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover affectionately dubbed Oppy by her creators and scientists at NASA. Oppy was originally expected to live for only 90 days but she ultimately explored Mars for nearly 15 years.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Goodnight Oppy, by Ryan White, is a documentary that brings both excitement and curiosity. I love learning about how the scientists related to Opportunity, nicknamed Oppy, almost as if she/it was their child. I also love that, no matter what went wrong, they never gave up and always thought she would go on. And she did! She outlived her life expectancy by 150 months!

The inspirational true story follows Opportunity, the veteran interplanetary Mars Exploration Rover, affectionately dubbed Oppy by her creators and scientists at NASA. Oppy was originally expected to live for only 90 days but ultimately explored Mars for nearly 15 years. The film follows Oppy's groundbreaking journey on Mars and the remarkable bond forged between a robot and her humans millions of miles away.

Exploring the last 15 years of interplanetary exploration with Opportunity and her twin sister is so interesting. Opportunity and Spirit were identical twins, both 5'2" tall, with human like eyes. I love how the humans associated with them thought of them almost as their children. It takes a long 6 months to get to Mars from Earth. Spirit was launched on July 7, 2003 and Opportunity followed three weeks after that date. I found I it fascinating how, no matter what happened to the rovers, the scientists kept believing that they would work again. My favorite part of their day was the wake up song! It is amazing how Opportunity and Spirit could respond and think for themselves. I enjoyed watching their journey exploring Mars and all the photos they sent back. What stands out most in this documentary is how everyone believes in the two rovers; they never give up.

This inspiring documentary reveals the discoveries that these two rovers gave us about Mars. The film helps audiences understand the incredible amount of work that the scientists and the robots' creators put in to achieve the accomplishments of these two robots. They gave us so much information we never had previously.

I give Goodnight Oppy 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters November 4 on Amazon Prime Video November 23, 2022.

By Sariah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Goodnight Oppy is a fascinating inside look at the stories of Opportunity and Spirit, with beautiful visuals and a cool soundtrack. This film appealed to me as I love learning about the importance of human resilience.

Goodnight Oppy is a documentary that tells the story behind the team in charge of the two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which were launched in 2003. It starts at the beginning of the project with Steve Squyres, the principal scientist of the project, up until the project closed in 2018. The film shows the difficulties and challenges of the nearly 15-year-long mission, whilst showing the collaboration and teamwork of those involved.

It is clear that the director, writers and the whole production group had a lot of respect for the team behind Opportunity and Spirit. The film excels at showcasing the talent and determination of the all the scientists and engineers involved in the project and how hard they worked. The visuals of Mars are incredible and eye opening; it really helped me understand what the scientists saw and how their observations gave us new information about Mars. The juxtaposition between the scenes of the rovers and the scenes of the team show the interaction between the robots and the scientists. The difficulties that the rovers experienced are reflective of those of the team, which helps further connect the team with the rovers. I love all of the interviews with the team members as it gives us a more personal side to the story and is really entertaining. My favorite part is definitely the scenes involving the morning music; it brought a smile to my face every single time. It perfectly represents the unity and the family-like environment in the workroom and helps break up the serious moments.

The documentary showcases the work ethic and intelligence of the team at NASA, showing the audience the importance of resilience, collaboration and determination.

I give Goodnight Oppy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters November 4, 2022 and on Amazon Prime November 23, 2022.

By Emma D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GRATITUDE REVEALED
GRATITUDE REVEALED - 1 SOUL PRODUCTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - An epic journey forty years in the making, Gratitude Revealed from acclaimed filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg, the director of cult hit Fantastic Fungi, takes us on a transformational, cinematic Experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude through his intimate conversations with everyday people, thought leaders, and personalities revealing gratitude is a proven pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives; disconnection from ourselves, our planet, and each other.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A thought-provoking piece, Gratitude Revealed shows promise in its concept and features gorgeous footage, but falters to keep viewers engaged in the film past the midway mark.

Composed of stunning nature footage and high-profile interviews, Gratitude Revealed shows us how to live a more meaningful life full of thankfulness through filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg's conversations with everyday people and eminent personalities. Featured are chats with figures like Norman Lear, Deepak Chopra, Jack Kornfield and more. The film makes the point that we need a pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives, within ourselves, and with others.

The thought behind this film is remarkable. However, the substance of the film is revealed painfully slowly, and some of the insights are rather obvious. It is unfortunate that the film lacks momentum and vibrancy beyond cinematography, as this makes it a difficult watch for young viewers accustomed to a faster pace of cinema. If it was the intent of the filmmaker to slow down viewers caught in the rat race of life, he certainly achieved it... almost too well. The camera work and editing in Gratitude Revealed are the highest points of the film, along with the cachet of the big names Schwartzberg speaks with. I especially love the way the interviews are framed. I feel that some of the interviews are way too long and tedious. It sometimes feels as if the nature shots are being used to compensate for the repetition of certain points. This leads to Gratitude Revealed feeling less like a documentary and more like an experimental film.

Gratitude Revealed promotes finding joy in the small things in life and just "being." It's a beautiful message that is perfect for the Thanksgiving season.

I give Gratitude Revealed 3.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Gratitude Revealed releases on VOD November 1, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOONIE BEARS, THE: MONSTER PLAN 2
BOONIE BEARS, THE: MONSTER PLAN 2 - WOW NOW ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The second of eight installments in the Boonie Bears: Monster Plan series. This film will be available on DVD, DISH, InDemand, and Comcast on 11/1. AVod platforms, such as The Roku Channel and TubiTV to follow. We are also releasing Boonie Bears: Forrest Frenzy - all 16 films - on AVOD platforms starting in November.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 has funny jokes and focuses a lot on physical comparisons.

The Boonie Bears are a group of animals including bears, a monkey, a skunk, a raccoon and a wild cat. The animals all work together to overcome their weaknesses as they try to defeat an evil villain who is trying to steal their strengths. If one villain isn't enough, the animals are also being threatened by poachers. Each animal in the forest utilizes its unique strength or overcomes a perceived weakness such as being scared, stinky or not strong to help the friends along the way.

The quality of the animation is strong and vibrant. The animals live in a beautiful pine tree forest. Vick (Paul "Maxx" Rinehart) and Bramble (Joseph S. Lambert) are up against the Doctor Rex Vector and his hamster assistant, Mr. Pete. The crazy scientist and his assistant are trying to take their strength away by using a power absorbing gadget. Each animal in the forest utilizes its unique strength or overcomes a perceived weakness in their many encounters with the evil doctor. As they work to defeat Doctor Rex Vector and Mr. Pete, the animals build their confidence. I feel that the storyline lack cohesiveness as it jumps from one mission to the next, which might be difficult for younger children to follow.

The message of the show is that everyone has weaknesses and strengths. My one issue with the show is that it may draw too much attention to self-worth by utilizing negative self-worth language and calling characters things such as "stupid" and "fat." The intent of the message is good, but its execution could be better.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 gets 2 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It releases November 1, 2022 on DVD and many streaming networks.

By Angels G., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed the film Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 a lot, mainly because it is Funny, Has Great Animation, Wonderful Characters, And Is Suitable For Young Kids, plus it could also entertain older kids. This film really held my attention.

The storyline follows two bears, Briar (Ricky Jay Glen) and his brother Bramble (Justin J. Wheeler). Briar, Bramble and their friends run into many problems with their arch nemesis Rex Vector, who wants to steal their powers and use them to destroy them. So Briar, Bramble and all their friends jump in to solve their problems with Rex Vector and others.

This film is really great. I really found the characters and humor outstanding and perfect for its target age group. All the characters have outstanding personalities; each with a terrific sense of humor. They are also thoughtful and kind to their friends, as well as people or animals around them. The humor in this film is also commendable; there are many things that made me laugh or smile. Even when something bad is happening it always finds a way to make me laugh. However, apart from all these positive things is one not so good thing - the sound. The characters' voices have issues with the sound quality, but the film was still very interesting. I also love the life lessons of this film - they are very heartfelt and real.

This film's life lesson is an inspiring reminder that no matter what happens to you, you are unstoppable as long as you have someone there for you. I relate to this because I have found the importance of support from a friend or family member in my life and believe that you can do anything and maybe even everything with the right support.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 8, plus adults. This film can entertain people young and maybe even old. It will be available on most streaming platforms and DVD November 1, 2022. Be sure to check it out.

By Gavin S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 is an exciting and kid-friendly film, with beautiful animation and color, but it lacks some cohesiveness in its storyline.

The storyline follows Bramble (Joseph S. Lambert) and his friends on a fun adventure in the forest, on their quest to defeat the evil Doctor Rex and his sidekick Mister Pete. The evil duo devises a plan to steal some of Bramble and his friends' animal abilities in order to create a robotic monster. The gang uses teamwork and friendship to prevent Doctor Rex and Mister Pete from stealing all of their abilities and ruining their home.

The animation is, by far, my favorite part of the film. The animators' creation of the forest filled with beautiful creatures and plants is superb. The animals are especially well done and beautifully detailed. At first, I was a somewhat put off by the voices, but once I got over my shock, I found them very entertaining. Some of the voices are difficult to understand, particularly the skunk. I couldn't make out what it was saying at times. The storyline picks up at the end and I wish there was a recap at the beginning to give us a bit more context, since it left me with a few questions regarding the plot. Bonnie Bears: Monster Plan 2 is split into five parts, all with different plots. I wanted to better understand what took place in the episode prior to this one.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 promotes friendship, teamwork, kindness and resilience. It also highlights the importance of fighting for those you love and how important it is to overcome your fears if you are to obtain your goals.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 4 to 10. It will be released on November 1, 2022, on DVD and many streaming networks.

By Emma D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 is one of the cutest children's movies I have ever seen! It's all about nature and saving the day. It also shows the importance of friendship and perseverance. This is definitely a children's movie favorite for me.

The storyline follows a bear named Briar who needs to save his friends from the evil Rex Vector and his hamster, Mr. Pete. Once Vector and Mr. Pete realizes the group has escaped, they start to work on another project that they think will be their greatest one yet. Briar, his partner Bramble (Joseph S. Lambert), and his human best friend Vick know that they need to save the day and they have a few adventures along the way.

My favorite part of this film is the funny voices used by the actors for their characters. I love how the bears' voices are all just so cute and adorable and Dr. Vector's voice is perfect for a young villain. I also love the setting of this film. It seems so peaceful and quiet when there isn't an evil scientist trying to rule all the animals. It's set in a park with all kinds of monkeys, skunks and other cute animals. The only thing I didn't exactly capture from the film is the emotions from the characters. Neither Rex Vector nor Mr. Pete show as much enthusiasm as I hoped for. For example, when Rex Vector laughs maniacally about a gadget of his working, he doesn't seem so excited. Also, once Mr. Pete answers a question Briar asks him, there is a small amount remaining of "unsureness" in his answer. Otherwise, I absolutely adore this film.

The message of this film is that you have to persevere in order to succeed. If the characters didn't persevere through the different challenges throughout the movie, they never would have stopped Doctor Rex Vector. They also would not have made it through the other challenges along the way.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 10. It is available on DVD and many streaming channels beginning November 11, 2022.

By Ari P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 is a fun, comedic film that's perfect for a kid's first action movie. Colorful animation brings out the best in the plotlines. Each character is funny, relatable, and helps to highlight the important messages and educational aspects.

The storyline follows a group of animals including bears, skunks and squirrels who navigate through life in the forest with various enemies and problems along the way.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 has colorful and vibrant animation. The settings are realistic, yet creative and bright. One example that stands out is s the hunter's pit. Some of the animals get stuck in a poacher's trap, and we see various angles from inside the hole. The attention to detail is incredible. There are little worms on the ground, weeds growing out of the sides of the walls and even indents in the dirt. Although these tiny details don't affect the plot, it makes situations seem so much more realistic and truly engages viewers. In addition, each character has its own unique features and physical characteristics that are emphasized in the animation. These characters also have very fun personalities. Each trait helps develop an important theme or subtly teach a lesson. The comedy is perfect for the intended audience; little kids will laugh their heads off while watching. It's cool that there are so many smaller, individual conflicts and plotlines that take place throughout the film. However, sometimes having multiple plotlines makes it difficult to stay engaged, follow the main plot, and keep watching.

The message of Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 is that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Many of the characters wish to be stronger or smarter, but they realize that, just because they aren't smarter or stronger, doesn't mean that they aren't talented in other ways. There are also other themes such as teamwork, kindness and friendship that are built upon throughout the film.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 2 to 8. You can watch Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 2 on DVD and many streaming services beginning November 1, 2022.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLACK ADAM
BLACK ADAM - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods--and imprisoned just as quickly--Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Black Adam is an action-packed movie filled with insane fight scenes and unexpected plot twists. The CGI looks virtually flawless, and the world-building is so detailed.

In the story, Teth Adam (Dwayne Johnson) is bestowed with unusual and strong powers by The Rock of Eternity in ancient Kahndaq. However, he uses these powers for revenge and gets imprisoned for nearly 5 millennia. Once freed Teth Adam (a.k.a. Black Adam) is met by the newer heroes of the Justice Society. What will Teth Adam do and can the Justice Society stop him?

This movie is intertwined with the origin story of Shazam, but it's not necessary to see it prior to watching Black Adam. It's also based on the comic characters originated by DC. I love the introduction of new characters and new worlds that are most likely relatively unknown to and unexplored by most people. In this movie, you'll find a few familiar faces along with the new ones, which makes it feel very fresh. Some of those characters include Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge). Speaking of characters, my favorite performances come from Dwayne Johnson (Black Adam), Sarah Shahi (Isis), and Marwan Kenzari (Sabbac). Dwayne Johnson has a more serious role in this movie, and yet he balances it with his impeccable comedic timing. Sarah Shahi is such a caring and brave person in her role as Isis and inspires us to speak up for all of the injustice in the world. I can't reveal too much about Marwan Kenzari's character, but I think he is the perfect fit and will definitely keep you on your toes.

The message of Black Adam is to remember that there is a difference between a hero and a protector, and between justice and vengeance. There is violence and some scary scenes that may not be suitable for young children.

I give Black Adam 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out in theaters October 21, 2022.

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

Black Adam is a very funny and interesting movie. I like seeing Dwayne Johnson as a DC antihero for the first time in his career.

Black Adam takes place in ancient Kahndaq where a boy was almost killed for being a hero but saved by the power of the gods. Five thousand years have passed, and Teth-Adam (Dwayne Johnson) wakes up to find himself in a modern age of Kahndaq where Teth helps the oppressed people in a very dark way. A new team of heroes is also introduced in this DC Universe: the Justice Society, which includes Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge). Together they must team up and defeat Sabbac (Marwan Kenzari), a powerful demonic villain who wants to unleash hell on Earth. I would have liked to see a little backstory on these new characters, though, instead of them just showing up with these abilities that audiences have not seen before in the DC extended universe.

Black Adam includes outstanding performances from Dwayne Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, Joseph Gatt, Jennifer Holland, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Shahi, and Aldis Hodge. There is just the right amount of humor throughout the movie without taking away from the seriousness of the threat of the evil that is present. The director, Jaume Collet- Serra, brought the same dark Teth-Adam from the comics to the big screen. Teth is kind of good but in a very bad way as he kills to stop people. The graphics and CGI are impressive -- the fight sequences were especially action-packed and showed the true power of Black Adam. Costume designs are very interesting, and the background music is fitting to each scene. My favorite part of the story when Black Adam learns the word "sarcastic," and he starts using it and being sarcastic himself.

The moral of this movie is to learn to work together with someone, even if you don't like that person. Instead, focus on the main priority. For example, Black Adam and Hawkman did not want to work together but soon realized they had to, as there was no other choice for them to succeed in their mission.

I give Black Adam 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. For the amount of violence, I am amazed this film is rated PG-13. Black Adam comes out in theaters October 21, 2022, in a theatre near you. Don't forget to stay during the credits to see a "Super" mid-credit scene.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

If you love action-packed superhero movies then Black Adam is the film for you. It has all of that and much more.

The storyline of Black Adam starts with Teth Adam who has been given a gift from the gods right before his execution, becoming Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson). He uses these powers to overthrow the evil leader of ancient Kahndaq and becomes known as the champion. What is believed that one day the champion will come back to save Kahndaq. In the present, Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) and her brother, Karim (Mohammed Amer), uncover Black Adam's tomb where he has been imprisoned for 5000 years. Kahndaq is in need of a warrior, but a group of heroes called The Justice Society believes that Black Adam is not who he seems to be.

The film's strongest point is definitely the setting. Kahndaq is brought to life in this film so vividly. The buildings, the people, the scenery -- everything fits together perfectly. I love Black Adam's backstory and how well thought out everything about his character is. The movie has so much action and excitement it's hard to not watch. The acting is great, too. I especially love the character of Karim -- he's such a nice guy and some of my favorite scenes include his character. My favorite scene is when he's singing in the car by himself as his sister goes in to explore a cave and he stayed behind. Then his sister comes running out screaming because they are in danger and he has no idea what's going on.

The message of Black Adam is that family is everything. Between Adriana and her brother, or Adriana and her son, and even in Black Adam's own past we see this message play out. This movie has a lot of violence and a bit of bad language that parents should watch out for.

I give Black Adam 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases in theatres October 21, 2022.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GHOSTER
GHOSTER - GRINDSTONE HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - When a mysterious letter appears on the day they are being evicted, Elizabeth and her father can't believe their luck to discover they've inherited Echoville Manor, a sprawling, thirty-seven room estate. Upon arriving, Elizabeth finds that the mansion is inhabited by the world's cutest spirit, Ghoster, who has been trapped within a mirrored prison there for fifty years. Together, they must uncover the secrets to Echoville to free Ghoster before the nefarious Yuto captures her soul as well in his quest for immortality.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ghoster is a spooky family film with twists, puzzles, and some comedy mixed in that is perfect for an autumn night. This exciting film invites you into a world of ghosts, dragons and legends that is both entertaining and filled with surprises. I was drawn into the magic, the unbreakable family ties, and the collaborative efforts of the characters as they race against time.

In Ghoster, Elizabeth (Sophie Proctor) learns she's the heir to Echoville Manor. Yuto, a wicked ghost dragon, is trying to fulfill a task that intertwines with the lives of Elizabeth, and those around her. When she and her father (J.R. Brown) arrive, she encounters Ghoster,(David Henrie), who implores her and her new friend, Mateo, (Josh Escayg), to help him find the light knife and destroy Yuto. They must work together or risk losing everything they care about.

My favorite scene is when Elizabeth and the rest of the "scare squad" forge a plan to scare away the bankers who want to take possession of Echoville Manor. The scenes are both suspenseful and humorous. The reactions and facial expressions of the characters to the hauntings are delightfully entertaining. However, some of the scare tactics didn't seem as though they would really scare anyone. Elizabeth and her father share a bond that is unbreakable, even in several trying situations. The actors work together to make this bond believable and touching. Elizabeth (Proctor) and Mateo (Escayg) also forge a great friendship and work well together in the film. The setting of Echoville Manor is well decorated to portray an older estate. The old furniture and details of many of other furnishings, like the mirrors throughout the manor, showcase the age well. The CGI is meticulous in detail, such as the spikes on Yuto which are very detailed. The background music and sound effects really capture the moods, especially the suspenseful ones. Some of the storyline is predictable but there are enough twists in the plot to keep the viewer entertained.< p>The message in this film is that it sometimes takes courage to do what is right and to conquer your fears. Elizabeth is nervous about the challenges she faces to defeat Yuto. However, she knows it is the right thing to do to help Ghoster, so she faces it head on with the help of her family and friends. Parents should be aware there are some scenes which may be scary for young viewers.

I give Ghoster 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18. Ghoster releases on Digital, VOD and DVD October 11, 2022.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FALCONER, THE
FALCONER, THE - GRAVITAS VENTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - "The Falconer" centers around two best friends, Tariq (Rami Zahar), the son of a poor beekeeper, and Cai (Rupert Fennessy), a Westerner with a passion for endangered animals, living in Oman the summer before he is set to go off to college. They work together at a dilapidated zoo, blissfully separated from many of the troubles of the outside world. Their care-free friendship is challenged when Tariq promises to help his sister, Alia (Noor Al Huda), escape from an abusive marriage. Cai's worldview is pitted against Tariq's daring plan to steal animals from the zoo and sell them on the black market to help empower Alia to leave her marriage. They are forced to wrestle with morally complex choices that reveal the vast distance between their worlds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From different worlds, separated by unique lifestyles, two friends model for viewers that no matter what divides us, we have a universal language that helps to form a strong bond. The Falconer, an award-winning adventure drama, is a one-of-a-kind film sure to wow its audience. It's the first international movie in history to be filmed entirely in this Middle Eastern town which alone sets this film apart from others.

Based on real life events, The Falconer highlights the friendship of two teenage boys living in a tiny Oman village and separated by other cultures outside of their small world. Tariq, an Omani teenager, the son of a poor beekeeper, is somewhat of the underdog within the relationship as his friend Cai, the son of Westerners, was born into an affluent world. Their passion for animals and the zoo that they work at solidifies their relationship and keeps them happy and shut off from the rest of the world, until their cultural difference becomes the wedge that will drive their friendship apart. Tariq's sister, forced into an arranged marriage, is being abused by her new husband and decides divorce is her only means to survive. Money -- which their family does not have -- is the only thing that can help her escape her marriage. The boys struggle with their moral conscience, but find that they can help Tariq's sister by stealing the zoo animals and selling them on the black market; however a line is crossed when Tariq decides to sell Cai's prize possession, the falcon he stole himself and dreams of one day setting free.

There is much symbolism in this film, which I find highly engaging. The falcon, for instance, is trapped in a captive life, much like many people who are born within a potentially hostile culture. This magnificent creature symbolizes the tension between a society that you are born into and the freedom that lives within you. This symbolism is deep-rooted and very authentic. What I also love about The Falconer is witnessing such breathtaking landscapes throughout the film. Some scenes are slow at times, but this allows viewers to take in the beauty that surrounds the actors and give us such an appreciation for Oman's landscapes and geography. Hats off to the cinematographers that capture such perfect footage. And a big two thumbs up for directors Adam Sjoberg and Seanne Winslow for creating such a timely, humanistic film.

The messages in The Falconer are about close relationships and cultural differences. Friendships are indeed critical while going through life, but those close bonds have limits and will always be second to family. Family is deep-rooted and sometimes complicated. We tend to only understand the culture we live in, and yet we must learn to respect our cultural differences with others. Parents should know there is some adult language in this film.

I give The Falconer 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Falconer is available now on a variety of streaming platforms.

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-17 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE
LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Description - Based on the best-selling book series by Bernard Waber, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, starring Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem, Constance Wu and Shawn Mendes, is a live-action/CGI musical comedy that brings this beloved character to a new, global audience. When the Primm family (Wu, Scoot McNairy, Winslow Fegley) moves to New York City, their young son Josh struggles to adapt to his new school and new friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle - a singing crocodile (Mendes) who loves baths, caviar and great music-living in the attic of his new home. The two become fast friends, but when Lyle's existence is threatened by evil neighbor Mr. Grumps (Brett Gelman), the Primms must band together with Lyle's charismatic owner, Hector P. Valenti (Bardem), to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places and there's nothing wrong with a big singing crocodile with an even bigger personality.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is an outrageous musical movie that the whole family will adore, especially those who have read the Lyle the Crocodile books.

This film is based on the beloved books about the super adorable singing crocodile, Lyle (Shawn Mendes) who lives in New York City. Lyle can't talk, but he can certainly sing, and the first to discover that is an unemployed and undiscovered actor and magician Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem). After a failed attempt at becoming famous, Valenti leaves and Lyle is found by a young boy Josh Primm (Winslow Fegley), and they become best friends. But what will Josh's parents and crazy neighbor do if they find out? Watch to see

I love Lyle's character design. The CGI is realistic, yet cartoonish, and his face is so cute. I really enjoy his big size and chubby body as the animation makes his movements clumsy and unstable. My favorite parts of the movie are the original songs - "Top of the World," "Take A Look At Us Now," "Rip Up The Recipe," "Carried Away," and "Heartbeat" - and their respective scenes. Kudos to Shawn Mendes and the song-writing team for creating such fitting songs. Shawn Mendes, Constance Wu and Brett Gelman deliver my favorite performances. Shawn Mendes, as always, has an absolutely outstanding, beautiful and breathtaking voice, and I couldn't wait for him to start singing again in each scene. Constance Wu, as Mrs. Primm, is such a perfect fit for the loving and caring motherly figure. Brett Gelmen shows just how fitting the name Mr. Grumps is for his character.

The messages of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile are that joy can be found even when things seem hectic and overwhelming, and that friendship can be found in unexpected ways and places. This movie is great for the whole family. There are some scenes that may be a bit frightening to younger children.

I give Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. Fans of the book will definitely enjoy this movie. It releases in theaters October 7, 2022.

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

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is a fabulous musical film about overcoming your fears, to accept something new while pushing the traditional boundaries of what we call family.

The storyline follows a boy, Josh (Winslow Fegley), moving to New York City with his parents and being uncomfortable with new challenges like an unfamiliar home, crowded New York City and meeting new friends at a new school. Josh is a kind soul, but he's frequently afraid and lacks confidence. However he had no idea how much his life would change in a matter of days after his family's move to the new city.

This movie is funny; the music is contagious; and the love and care of one another is beautiful. The special effects and scenes of the film are incredible! What I love about the film is how Lyle the Crocodile (Shawn Mendes), with his special talent changes the lives of the main characters in the film. It starts with Hector (Javier Barden), a struggling showman who never gives up on Lyle's talent or his own and, after some bumps, learns the importance of friendship and family. Josh and Lyle become friends in a very awkward way and from then on never want to be separated from each other. Josh's Mom (Constance Wu) and Dad (Scoot McNairy) can't believe their eyes when they see Lyle for the first time, and their hearts open wide for the big creature. My favorite scene is when Josh and Lyle sing, without any fear, to the whole city. The trust between them is honest and cute. As in almost every film, a bad guy (and his pet) are around. In this case, Mr. Grumps (Brett Gelman) - a very not fun and unhappy neighbor and his cat, Loretta, who almost destroy the show of a lifetime and a beautiful family. You must see it!

The message of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is "Trust and believe your family and closest friends; they are always looking out for you and your success."

I give Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters beginning October 7, 2022.

By Keila V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MONSTER HIGH: THE MOVIE
MONSTER HIGH: THE MOVIE - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Follows a half human and half werewolf, as she finally finds a place where she fits, but, when a devious plan to destroy Monster High threatens to reveal her identity, she must learn to embrace her true monster heart and save the day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Musicals are always a hit or miss for me -- they either invoke an uncontrollable cringe response, or completely engulf me in magical melodies. Monster High: The Movie is the latter. Imagine a colossal witch caldron filled with teen drama, hidden secrets, a monster with a vendetta, and true friendship. This film brews a mystical potion, enchanting the audience from beginning to end.

Unable to find her place in the "normal" world, Clawdeen Wolf (Miia Harris) applies to Monster High, a hidden school for monsters. There's only one problem, Clawdeen is half wolf and half human, and Monster High is strictly for full-blooded monsters. Armed with a deadly secret, Clawdeen attends Monster High determined to keep her skeleton in the closet. When her humanness begins to present itself, Clawdeen fears she will be shunned, or worse. Clawdeen will stop at nothing to rid herself of human half. With the help of true friends Frankie Stein (Ceci Balagot) and Draculaura (Nayah Damasen), Clawdeen finds comfort in being her true self.

Monster High: The Movie transports viewers into a fantasy adventure world. This film captures the essence of a typical high school, but is way more exciting. You cannot watch this movie without secretly wishing you could enroll as a student. Eager to find her place in the world, Clawdeen Wolf settles into her new high school and quickly makes friends with roommates Frankie Stein, who is also struggling to fit in. They later befriend a third dorm partner, Draculaura, only after realizing she too has a secret she does not want revealed. The trio has a mission to help Calwdeen rid herself of any humanness, and uncover a devious plan to destroy Monster High. The director, Todd Holland, uses well-choreographed dance scenes and catchy songs to tell a story of acceptance and perseverance. Monster High: The Movie models its characters after the infamous Mattel Monster High dolls. The characters' costumes capture the essence of these dolls; bringing a favorite toy to life. My favorite scene is when Frankie Stein, who is only 15 days old, struggles to understand what a "high five" is. I also love the scene where Draculaura magically makes a hideous pimple appear on the nose of the Monster High mean girl, Cleo De Nile (Jy Prishjulnik).

Self-acceptance is a strong message in this film. Many students in Monster High struggle to embrace their true selves. In the real world, teens grapple with fitting in, bullying, parental disappointment, academic pressures and identity issues. Monster High: The Movie highlights the everyday emotional battles of young people and does it in a way that empowers teens to love who they are, no matter how different. You should be aware that there is an LGBTQ+ marriage and same-sex kissing scene. Also, note that the movie is full of magic, sorcery, evil monsters and witchcraft.

I give Monster High: The Movie gets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 19, plus adults. This is a fun family-friendly film that everyone can enjoy. It releases on both Nickelodeon and Paramount+ on October 6, 2022.

By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUE'S CLUES & YOU! RAINBOW PUPPY ADVENTURES
BLUE'S CLUES & YOU! RAINBOW PUPPY ADVENTURES - NICKELODEON
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description -
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nickelodeon kids show Blue's Clues & You is back for yet another adventure with Rainbow Puppy. This DVD is full of captivating and fun episodes for younger children. Rainbow Puppy had such a positive attitude that it makes every episode so enjoyable to watch. If you are a Blue's Clue's fan or just a person ready for some adventure, you should check this out.

This DVD follows Rainbow Puppy (Brianna Bryan) as we watch her through multiple adventures with Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) and Josh (Joshua Dela Cruz) from "skidoo" to "skidoo" finding different clues to get answers to things. While she grew up in the Blue's Clues world, she's made it Broadway BIG in New York City! With a vibrant personality to match her colorful fur, she has a song in her heart and is always singing, dancing, and is positively bubbling with talent!

This is a great show for young children. The music in the show is one of the key factors that keeps the audience entertained. With catchy beats and lyrics, you will be singing along with them in no time. "Mail Time" and the theme song are definitely songs that get stuck in your head. I like all the different colorful places that they travel like Clue Lagoon and the colorful house they live in. This aspect could be something that audiences find appealing. My favorite character is Rainbow Puppy because she brings so much positivity and creativity to the show.

The message of this DVD is that life can be an adventure if you let it be an adventure. Blue, Josh, Rainbow Puppy and the other characters show that if you use your imagination and your creativity you can create your own adventures. This show is completely family-friendly.

I give Blue's Clues & You: Rainbow Puppy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. The DVD releases October 4, 2022. Be sure to check it out!


Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY
CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY - AMAZON PRIME
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - The year - 1290. In the Medieval English village of Stonebridge, Lady Catherine (known as Birdy) is the youngest child of Lord Rollo and the Lady Aislinn. Her playground is Stonebridge Manor, a house that, like the family, has seen better days. Financially destitute and utterly greedy, Rollo sees his daughter as his path out of financial ruin by marrying her off to a wealthy man for money and land. But Birdy, like all the great teen heroines, is spirited, clever, and adventurous, and ready to put off any suitor that comes calling in increasingly ingenious ways. Her imagination, defiance, and deep belief in her own right to independence put her on a collision course with her parents. When the vilest suitor of all arrives, they are presented with the ultimate test of love for their daughter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lena Dunham's newest film Catherine Called Birdy tackles gender norms in the Middle Ages with tact and humor, making it a great introduction to medieval comedy for those of appropriate age to handle the gore and thematic elements.

Catherine Called Birdy, as you might expect, follows the 14-year-old Lady Catherine (Bella Ramsey), whose nickname is Birdy. She's a tomboy to the nth degree, playing with her best friend, a goatherd, rolling in mud and dirt and scorning all that the Middle Ages would deem "ladylike" comportment. Her father, Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott), is deeply financially destitute and utterly greedy, so he aims to use his daughter as his path out of financial ruin by marrying her off to a wealthy man for money and land. What ensues is comedy gold, but also empowering, as Lady Catherine fights back against the repressive expectations for women of the time.

Lena Dunham's direction and Bella Ramsey's performance really add to this film. Dunham crafts every scene to be perfectly shot and cut, and the young Ramsey shows her talent as Lady Catherine, standing up to injustice and sexism with superb dialogue delivery and emoting throughout the film. I also love how the writers have crafted Lord Rollo's role; besides fueling the main conflict of Catherine Called Birdy, his character flaws make him perhaps the most complex character of the whole film. Andrew Scott works magic as Lord Rollo, especially in the final scenes of the film where the message is hammered in.

Catherine Called Birdy promotes standing up to rules you feel are unjust. There are some violent (but not graphic) and disturbing scenes, including a difficult childbirth.

I give Catherine Called Birdy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Catherine Called Birdy releases globally on Prime Video October 7, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Catherine Called Birdy is absolutely hilarious! The film is light hearted and funny, with a star-studded cast. There is not a dull moment in this medieval comedy.

Catherine Called Birdy follows Catherine (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old Lady in medieval England. Catherine navigates life, dodges her father's suitors, and tries to find her place in the world as a woman. The film is based on the book of the same name.

This film is as hilarious as it is sweet. Catherine and her family are witty and messy. Catherine is a strong young girl, ready to make the best out of her situation. She loves her family and her friends, which makes audiences love her. Meanwhile, her father, Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott), is the funniest man in England. He's funny and crude, his comedic timing is on point. Each character has their own kind of humor, which adds to their dynamic. The best scenes are when the entire family is together and each one tries to lie through their teeth and diffuse the problems that Catherine has created. The costumes and wardrobe are another factor that makes this film a success. Each dress and accessory is elaborate and glamorous, effortlessly beautiful. Every Lord and Lady, members of nobility, has robes and layered dresses, showing their status as the elite rich. The wedding outfits are exquisite. The soundtrack is extremely creative. Modern songs are included with genres ranging from pop to rock. These tunes aren't overused and fit perfectly into the story and add more emotion.

The moral of the film is to make the best of every situation. Catherine watches the man she loves marry another woman; she fights with her best friend; her mother has several stillbirths - yet she still has a positive outlook on life. She's determined to have ownership on her life and never conform to the roles laid out for her.

I give Catherine Called Birdy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Catherine Called Birdy releases globally on Prime Video October 7, 2022.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

When you're just 13 years old and forced to grow up, life can be hard, but you have to make it through. Set in England's medieval era, this movie takes you through a year in the life of teenager who has to use her wits to get out of tough and almost impossible situations.

Catherine Called Birdy follows Catherine, aka Birdy (Bella Ramsey), who is being forced to marry a rich man, because her family doesn't have money. Birdy doesn't want to leave her home, get married or have to act like a lady. While dealing with puberty, betrayal and wanting to live the way she wants, Birdy has to find a way to change her father's mind before it's too late.

The main character is, of course, Birdy. I love the relationship Birdy has with her family, as well as her community. She's young and just wants to have fun, not fall in love, be formal, or have children yet. I love how she uses her voice throughout the film. My favorite part of the film is seeing the relationship Birdy has with her town and, even when she is playing in mud fights, or casually having fun with her friends. This film is based on the novel of the same name by Karen Cushman. It's a great adaptation of the novel and the costumes and setting really fit the era in which it is set. The storytelling method used for this film is creative, in that they feel like journal entries. While I agree it isn't the best for young viewers, it still has a good message behind it and will offer more mature audiences certain life lessons.

This film really drives home how you have to fight for what you want in life, and that it's okay for children to take their time growing up. Catherine just wants to have fun and live, not worry about making decisions that adults have to make, such as getting married and having children. She stands up for herself and doesn't give up, until her voice is heard. Parents need to be aware that it covers topics such as sexuality and abuse, plus has scenes addressing puberty, other adult behaviors and drinking.

I give Catherine Called Birdy 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Catherine Called Birdy releases globally on Prime Video October 7, 2022.

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

"Boredom is for the dull-witted"-- and the heroine in Catherine Called Birdy is anything but dull-witted! This timeless coming-of-age story which takes place in 13th Century England is witty and engaging. Catherine Called Birdy is relatable to modern audiences and kept me guessing while entertained.

Lady Catherine (Bella Ramsey), known around the manor as Birdy, is a clever and stubborn 14-year-old girl who valiantly fights against medieval traditions for her independence. Her father, Lord Rollo of Stonebridge (Andrew Scott) seeks to find a foolish young man who will trade his fortune for a title by marrying off his only daughter. Fortunately, Birdy is not foolish and her rebellion proves to be entertaining as we see that her truest passion lies in avoiding chores, causing mischief at home and in her village, as well as routing her various suitors on her own personal crusade.

The incredibly clever screenplay, written by Lena Denham, is based on the book of the same name by Karen Cushman. Bella Ramsey, as Birdy, has wonderful comedic timing and utilizes the witty dialogue to capture the audience, while confusing her various suitors. I enjoyed watching Birdy's cleverness and frustration in overcoming social norms and assumptions from that time. All teenagers can relate to parent's expectations and interference while struggling against them. Lena Denham also directs the film and you can tell that it is certainly a labor of love. The scenes in the countryside and manor are quite beautiful and the cinematography, under the guidance of Laurie Rose, truly adds to the story and film. The set decorator Stella Fox, along with costume designer Julian Day, complete the audience's immersion into the manor and village of Stonebridge.

The message of this film is that you should not be burdened by the expectations of others - even if they come from those you love or feel an obligation to. Under pressure, Birdy doesn't fly the coop, but instead she stays and fights for her future and her independence.

I rate Catherine Called Birdy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The film opens in select theaters September 23, 2022 and on Prime Video October 7, 2022. Don't miss this relatable and enchanting tale.

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOCUS POCUS 2
HOCUS POCUS 2 - DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Description - A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lock up your children and grab some salt just in case! Just in time for Halloween, the wicked Sanderson sisters are back in Hocus Pocus 2, the live-action, comedy sequel to the 1993 film Hocus Pocus. The musical performances in this film are to die for.

Hocus Pocus 2 follows the Sanderson sisters -- Winifred "Winnie" (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy), as they seek revenge on the town that cast them away ... again. It's been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they have a spell to settle. Three high-school students accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters to modern-day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow's Eve.

This film is perfect to get you in the Halloween spirit. In this sequel, we finally learn the origin of the Sanderson sisters, which helps us understand why they are who they are, why the sisters were banned from Salem as youngsters, and why they became involved in witchcraft. I love that the original actors who played the sisters reprised their roles here. With this film taking place 29 years later, it makes for hilarious moments watching the sisters get familiar with the "new town," such as watching them search for new beauty products to become younger and having young fans wanting to take selfies with them. The Sanderson's spell-bounding rendition and performance of "One Way of Another" (Hocus Pocus 2 Version) they sing to the residents at the festival is entertaining and original.

Hocus Pocus 2 is about friendship, sisterhood, and forgiveness. Many of their issues are resolved once the trio realizes what is most important to them and stop holding grudges. Even the high school teenagers have to realize they are better together than apart. This film also highlights the importance of reading labels and ALL of the instructions and spells; otherwise, you may miss an important warning. Parents should be aware of the reference to virgins that have to light the Black Flame Candle (but with a hilarious "parent-like" definition), which will probably have kids asking more questions.

Hocus Pocus 2 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. I recommend watching the original film, since this one has plenty of references to Hocus Pocus. Hocus Pocus 2 premieres September 30, 2022, exclusively on Disney+.

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

An exciting, heartwarming and nostalgic adventure, this film brings back old memories of day-one fans, and will captivate and capture a new audience as well through its wild fun journey.

Hocus Pocus 2 returns to Salem, Massachusetts where it all began. It follows the original film, after years have passed with the Sanderson Sisters being nothing but a spooky story. However, not everyone believes that they are just a myth, particularly Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy(Belissa Escobedo) and Cassie(Lilia Buckigham), who are three teenage girls that have always had a fascination with magic and witches. On Halloween they find themselves doing their yearly spell rituals, expecting nothing from them, when they accidentally find themselves bringing back the iconic Sanderson Sisters. The girls now must find a way to stop the child-hungry sisters from finding a way to stay alive forever.

The execution of this film is outstanding. Although it is a sequel, this movie truly lives up to the original. It continues the story with a modern twist, and still has that same nostalgic feeling. Years have passed, but watching this movie takes you right back, and the Sanderson Sisters weave their way back to the top. It's evident that Director Anne Fletcher fully understands the nostalgic feeling of this sequel, which we see in every aspect of the film. Another thing that really stands are the costumes. The time put into each and every detail is magnificent and all the accessories and outfits are so personal to each character; that is something that I personally really appreciate and adore! Lastly, I truly enjoy the constant comedic moments. This movie really gives the audience a good laugh. They really take into account the difference of a new generation watching this and play a lot with that aspect in the script.

The message of Hocus Pocus 2 is that "in the end, nothing is worth it if you don't have those you love most there with you."

Hocus Pocus 2 gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Hocus Pocus 2 now on Disney Plus+.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SIDNEY
SIDNEY - APPLE TV
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - From producer Oprah Winfrey and directed by Academy Award nominee Reginald Hudlin, this revealing documentary honors the legendary Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the center of Hollywood and the Civil Rights Movement. Featuring candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and many more, the film is also produced by Derik Murray, in close collaboration with the Poitier family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sidney is an inspiring documentary that will ensure generations to come to love and appreciate the impact of Oscar award-winning actor, Mr. Sidney Poitier. The techniques used to tell his story, the events shared and the contributions to the film will keep viewers engaged. Described by producer Oprah Winfrey as one of the most extraordinary people she's ever met, Mr. Poitier would be proud of this documentary about his life.

Sidney reflects on the life and legacy of iconic actor, filmmaker, and activist, Sidney Poitier. Born and raised in the Bahamas, the film shows life for him once he arrived in the USA as a colored man and how he rose to become an icon and the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, despite racism and other obstacles. The documentary creatively tells Poitier's story in his own words from interviews from Ms. Winfrey's personal collection. Anecdotes from his family and heavy hitters such as Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, and Oprah Winfrey herself included.

This film is truly a celebration of Mr. Poitier's legacy, the contributions he made, and a life well-lived. I love how the interview clips from the younger Poitier seamlessly blend together with the elder Poitier picking up the story. My favorite part of the documentary is the clip from Guess Who's Coming to Dinner when he says, "You think of yourself as a colored man. And I think of myself as a man," because it perfectly summarizes how he felt about himself and how he demanded other people to look at him. For me, this is what enabled him to break so many barriers and pave the way for other actors, including myself. The film does not hold back and includes some of Mr. Poitier's not-so-proud moments, which really help show the different sides of his complex life.

This film is about perseverance and being confident in who you are despite how the world sees you. I love that Mr. Poitier understood that he was not identified by his color and made sure everyone else knew it too, on and off-screen, even demanding scripts be rewritten to make his character stronger.

I rate Sidney 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Sidney on Apple TV+ starting September 23, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOONIE BEARS, THE: MONSTER PLAN
BOONIE BEARS, THE: MONSTER PLAN - WOW NOW ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Description - The crazy scientist, Doctor Rex Vector, and his hamster assistant, Mister Pete, return to Pine Tree Mountain with Vector's new, evil invention: a robo-monster complete with animal abilities. But first, Vector needs to collect these skills. He comes up with a power absorbing gadget, which he often disguises, in order to trap and steal abilities from the innocent animals. Vick, Briar and Bramble, along with other animal friends, must stand up against this "monster plan" of Vector's. It's going to be a fierce fight between wild animals and poaching villains.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Entertaining, kid-friendly, and adventurous are just the words to describe the animated film, Boonie Bears: Monster Plan! From adorable characters to an amazing animation style, young kids are sure to love watching.

Dr. Rex Victor, the evil and crazy scientist, and his hamster assistant are back in Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 3 with a new, evil invention: a robo-monster with animal abilities. They are wreaking havoc on Pine Tree Mountain with their "monster plan" and it's up to the bear brothers, Briar (Rick Jay Glen) and Bramble (Justin J. Wheeler) to stop them. With Dr. Victor trying to create a perfect monster, the Boonie Bears stand up against him, which sends the characters into endless adventures.

This is a great film that's sure to keep young viewers entertained. Boonie Bears: Monster Plan is the third installment of the Boonie Bears: Monster Plan movie series. This is the most popular Chinese kid's television show and it's cool that it not only has been adapted into a film franchise but also is translated into English for non-Chinese speakers to watch and enjoy. I love the animation style as well as the voice acting which is very soft and cute, just like you would expect from a kids' show. My favorite part of this film is when Briar, Bramble and Logger Vick help save Dr. Rex Victor by dressing up as him and distracting the Badger from chasing Victor.

There are multiple messages of Boonie Bears: Monster Plan. The film shows how important friendships are and that they are something worth saving, because a friend is someone who is there for you and always cares for your well-being. It also highlights the importance of teamwork and how, when you work together, you can accomplish more, whether it's to help someone or to accomplish a joint project.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and, since it is very kiddy, I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. You can watch Boonie Bears: Monster Plan on digital platforms and DVD starting October 4, 2022.

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

What do you get when you combine a mad scientist, a crazed hamster sidekick, a pack of brave bears, and a forest full of animal friends? You get a lighthearted, adorable, funny animated comedy. Boonie Bears: Monster Plan is quirky and fun to watch.

The storyline follows Doctor Rex Vector and his dedicated hamster comrade, Mister Pete, as they set out on a vicious mission to create a robot monster. The wicked duo has a brilliant idea to steal the animal abilities from the forest animals and give their powers to the robo-monster. Led by the bears, Briar and Bramble, the animals join forces to prevent Doctor Rex Vector from stealing their special skills and taking over the forest they call home.

As a lover of animated films, I must admit that this cast presents some of the most unique and comical voices. For example, you might expect the bears would have deep baritone voices. Ironically, the bear characters in this film have high-pitched, squeaky voices; this makes them fun to watch. The storyline follows bear best friends, Briar (Rick Jay Glen) and Bramble (Justin J. Wheeler), as they team up with the other animals to defeat the evil scientist. This dynamic duo makes an excellent team and is incredibly entertaining to watch. They are best pals, but they are more like brothers. It is as if one bear always knows what the other is thinking without them having to say anything. Their connection ultimately helps save the day. My favorite part of the film is when the animals have an intense fight scene with Doctor Rex Vector, Mister Pete, and a weapon that fires jelly and ice. Despite a determined Doctor Rex Vector and Mister Pete, they are no match for the forest animals. The fight between the forest animals and the wicked villains kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

This film empowers viewers to never accept defeat. Doctor Rex Vector is relentless in his mission to steal the forest animals' special skills, but they persevere and never give up. The story reminds us that, sometimes, the only way to be victorious is to work with others. The animals alone are not strong enough to fight Doctor Vector and Mister Pete, but together they are a mighty force.

I give Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9; it is perfect for family movie night. Boonie Bears: Monster Plan releases on VOD and DVD October 4, 2022.

By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan is a fun and upbeat romp through the forest! There are lots of fun forest friends and many loveable characters to get to know in this wildly popular animated series. You don't need to have watched the previous episodes to fall in love with these furry friends and join their adventures saving their home.

The story follows bear pals Briar and Bramble, along with their animal friends, who must stand together to defeat the "Monster Plan" of crazy scientist Doctor Rex Vector and his hamster assistant Mister Pete. Rex Vector returns to Pine Tree Mountain with his newest invention, a robo-monster, made with various animal abilities. Mister Pete is sent on a mission by his master to steal the best abilities from different animals and the Boonie Bears have their work cut out for them to defeat Rex Vector's technological wizardry and save their friends.

The animation in Boonie Bears: Monster Plan is really superb. I love the detail and the movement of all the various characters, as well as the beautiful forest backgrounds. There is so much detail and movement in all of the character's facial expressions. The forest scenes are so beautifully depicted that you can see each leaf and appreciate the depth of field. The voice actors in this series each take on multiple roles and really bring each character to life through dialogue and all their funny sounds. The music directors Kate Qin and Zhiping Li bring in a fun and upbeat tempo to the series as well.

The message of this series is that you can choose to do the right thing and follow your instincts. It is important to pay attention and learn your lessons while supporting your friends. However, friendship can be complicated and it is interesting to watch the forest friendships evolve.

I rate Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. These new episodes will be released on October 4, 2022.

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AMERICAN DREAM AND OTHER FAIRY TALES, THE
AMERICAN DREAM AND OTHER FAIRY TALES, THE - CHICAGO MEDIA PROJECT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - Abigail Disney looks at America's dysfunctional and unequal economy and asks why the American Dream has worked for the wealthy, yet is a nightmare for people born with less. Using her family's story, Disney explores how this systemic injustice took hold and imagines a way toward a more equitable future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wondered if the cast members and staff at the "happiest place on Earth" are actually happy themselves? Well, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales is the documentary you need to watch! It's eye-opening, and shocking, and exposes the wealth inequality among employees at Disneyland and other companies in the United States.

The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales follows philanthropist and co-director, Dr. Abigail Disney, the great-niece of Walt Disney and the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, as she embarks on a journey to bring awareness to pay gaps between the rich and poor workers at companies such as Disney. The story starts in 2018 when Dr. Disney is contacted by Disneyland employees for help because they are struggling to afford food, housing, and even cover medical expenses.

This documentary uses videos of protests, court proceedings, cast member interviews, and experiences to tell the stories of how employees that help create the magic at Disneyland don't have fair and equal pay and how that needs to change. My favorite part of this documentary is seeing how all the workers featured were willing to share their stories, rally, protest, and even host food drives for workers to help make a difference. While most would be scared to make a film like this, I love the bravery it took for Dr. Disney to speak up and make these issues public, especially since the fight is against the company that bears her name and family legacy. It's a documentary that is sure to stun its audience.

The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales highlights how companies must have fair and equal pay for all employees. It's not right for people to work hard to make CEOs and others rich at a company and still have to be on food stamps and homeless. While there isn't anything for parents to look out for, I wouldn't recommend showing it to young viewers to avoid ruining the magic of Disney for them.

While the topics covered in The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales are very serious, somehow Dr. Disney and co-director Kathleen Hughes courageously deliver this bold film in a very easy-to-understand and entertaining format. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This inspiring documentary will debut first in Orlando, Florida, starting on September 16, 2022. It will be available in additional markets and video-on-demand on September 23, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DISNEY PRINCESS: BEYOND THE TIARA
DISNEY PRINCESS: BEYOND THE TIARA - EPIC INK
Series: BOOK, AGES 12-18
Description - Everyone knows the Disney Princess characters, but how did they become the cultural icons we know today? From the Princesses Walt Disney and his artists brought to the screen in the 20th century, such as Snow White and Aurora, to the recent additions such as Moana, Tiana and Rapunzel, each Disney Princess character's influence has expanded beyond their original film. Each of their unique, individual stories create a fabric with the power to inspire our imaginations, spark social conversations, and empower us. Featured Disney Princesses include Moana, Merida, Rapunzel, Tiana, Mulan, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White. Organized by themes of origins and inspirations, re-imaginings, toys and collectibles, fashion, music, parks, fandom, and more, the book features memorabilia and interviews with Disney historians, directors, voice talent and fans. Explore the different eras, influences, and legacies of the Princesses with Disney Legends such as Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and author of the book's foreword), Lea Salonga (the singing voice behind two Princesses, Jasmine and Mulan) and composer Alan Menken.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara is an enlightening book that gives you true insight into character design and animation beyond the ball gowns, princes, and tiaras. The reader learns about the process of Disney filmmaking from the steps of animating the characters to the fashion designers behind the classic "princess dresses."

Author Emily Zemler engages the reader with an abundance of colorful and appealing photos. These images help you recognize the immense amount of work you never knew was necessary to create your favorite princesses. My favorite part of this book is the chapter on the fashion designers and artists who worked tirelessly to create perfect dresses that matched each character and their personality.

This book would be a fascinating read for Disney-loving families or teens and adults. Each chapter of Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara describes a different element of this process including animation, music, fashion, marketing, and merchandising, as well as its famous theme park, Disneyland. Readers will enjoy learning about the development of animation from the early 1930s with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the early twenty-first century with popular films such as Moana and Encanto. It even offers the reader insight into how classic animated films have been adapted into modern live-action movies, many with actors we all know and love.

By including pictures, quotes, illustrations and memoirs written firsthand by Disney voice stars, every type and age of reader can easily engage in the storytelling. Although this book contains positive information about the Disney Princess franchise, it does not address the issues the company faced with complaints such as princesses having an unrealistic body image or the lack of diversity.

I give Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Kids under 12 would benefit from reading it with their parents. It will be available starting September 20, 2022, at online retailers and in bookstores.

By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 40 Media: Book ISBN # 978-0760373620


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANDOR
ANDOR - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - The series explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor's journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It's an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Perhaps the best Star Wars spin-off series so far, Andor's superb script, visuals and performances will grip you throughout its duration. The force is indeed strong with this dark, grounded show, which comfortably departs from the Star Wars formula in significant ways.

A gritty, layered prequel to the highly popular (and also prequel) movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Andor follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) on a five-year journey as he grows from a revolution-averse, shifty, cynical con man to a selfless, Empire-defying rebel against the Galactic Empire. When confronted with enemy after enemy, Andor continually proves himself to be the perfect sort of spy, revolutionary and killer.

Thank you, Tony Gilroy, for creating this series. It's simply incredible. Driven by mood, Andor seems more like a crime drama or a Ridley Scott sci-fi film than a true Star Wars film. Though the first two episodes are a bit slow and offer pretty low-stakes, with lots and lots of exposition, Luna pushes the series, one of his best performances yet, to excellence. Episode three, especially, is WOW. His power to add nuance to what starts as a one-dimensional personality -- surly dude disillusioned with his surroundings -- is remarkable. We're lucky he reprised his role. Adding a tiny note here, I love how Luna keeps his native Mexican accent in all his portrayals of Cassian Andor. It adds something to the role! The plot of Andor is simple enough, and this allows for both the trademark character development and world-building of the Star Wars universe and also the slow reveal of the Rebel Alliance forming. Stellan Skarsg�rd's portrayal of Luthen Rael is subtle without being dry, and he helps elevate the show and make it even more riveting. The production quality, much like the acting, is off the charts; every scene is engineered to be utterly stunning. Half the time the feeling of dread is offset by, "oh my goodness, look at the sky." All of this -- the new tone, new feel, new style -- might be too different for some, but the utter novelty is to be appreciated. Finally, the beautiful score by Nicholas Britell adds so much to the retro-futurism of Andor and makes the performances pop even more.

Andor promotes fighting for good causes, allowing yourself to be taken by passion, and leading others for the greater good. Beyond these lessons, it's also a master class (tonally, visually, sonically) for filmmakers playing in the sandbox. There are some sexual undertones in the first episode and violent scenes.

I give Andor 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Andor releases on Disney+ September 21, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Andor, a prequel to Rogue One, is the latest Star Wars-inspired series to debut to much enthusiasm from expectant fans. Despite some exciting cameos, though, the series lacks the boldness of its predecessors.

Andor follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), before he was known as Captain of the Rebellion. When he murders two officers and has an arrest warrant on his head, he meets Luthen (Stellan Skarsg�rd) who offers Cassian the opportunity of a lifetime: to join the early formations of the Rebellion against the Empire. Viewers will recognize the character of Cassian from Rogue One. In the film, he's witty, smart and callous. In his own series, however, he's described as being a playboy and smooth talker, though in many ways he doesn't really live up to that description; it's rare that we see him engaging or displaying these qualities. The series has some strong points. The CGI is extremely realistic, transporting viewers to never-before-seen planets. The fight scenes keep you on your toes, always waiting for the next blaster battle. In the past several years, Disney has produced outstanding and mind-blowing Star Wars shows like Obi Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian. Both series have deep connections to the Star Wars universe and set the bar high for upcoming Star Wars projects. Audiences can decide if Andor meets the expectations set up by those series or not.

The theme of the show is to fight for what you believe in. In the early days of the Rebellion, there weren't many fighters for the cause, and it was a risky gamble to join up against the Empire. Cassian takes the risk to fight against oppression and to take a stand.

I give Andor 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It begins streaming on Disney+ September 21, 2022.

Andor is the latest Star Wars story set between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One -- it's fast-paced, gritty and compelling. Yet even with its fast pace, it feels like it's slowly building to a greater conflict over the course of the season.

Andor takes place after the fall of the Jedi, but before the events of the original trilogy. The show follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), long before he'll become a hero of the humble rebellion and sacrifice himself to procure the plans to the Death Star. In this series, both the heroic rebels and villainous empire are at very different places from where will eventually see them. Andor, after an encounter with some imperial soldiers that goes wrong, needs to get off-world and fast. After saying his goodbyes, he meets a man (Stellan Skarsgard) who invites him to fight the empire head on. Andor accepts, and he's thrust into a whole new way of living with secrets, danger and espionage.

Andor focuses its lens away from lightsaber duels and feuds between galactic royalty and onto the beginnings of a rebellion and how one guy plays a small part in the building of that grander rebellion. Diego Luna is good as the title character. He takes a relatively small character in Rogue One and makes him feel worthy of his own show. Andor's a little more naive and curious here, captivated by the minutiae of where and to whom his journey to rebellion takes him, but there's that same chip-on-his-shoulder cynicism that we saw in Rogue One. Andor doesn't seem as accessible to younger audiences as the other Star Wars stories and is probably best watched with the family--even with its share of comedic droids and puppet-like creatures, it's no theme park ride. There is less pure wonder imbued in it, but in Andor's case, it's a feature, not a drawback. Andor's a different kind of Star Wars story, largely set on the ground, about what people do when they find themselves under the thumb of oppressors and they don't have a lightsaber on hand.

I wouldn't say Andor has a lesson, per se, as much as it's about what Star Wars has always been about from the perspective of the rebels: Fight for what you believe in like you've got nothing else to fight for.

I give Andor 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend if for ages 12 to 18, for some violence and intense action. Andor's first three episodes release on Disney+ on September 21, 2022.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Andor is the latest action-packed sci-fi series in the Star Wars franchise. This twelve-episode series will entertain old and new Star Wars fans alike, as it did me.

Andor reveals the origin story behind Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). It tells the story of the key events that molded Cassian into who he is, including the struggles from his childhood as well as the people who change his life leading up to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

This series is a prequel to the Star Wars movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so it's unnecessary to watch anything else in the franchise in order to understand what's happening. Unlike the other films in the Star Wars series, it doesn't jump right into a world we know or connect it to other films or series in this franchise, which gives it more freedom to explore this part of the universe. That being said, Andor has a complex plot that seems confusing and slow at first, but picks up excitement as the episodes continue. I viewed the first four episodes (out of twelve to be released), so I only got a small taste of this. The production value of this series lives up to the high standards of a Lucasfilm production as the sets and costumes transport you into the iconic galaxy from a long time ago, far, far away. I enjoyed how the audience gets to see a whole new part of the galaxy that we are unfamiliar with and know little about. However, I feel like the characters and the script fall a bit short. I don't feel as much of a connection with the main character as I would want to keep me engaged. My favorite performance comes from the new character, B2EMO (Dave Chapman). B2EMO is a quirky droid with a unique personality that is sure to become a fan favorite.

The messages of Andor are to stand up against injustice and protect what you care for. Be aware that this series has 0depictions of violence and death.

I give Andor 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This series launches on Disney+ September 21, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FISHTALES: SEAL WORLD
FISHTALES: SEAL WORLD - WOW NOW ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Alba the seal is leaving Fishtale Reef to go to Seal School in the big bay! All her friends in Fishtale Reef work around the clock to prepare the best farewell party for the adorable seal in Fishtales: Seal World! The latest in the acclaimed Fishtales series. Available on IN demand, DISH, and Comcast. Exclusively streaming for FREE on the FamilyEntertainment.TV app - available on Roku, Amazon and Apple TV.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fishtales: Seal World: Seal World is a very sweet show. It's geared for a younger audience than me, but I believe it will be a favorite among younger kids. Parents will like it too as aspects of it are educational.

The latest in the acclaimed Fishtales: Seal World series, the storyline of Fishtales: Seal World: Seal World follows Fifi, a bubbly pink fish, and her best friend Lily, a whale, who get news about one of their friends moving away. They go visit the Magic Pearl who is the only one that can confirm if this is true and if so, why? It turns out that Alba the seal is leaving Fishtale Reef to go to Seal School in the big bay! Fifi and Lily struggle with keeping the secret, but once the secret comes out they decide that they're going to throw Alba the best surprise farewell party ever.

I really like the way Fishtales: Seal World: Seal World quietly sneaks in life lessons threaded throughout the storyline. It's smart and yet subtle; perfect for a kids' TV show. I love how vibrant and colorful the entire show is - the backgrounds and the characters -- both in looks and personality. I also appreciate how detailed the characters are. Fifi is a fish and, obviously, her parents are the same type of fish, but you can clearly tell who is who because of the slight changes in color, eyelashes or headpieces. I really like how they paid so much attention to these small things. The same applies to the backgrounds. There are two rooms that look almost exactly the same, but have small differences, barely noticeable, but enough so you can appreciate it.

The message is that you have to be happy for others and want the best for them. Lily and Fifi are obviously sad that Alba is leaving, but at the same time, are happy she gets to live out her dream of going to Seal School. There are some really nice lessons for young children in the film - touching topics like secrets, not getting what you want and similar.

I give Fishtales: Seal World: Seal World 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Fishtales: Seal World: Seal World will be available on VOD and DVD beginning September 6, 2022. Go check it out!

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Fishtales: Seal World is a film that really shows how people, or fish, can care for each other. It really speaks to my heart; what makes it amazing is how it has so much love and support for all the characters.

This show is about a fish named Fifi and a baby whale named Lily. They find out that Alba, the seal, is leaving and plan a surprise party for her called "Operation: Secret Party." All of this has to be kept secret from Alba the seal.

There are so many cool things to talk about in Fishtales: Seal World. First, there are so many minor characters, which is so amazing. Throughout the show the main characters, Fifi and Lily meet many diverse characters that help them out and give them advice. Second, there's even a moment where the characters of the show break the fourth wall and address the audience. For example, it asks kids to figure out a word starting with the letter "P" that means: asking nicely. Third, the animation is quite good and differs from other animation I've ever seen; it really showcases the marine life in a different, more kid friendly way. The voice actors, starting with Sarah Taylor, KJ Schrock and Simon Hill, are all so impressive. It can often be hard to figure out how a sea creature might speak, yet these actors manage to pull it off. The voice actor for Tickles, a starfish, has a very bland animated face but the voice actor really brings him to life by giving him more excitement and joy than his face portrays.

The message of this film is that secrets should stay secrets, especially if they're not yours to tell. We should always trust and care for each other.

I give Fishtales: Seal World 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8, plus adults. It is available now on DVD and digital.


Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ORDER OF THE NIGHT JAY: THE FOREST BECKONS
ORDER OF THE NIGHT JAY: THE FOREST BECKONS - AMAZON.COM
Series: BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Making friends can be hard for a nervous bear, even at summer camp. But Frank's about to discover a mystery... and the camp needs him to save the day!

Frank is perhaps the most un-bear-like bear Camp Jay Bird has ever seen. Actually, he's probably the ONLY bear Camp Jay Bird has ever seen. And there are tons of bugs, he's getting picked on, and he can't seem to earn a single badge! But there's Ricky, an excitable little raccoon who shares Frank's love of Mega Bunny comics. But Ricky's friendship might be more than Frank can handle. After breaking camp rules, getting lost in the woods, and discovering ancient secrets about the long-forgotten Order of the Night Jay, how will Frank explain all this to his dad?
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Order of the Night Jay: The Forest Beckons is a heartwarming graphic novel that shares a tale of friendship, bravery, and discovery. Through detailed and colorful graphics, the reader journeys with a bear named Frank during his first experience at summer camp. My favorite parts of the book are the letters that Frank sends to his father describing his daily adventures.

Order of the Night Jay follows the protagonist Frank, a shy, anxious bear, who is just looking for some friends. Because he is the only big animal at camp he feels out of place. Teased due to his size, he worries whether he will ever fit in. When he meets Ricky, an extroverted and bubbly raccoon, his whole outlook begins to change. On an overnight trip, the two friends discover a secret code. What does this code mean? And most importantly, where will this code lead them?

Author Jonathan Schnapp engages the reader with earthy and original graphics. Even though the characters are animals, the drawing style makes their emotions relatable and their facial expressions almost human. By using letters home, we get a glimpse into Frank's mind. And Frank writes his own comic, within the comic, so we are able to see the creativity behind his quiet and shy fa�ade. The words he uses are ones we have used or could easily relate to. Each of the characters has a unique backstory and graphics, too.

This book is perfectly suited for any child who is about to start something new, like a new school year, a new activity after school, or even going to summer camp for the first time. The graphics are most appropriate for elementary school-aged children. The story could start a little more quickly, so I would encourage readers to keep going because the story gets good!

I give Order of the Night Jay: The Forest Beckons 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. It is available September 20, 2022 at online retailers and in bookstores.


Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Book


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAIKA: THE GIRL FROM ANOTHER GALAXY
MAIKA: THE GIRL FROM ANOTHER GALAXY - WELL GO USA INC.
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Description - After losing his mother to illness and his best friend to an unexpected move, a young boy discovers a crashed spaceship and makes a new friend with awesome powers (although she does need a little help with her earthly social skills). Together, they embark on a zany, fun-filled adventure while taking on the bad guys and helping Maika find her way home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy is an adorable and impeccably-filmed story of friendship and exploration. It's the perfect sci-fi adventure for the whole family this September.

Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy follows the story of Hung (Phu Truong Lai), a young boy in Vietnam. After Hung's mother Hang (Elyse Dinh) passes away from lung disease, and he loses his best friend My to an unexpected move to Saigon, he discovers a crashed spaceship and makes a new friend, Maika (Chu Diep Anh), with powers. Together, they embark on fun-filled adventures while taking on various villains like the head of an aeronautical company before helping Maika find her way back to her home planet.

Ham Tran's direction truly ties this film together; even though the film is based on a Czechoslovakian TV series that became a cultural sensation in Vietnam in the 1980s and '90s, it comes across as an original film. My favorite part of the film was the special effects, as I think it should be in a sci-fi film. When Maika does her "magic," purple beams emanate from her fingers; it is beautiful! The performances by Chu Diep Anh as Maika and Hung by Phu Truong Lai steal the show; I was moved by Lai's emotive performance in the initial scenes where his mother is hospitalized, and An's chirpy, bubbly character stole my heart.

Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy promotes finding your own adventures, fostering positive friendships, and overall being a good, virtuous person. There is one scene to watch out for where Maika, unaware of Earthly social norms about clothing, pounces on Hung naked; she is shown from the neck up, though.

I give Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy debuts on digital outlets on September 6, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUTSY
GUTSY - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - very empowering show for women that highlights household-name heroes and well as several unrecognized heroes
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gutsy is a documentary series worth the watch! It's a very empowering show for women that highlights household-name heroes and well as several unrecognized heroes.

Gutsy follows former first lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, as they meet "gutsy" women and answer the question: what it means to be "gutsy". They share the interesting and inspiring stories of admirable women throughout eight episodes.

The documentary is based on The New York Times' best-selling book, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite stories of Courage and Resilience, authored by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Some of the episodes include Gutsy Women Have the Last Laugh, Gutsy Women Refuse Hate, and Gutsy Women Seek Justice. Other topics explored include women being rebellious, taking leaps of faith, exhibiting their strengths and motherhood. It's fascinating to hear stories about people you didn't know outside of movies and shows, or even at all. Some of the interviewees include Dr. Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, Megan Thee Stallion, Goldie Hawn, Amy Schumer, Kate Hudson, Wanda Sykes, along with many more accomplished women. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are such natural hosts and make it easy to enjoy watching them.

The main messages are to be "gutsy" and to not let your hard times define you. There is profanity, and mature topics are discussed.

I give Gutsy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie comes out on Apple TV+ September 9, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
IVY + BEAN
IVY + BEAN - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-18
Description - Two unlikely friends, the loud and fearless Bean, and the thoughtful and quiet Ivy. Yet the two discover that an adventure can reveal that even seemingly different people can become the best of friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ivy + Bean is a three part movie series based on the iconic Ivy + Bean children's book series. Full of talented actors and a nostalgic plot, everyone can find something they enjoy in Ivy + Bean. Buckle your seat belts, because Ivy and Bean are two best friends that take the audience on a crazy ride.

Ivy + Bean is about two young girls with very different personalities. Ivy (Keslee Blalock) is quiet and reserved, while Bean (Madison Skye) is loud, outgoing, and a risk taker. At first, the two want nothing to do with each other. But once they realize they have a similar imagination, they become best friends and find themselves on plenty of adventures.

Ivy + Bean is a great family friendly movie to watch when you're just looking for some fun. The set design of Ivy + Bean is very well done, especially Ivy and Bean's houses. Both houses and the girls' rooms have a different tone, which highlights the differences between the two. Ivy has a lot of spells and ingredients in her room, but it is also neat. Meanwhile, Bean's room is animal themed and relatively more chaotic than Ivy's. This displays how Ivy is more reserved and organized and Bean is more wild and daring. We can also find examples of descriptive backgrounds in Ivy and Bean's backyards. Ivy has this nice area she calls her secret garden with paper butterflies and flowers that she takes Bean to. However, Bean mostly stays in her backyard with holes that she's dug and her tree houses. Props to the set and production designers for using these elements to expand the story. Having too many movies can sometimes backfire if they're long and don't have an interesting plot. However, the three Ivy + Bean movies have perfect continuity and each one brings something new. My personal favorite is the second movie, The Ghost That Had to Go, because of the involvement of all of the new characters and the craziness of trying to get rid of the ghost.

The message of Ivy + Bean is that having a big imagination and being willing to try new things can lead you to greatness. Both Ivy and Bean were hesitant before becoming friends. When they finally tried to see eye to eye, they realized that they have a lot in common, and could be a better duo than they thought.

I give Ivy + Bean 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. You can find all three Ivy + Bean movies on Netflix on September 2, 2022. So make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SURFSIDE GIRLS
SURFSIDE GIRLS - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - Follow Jade and Sam, who are psyched to spend their summer riding the waves and catching the rays. That is until they meet a ghost. The girls dive head first into a mystery about a pirate ship and a cursed treasure.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Surfs up! Perfect for the end of summer break, Surfside Girls is here with a great summer-ending, wild adventure that will take you on a magical, action-packed journey with plenty of secrets to uncover. Based on the best-selling young middle school graphic novel of the same name, this new Apple TV+ series will have you wanting to relive summer all over again.

Surfside Girls follows best friends, Samantha "Sam" Torres (YaYa Gosselin) and Jade Lee (Miya Cech), who are looking forward to surfing and enjoying the summer weather. That is until Sam finds a "magic" coin that leads them on a supernatural, mysterious adventure, complete with a pirate ghost, cursed treasure and a booby-trapped room. Also, the friends are slowly drifting apart because Jade is meeting new friends and maturing faster than Sam. Will they solve the mystery and save their friendship?

Surfside Girls will inspire viewers to go on their own adventures and discover more about their own towns. The main characters are Sam and Jade. Sam is adventurous and slightly care-free, while Jade is the more serious one. Despite their extreme differences, viewers will love both characters and relate to each of their experiences. The visual and special effects are very realistic and even hilarious at times, especially in one episode when Jade's book-bag becomes stuck to the magnetic force of a huge rock -while she's wearing it. I love how the series has afterlife aspects, such as the pirate ghost or the girls having the supernatural powers to travel through walls and time. My favorite parts are the cool rooms and secrets Sam and Jade explore throughout their journey. While this series mostly focuses on solving the mystery in Surfside, the main characters love surfing as well. Seeing their passion for it and how it's one of the things that draws them together is very heartwarming.

This series explores how true friendships are based on accepting and celebrating each other's differences. Sam and Jade couldn't be more different, and they are still best friends, not clones. Their Surfside adventure is just what they need to learn from their mistakes, forgive and bond with each other and even learn more about themselves.

I rate Surfside Girls 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it now on Apple TV+.


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIGI & NATE
GIGI & NATE - ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Nate Gibson's life is turned upside down after he suffers a near-fatal illness and is left a quadriplegic. Moving forward seems impossible until he meets his unlikely service animal, Gigi - a curious and intelligent capuchin monkey - who helps Nate find what he needs most: hope.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gigi & Nate is an uplifting movie with an encouraging message. This movie will put you through a range of emotions, and may even bring on the "waterworks."

After barely surviving a tragic accident that left him paralyzed, Nate Gibson (Charlie Rowe) has nothing worth living for, until he meets Gigi, a capuchin monkey. The two develop an inseparable bond, but not everyone's a fan of the relationship. Can Gigi and Nate stay together?

This movie is inspired by the organization Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled which helps to match people with disabilities to monkeys who will help them in their day to day life. The special effects are so impressive as I could barely tell when it switched from CGI to real life. Allie (who plays Gigi), the adorable capuchin monkey, makes her acting debut in this movie, and she is trained incredibly well. Too bad for Allie that there aren't Oscars for animals, because she would win one! Kudos to Allie's trainers for making her actions seem so organic and natural! The chemistry with Charlie Rowe (Nate) and Allie feels so real that sometimes I forget I'm watching a fictional movie and not a documentary.

The primary message of Gigi & Nate is to never give up - whether that means on yourself or on something you believe in. This movie has some profanity, alcohol consumption and attempted suicide.

I give Gigi & Nate 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Gigi and Nate comes out in theaters September 2, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 114 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SUMMERING
SUMMERING - BLEECKER STREET MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - As their last summer before middle school comes to a close, four best friends face the uncertainties of growing up and embark on their biggest adventure yet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - We all know what it's like to face change and challenges. And we always desire the best possible outcome from a predicament. Summering tells a relatable story about young girls finding their way through a challenge, while delivering a distinctive storyline.

Summering focuses on four best friends Dina (Madalen Mills), Lola (Sanai Victoria), Mari (Eden Grace Redfield), and Daisy (Lia Barnett) who are about to start middle school. With that comes plenty of questions and new challenges. On the weekend before school starts, the girls find themselves embarking on a peculiar adventure. These four best friends must work together to find the answer to their mystery and prepare for this new chapter in their lives.

Even though the characters in Summering are facing a fictional and fantasy-like situation, the plot is still somewhat relatable. These four best friends have to explore themselves and find out who they really are as they are growing older. They know that it is best to go on this journey together, but they worry about what obstacles will get in the way. Dina, Lola, Mari and Daisy also all have specific issues present in their life, making their friendships even more crucial. Anybody that is going through significant changes, no matter if they are young or old, can find something applicable to their lives in this story. The plot of Summering does seem a bit incomplete and choppy at certain parts of the film--the main mystery and conflict aren't really resolved which can leave viewers confused after watching. The background music of the film is particularly interesting as it matches the tone of the film and the events taking place in the scenes. Summering has a darker style, and the dark music compliments that--"props" to Drum & Lace for providing this high-quality soundtrack.

The message of Summering is that a lot of times opposites attract. Dina, Lola, Mari, and Daisy need each other to balance themselves out. Each brings something different to the friend group, ultimately bringing them all closer together.

I give Summering 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This film has minimal mild language and a middle school to high school demographic would enjoy it. You can find Summering in theaters now. So make sure you check it out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

Just in time for back-to-school season, the new adventure film, Summering, is here to throw a plot twist into your summer adventures! Summering has a strong cast and loads of twists and turns. Even when the movie seems to be slowing down, something surprising happens.

Summering follows four best friends who are reaching the end of their summer break. With many events and drama amongst family members, including keeping secrets, the characters try to make the best of their last week of summer. One particular day, they head to the woods to leave memorabilia at a tree. While in the woods, the kids come across a man's dead body and set off on a mysterious adventure to discover his identity.

The leading young ladies in Summering are Daisy (Lia Barnett), Dina (Madalen Mills), Lola (Sanai Victoria) and Mari (Eden Grace Redfield). Overall, this movie is very interesting with multiple plots. Even though the plot doesn't answer many of the questions that are being uncovered, it still portrays the friendships and adventurous side of the four main characters. The parents in the film are interesting, too; they love watching their kids grow up together and seeing how they are just like them when they themselves were younger. There is a scene where the parents are peering upstairs and enjoying hearing their kids laughing and having fun together. Fun fact: This was the first film director, James Ponsoldt, has made for a young audience.

Summering touches on how friends are always there for you--the four girls are always finding ways to help and support each other when needed. And this film delivers the messages that things can always change, and that telling and knowing the truth is important. For example, Daisy's mother was not honest and kept a huge secret from her. The truth would have been less harmful and possibly saved Daisy from making poor decisions. Things parents must look out for are kids using a gun, a bar scene, creepy flashing images, the showing of a dead body, and the topic of suicide.

I give Summering 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Summering is now playing in theatres.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW
SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW - DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - In Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) --an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases --must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30-something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a series that jumpstarts into action. It's an adrenaline-fueled, adventurous journey that ties into Marvel superhero movies. The series tells the engaging story about a lawyer who might lose her job due to some very interesting conditions.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law features Jennifer Walters, an attorney living in Los Angeles. Jen happens to be the cousin of Bruce Banner (the Hulk). Unexpectedly, Jen and Bruce got into a car crash. After the crash, some of Bruce's blood got into Jen's wounds, which caused her to transform into an adapted version of the Hulk--hence, the name She-Hulk.

The main characters in this series are She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga), Titania (Jameela Jamil) and Abomination (Tim Roth). These actors impersonate their characters incredibly well. Additionally, the sets and animation are extremely realistic. When there is a fight, the animation made my heart beat super fast. In the first episode, my favorite part is when Bruce is training Jen to learn how to control the intense amount of strength she has. After demonstrating how to throw boulders, for example, she adapts quickly, and sometimes even does the exercise better than the Hulk himself. I also appreciate the quote when Bruce proclaims that what triggers turning into a hulk is anger and fear, and Jen responds, "Those are like the baseline of any women existing." It's hilarious and also true. I would recommend watching previous Marvel movies, especially the ones that include the Hulk. However, it's not a necessity, although it would help knowing the backstory of how hulks were created.

The message of this series is that females can be strong, too. I believe that the "She-Hulk" nickname isn't merely random, but has a meaning to it, which is female empowerment. Furthermore, this series establishes that women's emotions are normal, and that it is okay to have strong feelings, including anger. There is a lot of fighting and violence, and it has rough language. If young kids have seen other Marvel movies with parent/guardian approval, they should be fine watching this series.

I give She-Hulk: Attorney at Law 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. The first episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law begins streaming on Disney+ August 18, 2022. Each upcoming episode streams every Thursday after that.

By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PETITE MAMAN
PETITE MAMAN - NEON
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - C�line Sciamma continues to prove herself as one of the most accomplished and unpredictable contemporary French filmmakers with her follow up to PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, the uniquely emotional, PETITE MAMAN. Following the death of her beloved grandmother, 8-year-old Nelly accompanies her parents to her mother's childhood home to begin the difficult process of cleaning out its contents. As Nelly explores the house and nearby woods, she is immediately drawn to a neighbor her own age building a treehouse. What follows is a tender tale of childhood grief, memory and connection.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Petite Maman is a warm bundle of cinematic magic. Director Celina Sciamma's French coming of age sci-fi hybrid never gets too bogged down in tedious specifics of its fantastical set-up. Petit Maman bends time to tell the story about the bond between a daughter and her mother that transcends it.

Petite Maman, which I had the pleasure of seeing at the Middleburg Film Festival, centers itself around a little girl named Nelly (Josephine Sanz) and her family, reeling after the death of a loved one, as they spend some time in Nelly's mother's childhood home. Nelly's mother leaves the family behind in the midst of the immense grief she's suffering, leaving her husband and daughter with little idea of when she'll return. In the meantime, Nelly ventures into the woods, where she meets and begins to pal around with a young girl, who she learns, by some twist of cosmic fate, is a much younger version of her own mother, who faces trials of her own. A single stretch of woods bridges decades between them. Together, they try to help each other cope in these moments of personal turmoil and Nelly can maybe get to understand why her mother left and what she's going through. This movie quite literally follows its two leads after their meeting, making food, building forts, making believe. Petit Maman uses those pastimes of youth to hit audiences with a surprisingly layered exploration of something as monumental as grief from a kid's perspective.

I loved, loved, loved the setup of this movie--it doesn't ever seek to explain how Nelly and this younger version of her mother meet in terms of time and space, but it uses that heightened concept to speak to something more human. Here, two children reckon with fear and their powerlessness in the conflicts they face, and in the comfort and security they give each other lies the courage to face them.

The lesson of Petite Maman is just to be there for the people you love in times of great difficulty.

I give Petite Maman 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It's an understated, but moving little gem that I hope doesn't escape people's radar. Petite Maman is currently streaming on various VOD platforms including iTunes and Vudu.

Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEVER HAVE I EVER: SEASON 3
NEVER HAVE I EVER: SEASON 3 - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 14-18
Description - Never Have I Ever is an American coming-of-age comedy-drama television series starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. Though it takes place in the San Fernando Valley, the show is loosely based on Kaling's childhood experiences in the Boston area. The story centers around Devi Vishwakumar, a 15-year-old Indian-American Tamil girl from Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. After her father, Mohan, dies suddenly, Devi loses the sensation in her legs. This happens due to the psychological trauma of the event and she is unable to walk for three months. However, one day she miraculously recovers and stands on her legs. In the third season, Devi and Paxton have become an official couple much to the school's shock. After being shamed in the girl's bathroom and given advice by Dr. Ryan, Devi realizes that being in a relationship will not solve all her problems. After a confrontation with Zoe, she realizes that Paxton might not stay in a relationship with her if she doesn't have sex with him. After a conversation with Kamala, she realizes she is not ready to lose her virginity and Paxton supports her as well. Meanwhile, following Kamala's departure from Prashant's engagement dinner, the latter decides it is best for them to break up, much to Devi's grandmother's dismay while Fabiola, realizing that a long-distance relationship with Eve is taking a toll on her grades, decides to break up with her.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The third season of this teen "rom-dramedy" is back and even more drama filled! Existing fans and new fans will enjoy this new season of Never Have I Ever as it picks up where it left off in season two and continues to deliver young adult entertainment.

The story of hotheaded but lovable Devi Vishmakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) continues as she goes through the challenges of high school. And her love triangle with Ben (Jaren Lewison) and Paxton (Darren Barnet) isn't nearly over yet.

Since this is the third season, I highly recommend watching the previous seasons to catch up on everything in the storyline thus far. Returning fans will love that the series stays consistent with its themes: dramatic irony and horrible decision-making. The entire cast is super talented with the best performances coming from Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Devi), Jaren Lewison (Ben) and Poorna Jagannathan (Dr. Nalini.) As always, Maitreyi keeps the perfect balance of being rash and rage-filled with being sweet and relatable. She really makes you love to love and to hate her character. Jaren, similarly to Maitreyi, can be very cocky at points, but you can't help but forgive him. Poorna Jagannathan, while still the same person in essence, really morphs into a new character in this season. My favorite character is Dr. Jamie Ryan (Niecy Nash) because she delivers comedic relief while also providing comfort.

The messages of Never Have I Ever are similar to season one and two. Essentially, they are to make good decisions and think things through, while also remembering to have some fun along the way. The series also shows how powerful love from friends and family can be. There is profanity and some suggestive material.

I give Never Have I Ever 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It comes out on Netflix on August 12, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KUNG FU GHOST
KUNG FU GHOST - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - When a charming but na�ve young woman inherits her late -Grandfather's estate, she soon discovers the house's ghostly inhabitants who have taken a pledge to protect her family's century-old secrets and powerful artifacts. Now, to guard the future, she teams up with spirits of the past to fight treasure-hunting criminals and discovers the power of life itself.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kung Fu Ghost is a fun movie that is both action-packed and a love story. The cinematography is strikingly beautiful and it is filled with both kung fu fighting and teenager love which makes it appealing for a cross section of people and ages.

The story follows a young Vietnamese woman named Daisy (Jennifer N Linch) who inherits her grandfather's US estate. She plans to stay in the house only long enough to sell it and return to Vietnam to re-open her grandmother's restaurant. However, she discovers that her deceased grandfather's (David S. Dawson) ghost haunts the house along with his friend William (Noah Sargent). They are protectors of a magic relic. The film tells the story of the lengths the ghosts take to protect the girl and the relic from harm.

It is easy to be drawn into this film. The story flows seamless from scene to scene. The characters are believable and are very well developed and it is easy to be empathic to what everyone is going through. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the target audience and, although the kung fu fights are realistic, they are in the realm of martial arts and not particularly violent. There certainly is no bloody, gory violence. The cinematography is outstanding. The images are clean and crisp and the outdoor scenes are exquisite. The background music is also beautiful. I like how the film teaches us a bit about teenage Asian culture.

The message of the film is about honoring our elders and being open to new experiences.

I highly recommend Kung Fu Ghost for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It releases on DVD August 2, 2022.

By Pamela L., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kung Fu Ghost is a unique film that incorporates different messages and the basics of learning something new. If you like to watch films with a good message that everyone can relate to, then you should check this out.

The story follows Daisy (Jennifer N. Linch) who has just inherited her grandpa's house, but discovers that the house is haunted and she has to stay there for a whole week. During her stay she encounters ghosts who have come to protect Daisy's family's secrets and special artifacts. When robbers come to steal these artifacts, Daisy has to learn how to defend herself and how to keep her family secrets safe.

This film is very family friendly. Although this film isn't a big budget production, I like how they got creative and used what they had. For example, Daisy's grandpa's house doesn't look like how you would expect it to look, but without all the cobwebs and trash all over the place, it is still a very nice house. At times in the film it is difficult to understand the dialogue because the characters speak too low or their pronunciation is off. When Daily first arrives at her grandfather's house you can barely understand what she is saying. But for the most part, the actors' performances are believable. My favorite character is William (Noah Sargent), because he is mysterious and he adds more suspense to the film, plus he is a nice guy. Anytime he appears in a scene, he makes you anticipate what is going to happen next.

The message of the film is that if you try hard enough you will succeed. In the beginning Daisy isn't a person that people would call "strong," so when she has to learn to defend herself it's not easy at first. In the end she learns how to do defend herself and proves people wrong.

I give Kung Fu Ghost 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases on VOD and DVD August 2, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Kung Fu Ghost is a film with many good qualities - a unique storyline and inclusion of up-and-coming new actors that do a fair job portraying their characters.

The storyline follows a young woman named Daisy (Jennifer N. Linch) who has moved from Vietnam to California after inheriting her late grandfather's (David S. Dawson) estate. Quickly after she arrives, she discovers that the estate is haunted by the spirit of her grandfather and a ghost named William (Noah Sargent). The ghostly inhabitants vow to protect her family's secrets and special artifacts, but when treasure-hunting criminals threaten the future, she teams up with the ghosts to try and stop them.

Kung Fu Ghost is a film with a lot of potential. I like that it shows us some new talent like Jennifer N. Linch, David S. Dawson and Noah Sargent. These actors are clearly passionate about this project and it shows in their performances. Jennifer N. Linch shows fear, admiration, shock, anger, disappointment and so many other emotions. Her reactions to certain situations are realistic, which makes the audience more interested in the story. You can also tell that the actors were well prepared for their roles. Kung Fu Ghost has a few editing flaws, such as the scenes where Daisy is on a video call with her aunt. The picture of Daisy's aunt is noticeably edited onto the phone. An honorable mention is Jennifer N. Linch, who serves as the director and producer, and also plays the lead role. Not only does Jennifer N. Linch have all of these credits for this film, but she also specializes in various martial arts, which is incorporated into the film. Adding this element to the Kung Fu Ghost makes it feel more authentic.

The message of Kung Fu Ghost is to give people a chance before you judge them. Although Daisy is quick to not want anything to do with her ghost grandfather, she finds that she can rely on him more than she initially thinks.

I give Kung Fu Ghost 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Viewers who enjoy movies about ghosts and spirits may find Kung Fu Ghost particularly fascinating. You can find Kung Fu Ghost on VOD and DVD August 2, 2022.

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS
DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - In DC League of Super-Pets, Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince a rag-tag shelter pack--Ace the hound, PB the potbellied pig, Merton the turtle and Chip the squirrel--to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the superheroes. Dwayne Johnson stars as the voice of Krypto the Super-Dog in Warner Bros. Pictures' animated action-adventure feature film "DC League of Super-Pets," from director Jared Stern. The film also stars the voices of Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, and John Krasinski.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - DC League of Super-Pets is sure to be a fan favorite for kids who love superheroes and animals! This animated movie is full of classic crime fighting battles as well as heartfelt messages, making it a perfect family movie.

Superman (John Krasinski) and Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), the Super-Dog, have been best friends since birth. When the entire Justice League is kidnapped, Krypto must create a crime fighting league of his own, so he enlists the help of shelter pets Ace (Kevin Hart), Merton (Natasha Lyonne), PB (Vanessa Bayer) and Chip (Diego Luna) to save the Justice League and all of Metropolis.

The animation is beautiful! The characters' designs, especially the pets, are so adorable and keep a cartoonish and comic book-like feeling. The humor is great; it pokes fun at other studios (like Marvel Studios) and also at itself (DC Comics), making it relatable to teens and adults who have seen the more serious Marvel and DC movies. The voice acting is outstanding. Everyone fits their roles so well and they really bring their characters to life, displaying each one's unique personality. The actors that stand out the most are Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Natasha Lyonne and Kate McKinnon. Dwayne Johnson as Krypto and Kevin Hart as Ace are a dynamic duo as their chemistry is so apparent - no doubt due to the many times they have worked together in other films. Natasha Lyonne perfects the voice of Old Lady Merton. Her comedic timing is spot on. Kate McKinnon, as Lulu happens to be my favorite character, but I can't say why as I don't want to give away any spoilers. What I can say is that her role appears to be written specifically for her.

The primary message of DC League of Super-Pets is that friendship, teamwork and love is stronger than any superpower. There are also themes of moving on and making room for new loved ones. Plus, this movie may inspire people to adopt animals from a shelter. I know I'm ready to!

I give DC League of Super-Pets 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus pet and superhero lovers! It releases in theaters July 29, 2022.

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

Fun for kids and families, DC League of Super-Pets is a fantastic addition to the DC superhero film franchise. My favorite DC superhero characters have come to life as pets in this new action-packed film and I love it.

After Superman's home, Kyrpton, is destroyed, he is sent to earth with a trusty companion, his super-pet Krypto. As Superman and the Justice League are kidnapped by a hairless hamster, Lex Luther's pet, Lulu, Krypto and his unlikely pet friends ban together to save them.

It is great seeing Batman (Keanu Reeves), Superman (John Krasinski), Green Lantern (Dascha Polanco), The Flash (John Early), Aquaman (Jemaine Clemente) and Cyborg (Daveed Diggs), aka the Justice League, in cartoon form. This film is perfect for a family movie nigh with the perfect mix of action, comedy and adventure. DC League of Super-Pets brings back arguably the best Hollywood duo to the big screen, Kevin Hart and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. As their characters are familiar and recognizable throughout the story I love how the writers shape them with new personalities, quirks and even genders. It is like rediscovering these classic superhero favorites all over again. My favorite character is Ace, played by Kevin Hart who embodies his pit-bull character really well. The comedy and punch lines land every-time, which is greatly appreciated.

The message in DC League of Super-Pets is that growth is inevitable, good for you and good for those around you. Be forewarned that this film contains some suggestive language.< p>I give DC League of Super-Pets 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters July 27, 2022. You don't want to miss it!

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

DC League of Super-Pets is a wonderful new film with great voice-acting, awesome animation, and a fantastic message. The whole family will love it!

The story follows Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), a super dog owned by the one and only Superman. Superman has been hanging out with his girlfriend, Lois (Olivia Wilde) too much, and Krypto feels left out. But after Superman is kidnapped along with the rest of the Justice League by evil guinea pig, Lulu (Kate McKinnon), Krypto meets a group of pound animals and he must learn to work together with them to save the Justice League, and the world.

The animation of the pets in this movie is terrific; all their crazy superpowers are animated so well. Kevin Hart's portrayal of Ace is one of my favorites. It's really funny when he's trying to escape from the pound. I also love PB (Vanessa Byer) and Ch'p (Diego Luna) because they make up a lot of the funniest scenes in the movie. There's one scene when both of them are they're trying to create an epic training montage, because you have to have an epic training montage, obviously. But it goes horribly wrong and their powers start going insane and they all start flying everywhere! Their friendship with Merton the turtle (Natasha Lyonne) is really fun to watch. One of my favorite things is the soundtrack. It's a combination of old and new songs that are all equally fun pump-up songs, with lyrics that are quite familiar to most people. This movie is very sweet and some scenes may even bring the waterworks as they did for me. My favorite scene is when Superman ditches Krypto to go on a date with Lois. Another scene I really like is the scene with Krypto singing Taylor Swift's song, "Bad Blood," while eating strawberry ice cream on the bed and watching The Great British Bake Off.

The message of DC League of Super-Pets is that sometimes you have to sacrifice for the people you love. It's a message that is seen throughout the movie through love between friends or pet and owner.

I give DC League of SuperPets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters July 29, 2022.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

DC League of Super-Pets is not only "dog-tastic," it's "fun-tastic" as well! I can't remember watching another movie with so much spontaneous laughter and applause from a screening audience. This animated story will be one your family will want to watch again and again.

In DC League of Super-Pets, Krypto the Super-Dog (Dwayne Johnson) and Superman (John Krasinski) are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince an unlikely group of animal shelter heroes that they need to band together to help him rescue their human superhero counterparts. The movie trailer for DC League of Super-Pets gives audiences an accurate portrayal of the movie, in this rare instance, as well as interesting glimpses of the delightful characters and humorous situations which develop.

Our new heroes come to life in this animated action adventure film from Director Jared Stern who is also one of the writers. The cast is notably talented and Krypto's other canine member Ace (Kevin Hart) teaches him that love is unconditional and that you can't have justice without truth. This movie really has a fabulous ensemble cast and there are too many individuals to mention, and they all contribute to the hilarity of this story. Like the many pets they portray, the characters are fun, loyal and show us that we all need a best friend. My favorite scene is one where Krypto is jealous and gets up to some serious antics when he is home alone. It's set to the song "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift, which plays in the background when he indulges his feelings. Dwayne Johnson really brings his character to life and writers Jared Stern and John Whittington must have pets at home, as they capture the canine spirit perfectly. There is also the competitiveness between Batman and Superman, which underlies some of the humorous scenes and interaction.

The message of this film is that love is unconditional, even if it hurts. Krypto and his alter-ego, Bark Kent, are jealous of Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde). He learns that change and accepting new friends can expand the possibilities of love. Before the movie starts there is a segment about Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org) and how you can become a superhero to homeless pets. As a person who has adopted two homeless pets, I can't tell you how meaningful it is for DC Super League of Pets to recognize the love that these animals can bring into our lives just as Krypto experiences in the film!

I rate DC League of Super-Pets, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, but of course adults will enjoy the humor and storyline as well. It is available in theaters July 29, 2022, so don't miss this tail-wagging adventure!

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The new animated film DC League of Super-Pets absolutely hits the mark for younger kids with a cute and sweet storyline that make it very family friendly. It's predictable, but still fun to watch, especially because the cast is outstanding!

DC League of Super-Pets is about how Superman's (John Krasinski) dog, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) and his pet friends save Justice League. When Superman falls in love, Krypto feels like he isn't needed any longer by Superman. Superman notices that and tries to get Krypto a friend, but he can't find one until he checks out the pet adoption center. When Superman is kidnapped, Krypto and his animal buddies have to rescue him and save the Justice League.

The graphics of this animated film are pretty neat. Add to that a super soundtrack and great voice actors. Each actor, from Dwayne Johnson's Krypto, John Krasinski's Superman and Kevin Hart's shelter dog, Ace and you've got a great cast of characters, whether they are being funny or serious. Additional starring roles are played by Keanu Reeves, Ben Schwartz, Kate McKinnon, Diego Luna and more. My favorite character is Krypto because of how funny and cute he is, which is no surprise since Dwayne Johnson excels at that! My favorite scene of Krypto's is when Superman is getting ready for date night and Krypto thinks Superman's girlfriend is going to replace him so, he starts crying while watching his favorite show that he and Superman would watch together. Another fun part is when he eats quarts of ice cream.

The moral of DC League of Super-Pets it that it's not about what you do, it's about who you are. Krypto learns this when he can't use his powers, but that isn't the problem. His father says he is the problem.

I give DC League of Super-Pets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theatres on July 29, 2022.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!

Who doesn't love a good superhero movie? Krypto and his new friends are here to save the day and, in the process, entertain the audience. With a hilarious script and fresh characters, there is never a dull moment in DC League of Super-Pets.

DC League of Super-Pets is about Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), the strong and powerful super-dog sidekick to Superman (John Krasinski). Superman and Krypto have been inseparable for years. But when Superman starts getting closer to his girlfriend, Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde), Krypto feels out of place. Before Krypto and Superman have the chance to see eye-to-eye, Superman and the rest of the Justice League get kidnapped. Finding himself without powers, Krypto has to learn to accept help as he teaches a group of shelter animals how to master their new powers, in order to save Superman.

DC League of Super-Pets is one of the most humorous and entertaining movies I've seen all year. One of the first things audiences will notice when watching DC League of Super-Pets is the comical tone. The script is very sarcastic and each character has their own moment to make the audience laugh. When Krypto and Ace (Kevin Hart) have scenes together, there's always a lighthearted banter between them. As Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are best friends in real life, it surely makes them perfect for these roles; they both sound very natural and their comedic timing is impeccable. Along with the two of them, the other animals all have unique personalities that help them support each other. I commend the casting director, Ruth Lambert, for choosing actors that fit each role so well. In addition to the humor in the film, DC League of Super-Pets has multiple monologues and impactful scenes with important messages. When Krypto is feeling that all is lost and Ace goes to comfort him, we learn about Ace's past during a heartfelt monologue. He teaches us that if you care about someone, you should put them first no matter what. The pacing of DC League of Super-Pets makes it easy to follow and enjoyable. The story is thoroughly explained and it's an appropriate length.

The message of DC League of Super-Pets is that there's no such thing as perfection. Krypto is so used to being perfect with his powers that he has difficulty accepting anything else. He has to learn that Ace and the rest of the shelter pets aren't flawless, but that's what makes them who they are.

I rate DC League of Super-Pets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It's a great film for families and anyone can find something to enjoy. DC League of Super-Pets releases in theaters on July 29, 2022. Make sure you check it out!

By Maica Nesmith, KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

DC League of Super-Pets is a highly comedic movie. As expected with superhero movies, this film is filled with action and adventure, except from the most unlikely heroes and villains. Yet, there's something about furry friends that makes any movie feel more lighthearted. With a great message, engaging plot and talented cast, this is a film you'll want to watch again and again.

This film is about a dog named Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) who is Superman's sidekick and also his best friend. They fight crime with each other, sharing the same powers. When Lex Luthor's guinea pig, Lulu (Kate McKinnon), takes away Krypto's powers and captures the entire Justice League, she tries to free Lex Luther from captivity so the two of them can take over the world. Krypto soon discovers that a pack of shelter animals has gained powers of their own, so he teaches them how to use and control their powers. Now Krypto and the shelter animals need to work together as a team if they want to stop Lulu's evil plan.

This is an amazing film to watch. Something I like about this film is the comedy. All the characters in this film are actually sarcastic and have a great sense of humor. When something serious is happening the characters find a way to make us laugh in the middle of an intense moment. I also like the character development for Krypto. In the beginning, Krypto is used to working by himself and not sharing with anyone else other than Superman. But, because he needs help from the other animals to save the Justice League and has to help them learn to live with their new powers, he has to share and communicate better. My favorite character is Ace (Kevin Hart), because he is kind and caring towards others, even if he doesn't seem that way at the start. He tries to be strong and tough in front of the others, but his actions throughout the movie show that deep inside, he isn't what he seems on the outside.

The message of this film is that sometimes you have to do anything for the people you love, even if it means sacrificing yourself. In the film we see multiple acts of heroism from different characters which shows how they would do anything for the people they really care about.

I give DC League of Super-Pets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters July 29, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

By Giana Nesmith, KIDSFIRST Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD CAMP CRETACEOUS SEASON 5
JURASSIC WORLD CAMP CRETACEOUS SEASON 5 - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - The show Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is back for its 5th and final season. This season's message and plot is deeper than the rest, because it deals with animal cruelty towards the dinosaurs. Even with that, this is still an action-packed season that you don't want to miss.

The final season of this show centers on friends Kenji (Ryan Potter), Brooklyn (Jenna Ortega), Yasmine (Kausar Mohammed), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) and Darius (Paul-Mik�l Williams) who are hoping for a chance to get found as they are stuck on an unknown island. As Kenji's father, Mr. Kon (Andrew Kishino), appears, their hope for making it out is somewhat high, but not for long. Mr. Kon is planting chips in the dinosaurs' brains, leaving the dinosaurs with no control over themselves. They must work together if they ever want to save the dinosaurs and make it off of the island alive.

Something I like and find unique, is how the kids act towards the dinosaurs. Even though the dinosaurs sometimes try to eat them, they don't treat them like evil creatures or as if they are always the bad guy. The kids want to protect the dinosaurs and make their lives and environment better. Another aspect of the show that I enjoy is that they incorporated modern items, such as a tablet and phone, to what feels like a prehistoric time with dinosaurs. My favorite episode is "Shaky Ground" because it mainly focuses on Darius and Brooklyn trying to figure out how to cope with what they see and what they know. This episode shows how they are able to work a difficult problem through together. My favorite character is Darius, because he is the most gentle and caring towards the dinosaurs and he is a nice kid in general. I also enjoy the scenes with Ben because he has a great sense of humor. Even when things are not going their way, he finds a way to make the situation light. The message of Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is that you should treat everyone and everything fairly. What happens to the dinosaurs in this season is unfair and the kids know it. That is why they go out of their way to help save them. This is totally family-friendly and a great show to watch.

I give Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This is also a great show for families to watch together. You can watch this show on Netflix starting July 21, 2022. Be sure to check it out!


KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The show Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is back for its 5th and final season. This season's message and plot is deeper than the rest, because it deals with animal cruelty towards the dinosaurs. Even with that, this is still an action-packed season that you don't want to miss.

The final season of this show centers on friends Kenji (Ryan Potter), Brooklyn (Jenna Ortega), Yasmine (Kausar Mohammed), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) and Darius (Paul-Mik�l Williams) who are hoping for a chance to get found as they are stuck on an unknown island. As Kenji's father, Mr. Kon (Andrew Kishino), appears, their hope for making it out is somewhat high, but not for long. Mr. Kon is planting chips in the dinosaurs' brains, leaving the dinosaurs with no control over themselves. They must work together if they ever want to save the dinosaurs and make it off of the island alive.

Something I like and find unique, is how the kids act towards the dinosaurs. Even though the dinosaurs sometimes try to eat them, they don't treat them like evil creatures or as if they are always the bad guy. The kids want to protect the dinosaurs and make their lives and environment better. Another aspect of the show that I enjoy is that they incorporated modern items, such as a tablet and phone, to what feels like a prehistoric time with dinosaurs. My favorite episode is "Shaky Ground" because it mainly focuses on Darius and Brooklyn trying to figure out how to cope with what they see and what they know. This episode shows how they are able to work a difficult problem through together. My favorite character is Darius, because he is the most gentle and caring towards the dinosaurs and he is a nice kid in general. I also enjoy the scenes with Ben because he has a great sense of humor. Even when things are not going their way, he finds a way to make the situation light. The message of Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is that you should treat everyone and everything fairly. What happens to the dinosaurs in this season is unfair and the kids know it. That is why they go out of their way to help save them. This is totally family-friendly and a great show to watch.

I give Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This is also a great show for families to watch together. You can watch this show on Netflix starting July 21, 2022. Be sure to check it out!


Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV



NEW SEARCH

All content ©Copyright 1991-2023 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media

Database search interactivity by NET MAN
Entertainment News for Kids:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Tik Tok Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook