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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADDAMS FAMILY, THE
ADDAMS FAMILY, THE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family -- Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma -- are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler realizes that the Addams' eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighborhood.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Addams Family is a thoroughly hilarious watch for families. Even adults can have fun as the film boasts humor for all ages. Excellent voice acting and consistently funny script impress. It truly has something for everyone.

The story follows the iconic family in their first animated adventure. Being the kookiest family on the block, several homeowners lend massive disgust for their unconventional ways, teaming up to bring them down. Amidst this is a funny and iconic tale about what it means to be a good neighbor.

The Addams family cast all boast great performances. Oscar Isaac, as Gomez, presents his patriarchal side and his interactions with Pugsley provide great humor. Likewise, Charlize Theron, as Morticia, who cares greatly for Wednesday. Pugsley and Wednesday, played respectively by Finn Wolfhard and Chloe Grace Moretz, are a lot of fun to watch together as they do not get along. Wednesday is my favorite character because her over-analytical self is always enjoyable to watch. Also, Snoop Dogg's cameo is well worth price of admission; it's truly unexpected and works.

Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, known for films such as Shrek 2, aptly direct this film. However, the animation does leave a bit more to be desired; as I felt elements lack refinement and detail, especially compared to current animation. My favorite scene is when Lurch, a creature alike Frankenstein, sings. It's truly hilarious and works amidst his roster of piano playing. The film loses traction once, focusing on the homeowners who lack the characterization of the Addams. Also, Pugsley feels rather undeveloped when compared to Wednesday. I feel that more time could have been devoted to characterizing him.

The message of this film is about accepting others for who they are and learning to resolve differences. Even though The Addams Family is played for outlandish humor, the film realizes the importance of this message and hopes for everyone to accept one another. I give The Addams Family 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 due to its macabre humor. The movie releases in theaters on October 11, 2019, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ABOMINABLE
ABOMINABLE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family. But to do so, they must stay one step ahead of a wealthy financier and a determined zoologist who want to capture the beast for their own gain.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To say I love this film would be an understatement! DreamWorks' Abominable is more than a film--it is an experience! It is like a 4D movie without the glasses or vibrating chairs.

Abominable introduces us to a Yeti named Everest, voice by Joseph Izzo, and a young girl named Yi, voice by Chloe Bennet. Everest is being hunted by a scientist and bad guys. Yi is attempting to cope with the death of her father--unfortunately she is trying to push away friends and family that love her. You could say both the Yeti and Yi are being pursued in different ways. Yi befriends Everest and goes on a journey to take him home to Mount Everest. Together, they escape on a magical and surprising adventure that brings them both home, literally and figuratively speaking. Yi and Everest are joined by Yi's friends Jin, voice by Tenzing Trainor and Ping, voice by Albert Tsai.

In the theatre, I sat immersed by the sights and sounds of this film. I felt the violin, performed by Mark Berrow, as if I was at a live performance. The CGI animation is by far the best I've ever experienced. The detail and vibrant colors of the trees, flowers, water and mountains almost make me forget I am indoors. An interesting fact is that Tenzing Trainor is the grandson of Nepalese Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. As the characters in this film try to accomplish this same feat, I am further drawn into this movie and impressed with the choice of casting. I'm equally impressed by the over 60 people responsible for the visual effects. One of my favorite parts is a magical moment when an avalanche of realistic-looking, giant blueberries occurs: "got blueberries in places blueberries should never be!" And Jin's two giant blueberry buttocks are hilarious.

Just as Yi is considering giving up the climb, they come across a river of koi, swimming upstream. The koi illustrate the film's message of perseverance.

Abominable has minimal violence. There are no moments of profanity or adult situations. I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, and adults will enjoy it as well. You can find this film in theaters nationwide, September 27, 2019.

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

Abominable is a heartwarming watch for families. Excellent voice acting and breathtaking visuals are the show-stealers. It truly has something for everyone.

The story follows teenager Yi (Chloe Bennet) as she encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She and her good friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him "Everest" and embark on a quest to bring the magical creature home. But they will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest.

Chloe Bennet is great as Yi, with her voice work providing emotion and wit. I especially enjoyed her dynamic with Everest as the two start to relate with one another. This is really the film's heart and best elements. Tenzing Norgray Trainor and Albert Tsai, as Jin and Peng, are great companions and provide effective voice work. Peng is always hilarious, providing comic relief, while Jin comes to his own in his effective character arc that captures the spirit of being brave. Eddie Izzard, as Burnish, utilizes his comedic charm and blunt accent to great degree. Sarah Paulson, as Dr. Zara, is also a formidable threat as there is more than meets the eye with her.

Jill Culton revitalizes DreamWorks Animation with a nice blend of adventure and comedy, which has engaging narrative choices. Some scenes are realized so beautifully, especially the one involving Coldplay's Fix You. My favorite scene is Jin's trip to Everest, as it captures his arc effectively and features a great sense of humor. However, the film loses steam by the end and drags quite a bit. You will feel the 90 minute runtime as the group sequesters. Also, I feel that complex themes dealing with loss and grief are sidelined by the amount of humor. And, it is a children's movie after all, so I appreciate the effort to explore this territory.

The message of this film is in knowing when to reach out to others. Yi tries to accept others in her life by empathetically communicating. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on September 27, 2019, so check it out.

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

I like the new film Abominable because the storyline is heartwarming and the characters are very funny.

The story follows a magical yeti who escapes from a lab in China, and who is running away from a crazy scientist trying to catch him. The yeti soon meets a young girl named Yi who lives with her mother and grandmother. Yi and the yeti become good friends. Yi names the yeti "Everest" and helps him to get home to Mount Everest with the help of two boys, Jin and Peng, who are cousins. While the team are trying to help this cute animal, a group of the scientist's guards chase the team through out the movie. Everest is what they call an "abominable" creature. The scientist wants to catch him because Everest is exotic and special.

The CGI animation is just absolutely incredible. The background has stunning landscapes of some of China's historical landmarks. The yeti is very cute and funny. He acts a bit like a dog. The intense music tells you when the action is about to start. Some parts of the movie include violin solos since Yi plays the violin.

The moral of this story is to love your family for who they are and for what they do for you. Family always comes first, no matter what. The message is also about perseverance and never giving up.

I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults may enjoy this film as well. This awesome movie releases in theaters September 27, 2019 so go watch it before the tickets are all sold out!

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

Abominable is a great animated film, fun for the whole family! It is very heartfelt. I really love its beautifully animated scenes, especially those with violin playing laced in. This film mixes both fantasy and adventure. The feel of the movie is soothing and delivers positive vibes.

The plot is very deep, creative and well-thought-out. The story follows a rare never-before-seen Yeti who escapes a mean zoologist and wealthy art collector. The art collector wants to display the Yeti to the world and yet the zoologist has her own plans. What will become of this lovable creature?

The Yeti escapes and finds his way to the rooftop of a young woman named Yi. She is an independent misfit going through a difficult time. Yi is played by Chloe Bennet who does an excellent job with the voice over and with the emotions of this young character. Yi lost her dad and she keeps herself busy in order to not think of her loss. When she discovers the Yeti, her life is forever changed. Yi decides to help the Yeti named "Everest" (Joseph Izzo) get back to his home. Even the neighbors get caught up into the commotion and accidentally end up on this journey with Yi.

Yi's family is so cute! I love the character Nai Nai played by Tsai Chin. It reminds me of my nanna and she is so comical. Peng is played well by Albert Tsai, creating a character so obsessed with social media and his phone, just like so many of us kids today. There is a lot of great comedic timing from the actors and there are many beautiful scenes throughout. A couple of my favorite scenes happen when they face obstacles escaping the bad guys--especially, the fields of yellow flowers that turn into a tidal wave, and the tree that has amazing pink flowers and lights that bloom. It's a wonderful, magical scene with the violin playing along. There are beautiful historical sites and scenes depicted of real places in China. The colors are so bright and vibrant that you stay on the edge of your seat. The director and writer Jill Culton has created phenomenal animation that blew me away.

I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. You should go to the big screen and check this out! The release date is September 27, 2019.

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

Abominable is a fantastic movie that leaves you wanting more. The story is really funny and jam-packed with lots of emotion. The characters are easy to fall in love with, and the animation is visually stunning and very detailed. The music is beautiful to listen to, and it captures the tone and essence of this work of art. Producer Suzanne Fitzer hired all the right people: All of the voice actors--especially Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, and Tenzing Norgay Trainor--are very talented. Director and writer Jill Culton wrote this eloquent movie and directs it perfectly. Editor Susan Fitzer put everything together amazingly well.

The storyline is about a teenage girl named Yi that finds a magical yeti on the rooftop of her apartment. Yi names the yeti "Everest" after its home on famous Mount Everest. With the company of her friends Jin and Peng, Yi travels all across China to take Everest where he belongs. They are also running from the people who were keeping Everest secured. Part of the story takes place in Shanghai, China, and the film shows multiple well-known landmarks, too.

The message is to not give up on your dream and to keep going, no matter what comes your way. Abominable also teaches the value of family.

Abominable is a fun adventure movie for the whole family to watch. There is no violence or adult content, but the story touches on and deals with the topic of death. I rate Abominable 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 (adults might like it, too). You can see it at your local movie theater starting September 27, 2019, so go watch it!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AD ASTRA
AD ASTRA - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I feel transported to the moon and Neptune! This movie is not only a great story, Ad Astra is a roller coaster of emotions and a ride that makes the movie-going experience beyond the usual thrill. It's totally immersive and I enjoy that, and I recommend to experience it in IMAX for best results.

It put me at the edge of my seat and is so exiting. The pace, in general, is slow. But there are a lot of action peaks that certainly shake your emotions. The visuals are stunning and the acting overwhelming. Probably, what I enjoyed the most is that in this futuristic voyage, where imagination floats, the human condition remains grounded.

In Ad Astra, astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) joins a mission in which he will be sent to outer space to find his father, who disappeared 30 years ago and is associated with a threat to humanity. Roy's journey is also personal - they have a dysfunctional father / son relationship, but share a strong bond for the love for outer space.

The car chase on the moon, when space pirates attack, is one of my favorite scenes. It is original and out of this world, literally. I also love the scenes when Roy is floating out of the spaceship.

The cinematography (Hoyte Van Hoytema) and visual effects are the most remarkable technical aspects of the film. The movie has a heart and Brad Pitt's performance makes us remember that, despite all advances in technology and stunning visuals, the core will be always humankind. There are a lot of close ups and drama, and the journey is not only beyond the frontiers of Earth, but inside of our souls. I did not find some secondary characters' interactions as important as they should be. The music composed by Max Richter is very atmospheric and keeps us suspended.

Ad Astra is very unique because of the story; it's not like any film you have seen in the past. I definitively recommend seeing this film if you love space, or maybe just want to see something different. One thing that I really liked is how futuristic it is, in a near future that is not that far from us.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to18+. Finally, the message of this film is there's no greater journey than knowing ourselves. Ad Astra opens in theaters nationwide September 20, 2019. Look for it. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This film is nothing like what I anticipated and I mean that in a good way. I had a lot of fun discussing the themes of this movie.

The movie follows Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) as he's tasked with finding his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) in hopes of stopping a series of electrical surges that threaten the world.

Now, while the whole cast is pretty fantastic, a good majority of the film revolves around Roy McBride. There are a lot of scenes where he's by himself while narrating. And these are probably the most interesting scenes in the movie. And it's not just because of the acting. The film is filled with voice over narration from Roy and these narrations are very interesting to think about. Since Roy is essentially prohibited from emoting, the narration sort of acts as his solution to that. I think that works really well, especially since, when he actually does emote, even slightly, it hits you really hard.

Speaking of the narration, that, along with the incredible ambient music gives the tone a very eerie, atmospheric vibe which fits the feeling of isolation in the vastness of space and the monotone acting. There's also a lot of ideas in this film that are really creative and worthy of discussion. For example, in this movie there are commercial flights to the moon. So when Roy actually gets to the moon, you can see recognizable restaurants in the background, implying the moon is essentially a travel location. This is such a neat idea and something I really wish was expanded upon. Not only that, but this film has some really thought-provoking themes relating to legacies, searching for something greater and repressing your emotions. For most of the film, people see Roy in relation to who his father was. And these scenes, along with some spoiler-y moments, led me and my mom to have an entire discussion about how certain people will never be able to fully escape the legacy of their ancestors, as their ancestor and that ancestor's name will always weigh on them. Not just that, but the way space is used as a metaphor for taking what you have in life for granted is intriguing.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It comes out September 20, 2019. Look for it. By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Are you ready for a thrilling movie experience? Ad Astra delivers this and more with terrific acting, great cinematography and amazing sound.

The film's title draws its name from the Latin phrase "ad astra" and means "to the stars." This science fiction movie is about an astronaut named Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who goes into space to find his father (Tommy Lee Jones), who was also an astronaut. When his father went to work on something called the Lima Project, he went missing and died, or so Roy thinks. He is called in and told that his father might be alive and is sent across the solar system to find him.

Ad Astra is so intense - almost too intense for me. The amazing performances from Brad Pitt, as Roy McBride, and Tommy Lee Jones, as Roy's father, are so believable and they made want to both love and hate the characters by the end of the movie. The special effects are realistic, and the sound is astonishing, as you can hear every move made. My favorite character is Roy because of his perseverance.

The message of the movie is: if something is hard, work through it. The intensity of the movie comes from some profanity, bloody images, dead bodies and violence (including some murderous actions). Obviously, these scenes include risky things that kids might try to do.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as kids any younger might get scared (like me!). Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters September 20, 2019. By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Ad Astra has a very strange and artistic viewpoint of space. This film is personally not really my taste in film, but there are definitely moments that catch my eye. The way the visual effects pull this film together is completely mind blowing. They create the look of space and planets being realistic as if they are right in front of you.

Ad Astra tells the story of Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who works for Spacecom. Roy sets out on an expedition across the solar system to find his father and his dad's doomed expedition in order to solve a mystery that is threatening the universe.

I would like to acknowledge Brad Pitt's acting. Brad Pitt plays a major role in this film and, boy, he pulls it off outstandingly! You can definitely tell that he brings his all to bringing the concept to life. However, the ending could have been a little bit more put together. I was a little confused throughout the whole movie and the ending did throw me off more than other parts. Also, they could have given more information on a few characters--some randomly appear and leave which leaves you wondering what happened to them.

Ad Astra delivers a very inspiring message: Never give up hope and keep fighting for what you love no matter what someone or the world tells you.

Ad Astra has some blood and gore, though there is hardly any profanity, except for one word and one gesture. I give Ad Astra 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18 and adults would enjoy it. All in all, I recommend you check this film out. Ad Astra is in theatres September 20, 2019. By Madison W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Ad Astra is an engrossing odyssey about outer space and the inner life of an emotionally distant astronaut.

A massive surge of energy hits Earth leaving chaos in its wake. The surge is traced deep into space, and the suspected culprit is the father of Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who disappeared years ago in search of extraterrestrial life. Roy is sent deep into the reaches of the solar system to find his father. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance, and it's up to Roy to avert further catastrophe.

Roy is calm and collected to an unusual extent. This calm demeanor assists him at work, but impairs his personal life. In the hands of a less-skilled performer, Roy McBride would feel bland, but Brad Pitt's performance is nuanced and subtle, showing that what is going on under the surface is the key to McBride's character. Pitt's reserved performance gives his small and spare spurts of visible emotion greater magnitude.

It's fascinating to see what an auteur like director James Gray does with Ad Astra. Gray takes his time, indulging in the aesthetics of the individual environments that Roy visits and offering up numerous wide shots of the endless void of space. The visual splendor on display from Gray--and also the remarkable cinematography from Hoyt van Hoytema--are jaw dropping to behold. I was surprised by the quality of the few action set pieces in the film. Whether it's a chase on rovers with space pirates across the lunar surface or a bare-knuckled brawl in zero gravity, the set pieces are strangely well executed for what is, in essence, a meditative character study.

Ad Astra has the sensibilities of an art film colliding with a familiar galactic adventure narrative. Gray uses the interstellar voyage to tell a story about dealing with the absence of a parent and overcoming the burdens of the past. McBride's quest to find his father becomes a quest to find himself.

Ad Astra has a larger reliance on science than fiction. The setup of this futuristic concept through world building grounds the film in a sense of reality. The setup is so well executed that the rest of the film pales in comparison.

I give Ad Astra an age rating of 11 to 18 for sci-fi violence and a little bit of language. Although I enjoyed it, the film will resonate more with adults. I give Ad Astra 3.5 out of 5 stars--it is an artfully done, well-made sci-fi flick that demands to be seen on the big screen. It opens in theaters September 20, 2019 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TALL GIRL
TALL GIRL - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - Tall Girl is the 2019 Netflix original comedy about Jodi, the tallest girl in her school, who has never quite felt comfortable in her own statuesque skin. All of that changes when she falls for the handsome (and equally tall) foreign exchange student Stig who, of course, gets Jodi's quirky, best, male friend Dunkleman and his hippie mom as a host family. As a result, Jodi gets embroiled in a surprising love triangle, which helps her realize she's far more than her insecurities about her height have led her to believe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Netflix's new movie Tall Girl is a wonderful coming-of-age story that touched my heart. It is really a perfect teen movie, as it deals with insecurity, friendships, relationships, high school, bullying and finding the confidence to believe in oneself.

What I particularly like about the film is that it has a great positive message that, even if you can't change something about yourself, you should embrace your uniqueness since that is what makes you special. For instance, the main character Jodi, played by the amazingly multi-talented Ava Michelle, is very tall at 6 foot 1 inch, and has been bullied her whole life because of it. Kids tease Jodi in school with comments like, "How's the weather up there?," which naturally hurts her feelings. However, one day, a tall and handsome foreign exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner) comes to her high school and takes an interest in Jodi. This relationship along with her best friend Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) and her beauty queen sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) help Jodi find the confidence to believe in and truly accept herself.

My favorite scene is when Jodi and Stig sing the song "Stand Tall" together. It is an original song that Luke Eisner wrote with his band Viola about his father fighting cancer. The song incorporates perfectly into this movie with new lyrics by both Luke and Ava that they recorded in a bathroom. There is also a lot of humor in the movie. Specifically, Dunkleman is very funny and does impressions of Kevin Hart and other people.

The talent is off the charts in this movie. Luke Eisner is incredibly handsome and has the smoothness of a young George Clooney. His Swedish is authentic and I just can't get his gorgeous voice out of my head now. Ava Michelle's voice is wonderful too; together they harmonize on a couple of songs that I just love listening to. Ava is also a great pianist. I also found Griffin's humor hysterical and, after interviewing him with other actors from the cast, I could immediately see that he has stellar improv chops. Sabrina Carpenter perfectly captures a high school beauty queen. I don't think there's anything that Sabrina Carpenter cannot do!

What sticks out in mind about this movie is that it is of the utmost importance to believe in yourself. The movie also reminds us to never trade your integrity by just hanging out with the popular crowd.

This film has several fantastic, timeless moral messages including "accepting and believing in yourself and don't compromise your integrity." It's perfect for teen audiences. I believe both boys and girls will like this movie and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 as there is some kissing in it. I give Tall Girl 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see it again! It premieres on Netflix on September 13, 2019. Look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There's just one problem... they're everywhere and they love to cause mischief!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Yo-kai are invisible spirit-like entities that take many forms and are liable for your daily troubles. Nathan Adams (Nate), a normal boy, receives the Yo-kai watch and with it, is able to see the Yo-kai. These mischievous entities show up unexpectedly and you never know what is going to happen.

This series has good production quality and the story lines flow well. It captures the audience's attention with catchy music, bright colors and true-to-life adventures mixed with imaginative themes. The series highlights the ability to problem-solve as Nate and his Yo-kai have to discover a way out of silly and chaotic situations. Some of the jokes are more grown up and the story lines are more suited for more mature kids. For example, the Yo-kai talk about being hot, as in attractive. An older child would enjoy this series due to its catchy theme songs and familiar story lines.

The story-lines flow well, are easy to follow and draw you in. When Nate is overcome by handsomeness, his classmates respond as normal teenagers would and tell him that he is creeping them out. The material is accurate and is suitable for its target audience. The series uses vocabulary suitable for teens with words such as narcissist and sketchy.

The DVD cover design is appealing, showcasing the main characters and listing several of the episodes. The series is high in entertainment value and invites the viewer to question, probe and problem-solve. For example, in The Legend of Dandoodle, Nate is overcome by handsomeness and his Yo-kai must find a way to help.

The message is to be careful what you wish for. Although the Yo-kai Watch allows Nate to see the Yo-kai, once they are in his life, things became chaotic.

Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, volume 2 offers 290 minutes of fantastical adventure. Each episode is 20 to 22 minutes of non-stop0 action. The menu allows you to play all episodes or watch them individually. I recommend this DVD for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

While Yo-kai Watch: Season 1, Volume 2 has an appealing lead character and is full of quirky and imaginative creatures. However, the stakes are rarely higher than intense embarrassment, a bad day, or a failed assignment. The show does offer examples of kindness and consideration of others, particularly when dealing with clashing personalities, and there are legitimate examples of love shown, particularly for those closest to young people such as their parents, siblings, and friends. While the story-telling lacks depth, the episodes are entertaining and are a safe bet for keeping kids entertained. I found this collection of stories more interesting for its quirkiness than for spectacular storytelling.

The episodes on this DVD follows Nate, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary gift - a watch which allows him to see Yo-kai. Yo-kai are mischievous spirits who spend their time making trouble and getting mixed up in people's business. With the help of couple Yo-kai friends, Nate balances his ordinary life of home and school, with his responsibility to handle the problems the Yo-kai make.

The episodes tend to jump around a lot, making the story-telling somewhat choppy. The stakes in the stories tend to be somewhat inconsequential, and Yo-kai are never portrayed as much of a serious threat. The main character Nate is the same age as the target audience, making him and his struggles relatable. There are a lot of exotic and quirky creatures in every episode, many of them with kid-like personalities themselves. Also, there is plenty of messing around and slap-stick humor that will appear to the target age.

The whole concept of Yo-kai is, of course, fictional. The prison in the show is stated to be Alcatraz, but the city the show is set in bares little resemblance to San Francisco. Since the show is not designed to be educational, this is not a major concern.

There are plenty of stunts in the episodes that would not be safe for kids to imitate. Fortunately, the Yo-kai Whisper comes states at the beginning of each episode that replicating these stunts is ill-advised. That's certainly a positive thing. At one point, a character uses a disguise to get a girl to fall in love with him, not because he cares about her in any way, but because he wants her heart. However, there is another scene where a character willingly throws himself in front of a bus to save a girl he cares about.

The animation style is tidy and typical of the anime genre. Since the show's English voice actors' voices are dubbed over the original Japanese voices, people's lines don't always match up with how their mouths move. The DVD's menu allows for chapter selection and names all the mini-sections in each episode.

This show could be beneficial socially, showing kids how to deal with unfortunate circumstances and clashing personalities. One concern I have is what this show teaches about death and what happens after people die. Parents would be advised to discuss this topic with their children after watching the show.

Yo-kai Watch promotes the premise that the unlucky, unfortunate things that happen to us aren't really our fault, but rather that of mischievous creatures who may be causing us problems. This is an interesting message, although it may encourage kids to not take responsibility for the problems they create. On the positive side, the show portrays a hero who, rather than getting mad or resigning himself to problems, tries to help and make things right. It's fun to watch and kids will enjoy it. I recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

Reviewed by Elizabeth R., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon. This DVD is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kais.

The Yo-kai Watch DVD includes two disks of Season 1, Volume 2, episodes. Each disk is approximately 145 minutes long, for a total of 290 minutes. That's a lot of cartoons! Each disk has a variety of different episodes, that are not necessarily in order. For example, disk 1 has episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3 and 4, which was a little confusing to me.

The storyline on this DVD is about a kid named Nate, who is an average boy that struggles to be popular at school. His parents are somewhat fun, but to him they are also rather weird. He has a special watch with different Yo-Kai's, which are invisible spirit-like entities responsible for annoying situations that make Nate's life to not be the same. One particular Yo-kai is his best friend. His name is Whisper and he teaches Nate about all the different types of Yo-kai and what they are capable of doing.

The theme song is catchy and appropriate for this show. The animation is very neat; the colors are bright and the background is colorful and well drawn. The episodes are kind of confusing because they don't follow a sequence. It's a mix of different situations. There are also two other story lines. One is about the great (Dog) escape, the other is about two Yo-Kai brothers in the city trying to learn how to live in the city.

My favorite episode of all is Spring Break Present. This episode is about a package that Whispers gives Nate as a Spring Break present. Inside the package is a card for Nate to use as a Yo-Kai repellent, so he can take a break from all the trouble that these spirits are causing him. The whole episode is really funny; that's why it's my favorite.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15. The Yo-Kai Watch DVD is available now. If you are an anime fan, you might really enjoy this DVD, so look for it!
Runtime: 290 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUNGLE BUNCH, THE
JUNGLE BUNCH, THE - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 3-12
Description - Get ready for the wildest ride of your life! Maurice may look like a penguin - but he's a real tiger inside! Raised by a tigress, he's the clumsiest Kung-Fu master ever. Along with his friends, The Jungle Bunch, he intends to maintain order and justice in the jungle, as his mother did before him. But when Igor, an evil koala, decides to destroy the jungle once and for all with the help of his army of silly baboons, Maurice faces his biggest challenge yet! Your family will go bananas for The Jungle Bunch, a fresh and funny adventure that's full of laughs and memorable characters!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Jungle Bunch is a movie of champions. "You don't have to wear stripes in order to be strong like a tiger." We follow the lives of different creatures, both heroic and evil, to see how they respond when devastation hits their habitat.

The battle is on between Natasha, the tiger and former leader of the champs. She stands for justice and equality and won't stop protecting and serving her home. Igor, a wicked koala, wants revenge and power. He's relentless when it comes to commanding all the animals of the jungle for his own benefit. They fight for the future of the jungle and who is in control is tested at ultimate lengths. Natacha has rescued and raised Maurice, a strong willed penguin with a tiger spirit. He follows in the footsteps of his mother as he teams with a group of animals to protect and serve.

This film offers positive outlooks when it comes to equality, problem solving and finding hope during hopeless situations. The overall production quality is great. The imagery and sound quality is sure to keep children engaged. Only a couple of scenes go on a little longer than needed. For the most part, the film maintains a positive flow.

Children that love animals, fireworks explosions, monkey butt jokes and rescue missions will absolutely enjoy this. It is recommended that you enjoy the film in its entirety as there is a special bonus clip that is sure to please. There are multiple scenes using freeze framing, bold bright animation and music that fits well with the flow of the film. The film takes place in a jungle, so I loved hearing the birds squawking, animals hooting and other sounds of nature.

The film draws me in for many reasons. It's nice to see how each animal is portrayed by voice over, characteristics and challenges. Igor, the wicked koala, is small but forceful with throwing mushroom grenades that burst into big, bright fireworks exploding across the screen. I appreciate the teamwork between the animals.

There is a menu that offers the film to be played in its entirety or to select certain scenes. A trailer clip, audio, and subtitles are also available to select. The most impactful message I got from the film promotes equality and justice. I really enjoyed that Natasha, the tiger, loved and raised Maurice, a penguin like her own. That equality and unconditional love is passed down to Maurice when he raises his goldfish, Jr. The moral and love for the community doesn't change regardless of the animal or upbringing. This is a positive message for audiences. The message is that you don't have to have stripes in order to have the tiger spirit.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its wildness, comedy, production and impactful socially-positive messages throughout. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. The content is appropriate and user friendly with its jokes and imagery. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Jungle Bunch is a wacky animated movie with talking animals that doesn't make a lot of sense, but still entertains. Based on a popular French kids' series, this film has lots of action and some laughs.

The Jungle Bunch begins by introducing us to a civilized nation of animals where an evil koala tries to throw mushroom bombs at everyone. The Champs are saviors of the jungle - a tiger, sloth, rhino and porcupine. The tiger raises a penguin as her own, who in turn raises a fish as his own child. Maurice the tiger-penguin joins up with a gorilla and a bat, among others, to save everyone from Igor the koala mastermind.

While the animation isn't quite the level viewers are used to from Disney and Pixar, it's still quite colorful and interesting to watch. The jungle setting is especially well done with convincingly animated tropical plants. The writers probably tried to squeeze too much plot into this film by including the origin story, but I was still able to follow it well enough. My favorite part of the movie is when an exploding mushroom captures the entire Jungle Bunch. In order to get out, they throw a pebble which starts a chain reaction to set them free.

The message of this film is that you should be kind and brave. I don't want to give any spoilers, but there's a sad ending for one character that might be upsetting for little kids. Parents should also know that there's quite a bit of action with explosions and cartoon violence.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

This is a cute film about a group of animals, called the Jungle Bunch, that protect and watch out for the jungle. They put out forest fires, fight bad guys, save animals and help the community. I really enjoyed the bright colors and scenes from the jungle.

The jungle bunch includes a penguin named Maurice, a gorilla named Miguel, Gilbert the Tarsier, Bat Batricia and a few other odd creatures. In this story, Maurice is the hero and leader of Jungle Bunch. He is a penguin that was raised by a tigress. He struggles with being the leader and trying to live up to the standards of his mother. The characters are well developed and funny. They make lot of contraptions and inventions to help save the jungle, including a butt cream for a bird's bottom, which really had me cracking up.

The villain in the story is the koala Igor. He wants to destroy the jungle, because he feels excluded from the bunch. He wants to take over and become the leader. The Jungle Bunch thinks he is too controlling. He plans to use mushrooms as explosives to blow up the jungle for revenge and payback. The Jungle Bunch must stop him from destroying their homes. Igor has a clock that is a crab as his alarm clock. He hits his crab's claws together to make a tick tock sound. This is a really funny part of the movie.

My favorite part is when they play the song "Eye of the Tiger" when Maurice is feeling down. This helps raise Maurice's spirit to become confident and put his "tiger stripes" back on. It is really cute when the fish and penguin want to be tigers and they paint themselves with stripes.

Maurice is voiced by Philippe Bozo . I like his voice and attitude. It's perfect! The Gorilla is voiced by Pascal Casanova, who also portrays his character quite well. In fact, I'm quite fond of all the voice-over work in this film. I give director David Alaux credit for putting together such a terrific cast.

The moral of the story addresses the unlikely friendships between different species in the jungle who work together as a team and stick with each other during hard times, helping their community save their homes.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 15 as well as adults. It is available on DVD now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 3-9 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: CDROM


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BENNETT'S WAR
BENNETT'S WAR - ESX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark) is a young soldier with the Army Motorcycle Unit who survives an IED explosion in combat overseas, and is medically discharged with a broken back and leg and sent back to the U.S. When he gets home to his family farm, he discovers that his dad, Cal Bennett (Trace Adkins), is behind in the mortgage and may lose the farm. Against all odds, Marshall Bennett pledges to help his family by the only means he knows how, as a motocross racer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bennett's War is inspirational and exhilarating with its storytelling. It is buoyed by unique performances and apt cinematography. The movie is a worthwhile watch in theaters at full price.

The film follows Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark), a riding prodigy who rode for the Army Ranger Motorcycle Unit. One accident cost him a broken back and leg. After being medically discharged, he is told that one more accident could mean he may never walk again. When he gets home to his family farm, he discovers that his dad Cal (Trace Adkins) is behind in the mortgage and may lose the farm. All odds in his way, Bennett pledges to help his family by doing the one thing he does best, get back on his bike and ride.

Michael Roark, as Marshall, triumphantly portrays the hero. His love for bikes and service for the military add inspirational layers for all to follow. His honor to help his dad is also extremely touching. Roark well rounds all these angles with nuance. Trace Adkins, as Cal, soars with his deep, gravelly voice adding character. The scene with Allison Paige who plays Sophie, Marshall's wife, and Cal is my favorite scene in the movie. In this scene, Sophie is worried about Marshall participating in motor cross racing. Cal's speech of his wife, who was a fighter pilot, is full of emotion and stellar acting between the two. Allison Paige also steals the show with a relatable romance and dedication to help Marshall. My favorite character in the movie is Ali Afshar's Cyrus. Afshar is uniquely hilarious, and his back story with Marshall adds an interesting mentor dynamic. Hunter Clowdus and Brando Eaton, as Chris and Kurt Walker, are formidable foes challenging Marshall with their macho appearance and physical prowess.

Alex Ranirevelo directs with fast-paced racing scenes being the main highlight. All the stunts are 100% real, adding the layer of excitement. Nowadays everything is too CGI and, it's good to see old school approaches like this. The flaws are in some rushed character development, especially as Sophie agrees with Marshall's decision to race. Also, some of the special effects during the war scenes are not very impressive. Despite this, they are short and serve to develop Marshall better in the long run.

The message of this film is about never giving up. Marshall moves forward from his injuries to pursue what he loves doing and to pay off bills. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, due to brief war scenes and language. The movie releases in theaters on August 30, 2019, so check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

This inspirational film had everyone on the edge of their seats. The racing is suspenseful; it draws you in. Everything else in between, the hardships and rivalry, is raw. I love how realistic it is.

The story starts follows Marshall Bennett, a soldier in the Army Motorcycle Unit. He has a father, a wife and a newborn son at home. Out in the field, he gets involved in a shootout. As he tries to make a getaway with his injured friend on the back of his motorcycle, an IED explodes. He is fortunate and survives with only a broken back and a broken leg. But one more bad fall and he might never walk again. Back at home, he works at a shop repairing bikes. His family struggles financially and he looks to motorcycle racing, despite the risks.

Michael Roark (Marshall Bennett) and Allison Paige (Sophie Bennett) are incredible actors. The emotions and pain seep right to the audience. In the more cheerful scenes, the satisfaction and gratitude is felt through the screen. Trace Adkins (Cal Bennett) is a beloved country singer and performs really well when acting. All of these great actors coming together make the pain and suffering realistic. It makes you appreciate the sacrifices made by those in the military.

The costumes for the soldiers and racers all look very professional. The music, as well as the absence of music, works with the actors to convey certain moods. The film has an overarching serious mood to it. Marshall Bennett is dead set on winning his races and making a comeback, so there is only one comedic scene.

My favorite scene is the comedic scene with Cyrus (Ali Afshar) and the rivals that tamper with Marshall Bennett's bike. Cyrus walks over to them, knowing what they've done, and decides to pull down one of the guys' pants. He proceeds to punch the guy in the face. It's funny and shocking because Cyrus is a small dude surrounded by lots of macho rivals, yet he still acts very boldly. After Cyrus hits the guy, he turns around to walk away and laughs. He isn't able to walk away and gets beat up right after.

The purpose of this film is to give hope and inspire people to take risks. It's all about going for your dreams and giving everything you've got. Although Marshall Bennett is badly injured and one more fall could disable him forever, he still gets back on his bike.

I give this wonderful film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this. Definitely be sure to check this film out when it comes out in theaters August 30, 2019.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES
BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES - GKIDS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Paris, 1930. The infamous surrealist filmmaker Luis Bu�uel is left penniless after the scandalous release of L'Age d'Or leads to a falling out with collaborator Salvador Dal�. On a whim, Bu�uel's good friend, sculptor Ram�n Ac�n, buys a lottery ticket and promises to devote his winnings to fund Bu�uel's next film. Incredibly, Ram�n wins the jackpot, sending the two friends to the remote mountains of their native Spain to film the documentary Las Hurdes: Land Without Bread. Driven by mad artistic impulse and haunted by childhood memories, Bu�uel must confront the specter of mortality looming over the lives of his subjects -and his own.

In a stranger-than-fiction tale befitting the master filmmaker, Bu�uel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles tells the true story behind a fascinating episode in cinematic history, utilizing sensitive performances as well as excerpts from Bu�uel's filmography to present a deeply affecting and humanistic portrait of an artist hunting for his purpose.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an incredibly unique film. It's rare to see such mature animation like this, and I've been wanting more mature animation for a while. So I was incredibly entertained.

The film is about the Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel and it follows him as he films his documentary, Las Hurdes, which is a documentary about the Las Hurdes region in Spain.

Now, I love animation. However, I am slightly peeved that 2D animated movies are not very popular anymore. So I was excited to learn that this film is 2D. Not only that, but it is incredibly stylized and beautiful 2D. I've always liked aesthetics pertaining to historical generations of filmmaking. So it's not surprising that I love this art style. One thing I find interesting is that many scenes in the film have clips from the actual Las Hurdes documentary, sliced in with animated recreations of the scenes. I can't really explain why, but I really like this detail.

Another interesting aspect of the animation is the imagery. Luis Bunuel is often associated with surrealism and I assume that's why the movie includes several strange and nonsensical sequences. There's also a consistent theme involving religion, which I didn't really understand if I'm being honest, but it is interesting.

A major aspect of this film is Luis's relationship with the anarchist painter, Ramon Acin. The film was made thanks to Ramon, so it's understandable that the film heavily focuses on their friendship. It's interesting to see their conflict on the purpose of the film, and in general it makes for some compelling drama.

In a way this can serve as an introduction to Luis Bunuel and his work. I never knew of him before this film. However, now I'm somewhat intrigued by him and his work. Although, there is something I should warn people about. Despite the film being animated, this film is absolutely not a kid's movie. There are lots of dark jokes, mature themes and a surprising amount of animal violence. It is important to point this out as many people assume all animated films are for little kids, when that couldn't be further from the truth.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. If you're a fan of history, the art of film or both, and you can stomach some uncomfortable subject matter, I highly recommend this. It comes out on August 16, 2019.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT - NEW LINE CINEMA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - In 1987, during the austere days of Margaret Thatcher's Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family, and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Blinded by the Light is a very inspirational comedy-drama based on the accounts of real-life writer Sarfraz Manzoor. It is buoyed by excellent performances and a lively script. The movie truly has something for everyone.

The film follows music fanatic and writer Javed (Viveik Kalra), who after discovering the back catalogue of Bruce Springsteen or "the Boss," is inspired by lyrics that feel all too familiar to the aspirational teenager. Wanting to escape his racist hometown and the rules of his traditional Pakistani family, Javed finds himself caught between two worlds and must discover if he is born to run.

Viveik Kalra, as Javed, is phenomenal at making his character relatable and inspiring. Kalra, like Himesh Patel from Yesterday, debuts with charm as well. Javed is hilarious, but also takes the surroundings of Thatcher-era Britain seriously. He is a role model for all. Aaron Phagura, as Rhoops, is also a standout as his character's similar situation to Javed's adds layers to their identity complexes. Hayley Atwell, as Ms. Clay, is an English teacher who inspires Javed to write. I quite enjoyed her inclusion as she fits the role well. Kulvinder Ghir, as Malik, also impresses as Javed's dad. His character can be too stereotypical of ethnic ways, but this feels intentional as it satirizes both his culture and English culture.

Gurinder Chadha directs with a nice blend of comedy and drama. He brings life to Manzoor's memoirs and I never felt any awkward total shifts. Some editing choices also bring great style. But, substance is at the main focus here as Chadha's and Paul Mayeda Berge's script is smartly witty. My favorite scene is Javed's final speech to the school. Kalra's performance is award-worthy and the script boasts great messages in the movie's themes of pursuing dreams. My only flaw is that the second act sometimes drags with a romantic subplot that spins its wheels quickly, despite Nell Williams' impressive performance as Nell.

The message of this film is about pursuing your dream, and also about remembering your family and always staying in touch. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as some language and racist behavior could be inappropriate for younger audience. The movie releases in theaters on August 16, 2019, so check it out.

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

Blinded by the Light is a very interesting film about a boy wanting to become a writer. He is introduced to a famous American singer and becomes inspired. It is a humorous film, but does touch on serious issues of family as well as cultural and economical struggles.

Viveik Kalra plays his character Javed extremely well. Javed lacks confidence and struggles dealing with his father and his culture. He doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere. You get the feeling he is held back by this. Along the way, people in his life believe in him and encourage him to go for his dreams. His friend introduces him to Bruce Springsteen's music, which inspires him. Then he transforms his look and gains more confidence.

His parents do not support his dream of becoming a writer. The parents are excellent in this movie. His father is played by Kulvinder Ghir and his mother is played by Meera Ganatra. The father is hilarious and thinks that if an American is good at something, then they are Jewish. The whole family is dealing with money problems. I have to mention that his best friend, Matt is played by Dean-Charles Chapman who is fantastic in this role. He deals with his own issues in a different way. They have a true friendship. My favorite part about Matt is his crazy 80s style hair. I love the costumes, music and dancing. It really takes you to another era. The wigs and the old jogging suits that they wear made me laugh! The costumes are bright for the 80s and the Pakistani outfits suit the family. One of the funny parts that I like most is when the car won't start and, instead of the dad pushing the car, he makes the entire family push it. Another funny part is when Javed celebrates his birthday and, to treat him like an adult, he is given pants as his gift. The movie exposes you to more serious matters of racism and what other cultures go through. It has very good timing and is a little quirky which I like.

The director Gurinder Chadha really delivers with this film. His timing and costumes are perfect. I didn't really know who Bruce Springsteen was before, but I really like his music now. Thanks to Blinded by the Light, I am now a fan of this legendary musician.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It opens in theaters August 16, 2019. Look for it and give it a chance.

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

Everyone get ready for a new adventure about a man and his relationship with a great artist who we all know as Bruce Springsteen.

My favorite character is Javed (Viveik Kalra), because he is someone that many people can relate to. He is a person dealing with many issues with his family, because they are very religious people who think that writing poems is wrong and that listening to nontraditional music is unheard of. On top of that, he is trying his best to become his own person and, with everyone on his back, it can be a bit hard for a young college student to do that.

I love how the people who made this film brought back a bit of the past by making it take place in the 1980s. That makes it even more fun to watch, because we get to see things such as huge phones record players, cassette tapes and so much more. This makes it feel more realistic and fun to watch.

The music is so good. I love how it all comes together to make a movie that sounds and looks so incredible. At times it not only looks like a film, but also a music video, all in one. This is a masterpiece in my mind and I greatly appreciate it.

I can't wait to get the soundtrack of this film. The music is fun and friendly and has a deep meaning, which is something I admire. All the music is by Bruce Springsteen and now that I have heard some of his greatest hits I love him and his artwork. Can't wait to get the soundtrack of this movie.

This one-of-a-kind true story is very inspirational as well as fun and lighthearted. It has a lot of meaning with its morals and values about following your dreams no matter what anyone tells you, have fun with your friends and family while you still can, and it's okay to grow apart from your family and their values.

I recommend Blinded by the Light for ages 13 to 18. I think that adults will like this film as well even if they aren't Bruce Springsteen fans. I give Blinded by the Light 5 out of 5 stars. Make sure to look for Blinded by the Light at a theater near you when it opens August 16, 2019

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2, THE
ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2, THE - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-18
Description - The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Angry Birds Movie 2 is an amazing sequel about a large group of birds who live on an island called Bird Island. These birds are always trying to fight their rivals, the pigs, who live on an opposite island called Pig Island. The first movie Angry Birds, was about the how rivalry between the islands first began. In this movie, while the two islands are still at war, a third island of eagles decide to join in, but in a more destructive fashion. The two enemy islands now must team up to stop the eagles from destroying them both.

In this film there is a subplot about three cute hatchlings who accidently lose some eggs while playing around. Throughout the movie it shows them trying their best to bring them back home safely before their parents realize what they have done.

This movie is based on a popular game by Rovio Entertainment called "Angry Birds". In the game, you play as the birds use a giant slingshot to take back eggs from the pigs. The slingshot and other items from the game are replicated in the movie in some appealing animation.

Throughout out the movie there are a lot of different references to old TV shows and movies. For example, the way Red builds his team is similar to the character introductions in Ocean's 11. I found this cool and funny.

My favorite scene in this movie is when the three hatchlings are trying to get the eggs off a cloud. They miss it and keep going up higher and higher. As they leave the planet and enter space, the song "Major Tom" by David Bowie starts playing. This scene is hilarious because the animated characters are put in front of a realistic space picture and they look completely out of place. My favorite character in this film is Chuck. I like him because he is very fast and almost instantly gets things done. Chuck is also very funny because he is very possessive about his sister. The message of this movie is that sometimes you need to work with your enemies to win.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 because there are a bunch of different jokes that will appeal to kids and adults. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids. This film opens in theaters August 17, 2019.

Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a fast-paced slapstick comedy that fans of the first movie may enjoy. I liked seeing all the same characters again, plus a few new ones that were very funny. You won't find the old angry Red in this movie, though. Now he's a hero and everyone loves him. Personally, I prefer the Red of the first film, with his explosive outbursts.

In the first Angry Birds movie, the birds and pigs were at war. In The Angry Birds Movie 2, they have to team up against a common threat. As the movie begins, the pigs and birds are still happily fighting each other, but then a mysterious frozen ice ball lands on Pig Island. King Leonard Mudbeard realizes he can't fight this himself and calls a truce with the birds. Together, they find out that a very angry bird named Zeta is trying to destroy their islands to create her own paradise. The rest of the movie involves their plan to sneak onto Zeta's Island and crush her island-destroying machine.

There are a lot of funny sequences where the voice actors really excel, including a subplot where baby birds rescue a group of eggs. The animation is really well done - it brings the characters to life as well as creates a beautiful world of islands.

The message of this film is that teamwork is always better than fighting. Parents should know that there's some mildly crude humor, like butt jokes. A bathroom scene with potty humor got the most laughs at the screening I attended.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 7 to 12. Angry Birds 2 opens in theaters everywhere August 13, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, THE
ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, THE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Dog lovers believe their canine family members understand language, comprehend events, have opinions, exude loyalty. In "The Art of Racing In The Rain", wise old dog Enzo Swift shares thoughts about the life experiences which prepared him to protect his family in times of greatest need.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Art of Racing in the Rain, brings the beloved novel to life but ultimately lacks memorability. The changes made in the movie make it a common story that is too well known. However, the losses in the screenplay are covered by clever character development and the lovable dog, Enzo.

The story follows the golden retriever Enzo (Kevin Costner) and his adventures alongside his owner Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia). They walk through life together and in doing so, Enzo learns the secrets of living happily.

Milo Ventimiglia has positives but also some negatives when taking on the role of Denny. In morose scenes, he fails to fully express the pains of his character while in loving and joyful scenes, he excels. However, from the beginning, Ventimiglia plays a large role in developing an unspoken apprehension that builds between Denny and his father-in-law, Maxwell (Martin Donovan). Donovan's one look aroused tension in me. Whenever the two characters interact, I felt uneasy as if something wrong was bound to occur. This development of the characters is one of my favorite parts. Everything that happens is intentional so that the audience is aware of what each character is capable of doing.

The movie mostly lives up to the expectations that the novel sets with a few weaknesses to note. Enzo's narration is kept to a minimum as the entire movie could not be narrated by the dog. So to make up the loss, the relationships and development of Denny and his family are heightened. Music and cinematography techniques are incorporated to help bolster Enzo's emotions and are highly effective tools. In several scenes, the music is lyrical, providing insight into what Enzo might wish to say. Similarly, the cinematography provides insight with a first person view from Enzo. It often switches to this perspective when there are emotions by other characters only Enzo can see. Thus it made me feel as if I was Enzo, observing intimate moments and experiencing his emotions. These techniques work well but with Enzo's role slightly lessened, the story weakens and does become more mundane and predictable.

The message is "that which we manifest is before us," or we make our own destiny. I give The Art of Racing in the Rain, 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Be sure to check it out when it opens in theatres August 9, 2019. By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a spectacular movie. It takes on many emotions: happy, sad, thrilling, scared, then feeling all those emotions again. The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is about a dog named Enzo (Kevin Costner, voice) who knows how to race cars really well. The dog studies the track and is great at helping - the best in fact. Enzo's owner Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia) is trying to make it big as a race car driver and providing for his family. Enzo helps his owner Denny with knowing the track and also with navigating things in life. The film follows Denny and the people he loves - his wife, Eve (Amanda Seyfried), their young daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), and his best friend, Enzo.

The production values for this film are high. The cars are super dynamic and fast. Director Simon Curtis brings the book to life in an appealing way and make you feel like you are at the race track. All the cast deliver wonderful performances. My favorite part of The Art Of Racing In The Rain is when Denny gets to see his daughter again, and wins quality time with her. This is dynamic. My least favorite part is when the dad can't be at the house for a significant life event, which made me sad. I wish he could be there for comfort.

The message of this film is that when you get torn apart, you have to get back up.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults might like this too. It opens in theaters nationwide on August 9, 2019 so look for it.

By Brock T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a fantastic movie. Some scenes are very emotionally heavy and I don't believe this film is suitable for young kids. There are parts that a younger child simply will not understand. I know because I am ten years old. Plus, there are scenes that are hard to watch and a few that are just plain scary. I definitely would not let my 8-year-old brother watch this movie.

The storyline is about a dog, Enzo (Kevin Costner, voice) who belongs to a race car driver named Denny (Milo Venimiglia). As Denny starts to have a family, Enzo is not pleased to have other people in the apartment. But as time goes on and the family gets bigger, Enzo warms up to everyone.

The casting in this movie is amazing! Milo Venimiglia is known for his role as Peter Petrelli in the show Heroes. Denny's girlfriend Eve is played by Amanda Seyfried, known for her work as Sophie in Mamma Mia Here We Go Again. I love Kevin Costner's voice as Enzo. He sounds just like what I think Enzo would sound if he could actually speak.

The production values are quite high here. One example is shown in the dog's training, which was done by Bonnie Judo. The dog almost seems part human. He stands on his back legs, barks like he is speaking and more! The casting is very well done as well. I was particularly impressed by the actresses who play the younger and older versions of Denny's daughter.

There are a lot of funny parts in this film, but there are just as many sad parts. I laughed, cried, gasped and had so much different emotions throughout the film. You might want to bring your tissues. And, oddly enough, after you see this film, you will never feel the same way about Zebras again. There are also a lot of surprising parts too, so be ready.

I give The Art Of Racing In The Rain 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters August 9, 2019 so look for it.

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

The Art of Racing in the Rain has happy moments, sad moments, funny ones and more. It has it all! At first, I didn't know what to expect because, what does a dog have to do with racing? Well, there's actually a lot more to the story than you would expect, and I absolutely fell in love with this film and all its characters.

This movie is about a dog who is adopted by a race car driver, Denny. Denny's dog, Enzo, slowly learns about the human life, and he and Denny create a powerful bond. Enzo loves Denny no matter what, and he develops a love for car races and TV, too. But when Denny's girlfriend Eve comes along, Enzo becomes a bit jealous. Denny and Eve get married and have a baby girl named Zoe. Later on, Denny has to face the obstacles of life as he does on the track. While Denny is very good at racing in the rain, he faces the unpredictable in life.

Enzo feels more human than dog, thanks to the beautiful voice narrating the story (Kevin Costner) from the dog's point of view. This film makes me emotional, but I think that's good because I definitely feel a connection when watching The Art of Racing in the Rain. I also think that at one point in the story there might be too much going on at the same time. Even though that makes the movie interesting, it could have all happened at a slower pace.

I love the acting in the film, especially Enzo's voice narration, and feel it is all believable. And I have a completely different perspective of my dog now, and wonder what she is thinking because Enzo has very interesting thoughts of the human world. I enjoy the comedy - it's a nice balance to what happens in the story. Milo Ventimiglia is great as Denny, and you care about him throughout the whole film. Amanda Seyfried plays Eve, Denny's wife, and her character--although she doesn't love dogs at first--experiences with her new four-legged friend one of the most important connections in her existence.

The message of this film is that we are all in control of our own lives, and dogs are the best friends that can join us in the ride of life.

I give The Art of Racing in the Rain 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and adults as well. There are parts in this film that little kids would not understand and moments that wouldn't be very appropriate for younger viewers. The Art of Racing in the Rain releases in theatres August 9, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 2
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - The New Adventures of Gumby: The 1980s Series Volume 2. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of 80 s episodes! Featuring 49 clay-animated episodes, fully re-mastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. Also making appearances are Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, and Gumby s parents Gumbo and Gumba. New characters include Gumby s sister Minga, Denali the Mastodon and Tilly the chicken!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD set is a collection of 49 re-mastered episodes, 7 to 9 minutes each, totaling 250 minutes of lively entertainment! The menu offers the option to play all the episodes or watch them individually and includes extra features such as: Tribute to Art Clokey, Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery and a music video. In this series Gumby, his family and friends are animated clay figures that have many adventures comprised of magic, science, music and more. In one episode, "Young Granny", Gumby's grandmother mistakenly becomes a seven-year-old girl and runs around playing with her granddaughter's toys. After she is returned to her rightful age, everyone, including Granny, is relieved. This series is lots of fun and many episodes feature the Blockheads as troublemakers and mildly highlight that trouble does not pay. Full of vibrant colors and offbeat just enough to capture the attention of younger and older kids ages 3 to 18. The series is from the 80s. It was not originally filmed with the video or audio quality that is currently available. However, it has been remastered and is greatly improved and close to today's standards. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for relatable story lines and overall amusement!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The 1980's show was a hit when my mom and uncle were growing up and it brought back so many memories for my mom. We welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection created and written by Joe Clokey. I love that this DVD features 49 claymation episodes that are fully re-mastered from their original camera work and soundtracks. Gumby and Pokey return for fun-filled adventure. Get ready! It's going to get wild.

This DVD takes you alongside Gumby and his imaginative friends as they solve problems, have fun and help others. These episodes include a lot of audience interactions, which lets the audience contribute to Gumby's adventures. The characters include Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles and Gumby's parents, Gumbo and Gumba. Also making an appearance are new characters - Gumby's sister Minga, Denali the Mastodon and Tilly the chicken.

My favorite part is the fact that each episode is fully re-mastered from the original. How iconic is this? I'd say pretty cool! The animation is extremely creative with loveable color episodes. There are a variety of songs on this DVD, with various tempos and music types.

My favorite character is absolutely Gumby, because he's always positive and shares his positivity with others. I also love how he never gives up and works so well with his team. He's dedicated to his friends and to the idea of friendship.

I watched The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 1980s Series, Volume 1 previously and I very much enjoyed Gumby's many adventures with his friendly bud with yellow pricks on his tail, named Prickle.

There are multiple episodes on this DVD, which express multiple messages. If had to choose the main message, I would say it is that "teamwork makes the dream work." That and "don't be afraid to ask for help." There is no bad language on this DVD or any unsafe actions that kids will try to imitate.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, as well as adults. It's a series that certainly will bring back memories if you grew up watching Gumby when you were younger. It's available now, so look for it. You'll be glad you did.

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

Do you have little kids in your house? If you do, you should definitely share with them The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 1980's Series, Volume 2. This claymation show from the 1980's is the perfect series for any little kid with an imagination and a creative mind. For all you adults out there who remember Gumby & Pokey, then welcome back! We rejoin Gumby along with Pokey, Prickle, Goo, The Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, Gumby's mother Gumba and his Father Gumbo....plus a couple of hilarious newcomers.

Gumby was once just a slab of clay then one day he rose to life. He can walk into any book and once inside the book, he becomes part of it! Every time he gets knocked down he becomes flattened like a pancake. But he always gets back up and right back into shape again! Every episode is a new adventure and sometimes there is a lesson to go along with it. Gumby can have the best time with his friends, or the worst time with the Blockheads, depending on the storyline and characters in the episode. Speaking of characters, the new friends we meet include Gumby's sister Minga, a mastodon named Denali and a chicken called Tilly!

The theme song is a fun tune sung by kids that will make you want to sing along with them. In every episode the music changes. In some episodes the music is creepy. In some it can be silly and bubbly. It all depends on the episode. Gumby originally debuted in 1956, was re-introduced in the 1970's and came out again, for a third time in the 1980's! The animation is unique because it is claymation. The creator and writer of the series, Mr. Art Clokey, also voices Pokey the horse, Gumby's sidekick. Fun Fact, the bump on Gumby's head is based on a picture of Mr. Clokey's father from when he was a kid. In the picture, his hair is sticking up on one side creating a little bump. Mr. Clokey always thought this was funny, so he gave the same bump to his title character Gumby! Let's talk about some of the other supporting characters, shall we? Prickle is a cheerful dinosaur who goes on Gumby's adventures with him, the two mischievous Blockheads can't ever seem to get themselves out of trouble and Goo is a hilarious clay person with a bubbly personality.

The message of the story is to never grow up and that it's okay to let your brain wander and to always be creative. I give this series 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now.

By Beatrice Nail, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 250 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015's Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they've tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever -- and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown's Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw's sister -- these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a fun Fast & Furious spinoff with the series' effortless blend of high-octane action and charismatic leads. Fans of the beloved series and action movies in general must check this out. It has something for everyone.

The film follows series' favorites, lawman Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and the lawless Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as the two "frenemies" must team up to stop the cybernetically modified super-soldier Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Amid all this carnage are even some family reunions involving Shaw's sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) and Hobbs' own Samoan relatives.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, are the main highlight here, with the two as polar opposites of one another. Still, the actors work well together and their bickering and bantering is buoyed by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce's script. The pair even impress in action scenes with Johnson's hard hitting knockdowns and Statham's suave martial arts. Vanessa Kirby, as Hattie Shaw, gives the duo a run for their money. She proves capable in the many action scenes and holds many quips with Hobbs. Their flirtatious banter and Deckard's awkward reactions are some of the film's funniest. Unfortunately, her contributions to the plot are very loosely strung, but her character is delightful to watch. Same goes for Idris Elba, as Brixton Lore, who owns up to his character's craziness. Elba really has a way with things, making even the most clich�d characters engaging. There are multiple surprising big-list cameos, which I can not spoil. All really add to the movie's layers of self-awareness and comedy, and make the movie much more engaging to watch.

David Leitch, as the director, brings new life to the franchise, providing more variety in action, from fisticuffs to shootouts to over-the-top car chases. The veteran director of John Wick and Atomic Blonde, he really knows how to make each sequence engaging and unique. The finale in Samoa is one such example. My favorite scene is the "pick a door" fight scene in Lore's compound. Impressive choreography and well-timed comic relief from Johnson and Statham elevate this scene. Unfortunately, at two hours, the movie is a bit too long and some sequences towards the end feel like filler and really drag. On top of that, the marketing for this film really spoils some of the best action beats and comedic moments. It's a shame that a poor marketing campaign ends up hurting some of the film's surprises. Thankfully, they hide some things, like those surprise cameos.

The message of this film is in the franchise's core values about family. Hobbs's choice to reconnect with his family, despite past disagreements, proves this. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, due to intense action sequences, suggestive references and language. The movie releases in theaters on August 2, 2019, so check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a hilarious new spin-off movie for the Fast & Furious franchise. This new film is so action-packed it rarely has a dull moment. If you are looking for an entertaining night full of laughter, this is the movie to watch.

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) form an unexpected partnership while attempting to save the world from a deadly bio-weapon. The cyber-genetically-enhanced criminal Brixton (Idris Elba) will stop at nothing to ensure the evolution of humanity through this deadly bio-threat. The two heroes must settle their long-standing rivalry in order to save the human race.

The all-star cast came together to make an incredible film. The banter between Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw is super amusing and had viewers erupting with laughter. Jason Statham was born to play the role of Deckard Shaw. He is an extremely convincing actor who gave me everything I wanted and more from his character. The plot of the film is intriguing for the first half of the movie, but I found the second half to be more slow and dull. A small problem I encountered while watching the film was believing the villain. Every time he seems to get knocked down, he stands right back up, without a scratch on his genetically-engineered body. It would be more realistic to see him become progressively more damaged throughout the movie while fighting this action-filled war. On a separate note, the special and visual effects are dazzling and bring life to this action film. The fight scenes are brilliantly crafted as well. I was happy to see this movie and it definitely has the opportunity to create a sequel. They use the last chunk of the film to set the basis for a future film.

The message displayed in this film is about the importance of teamwork. When people bicker amongst each other, it is unproductive, but if they work together they can accomplish the seemingly impossible. This message carries over into our lives for how we get along with people in our own community. Parents should be aware that this movie has a fair amount of violence and foul language.

I give Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 3 out 5 stars and recommend for ages 13 through 18. Make sure to check out this film when it storms into theaters August 2, 2019. Movie fans, you won't want to miss it!

Reviewed by Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a spot-on well produced and directed film that keeps you on the edge of your seat. From the special effects to its storyline, you would want to miss this. This movie is an action-packed, thrilling and comedic film makes you wonder what's coming next.

The storyline is about two rivals, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who are forced to team up to defeat the emerging threat of Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a cyber-genetically-enhanced terrorist, armed with a deadly virus. This virus can potentially destroy planet Earth and all of humanity. Hobbs and Shaw must work through their differences to save the world once again.

Some things that really stand out in this film are the production, the screenplay and the editing. Big ups to director David Leitch and screenwriter Chris Morgan for making that happen. It is truly thrilling and amazing to watch and enjoy. Of course, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Idris Elba give us excellent performances as well. I should also point out Vanessa Kirby who plays Hattie and Helen Mirren who plays Queenie as their performances need mention too.

The message of the movies is that "no matter what differences you have with people, you still have to work together to make the world a better place." If we focus on being mad at each other, we are not making the world better, we're making it just angry and sad. So, I resonate with the message. You should know that there is quite a lot of profanity and some rude humor.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Make sure you check it out when it opens in theaters August 2, 2019.

Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13


Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ONE CHILD NATION
ONE CHILD NATION - AMAZON.COM
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 14-18
Description - China's One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child, may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with the trauma of its brutal enforcement is only just beginning. From award-winning documentarian Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Another You) and Jialing Zhang, the sweeping One Child Nation explores the ripple effect of this devastating social experiment, uncovering one shocking human rights violation after another - from abandoned newborns, to forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Wang digs fearlessly into her own personal life, weaving her experience as a new mother and the firsthand accounts of her family members into archival propaganda material and testimony from victims and perpetrators alike, yielding a revelatory and essential record of this chilling, unprecedented moment in human civilization.

One Child Nation is a stunning, nuanced indictment of the mindset that prioritizes national agenda over human life, and serves as a first-of-its-kind oral history of this collective tragedy - bearing witness to the truth as China has already begun to erase the horrors of its "population war" from public record and memory.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - One Child Nation is a politically charged and extraordinary documentary that exposes the evils of the Chinese government and relate it back to issues that we face in modern-day America. This film s powerful and informative. It left a severe impact on me and I left the theater feeling angry and grateful that I have grown up in a privileged part of the world, where I do not have to deal with issues such as the ones faced in this movie. The film is brilliantly produced and it is essential that it, and similar films are being made during this time period.

One Child Nation is a unique film that tackles the controversial one-child policy enforced by the Chinese government from 1979 to 2015. Interviews with people such as government officials (titled "family planning officials"), doctors, nurses, village chiefs, women who have been affected by the policy, and even human traffickers, filmmaker Nanfu Wang develops a heartbreaking and shocking narrative. She exposes how the Chinese government forcibly aborted babies late-term and induced pregnancies, killing infants, while feeding propaganda to their people and glamorizing the one-child policy. The inhumane behavior of these officials, doctors and nurses, as well as the mistreatment and victimization of women, children and families in China are the main subjects of the film.

One Child Nation addresses many controversial and taboo topics, but does so in a way that is very simple to understand, while still making you think and evaluate the wrongdoings of China and its people. The importance of choice and freedom are some of the many crucial themes highlighted throughout the film. One Child Nation is an engaging and thoughtful documentary. I was never bored while watching and, even after the gears in my head were still turning and I was still thinking about it.

I give One Child Nation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 14 to 18, because of the disturbing images and sensitive topics that were intense and difficult for me, as a teenager, to watch. One Child Nation is a significant documentary film. I had never heard about China's one-child policy before this movie. This film will educate people about the horrors and oppression that the Chinese people faced under this law and allow people to think and formulate their own opinions regarding this topic. One Child Nation is a poignant and relevant film that provoked deep thoughts and emotion, which I will never forget.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LION KING, THE (2019)
LION KING, THE (2019) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As the film rolled, and the first frames were displayed, I could not help but feel tears spring to my eyes with the opening sounds of the now-classic Zulu chant "Nants Ingonyama Bagithi Baba!" The sun rises on Pride Rock again as the new prince, Simba, (JD McCrary/Donald Glover) is presented to the Pride. Mufasa (James Earl Jones), the only returning original voice from the animated film, and Sarabi (Alfre Woodard), share their son with the Pride, noticing the absence of the King's brother, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Of the main characters, Scar is never one I believe. His role seems flat, given the prominence of his voice in the story. Simba's BFF and future queen, Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph/Beyonce Knowles Carter), is played well as a young and grown cub devoted to her friend, Pride and eventually, love. The toughest part about watching a live-action retelling of the classic animated film is the lack of emotion the animals bring to the screen. Whereas the animation allows more feeling drawn into the scene; lions, meerkats and warthogs don't have a lot of physical expressions. This small detail is an issue several times, as I wanted to connect to scenes on a deeper level.

The Lion King 2019 has all the feels - hope, sadness, pride, abundance and comedy. Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) are laugh-out-loud funny. Their casting is a match made in comedy heaven (live-action, animation...) Zazu (John Oliver) brings the punch line to many scenes as well - at times dry and others fully-animated. Oliver is an excellent choice to play a character who has to bring everyone to a level of knowledge throughout the film.

For some, the updated voices and darkness of the computer-generated animation will be a distraction. My guess is that Disney is betting (and banking) on the memories and emotions that millions have and are attached to from the 1994 animated film. I believe director Jon Favreau (who also directed Disney's 2016 live-action The Jungle Book) seeks a happy medium with this film. For me, I think he is very successful in telling the story.

I give this film 4 of 5 stars for its spectacular CGI and mindful frame-by-frame re-imagined storytelling. I was hoping for a few new tales, but this is not to be. The casting is exemplary, especially the humorous interludes between Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan's performances as Timon and Pumba. I love the NEW MUSIC, especially when Simba and Nala sings "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" to each other. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18, as well as adults as it introduces or re-introduces the music of The Lion King and Elton John to younger generations. See it in theaters when it opens on July 19, 2019.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Lion King is a hilarious and entertaining new Disney movie! This work of art lives up to the original animated version of The Lion King in a new and engrossing way. If you are a fan of Disney or just love movies in general, you will be infatuated by this new incredible film.

This movie follows heir to the throne, Simba, as he learns about ruling his Kingdom in the heart of the African savanna. The king of the lions, Mufasa, wants nothing more than peace in the savanna and to protect his son. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. Mufasa's diabolical brother, Scar, is hungry for power and blood. This hairy beast will stop for nothing in order to obtain the throne. Simba and his new-found friends must act fast to put an end to his malicious uncle's plans.

There are a multitude of dazzling aspects in The Lion King, but the most stunning is the heavy and effective use of CGI. From the beginning to the end of the film, the computer-generated imagery creates animals that are incredibly realistic and authentic. This new lively take on a classic story is incredibly refreshing and engaging. Another factor I immensely enjoyed was the voice acting. Billy Eicher, who plays Timon and Seth Rogen, who plays Pumbaa, are absolutely hilarious. Every other line spoken from their mouths had me dying of laughter. Chiwetel Ejiofor, the actor who plays Scar, is perfect for his role. He left the audience completely despising his character, which is perfect for a villain the caliber of Scar. The only moment in the film that is slightly disappointing is the song Hakuna Matata. I think it is too different from the original version and not as intriguing. On a separate note, the writers wrote a touching and adorable script. I was delighted by the father-son relationship between Simba and Mufasa. The interactions and playful nature seen through their characters is heart-warming.

The Lion King reveals that bravery is an important attribute, but is only effective when executed in a selfless manner. This underlying message is valuable for our everyday lives. Parents should be aware that this film has a fair amount of violence.

I give The Lion King 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommend to kids ages 8 through 18. Make sure to check out this film when it pounces into theaters July 17, 2019. Trust me, you won't want to miss it.

By Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

The live-action adaption of The Lion King is bound to be a Disney classic. This CGI masterpiece brings a new twist to the story visually, as well as musically. The opening scene sets the tone for the whole movie, bridging the original animation with this new live action take, into one beautiful panoramic view of the film's setting. The entire film looks so realistic that it's almost like a nature documentary.

The well-known storyline hasn't changed much: Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is the head of his pride and the King of "all that the light touches" in the African Serengeti. His son, Simba, (the younger, JD McCrary and mature, Donald Glover) is brave, but mischievous. Simba's Uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is bitter and angry that Simba is the heir to his brother's throne. In order to get Mufasa and Simba out of the way, Scar manipulates the hyenas into joining forces. He then arranges an "accident" to kill Mufasa and take over the kingdom. Scar blames Simba for Mufasa's death, and Simba runs away--but it's Mufasa's love and wisdom that brings Simba back to assume the throne.

The intense and serious aspects, and the comedic scenes, come together to create a beautiful balance. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, bringing the comforting and strong tone we expect from the leader of the pride. His touching relationship with his son is the centerpiece of this film. Meanwhile, Ejiofor's, Scar, performs "Be Prepared" as a powerful villainous anthem, interpreting the character as very complicated and intense. Florence Kasumba's turn as Shenzi is also a fierce and threatening leader of her pack of hyenas.

The comedic acting is brilliantly funny. The comedy duo of Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumba, are the highlights of the movie. Their playful banter brings a sharp wit to some of the most intense scenes in the film.

While hyenas Keegan Micheal Key and Eric Andre's dysfunctional comedy shone a spotlight on the hyena crew, John Oliver's Zazu was a funny take on Mufasa's right hand bird.

The real star of the show is the incredible CGI animation that brings these animals to life. Their expressions and movements are so realistic and animal-like, but the personification of these seemingly wild animals seems so natural. Cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel of The Right Stuff, and Jon Favreau, director of The Jungle Book, make sure the entire movie was visually stunning.

The songs from the original movie feature heavily, and while they are performed and produced in a more pop-oriented way, the score is more sweeping and orchestral. Classics like " Can You Feel the Love Tonight?," and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," are performed by pop stars Beyonc� and Donald Glover, and produced by Pharrell Williams. Hans Zimmer provides a dramatic score, that works with the feeling of the new film.

The message in this film is that we may doubt ourselves, but it's important to remember who we are, and that our friends and family can help remind us. There are some violent and intense scenes, so I wouldn't recommend it for very young viewers. But kids from ages 6-18 would enjoy it, as well as adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, because Disney has created a brand new, can't-miss classic.

The Lion King will be released on July 19 in theaters nationwide. By Elle Cohen, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love this film! There are stunning visuals, a powerful story of betrayal, coming of age, re-birth and the circle of life. The idea of what it really means to be a king and all the original sentiment is intact. I love all the animals and think it is really impressive how they filmed this movie.

The story of The Lion King is about a little cub named Simba who is going to become king. One day, a wild stampede puts Simba's life in danger and his father, Mudasa, dies after he rescues him. Mudasa's evil brother Scar makes Simba believe it is his fault and forces him to abandon the kingdom. Simba carries guilt and feelings of not being brave when he runs away, leaving everyone, including his best friend Nala behind. He goes to a new land where he meets Timon and Pumba and they become the best of friends. His life is good, but lacks purpose. From there, Simba's friend Nala comes to find help and meets Simba after so many years. Scar's reign is despicable and all the animals are trying to stop Scar's evil plans. Simba needs to become the king he was meant to be.

I love the comedy in this film. I also love how, in one scene, they play a little piece of "Be Our Guest" - that's actually my favorite scene in the film and it is not in the original. I definitively think this is a perfect visual recreation of the original. I love that they chose The Lion King to be the next Disney Classic to turn into live action. Lately, Disney been only doing Princess stories, so I like that they chose animals this time. I absolutely adore the animals and I feel like they fascinate you during the entire film. This is not a reinvention of the story; it is pretty much just taking the original to the real world. The way the live action blends with digital imagery is fantastic. This photo realistic Africa on the big screen is splendorous.

There are so many messages in the film: stay true to yourself, being compassionate is more important that being powerful, and we can't change our past. It is very inspiring to hear again "Hakuna Matata." This words have been an important motto for people since the original Lion King was released in 1994. The song was composed by Elton John and was nominated for an Oscar. There's a new Elton John song - "Never Too Late," and other surprises in this new one. All the beloved classic songs play in this 2019 version, which makes the audience very happy.

I give this film 5 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13, and adults as well. Never forget: Hakuna Matata. The Lion King 2019 opens July 19, 2019, so look for it.

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

There's no denying that the original Lion King from 1994 is a classic. Gorgeous animation, amazing story and absolutely timeless music. So making a remake was understandably going to be tricky. How can you remake something that's already so timeless? Well to me, the end result is okay at best.

I almost feel like I don't need to explain the plot as it's the same story as the original. There are barely any changes and, even then, the changes are very minor. So if you've seen The Lion King (1994) then you've seen The Lion King (2019). However there's one major change that in my eyes makes the remake suffer significantly and that's the graphics.

I should preface this by saying I do prefer animation to CGI "realistic graphics" because I feel animation just looks better. But my main concern is that realistic graphics ruin the storytelling greatly. The Lion King is a very emotional story. And when you have such an emotional story you need to connect and feel for the characters. The original was able to pull this off perfectly with fantastically detailed facial expressions. Unfortunately, because of the realistic graphics, the characters in The Lion King (2019) show little to no emotion. This kills basically every important scene, as I didn't feel invested in it. I kept thinking to myself -These lions do not look interested in what's happening. The realism also has another consequence: I could not tell the difference between the lions at times. At times I thought is that Nala or Simba's Mom? Because the original is animated, they can differentiate the lions through things like their fur color, eyes and facial structure. The CGI remake does not have this ability.

It also felt like the creators tried cutting down on the more "animated" scenes. The Mufasa ghost scene doesn't have Mufasa's spirit appear; instead they just have his voice come from the clouds and sometimes lightning will strike to form his face. I feel seeing his full appearance is more powerful.

The songs suffer as well. "Be Prepared" is severely cut down which is disappointing, because it's a favorite song from the movie. The "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" segment in the original has all this crazy choreography that integrated the various animals in unique ways that can only be done in animation. In the remake they just run around. I was actually somewhat bored, if it wasn't for John Oliver as Zazu.

I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. The Lion King (2019) comes out July 19, 2019.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The adventurous CGI animated dramatic musical The Lion King is a classic! The acting and the music is astonishing, somewhat different from the original but unique in its own way. The adventures that Simba choses to explore are dangerous and leave him more curious. It made me think of the saying, "curiosity killed the cat." The action between Simba and his evil uncle Scar is so incredible, that I could watch that scene repeatedly and still be amazed.

The Lion King is a production directed by Jon Favreau, a well-known actor who starred in many movies. The movie is set in the African Serengeti, and stars many well-known actors and musicians such as Beyonc� and Donald Glover. There is also new music introduced -- one piece in particular is produced and written by Beyonc� called Spirit, and it is a very nice song.

The storyline follows Simba, a prince cub who will be king one day. As his father Mufasa is teaching him how to be king, his uncle Scar becomes jealous and sets out to kill Mufasa and Simba so he can be king himself. Simba learns through all of this drama how to be brave and responsible.

The characters Pumbaa and Timon are hilarious in the movie, even funnier than in the original. They still sing their original song "Hakuna Matata", which means no worries for the rest of your days. My favorite part of the movie is watching Simba turn into an adult while singing "Hakuna Matata" and the joke that Timon says (which isn't in the original movie) is extremely funny!

The message of the movie is about learning to be brave, responsible, and taking ownership. In Simba's situation he meets new friends to help him along the way and is able to mend broken relationships with his friends and family. The movie does have some risky situations that kids might imitate, such as going into dangerous places and not following their parents' rules; therefore, parental guidance is suggested.

Overall, I give The Lion King 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. I think adults will enjoy it too. It opens in theaters nationwide July 19, 2019, so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Navah W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DAY HENRY MET, THE: SEASON 2
DAY HENRY MET, THE: SEASON 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Every day Henry meets something new! I wonder what Henry's going to meet today? Henry is a 4-year-old boy who always wants to learn and find out more. In each episode, Henry has a friendly chat with whatever he meets and discovers something new...

Hello, Caterpillar. How do you turn into a butterfly?

Hello, Bear . What is hibernation?

Hello, Telescope. What is a constellation?

No matter what Henry meets, they're always delighted to talk, laugh and share their amazing world with him. After finding out so many amazing things about his new friends, Henry let's his imagination run wild and imagines himself... As a Paleontologist discovering dinosaurs... As a skateboarder learning how to jump, flip and grind... As a show jumper to help a horse win a top prize... As a teacher learning all about school... As a detective solving cases... And more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This program is well created and has a meaningful objective at heart. There are moments in some episodes in which objectives seem to get lost, but for the most part, it is a rather nice educational program appropriate for its target age group. The colors, camera work and dialogue are all appealing, as well as the graphic design. The stories are short which matches the short attention span of young children. Henry is very polite to all characters he encounters and he also teaches good behaviors. We like that. I like that all the characters can talk and it gives the feeling that Henry is never alone. Also, all those characters seem to be Henry's best friends and they help him find the solutions for his problems. Also enjoyable is that Henry's mom is at the beginning and at the end of the each story, bringing him back to reality and defining the line between Henry's adventures and reality. Part of this line definition is how Henry wears his regular clothes at the beginning and the end of each story. The only thing I found somewhat annoying was listening the same music throughout all the episodes. Reviewed by Carolina S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Henry is an inquisitive and playful little boy who loves to learn! Every day he meets new friends, whether they are a human, animal or an object, they are all of interest to him. The Day Henry Met DVD has 26 episodes to inspire curiosity. Who or what will Henry meet next?

My favorite episode is The Day Henry Met... A Dinosaur Bone as I love the museum setting and the fact that he travels back in time. This episode is both educational and fun. There are so many good moments in this series including The Day Henry Met... a Violin, a Tennis Racquet and an Ice Cream Van. Can't forget The Day Henry Met...A Comic Book! Super Henry appears to make the city safe and happy. Love all the fun characters and situations in this episode.

The voices in this series reflect all of the diverse characters that Henry meets and really bring the characters to life. This series, directed by Gary Gill, is playful and will appeal to younger children. The illustrations are reflective of children's drawings and are quite appealing. It is so imaginative that it makes you view the world around you in a different light as Henry talks to whomever or whatever he meets each day.

The message of this series is to explore life, friendship, be curious and learn from those around you. There is something to learn in every situation, even if you are with a dustbin or a sponge!

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

I like this DVD because the music is very catchy and the episodes are short and entertaining. The Day Henry Met; Season Two has 26 episodes of cute little stories.

The storyline is about a 4-year-old, red-head boy named Henry, who has a big imagination. In every episode Henry meets something new. He talks to different objects, animals or things. Once Henry interacts with the objects such as a violin, a skateboard, a camera, a horse or a bear, these things or animals make Henry's imagination go wild. For example, Henry imagines such things as being a conductor or a detective. Henry also wants to learn and find out more about the objects he interacts with. At the end of each episode, Henry's mom calls him and Henry's imagination ends by him saying goodbye to the objects he was talking to.

The animation style of this DVD is simple and plain, looking as if it is hand drawn. Basically, all the objects have eyes and a mouth, including the house. What caught my attention is that Henry has a voice like a 12-year-old. He sounds much older than a little kid. I like how friendly his chats are with the different animals and objects. The episodes are so short that I didn't lose interest while watching them. My favorite episode is "The Day Henry Met A Dustbin" because, out of all the episodes, this particular one is the most realistic one for my age. Henry wants to be a garbage man so he can help his trash can and all the other trash cans in his neighborhood to be emptied, because the garbage man who had that route is sick and cannot pick up the trash that day.

The moral of these episodes is not let people, well in this case things, underestimate your abilities to do something you want to do or be. Henry is always positive; he can do whatever his imagination tells him to do.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8, but adults can watch it with their kids and might find it interesting. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 135 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONGS FOR A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY
SONGS FOR A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY - KENDRA K
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Songs for a Healthy Mind and Body is a music album written and recorded by children's music artist Kendra K. The songs are all about health and wellness of the mind and body. The songs teach kids about the importance of exercising and being active, eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, positive thinking, having good manners, respecting others and oneself, and being kind and loving to other people. https://youtu.be/l6fc0ebBi3A
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kendra K. has delivered a bouncy fun collection of songs for the younger set with a positive message entitled 'Songs for a Healthy Mind and Body' and she hits the rubber nail on the head. Sweet accessible vocals and pop-flavored production values will have the crowd going crazy and eating fruits and vegetables, not throwing them. Step away from the TV, crank up the turntable (huh?) and dance, dance, dance, 'til the cows, cows, cows, come home! This upbeat CD is engaging for its intended age group, with lots of fun instrumentation. Absolutely positive messages, engaging and movement oriented. The songs are constructed around a theme of healthy mind and body and they all follow suit in a light pop style. Kendra K knows her young audience well, so all the songs are age appropriate. Lots of healthy exercise and healthy eating behaviors are encouraged, as well as other positive actions are modeled. She talks directly to the intended age group. I believe the artist leads and projects healthy choices for young people. Kendra K's voice is sweet and soothing. The production value supports her songs with fun arrangements. This album will be worn out by repeated listening, which is a good place to be when motivating youngsters. This definitely meets and exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is pretty well produced and entertaining. Recommended for ages 2 to 5 and 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Songs for a Healthy Mind and Body is a positive, fun and educational collection of music that young children can both groove to and learn from. All the songs have their own unique sound and feeling that makes them special. There are many important messages included in the songs. It is refreshing for me, as a teenager, to listen to music that promotes a healthy mind and a healthy body, even if it isn't geared towards my age group.

A few of my favorite songs are "Beautiful Beautiful Day," "Fruits and Vegetables" and "Celebrate Everybody." They all have very powerful and significant messages incorporated into them. "Beautiful Beautiful Day" teaches kids to be grateful that you are alive and healthy and to embrace the fact that today is a new day. "Fruits and Vegetables" demonstrates the importance of healthy eating for kids. Finally, "Celebrate Everybody" encourages diversity and educates the importance of accepting people for who they are, regardless of their race or what they look like on the outside.

The lyrics on this CD are influential and educational and there is also a lot of fun and childish innocence in them. The album has a fairly diverse mix of sounds made up of tropical sounds, country sounds and much more. The music is cheery and energized, with many of the songs encouraging kids to dance.

I give Songs for a Healthy Mind and Body 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Even though the songs are meant for younger kids, I had fun listening to them. The sentiments within the songs are sentiments that everybody should hold onto and think about regardless of their age. It's essential that kids are taught how to act in order to prepare them for a better future. Music affects the way people perceive the world, especially when you're young, so it is crucial that kids listen to music with kind and encouraging attitudes. Parents can feel assured knowing that their child is listening to a healthy, yet entertaining soundtrack, with positive messages when they let their children listen to this CD.

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

On this CD, everyone get ready to move and grove to a whole new world with fun filled songs that tell us how to eat healthy and feel great, while having a fun time with our friends. The songs are ready, so turn them on and dance to the amazing beat that lies in Kendra K.'s Songs for a Healthy Mind and Body.

These songs are superb. Each one is very quick with a cute rhythm and rhyme to it. They also have fun morals for kids that want to learn how to eat right, learn how to get in shape and work out in fun new ways. This is one thing I enjoy, because it can help if we start healthy habits at a young age.

The first thing I noticed is the cover. I adore that it is so colorful and vibrant. It is also full of animated kids and animals. Singer and song writer Kendra K. stands out because she is a live, non-animated person on the cover. We get to see who she is and what she looks like in person. This is one thing that I found endearing, because it gives us a chance to get up close and personal with the artist of the songs we are listening to.

Even though I like all the songs, my favorite is Number 5, also known as "Be Kind." This song helps kids know their manners and how to treat others with kindness. This song is not only fun to listen to, but the moral behind it is fabulous.

I recommend this CD for ages 4 to 9 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 24 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.97 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Spider-Man: Far From Home is bigger and better than its predecessor, Homecoming and another exciting entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Far From Home is a blast that'll have you on the edge of your seat and is a nice palette cleanser after the despair of Endgame and Infinity War.

With pressure from being a superhero mounting every day, Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man (Tom Holland), needs a break. He's ready to go on a school trip through Europe and confess his feelings for classmate MJ (Zendaya). Peter's easy going summer is mangled when creatures called Elementals attack the first stop on his trip. Peter is appointed by the head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury to assist Quentin Beck in taking the monsters down. Beck, a.k.a Mysterio, is ready to sacrifice anything to vanquish the Elementals after they destroyed his home and killed his family. Peter sets out to protect his friends and the world at large from the coming supernatural threat.

Tom Holland plays a great Spider-Man. Far From Home relies on him being likable and relatable and this time around, somewhat vulnerable too. Holland does all of these things really well. This film doesn't work if you're not invested in Peter Parker, but lucky for us, this version is perhaps the best incarnation of the character yet. The awkward, yet sweet interactions between Peter and MJ are a highlight of this film.

Far From Home has a fun atmosphere, even when the stakes are tense and thrilling. The comedy is sharp and witty, but the emotional nuance of Peter's arc is well-executed. Peter has to face the responsibilities of being a "friendly neighborhood Spider-man" and step up to fill the void left by his recently fallen mentor and friend Tony Stark, a.k.a Iron Man. Stark expected the best from Parker and trusted him with numerous gadgets and resources to continue to do good after he was gone. Parker has to live up to those expectations, while also mourning the loss of his friend.

I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 for some violence, peril and language. Spider-Man: Far From Home is a great teen comedy with a touch of science fiction, romance and heroism. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend you see this film when it swings in theaters July 2nd.

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

Spider-Man: Far From Home is one of the most exciting movies in theaters right now. Its thrilling action will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire runtime, and you'll leave the cinema smiling. This is the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it truly did not disappoint.

This film follows your "friendly neighborhood Spider-Man", aka Peter Parker, leaving New York City to go on a school field trip throughout Europe. On his trip, he plans to spend time with his friends, tell his crush how he feels about her, and go sightseeing around the several countries he's visiting. But his plan will soon come to a halt when Nick Fury warns him about a new threat coming to Earth. With the help of a new superhero named Mysterio, Peter Parker will have to decide whether to enjoy his teenage years and have fun on his trip or to save the world, risking his identity in the process.

The performances and the comedy are this film's high points. Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio and Tom Holland as Peter Parker absolutely steal the show and are both a pure joy to watch. This is Gyllenhaal's first Marvel flick, and it looks like he was born to be in one. Spider-Man: Far From Home, like most Marvel films, is hilarious; all the side characters had several lines that got the entire theater laughing. Something else I admire about this film is how well it encapsulates teenage life and all of the awkward, exciting, and confusing moments being a teenager brings. The film portrays teens very realistically, and I have to commend the director, Tom Watts, for this. The special effects are marvelous, especially in scenes dealing with Mysterio.

With many highs, this film also has its lows. My main problems with the movie are the heavy exposition scenes and the dialogue. The way it feeds the audience information and tells backstories is poorly written which makes the scenes feel unnatural. The predictability of the story took me out of the film several times, but the movie still contains many moments which utterly shocked the entire audience. Although it has its lows, the highs fully outweigh them.

All in all, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a fun-infused thrill ride that you will not want to miss. If you enjoy the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you will absolutely adore this one. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11-18, but adults will also appreciate it. Check it out in theaters on July 2, 2019.

Reviewed by Veronica S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

What I like about Spider-Man: Far from Home are the special effects, the quality of the storyline, the fight scenes and the fact that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero! I can't just point out one specific part. The MCU never disappoints.

Spider-Man: Far from Home is about the after-math of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame and how everyone that is destroyed in the snap that they call "The Blip" comes back the same age. It's been five years so, instead of their being 21 and graduated, they are still 16 and have to re-do their sophomore year of high school. So, the school year ends and the class is going on a summer vacation to Europe. Peter doesn't want to be Spider-Man on this trip, but coincidently Nick Fury happens to need Peter's help as Spider-Man. He fights along Quentin Beck (Mysterio) and, while in the comics Mysterio is the bad guy, it seems his role is reversed in this movie. While all this is happening, Peter is trying to tell MJ (the girl he really likes) how he feels.

My favorite part of Spider-Man: Far from Home is when Peter walks with MJ to give her a gift and tell her about how he feels. As he gets ready to tell her, she interrupts and asks him if he is Spider-Man. It's a very funny scene.

The message of Spider-Man: Far from Home is that the world doesn't need another you, it needs someone who can be better. Throughout the movie Peter is constantly reminded of Tony Stark (Iron Man) after his death in Endgame and Peter feels that he needs to be the next Iron Man. Then Happy reminds him that no one could ever be Iron Man and that Peter needs to be a better Spider-Man.

I give Spider-Man: Far from Home 5 out of 5 stars. It is a great cinematic movie with great performances and is a lot better than Spider-Man: Homecoming. I recommend it for ages 13 to18, plus adults because of the language and violence. Make sure to go see Spider-Man: Far from Home in theatres everywhere when it opens Tuesday July 2, 2019.

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

The live action thriller movie Spider-Man: Far from Home is mind blowing and hilarious! I definitely enjoyed this movie. The action-packed fights between the superheroes are explosive, like bombs going off everywhere. The characters travel to adventurous places and weird sci-fi things begin to happen.

The storyline follows Peter Parker preparing for a high school field trip with his classmates to exciting cities in Italy and France. Peter is planning to finally wow MJ, the girl he really likes. However, he becomes frustrated when he is called on mission as Spider-man and tries to avoid the mission by "ghosting" Nick Fury's calls. Ultimately, that does not work and he finds himself trapped and forced into the mission.

The special and visual effects that take place are beyond awesome! They include four of the five elements of science - earth, fire, water and wind. The fighting scenes that take place in the cities that the students visit cause so much destruction of boats, bridges, buildings, cars and planes that it made me think, "Wow! Does this really get destroyed during the making of this movie?" However, I realized later it is simply special and visual effects, because I have learned that drones are used to make you think something is really happening when it is not. In addition to all the action, I also wondered if the superheroes did their own stunts or if there are multiple stunt doubles. Therefore, I did some research and found out that there are several stunt performers.

The message in this movie is about illusion versus real. In other words, everything is not what is seems to be, and people will believe anything, so trust no one. My favorite part of the movie is when Peter Parker gets to shoot his shot with MJ. You should know that there is some profanity and risky situations that kids may try to imitate, so parent guidance is suggested.

I give Spider-Man: Far from Home 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I also think adults will be amazed and enjoy it as well. It opens in theaters nationwide July 2, 2019, so be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
YESTERDAY
YESTERDAY - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A struggling musician realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Imagine a world without music from The Beatles. As I type these words, I realize how far-fetched this sentence appears and, as a music lover, it's preposterous! The Beatles have influenced thousands of musical artists who followed in their hallowed footsteps post-Liverpool. While unbelievable, this is the premise behind Director Danny Boyle's (Oscar-winning Director, Slum Dog Millionaire) latest film, Yesterday. When a 12-second global power outage occurs, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, EastEnders) is riding his bicycle, collides with a bus, and lands in the hospital with serious injuries. During his recovery, he casually utters statements, which are song lyrics from the Fab Four, and no one gets it. His confusion leads him to Google, where Jack types "The Beatles," only to received definitions of beetles. Try as he may, he can find no reference of The Beatles anywhere and, throughout the film; we learn other brands are also nonexistent in this alternate universe, such as Coke. Jack suddenly realizes he is the only person on Earth who remembers The Beatles.

Things get very interesting as Jack has always been a struggling musician. Think kid's birthday parties, lackluster music festivals and coffee shops. He is lovingly looked after by his lifelong friend Ellie (Lily James) who is also his manager, roadie and his only faithful supporter. If this level of closeness was not enough, we also witness unrequited attraction between the two main characters and, since the script comes from Richard Curtis (Love Actually), we know where this is headed.

Jack decides to learn the songs of The Beatles and make them his own - and he finds success! So much success, Ed Sheeran (playing himself) discovers him. Along with the pop superstar, comes his agent (Kate McKinnon), a money-grubbing, tremendously offensive yet also a funny woman who thinks she found the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow. Things don't quite 'Come Together' entirely.

Things get ridiculous as Jack and Ed Sheeran embark on a world tour and meet a few interesting people along the way. The song selection is impeccable with "'Help" providing an accurate reading of the song's rarely spoken meaning, appropriate to the character and plot. The "Long and Winding Road" of the film is truly a musical journey.

I give this film 3 of 5 stars for the some of the casting, the humorous interludes, Kate McKinnon's performance, UNBELIEVABLE MUSIC (kudos to whoever had to manage clearances for this film - WOW!) and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 12 to 18 and introduce or re-introduce the music of The Beatles to younger generations. This writer found herself toe tapping, singing along and loving all the memories this music holds. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 28, 2019.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is very entertaining. It has great songs, great singing and a little romance. The acting really pulled me into the story.

Yesterday is about a man named Jack who wants to become a famous singer. While riding his bike, the world's power goes out and Jack gets hit by a bus. After recovering, his friends give him a new guitar and he tries it out by singing a song by The Beatles. His friends have never heard the song before or even know who The Beatles are. So, Jack gets an idea to claim those songs as his own, so he can become famous.

This new world that Jack now lives in, is crazy. It does not have The Beatles. And John Lennon is alive. Can you imagine? The movie is creative in many ways, including using locations that inspired several Beatles' song titles such as Eleanor Rigby's grave and Penny Lane. My favorite character is Ellie, Jack's manager. She is sweet, funny and beautiful. My favorite part is when Jack searches for The Beatles on the Internet.

The message of Yesterday is to follow your dreams, put love first and tell the truth. It has a bit of bad language and a lot of drinking, but hey, it takes place in England, so I guess that is to be expected. It has some negative behavior and other risky things that kids might try to do.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will like this as well. This movie is in theaters June 28, 2019.

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

This is a very entertaining and funny movie! This film has two hours of comedy, romance and music. I really enjoyed watching this movie and listening to some of The Beatles classic songs.

Yesterday is about a British musician name Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) who writes his own songs. Jack is not a successful musician and is about to give up his career as a singer/writer, but his long time friend Ellie (Lily James) encourage him to continue with his dreams to keep writing and singing. One night, while Jack is riding his bike, the entire world suffers a 12 second blackout. Jack gets hit by a bus and sent to the hospital. For some reason, after the global blackout, The Beatles are erased from history; they don't exist. No one knows who The Beatles are except Jack.

The combination of comedy, romance and music is really good. Not only does Himesh Patel sing all The Beatles songs himself, he has an extraordinary voice and plays several instruments t=as well. My favorite part of this movie is seeing Ed Sheeran as himself. Ed visits Jack and invites him to sing with him. Ed's manager Deborah (Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live) is extremely funny. She becomes Jack's manager and helps him make a great album singing The Beatles' songs. Jack becomes super famous.

My favorite scene is when Jack sings "Help!" on top of a roof, in front of huge crowd. I also love the cast, because they are all very funny. For example Jack's best friend Rocky is played by Joel Fry, who is hysterical and James Corden plays as himself and he is always very funny to watch.

The moral of this movie is not to lie. In the movie Jack lies by telling the world he wrote all the songs and becomes famous. Also, he is in love with Ellie and doesn't have the courage to tell her. Lying can get you into more trouble than you are already in.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to18. This movie comes out in theatres June 28, 2019. Look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LION KID, THE
LION KID, THE - WOW NOW ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Kidd Mane is a lion cub without a home - that is, until he wanders into the western settlement of Tuckerville, which happens to be a town without a sheriff! Meeting folks and making friends, Kidd applies for the job and, with a little help from the long-suffering town council - Judge Ryker, Miss Scarlet, and Miss Clarabelle - he becomes the new sheriff of Tuckerville! Unfortunately, this puts Kidd at odds with the notorious town founder, Mr. Bucktooth Tucker! With a new sheriff in town, Tucker's crooked schemes are in jeopardy - until he resolves to run Kidd out, just like he did to the previous sheriff. Teaming with his devious lawyer, Jeb Easton, and recruiting two brutish thugs, Cliff and Gnash McGavin, Mr. Tucker pulls out all the stops to retain control of Tuckerville! On a collision course with the town's old guard, it's up to Sheriff Kidd and his loyal deputy, Tibs, to stand strong and turn back Mr. Tucker's threat - or lose Tuckerville forever!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated tale tells of a lion that comes to the town of Tuckerville to take on the job as the sheriff. The town readily accepts Sheriff Mane as their new law enforcer. But some local politicians, such as Mr. Jeb Tucker, are envious of this young, new sheriff and he attempts to sabotage Mane's good name with falsified orders. The setting is of the Old West with the narrow, wooden, two-story buildings, old-fashioned carriages and outfits reminiscent of that time period. The only thing disconnected from the Old West setting is the airborne (Argonaut) carriages. In the end, Mr. Jeb Tucker's feelings' about Sheriff Mane come full-circle for very good reason.

The production quality of this film is excellent. The CGI visuals are of a Dreamworks' animation quality. The sound quality is clear and suitable for most people, as is the soundtrack. The animated location of The Old West is pretty accurate for its time, as are the costumes. The dialogue is appropriate for its target audience. There is no overly complicated jargon.

Taking all that in consideration, this production could be a bit more sophisticated. The scenes are a bit long and drawn out at times. As an adult viewer, I wondered if a young child would notice that and lose interest in some scenes. The Lion Kid appears to be modeling a Dreamworks' production such as Shrek, but its humor and overall liveliness isn't quite on the same par, although it is still entertaining. I would love to see more wit to the characters' repartee. The plot is rather straightforward and suitable for a young audience.

Parents should know that there are a couple of places when a character calls the donkey bureaucrat a "jackass," as a play-on-words. Unfortunately, this "blurs the line" in terms of mild profanity.

I recommend this for ages 7 to 12 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars as I did enjoy the themes and animation of this film. It releases July 2, 2019 so, check it out. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is very appealing, due to its excellent production and storyline. Children will enjoy the animated animals talking and being expressive. There's also a wild western location they will enjoy.

There are honest characters that I wanted to root for. The villainous characters entertain, but I still want them to be exposed. The content and language is suitable for its target age group. Some words might be a bit advanced for some kids, but are not at all inappropriate. The main villain, Mr. Tucker expresses hope for continued inequality and uncivil treatment. His comments are more thought-provoking than violent.

The storyline involves problem solving and is thought provoking. There are plenty of lessons to be learned that most will find relatable. I like the message that it doesn't take experience to recognize and protest against unfair treatment.

The Lion Kid is one of my favorite new films. I found it funny, thought-provoking and courageous. Kidd Mane is sure to become a fan favorite, because he has the heart for any job. He stumbles upon a town called Tuckerville. Oddly enough, this town is without a sheriff. Kidd is nervous, but he accepts the job with honor.

There are important messages in this film about facing fears, being an honest and hard worker and standing up for equality. Kidd Mane (aka The Lion Kid) is awarded the chance to transform a shattered community. He has support from his fellow animals, especially deputy Tibbs. Manipulation and rumors threaten Kidd's mission to transform this oppressed western town.

I recommend The Lion Kid for ages 8 to 12, as they would really appreciate the continuous learning and acts of courage throughout this film. Most will find the problems addressed easy to relate to. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It will be released July 2, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The animated film The Lion Kid is full of surprises. The story focuses on a lion named Mane who is looking for a job. The first surprise is that he is not what we think when we think of in lions: He's nice, not mean, and he's friendly.

Mane is traveling alone in a new town and meets a member of the town council who wants him to become the sheriff. Mane is interested in the job, but he doesn't realize that becoming the sheriff will bring him problems. Not everyone in the town is happy about this idea. There is a man who is running the town, and everyone is too scared to stand up to him. The problems Mane has to face will teach him that he is able to be strong and brave.

The animation is basic. There are not many special effects in this movie, and it doesn't look as real as some animated films. The cinematography is like the town: simple. I have to say that the movie is a bit slow at times. I was looking for more action and adventure, since it is set in a Western town. I thought it might have a little more violence, but I'm glad that it doesn't because a lot of kids' movies have too much.

I will say that I learned a lot, though. Some of the things I learned, I already knew, like that sometimes life is a big challenge. At first Mane faces challenges because no one wants to hire him without experience. That is why I was surprised when he becomes the sheriff. It is almost like he is forced into becoming the sheriff, and when he does, Mane promises to do his best and makes rules for people to follow.

Another good thing The Lion Kid teaches is that we should believe in ourselves. This is when the film shows that we should always have courage. For example, Mane doesn't back down to the people who try to run him out of the sheriff position. He stands up to them and for what is right. He shows that doing what's right is the best thing to do. I was happy to see that Mane does not back down and doesn't run away.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 8. The Lion Kid releases July 2, 2019, so give it a shot and watch it because there's always something to learn.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This wholesome movie really made me smile. My mom strictly monitors the TV and movies that my siblings and I watch. There are actually a few PBS shows that my mom has banned. She says "they promote negative social behaviors." This film, however, exudes the positive qualities most parents want to teach their children. We are now allowed to watch anything written by B.C. Furtney without mom's prior approval.

Old-fashioned Western music introduces us to this high-flying town. This old west desert is complete with a general store, a showdown at high noon and, of course, a new sheriff in town. Animals from land, sea and air all live and work together in this oasis in the clouds. The town is run by a sinister donkey that plans and plots to turn the hard-working citizens into slave laborers. Hopefully, the new Sheriff, Kid Mane and his deputy can keep the inhabitants of "Skytern" free and happy.

Director James Snider and writer, B.C. Furtney join to bring us this CGE animated film. The two have teamed up for more than ten of this new film director's 18 animated movies. K.J. Schrock and Simon Hill give the main characters believable Western accents. Unfortunately, the voiceover and the animation is inconsistent. The movement of the character's mouths do not match the words being said. Young children will definitely enjoy the variety of talking animals, though, the dinosaur adds a lack of continuity. Some of the vocabulary and idioms give us older children a welcome challenge. I really enjoy the idea of different animals living peacefully together. It makes me hopeful for a time when all humans can do the same

Despite the needed improvements with the CGI, the lessons in this film make it extremely worthwhile. This movie teaches us to welcome change and encourages us to try new things and stay open to opportunities. It warns us against the perils of listening to gossip. Most of all, it exemplifies the Golden Rule: Do unto others as we would have them do unto us. There's a bit of borderline profanity, but it could be used as a teachable moment. After all, a donkey by any other name is still a donkey.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 13. You can find this movie on DVD July 2, 2019.

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

This animated, unique, funny and creative film tells a imaginative story that will keep you interested the entire time. This film takes you through the eyes of a fearless leader who is brave. This film was created by B.C. Fourteen (BC Furtney).

This film follows Kidd Mane who is a Lion Cub without a home - that is until he wanders into the western settlement of Tuckerville, which happens to be a town without a sheriff. As he searches for a place to settle, he comes across a helpful citizen named Tibs. Tibs suggests he find a job. Since Tuckerville had no sheriff, he applies for the job and is surprisingly hired. Unfortunately, this puts Kidd Mane at odds with the notorious town founder, Mr. Bucktook Tucker.

The lead characters in this film are the protagonist Kidd Mane, his helpful Deputy Tibs and Mr. Bucktook Tucker. My favorite character is undeniably Kidd Mane, because during Mr. Bucktooth Tucker's evil plan to turn every citizen of Tuckerville against Kidd, he stands by his word and tries to persuade each individual person into believing he wasn't apart of Tucker's evil plan. I also love how Kidd Mane cares about his new city and wants to protect it and everyone who lives in Tuckerville.

My favorite scene is unquestionably when Kidd Mane's problem becomes resolved and everyone realizes they were wrong. It brings peace to the community and is a very enjoyable moment.

This film does have some bad language, also some things kids might try to imitate. There are important messages in this film about how you should never stop believing in yourself, even when others don't, facing fears, being honest and working hard.

I'd give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 15. This film is available on DVD July 2, 2019. Make sure to check it out.

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

My grandfather would be so happy that they are bringing westerns back and I am to wear to my "Howdy Sheriff" hat and my horseback riding. On top of that, I absolutely love westerns and the innovation in this film.

The animation in this film is actually very dimensional and very colorful. Both combine to make a brand new world, filled with animals that can talk such as aardvarks, elephants and lions (of course). Oh my! And on top of that, flying high are sky-high balloons that can float up into the air, evil villains and so much more, which is a brand new twist on the Western tale. Speaking of villains, we have Tucker the evil villain, who wants to take over the whole town and the Lion Kid comes in to save the day. He's my favorite character in this film. He's not only kind and courageous; he's adorable. All characteristics of good lions of course. He's also the character who tells the moral of this story, which is that you need to stand up to the villains and, of course bullies, and tell them that they can't take over your town or your life. I actually love this character because of that.

I would have to say that one of the off things about this film is that when the characters talk, some of their mouths move a little weird and it seems dubbed. Other than that Dream Machine Animation, which created this film and James Snider, who directed it, did a terrific job.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 10, because of the lessons that we learn and the animation will captivate the audience. They will love the characters and the animation. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This movie comes out July 2, 2019. Be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 70 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SESAME STREET: DANCE PARTY!
SESAME STREET: DANCE PARTY! - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Description - Everyone loves to dance--from furry little monsters to furry BIG Snuffleupaguses. This special collection includes over two hours of content that will make your child want to move and groove. Little ones will love to see real kids dancing flamenco, doing an Irish stepdance, clapping out West African beats, and cha-cha-ing all over the place. They'll learn to dance like a dinosaur, a robot, and Elmo! Includes appearances by Amy Ryan, Liev Schreiber, Maria Menounos, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Jason Derulo and performances by Ne-Yo, Feij�o Sisters, Janelle Mon�e and Sara Bareilles. Bonus Features - Elmo's Music Magic
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - If you are a Sesame Street fan (and what parent isn't), then you are sure to love this. Featuring your favorite characters from this time-honored series, with a focus on dancing. Not just any dancing though - cha-cha, hokey pokey, hula, flamenco, tango, salsa, Elmo's' "happy dance," break dancing and more. Dance truly is a universal language and this DVD celebrates diversity in dance! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This DVD is absolutely awesome! It is so enjoyable to watch and it's educational at the same time. It teaches you how to perform different dances, which can be very entertaining for active children.

Sesame Street: Dance Party has so much to watch. Every single scene is adorable, from Rosita and some friends learning how to do the chicken dance to Elmo teaching you the happy dance. And it has all of our most favorite and lovable characters such as Elmo, Rosita, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus.

This DVD teaches your children what a choreographer is and does. Also, the episodes teach you different dances and you learn about where they came from. My favorite scene is when Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus try to find their favorite dance.

Throughout the DVD, there are a bunch of great messages. Some of my favorites are: learning is fun, dance can show different cultures and our voices can do amazing things. This DVD has no bad language and no bad behavior. There is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. Adults will also think that it is cute to watch with their children and can participate in some of the dances. It is available August 6, 2019. Look for it.

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

Stomp and slide while watching Sesame Street: Dance Party! What could be more fun than clapping your hands, stomping your feet, touching your toes and wiggling and jiggling your way to learning new dance moves with the Sesame Street characters and their special guests?

All of your favorite characters are included in this party, which starts off with Elmo's "Happy Dance." Elmo and friends learn about dances from all around the world with their friend Nina. Nina explains that you can learn to dance by learning one step at a time and to find the dance that's perfect for you. Different Sesame Street characters appear in various segments while learning about different cultural dances as well as the joys of counting and helping friends. What dance party would be complete without Zoe who makes her appearance throughout this dance party!

Love the settings throughout the party and especially the costumes in Zoe's production of "Six Swans," which is one of my favorite scenes.

The message of this DVD is to keep learning and to learn new things - including dance moves. Have fun while watching the Elmo Slide, Big Bird ChaCha, the Dinosaur, Snuffie's Hokey Pokey, the Conga and the Chicken Dance! It's always more fun to learn with friends and of course everyone loves Elmo!

I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This DVD comes out August 6, 2019 so watch for it.

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

This DVD is educational and inclusive! All of the storylines enlighten the audience with morals or teach new skills. The puns, irony and jokes are hilarious. Even though I am not in the target age range, I still enjoyed watching this DVD.

The different scenes feature the Muppet characters of Sesame Street learning all about dance. They learn different styles of dance from all over the world, how to dance, what a choreographer is and much more. The DVD also teaches the audience the dances and then they encourage people to get up and dance.

The Sesame Street Muppets are very colorful. Each looks very unique. I love that each one has a different personality. Some of them have best friends and others get along with everyone. The humans are also included in this community and interact with the Muppets. This complexity makes the DVD even more interesting. The set of Sesame Street looks realistic and is so colorful. The characters seem to have access to every part of the shops and buildings.

My favorite part is when Alan is pressured into being a swan for Zoe's "Six Swan Dance." He has to put on a swan costume, which includes a tutu. He also has to carry Snuffy, who is a large monster. I think Alan is very inspiring, doing all of these things for Zoe and remaining determined. It is really funny to watch his reaction to the seemingly impossible task requested of him.

Each of the scenes have different messages. All encompass taking dance, one step at a time, asking for help from the choreographer when needed and encouraging everyone to dance. Nina is the main teacher in this DVD and she is quite knowledgeable about all types of dances from all over the world. She helps the Muppets find their personal dance style and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed when trying to learn the dances.

This DVD is so adorable. It would be a great introduction to dance for children. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 2 to 6. This is releases August 6, 2019, so go check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 136 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL
MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Men in Black is bolstered by its talented two leads and visuals, but ultimately it remains an occasionally underwhelming installment in the franchise. Still, there are enough entertaining action sequences and humor to satisfy general moviegoers. Fans of the MIB franchise must check this out, but preferably on a matinee.

The film follows Men in Black 3 as London has a branch of Men in Black. After investigating and finding the MIB base, Molly (Tessa Thompson) joins them. The head of the branch, High T (Liam Neeson), pairs her up with the dashing hot-shot Agent H (Chris Hemsworth). Molly, now Agent M, and Agent H become involved in a series of alien attacks that send them traveling around the globe, while a mole lurks among the MIB.

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, as Agents M and H, are the main highlights here as their chemistry still impresses ever since their collaborations in Thor: Ragnarok. This really is just a big excuse to watch another Thor and Valkyrie buddy cop, and it's honestly a great one. I quite enjoyed Agent M's deadpan reactions to anything Agent H does. They really do fill the void that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones left behind from the previous three films. Liam Neeson, as High T, has some interesting contributions to the plot and, as always, brings out the veteran actor in himself. Kumail Nanjiani, as Pawny, is another highlight, being the new alien sidekick here. He has some of the funniest lines, and even serves as a good replacement for Frank the Pug. As always, it is nice to see Emma Thompson reprise her role as Agent O.

Director F. Gary Gray brings new life to the franchise taking over for Barry Sonnenfeld who directed the previous three. This marks the first director departure, and Gray's hipster influences reach out to a broader audience. He really bolstered by s a grasp on style and elegance. My favorite scene is when Agent M and H first discover Pawny, because it's just one gag after another with all sticking the landing. Pawny's dry humor adds to the overall vibe, and at this point, I wouldn't mind getting a MIB spinoff about Pawny. While the comedy delivers, the overall story does not. It runs around in circles, and the only redeeming quality to this is the density of the characters and settings. It is rather directionless at times and, after a while, it becomes like every other globe-trotting movie. Also, the mole subplot goes nowhere, and resolves itself quickly. This a huge disappointment, as someone who really admires insider plots.

The message of this film is that teamwork is essential. This is shown in the partnership of Agent M and H as they fight and try to peacefully resolve with the aliens. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, due to some intense action, suggestive references and language. The movie releases in theaters June 14, 2019, so check it out.

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

Men in Black: International is a hilarious sci-fi adventure that had me both laughing and on the edge of my seat! You can enjoy Men in Black: International without having seen any of the previous movies, because there are all-new characters and adventures. The story goes from Paris to Morocco to London and New York, as the heroes chase aliens around the globe.

The movie starts by introducing two different sets of aliens that both want the same weapon. One set of aliens is very creepy, because it can shape shift into people, and an even creepier kind of alien called the Hive has tentacles and can eat your face off! Both want to take over the world, of course! The Men in Black organization steps in to save the world with their superior firepower.

My favorite thing about this movie is the character of Steve the pawn. He's a little computer animated alien who gets all the best jokes in the film. I love the scene when he pushes the red button to take everyone into hyper-speed. The main characters are played by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, both from Thor: Ragnarok. The filmmakers sneak a really funny Thor joke into the movie that got a lot of laughs!

Parents should know that there is some profanity and action violence, although not really any blood. There's not a big message to this film. It's mostly just a big fun summer blockbuster, but I guess you could say that you should never give up when you're protecting the world! I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults who like sci-fi comedies should enjoy it too. Men in Black: International opens in theaters everywhere Friday June 14, 2019.

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

It's rare that you love a sequel more than the original, but that is definitely the case for this movie directed by F. Gary Gray. I grew up watching the previous Men in Black movies on family movie nights at home and this is my first time seeing one on the big screen, which is important, because of all the special effects.

Men in Black: International starts with a young Molly helping save a cute alien visitor in her bedroom. She escapes having her memory neutralized and then spends years searching for the mysterious government organization she saw that night and prepares herself to become an agent. Once she tracks the agency down she becomes probationary Agent M and is sent to London to complete her training and help discover a potential mole in the organization. Working with Agent H, they search for threats from the "fungus among us." My favorite character is Pawny. I love all the scenes with his snarky sense of humor, which adds to the hilarity of the movie, as he serves his queen, Agent M.

The special effects are awesome and as important as any character in this movie and I give credit to the talented team that put everything together. I love the women in power in this movie, starting with the reappearance of Emma Thompson as Agent O and the new Agent M, played by Tessa Thompson. I enjoyed Chris Hemsworth as Agent H with his big action personality. Liam Neeson, as his mentor and Agent High T stands out in the film as well. Barry Sonnenfeld is one of the Executive Producers along with Stephen Spielberg. The only thing missing is a cameo from Agents K and J, who sadly did not put in an appearance in this film. Also I would have enjoyed seeing a few more funky looking aliens.

The message of this film, other than advocating for intergalactic peace for humans and all races, is that "the universe has a way of leading you to the place you're supposed to be the moment you're supposed to be there." To me that really translates into living for the moment - whenever and wherever that may be.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18, and adults as well. Parents should know that there are many scenes the include violence, some profanity and some scenes which have other mature content. I rate this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars. This movie opens in theaters nationwide June 11, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POK�MON DETECTIVE PIKACHU
POK�MON DETECTIVE PIKACHU - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - In a world where people collect Pok�mon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie so much. I couldn't stop laughing and crying with tears of joy. Even the adults in the movie theatre laughed and enjoyed this movie.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu is about a city named Ryme City where people are living with Pokemon. A young man named Tim Goodman travels to Ryme City to find out the reason for the mysterious disappearance of his father, Harry Goodman. In the process, Tim finds a strange, purple substance or gas that makes all the Pokemon act weird. Tim also finds his father's Pokemon Pikachu. For some reason, Tim can understand Pikachu. Yes, Pikachu can talk in this movie!

The movie is hilarious because of Ryan Reynolds, even though there are some jokes not suitable for children. Also, Justice Smith, who plays Tim Goodman, is so good. He is pretty funny, and he makes the audience feel emotional when he has sad moments. The visual effects are incredible, which make this movie different and better than other Pokemon movies or Pokemon TV shows.

The moral of this film is not to give up. Tim wants to give up on his mission. Instead, he teams up with Pikachu, and together they make a great team. Pikachu saves Tim from going home. The end has a very twisted mystery that leaves everyone in the audience with their mouths wide open. If you want to find out why, you'll need to watch this awesome film before your friends spoil it for you.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, but adults over 18 can enjoy it, too You can watch Pokemon Detective Pikachu in any theater near you starting Friday, May 10, 2019.

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

Pokemon Detective Pikachu is a movie that takes place in a world where people live with Pokemon and catch them in poke balls and battle them. I enjoyed this movie because the storyline is a mystery with a lot of twists that keeps you guessing.

This story is about a boy named Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) whose father, Harry Goodman (Ryan Reynolds) dies in a car crash. Tim goes to Ryme City and meets a Pikachu with a detective hat who says that he is Harry's Pokemon, and a brilliant detective. Tim and Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) must find out who killed Tim's father and why.

This movie is great, all the Pokemon in the movie look realistic and lifelike. I found it very fun to search the movie and spot all the different Pokemon that they have in the movie such as Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, Lickitung, Charmander and many more.

There is also a video game version of the movie called Detective Pikachu where you play in the Pokemon world and join Detective Pikachu in Ryme City to solve mysteries and crimes that Pokemon cause. It has a similar plot to the movie, so it is fun to get to play what you see in the film.

My favorite scene in this movie is one where Pikachu is very sad and starts singing some short pieces of the Pokemon theme song as he walks away from Tim, acting depressed. I like this scene because the way that Pikachu sings it is hilarious. Another good scene is when Tim, Detective Pikachu, Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) a journalist, and her Psyduck are running away from some Greninjas and Psyduck gets a headache. This is very dangerous because his head could explode. I like this scene because it is full of action and the way Pikachu gives Psyduck a headache is hilarious. My favorite character in this movie is Detective Pikachu because he makes a lot of great jokes about other Pokemon and his obsession with coffee. His humor is sarcastic and dry, but he is also cute and fluffy. This contrast is very amusing.

The message of this movie is that you should stay loyal to your friends and trust them. There is also a strong storyline about the relationships between father and son.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to18 because younger children may not understand the storyline. It opens in theaters May 10, 2019 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAREWELL, THE
FAREWELL, THE - COALITION FOR QUALITY CHILDREN'S MEDIA
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Billi struggles with her family's decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Farewell, directed by Lulu Wang, played tug-of-war with my emotions as I felt a constant push and pull between crying and smiling! I became a part of Billi's family, empathizing with the family members because they reminded me of my own.

Based on an actual lie, The Farewell tells the story of Billi (Awkwafina), a Chinese immigrant in America, and the relationship with her grandmother, Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhou), who lives in China. When Billi finds out that her grandmother only has a few months left to live, Billi must grapple with the fact that her family doesn't wish to tell Nai Nai. Along with dealing with Nai Nai's imminent death, Billi struggles with her Chinese and American roots.

The power of The Farewell comes from its simplicity. The most powerful scenes are those without music or dialogue, just Billi alone with her emotions. These scenes last several seconds and act as a window into Billi's heart. Awkwafina fully transforms into her character, letting her eyes convey Billi's indescribable pain to the audience. The cinematography by Anna Franquesa and Solano assists in amplifying the effect of the actors' emotions. The camera often frames Billi in the center of the screen, whether she is amongst a sea of people or alone in her room. Each time the camera does so, I felt how the sorrow forms a small bubble around her that is only visible to the audience, especially if she is pretending to smile or laugh. Once again, there is a simplicity in the cinematography that carries power. This simplicity even extends to the music by Alex Weston. The music is comprised of only a few string instruments and a simple melody. However, every time it plays it reflects the emotions of Billi, giving me goosebumps.

My favorite part is how this movie depicts immigrant families and their struggles. Being Indian, but born and brought up in America, I found several similarities between Nai Nai and my own mother and grandmother. At certain moments, I was laughing out loud because Nai Nai says something that I have heard countless times in my own family. In this way, The Farewell brings a story that millions of American families can relate to, that is not often found in Hollywood movies.

The message is that family is precious. I give The Farewell 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Be sure to check out The Farewell which opened in theatres nationwide July 26, 2019.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

This film rocked everyone's emotions. Although there are multiple instances where the film is a bit slow, the overall emotional impact is great. There are moments of comedic relief throughout. I think that everyone can relate to this film in some way. I made connections with some of the ideas and scenes even though I am not Chinese.

The Farewell is about Billi and her family's reunion in China. They reunite because their grandma has developed lung cancer and the doctor says she only has weeks to live. The family chooses not to tell Nai-Nai (grandma) that she has lung cancer. Instead, they tell her that they are reunited for a wedding. Billie's family tells her that the reason for not telling Nai-Nai is that it's not the cancer that kills, but the fear. The film is all about appreciating the time you have on earth and with your family. There are many moments of stillness, included watching the wind blow through the trees, for 30 seconds or more. I find this aspect of the film beautiful, as it reminds me of the phrase, "stop and smell the roses." But others might interpret these moments as filler scenes and pointless.

Awkwafina, as Billie, is an exceptional actress. You can feel the emotion she conveys through the screen, even if she doesn't say anything. For her role she needs to show the audience that she is deeply troubled, but also show that she tries to hide her feelings from her grandma. That is very difficult to do and she does it perfectly. Without this, the film would lose a lot of its emotional impact.

The music sets the mood very well for some scenes, but in others silence and black screens are set the mood. Sometimes it's the noise of nature, like the wind blowing through the leaves. Scenes like these are what makes the film divergent.

The message of this film is about being appreciative of all aspects of life. Billie begins to realize that while she spends time with her family in China. Every moment is a gift. I love that the film is quite simple yet it has such a powerful effect.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. There are innuendos, use of alcohol, cigarettes and some bad language. Despite this, the film will move you to tears so check it out! It comes out July 12, 2019 in theaters!

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

I surprisingly loved this film. I was not excited about watching it, but after the screening, I realized that I have a lot of sympathy for this movie and the story resonates with me. It is about family grief and love, identity, having confidence and cultural identity.

This is the story of a girl named Billie (beautifully played by Awkwafina) who lives in NYC. She loves her grandmother Nai Nai who lives in China and she calls her every day. They lie to each other about how their lives are going. Billie does not know that Nai Nai has stage four lung cancer. And, when she finds out Billie is devastated. It is a Chinese tradition to not tell a person when they have terminal cancer, because they want to keep their spirit alive. There is a Chinese saying: "Is not of the cancer but of the fear." Nai Nai's family plans a fake wedding so everyone gets a chance to get together and say goodbye, without telling the truth. Billie struggles with the lies and debates between her life in the west, being from the east.

I found this film very interesting because it is based on a actual lie and is director's Lulu Wang's real life story. The storytelling is delicate and touching; the performances are absolutely honest.

I love the cultural richness of the movie and the colors. If you like art films or slow paced ones, I definitely recommend this movie. In the film, there is a little bird that constantly comes into a room that Billie is in and doesn't fly. I think the director wanted to use the bird as a reference to Billie, as if she is trapped in her own mind and inertia. I like the comedy, but I think the grownups watching this film enjoyed the jokes a lot more than I did. The Farewell is a drama that is intended to lift your heart and not make you laugh. Throughout the film and for almost half of it, Billie's family speaks Mandarin, but it didn't bother me and I understood the film perfectly by reading the subtitles.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 16, as well as adults. The message of this film is that expressing our true feelings impacts our family bond. It opens in theaters July 26 12, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BRAVEST KNIGHT, THE
BRAVEST KNIGHT, THE - HULU, LLC
Series: WEBSERIES, AGES 5-8
Description - The new series "The Bravest Knight" is breaking boundaries, featuring a household with two dads (Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew), making it one of the first children's television series with an openly gay main character. Following the inspiring and perseverant former pumpkin farmer, Sir Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, "The Bravest Knight" recounts personal tales of his journey. Sir Cedric shares his story with his adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia, on how he transformed from day-time farmer to full-fledged knight. Nia, who is training to become a brave knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion; proving that knighthood is much more than slaying dragons.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this children's animated series, The Bravest Night, the main character, Sir Cedric tells his adopted daughter Nia, vignettes of his younger days, as a way of explaining to her many of life's lessons. For example, in the second episode, Sir Cedric explains how losing to a "tiny" jouster in his younger days made him a better jouster in the long run. The moral of the tale is to never underestimate the other player or, in other words, learn humility.

The series is to be considered groundbreaking, because of its openly gay characters - Sir Cedric and his husband Prince Andrew - along with the multicultural aspect of the two dads adopting an African-American child. A very positive aspect about groundbreaking programs is the potential for storylines the public has never before witnessed in other series. The animation is pretty simple and appealing to the target audience.

Each episode runs approx. 19 minutes long, is concise and flows well. The screener copy showcased three episodes. The pictures and sounds are clear enough. I recommend it for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The release date on Hulu is June 21, 2019.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer

I found this animated series to be both engaging and entertaining for its intended age group with its bright colors and well-drawn characters. There are funny moments, including the phrase "not-yet-knight," that is sure to bring a smile or even a laugh from the audience.

The Bravest Knight is about a young boy and his adventures on the way to becoming a knight and how, as a grown up, he uses the stories to encourage his daughter to the same achievement.

Each episode has a clear story line, following the same format, about the father using his younger self to solve a problem. It celebrates the inclusion of all the characters for the task in hand and celebrates achievements by both boys and girls equally. The three episodes I watched certainly made me want to see more, especially as the underlying theme of a missing dragon made ne wonder if it would ever appear and, if so, what would it look like. I particularly like the theme of learning new tasks that is featured in each episode. Each episode feels almost like reading a chapter of a good book where you are keen to start the next chapter (or in this case episode).

The stories are easy to understand and will capture any child's imagination. I should mention that each episodes works well as a standalone and can be watched on its own, which is useful for a child viewer. There is an underlying theme about a troll searching for a lost bridge and a missing dragon, which helps to bring continuity to the series. As a viewer, you get to know the main characters thru the stories and learn their weaknesses and strengths. The stories are shown from a child's perspective and the vocabulary is appropriate for the target audience. The concepts of respecting others and working as a group are well tailored to a child's understanding. This animated series has very good quality. I particularly like the backgrounds, which are very detailed. The characters are all drawn well. The daughter of the protagonist is particularity well drawn and portrays the energy and enthusiasm of youth. The father as a young boy is also excellent. I suspect that this series might invite inquiry by some children into learning more information about knights or kings and queens.

There is some mild risky behavior that children might imitate. One is a scene of a child climbing up to a tower and in another, a tree. Also there is a scene of jousting, but I don't find it worrisome. The word poop is used twice in episode two and three, but its in the context of the joke and isn't derogatory.

I recommend it for ages 5 to 10, as well as adults who would enjoy watching with their children. It has a good story line, fun non-offensive characters and even the so-called bad characters are not particularly scary. It is about inclusion and fun in learning new tasks, but also about recognizing achievements of others and yourself. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. This series premieres on Hulu June 21, 2019 so look for it. I think you'll enjoy it greatly.

Reviewed by Richard L. KIDS FIRST! Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This show is incredibly charming, even though there are currently only five episodes available. It's super cute and really fun.

The show follows a knight named Sir Cedric, who is retelling the story of how he became a knight to his daughter Nia, who wants to be a knight as well. The episodes focus on Cedric teaching Nia important morals and lessons about being a knight. While the main focus of the show seems to be teaching lessons, there is also an overarching story based on how Cedric became a knight.

The animation in this series is very simplistic, but very adorable. The style gives me the vibe of a children's book. Which fits the fairy tale theme and overall tone. There really isn't much else I have to say about the animation other than I really enjoy it.

Now arguably the most notable aspect of this show so far is the representation. On the surface it seems like a simple enough kids show, however I was excited to learn about the amazing diversity in the cast. I mentioned that Cedric has a daughter. Well it turns out that Cedric is married to another man and Nia is his adopted daughter. Not only that, but Cedric's husband Prince Andrew and their daughter are both people of color. While Andrew and Nia are the major examples of representation, there does appear to be themes of discrimination with the troll characters. Cedric's companion on his quest is a troll named Grunt and there are two instances where other characters assume the worst or are rude to Grunt because he's a troll. I think the theme of discrimination is presented really well and in a subtle way. I'm a firm believer that children are able to handle complicated subjects in media, so I always get kind of happy when I see media treating kids as smarter than most people give them credit for.

However, the representation is not all there is to this show. After all, this show is not mainly about the diversity. Although I must say, I think the characters so far are really fun and likeable. Nia is adorable and fun while Prince Andrew, who kind of plays the role of the straight man to balance out Nia and Cedric rounds out the central trio very nicely. Cedric is a bit of a basic protagonist, but it's clear he'll develop as the series goes on, which is always a good sign.

I give this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. And episodes are currently premiering on Hulu, so check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Bravest Knight, directed by Shabnam Rezaei, is a perfect opportunity for younger audiences to learn important life lessons in adventurous ways! The fairytale setting, featuring knights and trolls, creates a fun and imaginative world for children to become immersed in. Each episode contains multiple messages that are explained as a short lesson at the end.

The story follows Nia (Storm Reid), a "not-yet-knight," who strives to learn the skills to become a real knight. Her father, Sir Cedric (T.R Knight) teaches her lessons that are necessary to achieve knighthood. Through his tutelage, Cedric tells Nia stories of his own childhood with his best friend Grunt (Chance Hurstfield). These stories often follow tales of when Sir Cedric was a "not-yet-knight" and the adventures he faced.

The animation made me feel as if I was in a pop-up fairytale book. In the beginning of each episode, trees or hills appear to move in such a way that the focus on Nia or their home becomes clear. The animation resembles the way that pop-up story books become clear when the page flips. This illusion continues throughout the episode as the characters are drawn simplistically. However, the background is more detailed with a wide variety of colors and ornamentation wherever Cedric and Nia's adventures take them.

My favorite part is how there is an overarching story that continues throughout several episodes. In Cedric's stories, young Cedric is determined to help Grunt find the troll who ousted Grunt from his bridge. Every episode contains a clue that brings them closer to achieving this goal. This form of storytelling intrigued me and made me want to watch the next episode. In contrast, there are elements of the screenplay that made me lose interest at times. Grunt and Nia have personalities that separate them from the other characters in the show. Cedric, the main character, lacks such a personality and he is less compelling to watch. Nevertheless, Grunt and Nia's characters make up for this downside and it will not be noticed by younger audiences.

The messages of the series are about not giving up and that things are not always what they seem. I give The Bravest Knight 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. Be sure to check out The Bravest Knight on Hulu when it launches June 21, 2019.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

The Bravest Knight is a sweet and fun animated series for younger kids. Each 12 minute episode is funny and entertaining and held my interest even though I'm a little older than the target audience.

The Bravest Knight is about Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew and their adopted daughter Nia. Nia really wants to be a knight like her dad, each episode has a story Sir Cedric tells her about when he was also a "not-yet knight." Young Cedric has a troll friend named Grunt who accompanies him on his adventures. Together, they save people from a witch, enter a jousting tournament and escape a giant's vault in the clouds.

My favorite part of this show is the character Grunt, the troll. He gets the best lines and got a few laughs out of me. The animation uses nice colors that will appeal to kids and the music really fits the style of the show. The voice actors, both young and old, are great at bringing their characters to life.

The message of this series is summed up in the theme song: "Be the real you, be the true you, it's the bravest thing you can do." There are some positive messages about teamwork, caring for others and avoiding stereotypes. There's a bearded fairy named Lucy who replies that names belong to people, not genders, when Grunt the troll asks if he has a girl's name.

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Adults probably won't mind watching it with their kids if they ask them to. The Bravest Knight is available for streaming on Hulu starting June 21, 2019.

Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: GO TEAM SONIC!
SONIC BOOM: GO TEAM SONIC! - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 7-15
Description - It's a Sonic you haven't seen before -- an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he's up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. On this action-packed DVD, join Sonic and the gang as they accept a dare from Dr. Eggman. Tag along with Sonic and Knuckles as they enter a game show. And find out what happens when Sonic's status as the town's biggest hero is threatened. And so much more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Though somewhat predictable, the show has some very funny moments and can serve as an entertaining break during the day, since the episodes are so short. The message of the story centers around the conflicts between friends. This includes Doctor Eggman, whose role is more of a rivalry than a serious threat of evil. If parents want their kids to get more out of this show, then they should pause between episodes and discuss the characters' adventures with their child, comparing to their child's own experiences with questions such as, "What would you do if your friend acted like that? Can you think of better ways to solve that problem? How might this whole scenario have gone differently?"

Younger kids will enjoy the bright, energetic characters' antics with their friends, as well as making fun of Eggman for always losing. Slightly older kids might appreciate the show, because they're familiar with other materials from the Sonic franchise.

The plots of each episode, though simple, make the usual cartoony sort of sense. Problems are set up, faced and resolved in the next episode. Further consequences are glossed over. The show is not designed to be accurate in the way it portrays animals or technology. There is plenty of punching, lasers, breaking robots and making things explode, but nobody actually gets hurt. Both heroes and villains engage in "don't try this at home" stunts. On another note, nearly all the characters are portrayed as gullible and unintelligent, particularly the stronger ones, like Knuckles. This could be interpreted as the common prejudice that big plus strong equals dumb.

Though less stunning and more simple than the computer animation seen in most contemporary cartoons, the show has some pretty background sets. The action sequences are also well-animated.

This show could be considered educational by its portrayal of the frictions that often arise between a group of people, particularly friends. The gang's interaction with Eggman could even provide a teachable moment, such as showing kindness to your enemy, even when you know he'll turn around and try something bad again tomorrow.

This program is a collection of episodes having to do with solving conflicts between friends. The episodes point out problems that often arise such as jealousy, feeling underappreciated, unpopular hobbies and wanting to make up for thing's you've done wrong. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12.

Reviewed by Beth T., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this DVD. I love any show that has to do with my favorite childhood game characters. In this case, the DVD is about Sonic, a super fast, blue hedgehog and his friends.

This DVD includes eight episodes and a bonus episode from Season 2, "If You Build it They Will Race". It also gives you a choice to watch the episodes in English or Spanish. Each episode is approximately ten minutes with a total of 90 minutes of fun. In every episode, Sonic and his friends -Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sticks - come together to stop crimes against their number one enemy, Dr. Eggman. Dr. Eggman is an evil scientist who wants to destroy Sonic and his crew. In every episode something evil happens to Sonic and his friends, but they always manage to save the day.

My favorite episode is "Counter Productive" because it is about Sonic's friend, Knuckles, fighting a giant robot. This archaeologist named Charlie meets Knuckles and, from there on, Knuckles decides to help him with his work. At one point, Knuckles becomes a bit annoying because, instead of helping Charlie, he interrupts his work by messing it up. Knuckles and Charlie do not get along, to the point that Charlie constructs a giant robot to fight big, red Knuckles. Of course, I am not going to tell you who wins the fight, because you need to watch this cool DVD to find out.

I like the graphics and the music is intense. The voice-overs are so cool, especially because it's the first time I hear Sonic and his friends talk. They do not talk in the video game, rather than saying "Oh Yeah!" Each episode is funny and fun to watch, because they are short, so it keeps your attention the whole time. I got to see a sneak peek of the first episode of Season 2. I like how the bonus episode of Season 2 plays the theme song from the "Knight Rider" show.

The message of this DVD is "team work makes the dream work." When Sonic and his friends work as a team, they accomplish their mission by defeating the bad guy, Mr. Eggman.

I rate Sonic Boom, Go Team Sonic! 5 out of 5 stars, because I enjoyed watching Sonic and his friends in a cartoon show, besides playing the game. I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 because teenagers will also enjoy watching this DVD. The DVD is available now so look for it. Looking forward to watch Sonic Boom Season 2!

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

Go Team Sonic! This DVD includes eight Sonic-Powered episodes that will take you on numerous wild adventures alongside Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals. This 90 minute DVD also includes a bonus episode. How fun is that! On this action-packed DVD, you get to tag along with Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals as they escape from the evil enemies, fight for justice, work together as a team, defeat evil and so much more.

This DVD follows Sonic the hedgehog aided by his sidekick, Tails and his friends Knuckles, Amy and Sticks. Each episode focuses on a new wild adventure as the whole gang fights their evil arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. As each action-packed episode goes along, you find out how Sonic's status as the town's biggest hero is threatened. Not only do you get to fight alongside the leaders, you get to find out what life is like being a hero.

The lead characters are Sonic the Hedgehog, his sidekick Amy, Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Eggman. My favorite character is, without-a-doubt, Amy because she's very outspoken, brave, fearless and powerful. What I love most about Amy is the fact that she brings excitement to each episode, whether it's through her ambition to fight, her unexpected plans or even the real truth (which always ends up coming out of Amy's mouth).

My favorite episode on this DVD is Episode 4, "Fuzzy Puppy Buddies". I enjoyed this episode more than others, because it has a surprising twist when one of Sonic's pals becomes Fuzzy Puppy Buddies with their enemies. It brings so much suspense to the table.

There is no bad language in this DVD, no risky actions that younger kids might try to imitate. This film shares an important message about always helping a friend in need.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 16, as well adults.

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

I really enjoyed watching the DVD Sonic Boom: Go Team Sonic, because the characters are super fun. There are a couple of things I found somewhat distracting such as the mouthing of the characters which is out of sync and the characters seem a bit bland, which detracts from the show.

Sonic Boom: Go Team Sonic is a collection of nine episodes from the computer animated Sonic Boom TV series produced by Sega of America and Technicolor Animation Productions based on the video game Sonic the Hedgehog. It stars Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends. In every episode, there is a funny and creative conflict with one of the characters and their band of friends come together to help them solve it with the main leader Sonic. There is a fully developed plot and each of the characters have their own quirky personality.

This series stars Robert Craig Smith voicing Sonic the Hedgehog. His friends are voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey (fun fact, she is the first female to ever voice the character Tails), Cindy Robinson and Travis Willingham. It is created by Evan Baily, Donna Friedman and Sadrine Nguyen. Their voices have distinct personalities, so the lip synch issue is not too noticeable. The characters are very well constructed and you really see their personalities come through. However, the animation gives them very blank expressions, which distracts from what is actually going on.

This series is entertaining and doesn't have a great moral message, except reinforcing the concept of friendship and solidarity.

I would give this series 3 out of 5 stars with an appealing age range of 5 to 8 years old and you can find this on DVD and at the KIDS FIRST! Film festival.

Reviewed by Lukas L, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LLAMA LLAMA'S BEST SUMMER EVER!
LLAMA LLAMA'S BEST SUMMER EVER! - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-11
Description - Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat as they explore their safe, friendly hometown and make childhood memories. On this DVD, join Llama Llama as he camps, boats, floats and swims his way through his BEST summer ever! Adventure and learning awaits with Llama Llama and pals!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Llama Llama Best Summer Ever! DVD is tons of fun and will appeal to kids and families. It's a bright and happy animated series that is based on Anna Dewdney's books about an adventurous llama and his circle of family and friends. This DVD has eight episodes with an option to play all the episodes or select them one at a time at an approximate run time of 90 minutes of lively entertainment. The series employs bright colors, fun animals and engaging story lines that align with the daily activities that many kids are involved in, to capture their interest. The cute story lines deliver positive messages. For example, Llama Llama's kite is torn on the last day of summer and his mom teaches him resourcefulness. There's no need to buy a new one, we can fix this one and it will be better than before. The writing structure is straightforward and geared towards its target audience. The continuity and style reinforce each episode's message, teamwork, resourcefulness and helping others. The series uses vocabulary that appeals to young kids. For example, when Llama Llama's kite is torn his mom states that she will help him make a swirl-o-rama kite!

Through Llama Llama and his friends Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat, kids will learn how to problem-solve, work as part of a team, help others, develop friendship and enjoy their families with awesome summer activities such as making lemonade, camping, boating, swimming and kite flying. The series visually appeals to kids with its bright colors and cute animal friends. The DVD cover is appropriate and appeal as it features Llama Llama and his friends. There is also a listing of each episode included, with a picture next to it representing what the episode is about. There are educational benefits as kids are taught about problem solving and teamwork. For example, Llama Llama wants to help his friend buy a new bike tire, so he opens a lemonade stand to earn the money. His friends help him improve his product and help with marketing it. Additionally, kids are shown that everyone can be included even if they don't do the same things. i.e. Euclid the Sheep shows up when everyone's flying kites. He doesn't have a kite, but he can make calculations on wind, temperature and time to help the other kites fly. There are several messages in this series about teamwork, resourcefulness, friendship, family and helping others. The DVD menu has an option to watch all the episodes or select them one at a time. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 11.

Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Llama Llama is an animated series full of family values and nature adventures! This heartwarming series is based on the beloved children's books by Anna Dewdney who also illustrated the books. There are eight episodes on the new DVD Llama Llama BEST Summer Ever!

Llama Llama has exciting adventures with his family and friends which include valuable life lessons at the beach, camping and around the town. The series features Jennifer Garner as the voice of the loving Mama Llama. My favorite episode is "Last Day of Summer" where Llama Llama seizes the day with friends and goes to the park to fly kites and ends up using imagination when the weather complicates their plans. Change can be exciting and fun!

The message of this series is to learn from family and friends and to enjoy childhood. Change can be tough but you can always enjoy time with family and friends.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6. The DVD is available now.

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

Llama Llama's Best Summer Ever! is so entertaining to watch. It has adorable characters, fun animation, great music and lots vibrant content. The short episodes are the perfect length to keep young children entertained.

This DVD is about Llama Llama and his friend having the time of their lives on their summer vacation. Episodes include Let's Go Camping, Beach Day, Boat Float and Last Day of Summer. Wherever Llama Llama goes, there will always be fun.

The Llama Llama animated series is so cool, because they are based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. There are several lovable characters including Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu and Luna Giraffe. This DVD is approximately 90 minutes long with eight episodes. My favorite episode is Last Day of Summer, because it shows that even if the weather is bad you can still have fun indoors during the summer.

There are a lot of positive messages in this DVD including keeping a positive attitude when your plans change unexpectedly and, if you go with the flow and have a positive attitude, the outcome can still be fun. We also learn that a little bit of practice can make you feel more confident and that if you feel as if you are not getting enough attention from your parents, just know that they still love you. This DVD has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do. However, there are scenes showing jealously.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend this DVD for your kids.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DARK PHOENIX
DARK PHOENIX - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - This is the story of one of the X-Men's most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX. During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we've come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet -- one of their own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like this movie. I love super hero movies, especially Marvel movies. Unfortunately, I was a lot younger when I watched the previous X-Men movies, so I don't remember them that well. When I was watching Dark Phoenix, I was a little lost on the background of the characters.

Dark Phoenix is about the super hero team we all know as X-Men. The main character is the one and only Jean Grey portrayed by Sophie Turner who we also know as Sansa, The Queen of the North from Game of Thrones. The movie shows how Jean Grey meets Professor X (James McAvoy) after a fatal car accident and how she joins the X-Men team. Professor X sends Jean and the X-Men team off on a rescue mission in space. They have to rescue a group of NASA astronauts. During the rescue mission, Jean suffers an accident, causing her to start losing control of her emotions and power. Her uncontrolled emotions are mostly anger and rage, which accounts for the title of the movie, Dark Phoenix, because you see a bit of the dark side of Jean Grey. The villains in the movie are a group of aliens that lost their planet in an explosion, so they come to planet Earth to kidnap Jean and acquire her powers.

Besides Sophie Turner and James McAvoy, this movie has another well-known actress, Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), who we know as Katniss Evergreen in The Hunger Games. In this film, we see a different Mystique, showing her good side and her protectiveness for her team. The sound and visual effects are amazing. My favorite scene is when the X-Men team rescue Jean and have to fight off the aliens. There are some sad parts such as the loss of some characters, which, of course, you need to watch the film in order to know which ones are gone.

I really like the moral of the movie: you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. Jean Grey needed to know how strong and powerful she is, because she doesn't have a choice. Another message is about how family will always be there for you and will help you through tough times. The X-Men and Professor X are Jean Grey's family.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. plus adults. I don't recall any profanity in the film, but there is a far amount of graphic, bloody death scenes. The film opens nationwide in theaters June 7, 2019.

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

Dark Phoenix is an exciting, action-packed ending to the current series of X-Men films. The humor, special-effects and solid acting make this a great choice for a summer movie. If you're not familiar with the most recent X-Men movies, you might want a refresher, before you see this one. I watched a quick recap on YouTube and it helped me become familiar with the characters. Even though I haven't seen any of the previous films, it wasn't as confusing as I thought it would be, and I still understood enough to enjoy it.

Dark Phoenix is in the same timeline as X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. It centers on the powerful mutant, Jean Grey. In 1992, the X-Men are sent on a space mission to retrieve a crew from a solar flare. Jean Grey, a.k.a. Phoenix, saves them by going inside and closing up the holes. While doing this, she absorbs a cosmic force and becomes Dark Phoenix. Some aliens find out that their source of power was absorbed and taken to Earth, so they morph into the shape of humans and start doing normal bad guy stuff - they want to take over the world, destroy the world, which is basically all any of the bad guys want to do in these comic book movies!

My favorite thing about this movie is definitely the incredibly awesome fight scenes! The special effects are very impressive and I love how they show all the mutants using their abilities together. There's a scene on a train where my favorite character, Nightcrawler, uses his powers of teleportation to fend off the aliens. I was looking forward to seeing Quicksilver, but he actually isn't in the film much. I'm disappointed because he really could've helped the storyline along.

Parents should know that there's plenty of violence and some blood, and a main character meets a distressing end. There's not a lot of bad language, but there is one big, dramatic F-bomb that kids might be tempted to imitate. The message of this film is that you should be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. Charles Xavier is presented as a flawed hero who makes choices both good and bad, so if you're looking for a movie where the main characters do no wrong, this might not be for you!

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults who like comic book movies should enjoy it too. Dark Phoenix opens in theaters everywhere Friday June 7, 2019.

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

Dark Phoenix is a conclusion to the X-men franchise. The best aspect of this film is the actors. Sophie Turner, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender put up some great performances, as always. But, this film lacks the sort of intensity and depth that makes you want to care about the characters. Also, the visual effects are lackluster. It has the most exposition by one character, which is so constant that you feel like you're having the entire movie spoon fed to you.

Dark Phoenix follows Jean Grey, an X-men. She is infused with what is thought to be a solar flare. When Hank runs a test on her, the stats are off the charts, even though she was exposed to the solar flare. She fights with her emotions to prevent hurting her friends and people she loves. She figures out a repressed secret about herself and goes to Eric for guidance, only to be rejected.

My favorite scene is the train fight scene, because it provides some great action and develops the story a bit. It shows the teamwork between the X-men. We see the baddies crawling over the train, trying to reach Jean, with all of the mutants holding them back. I have an issue with this scene though. When Nightcrawler lets a guard die, he gets infuriated and releases his anger on the bad guys. This scene bothers me, because Nightcrawler is generally pretty passive and, because he lets one person die, he turns into Azazel, a villain in X-men: First Class.

This movie has some great stars. Sophie Turner who plays Jean Grey / Phoenix is easily recognizable for her role as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones. Co-star James McAvoy who plays Professor Charles Xavier is known for his past performances as the Professor in the previous X-man films. Michael Fassbender plays Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr and is well-known for his role in the Alien films and the Steve Jobs biopic.

The message in this movie is that even though everyone around you is saying you're bad, doesn't mean you are. I recommend this movie to people that liked the previous X-men films or other action films. There is not much risk in this film. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults and give it 2 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters nationwide June 7, 2019. Check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This is an incredible Marvel science fiction movie. The special effects are on point and there is so much action and a great plot. I really enjoyed the superheroes. Watching their awesome super powers is great fun.

The storyline is about a girl named Jean Gray (Sophie Turner) who has incredible strength and special powers, which are a blessing and a curse. She has no control over these powers she possesses. Doctor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) takes her into his special school for super humans and raises her as his own. Along with her are several other fictional superheroes including Mystique, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler.

I love the costumes for all these characters. Each one has its own personality and they are all well developed. These super humans have not always been considered superheroes by others. Some have been excommunicated. Their missions can be life threatening and one turns absolutely deadly. Jean is absorbed by a cosmic force into the galaxy, which turns her into the most powerful mutant of all time. Sophie Turner who plays Jean Gray is an English actor known for her role as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones. She is excellent in this role, showing a range of intense emotions and a fierce competitive personality. She really brings it to the table. I enjoyed watching her trying to figure out what was happening to her and how she plays both good and evil sides to the character. Director Simon Kinberg wanted this film to have a realistic ending, which it does.

My favorite scene is when Jean gets the fire flare in her eyes and her red hair begins to float as she becomes more powerful than ever. It seems Jean is torn between her biological family and her superhero family. Will her family come back together or turn against her? I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. This film opens in theaters June 7, 201. Be sure to see it!

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FLOOGALS: SEASON 1 VOLUME 1
FLOOGALS: SEASON 1 VOLUME 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny hoomans who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research project and triggering an exciting adventure. Includes 26 Super Adventures!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is a lot of fun for little kids! This DVD has 26 11-minute episodes filled with humorous scientific exploration for preschoolers. It combines live-action with 3-D cartoon animation to create a show parents can enjoy along with their young children. At 9, I'm well out of the target age range for this series, but there are still some parts I found really funny, and I could see myself watching it with my little cousins.

The main characters are three alien explorers who come to earth to observe "hooman" behavior with often amusing results. Since the Floogals are aliens, they haven't encountered common things like dogs, babies, mirrors, and beds. The preschool audience this show is aimed at will be delighted that they know more than the Floogals do! But the show seems to be less about teaching kids about the actual objects the Floogals discover and more about showing the aliens working together to use the scientific process.

The voice actors for Flo, Fleeker, and Boomer make it believable that they don't understand what all these common objects are. The animation is convincing especially when the animated characters move objects in the real world, like when they hide inside a real teapot or bowl of fruit. My favorite part is when they run away from a balloon that they think is a monster!

This series has a lot of positive messages about teamwork and the joy of discovery. Even when things go wrong, the Floogals are always ready to encourage and support their teammates. They don't always get to the right answer on their first try, but they're always learning, just like real scientists!

I give this series 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5, but parents won't mind watching along with their kids as well. Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is available on DVD May 7, 2019. Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

This DVD is very good for a young audience. It entertains kids by showing them how to find, question, and explore everywhere they go. There are 26 different adventures and each is filled with the cute animated Floogal characters - covering over four hours of fun.

Floogals Season 1 Volume 1 has so many episodes to enjoy. The Floogals are tiny happy aliens that zoom in from outer space and end up in a child's toy bin. And from Project Ice to Project Piano, the Floogals are always finding everyday items to explore.

This DVD is for a younger audience because the skills that the Floogals are learning are geared towards children pre-K through first grade. The characters are fun to watch as they have adorable faces and wear vibrantly colored space suits. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is funny, slightly clumsy, and always hungry.

Throughout this DVD there are a lot of positive messages, which include the fun in being curious, the benefit of learning and of course, teamwork. This DVD has no bad language and no bad behavior. There is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do.

I give this DVD a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend buying this for your young kids.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 290 minutes Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a one of kind slamfest, despite some bland plot points and characters. The excellent cinematography and special effects really immerse the audience into the ring. All fans of summer monster movies or just summer blockbusters, in general, must check this out in the biggest screen possible.

The film follows secret agency Monarch as its members face off against a battalion of god-sized monsters, or kaiju, including Mothra, Rodan and the ultimate mastermind - the three-headed Ghidorah. These threats leave humanity's very existence teetering towards impending apocalypse. But sometimes, one must fight fire with fire. Their only hope relies in the mighty kaiju Godzilla, who intends to kill these monsters for dominance.

The ensemble cast of Monarch includes many A-list actors from Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford and Sally Hawkins. All of them give their best, but the mediocre screenplay really gives the human scenes a much more lethargic feel. The family drama between Kyle Chandler's Mark Russell and Vera Farmiga's Emma Russell feel out of place, and it really just adds nothing to the overall plot. Thankfully, Milly Bobby Brown adds a complex perspective with expressive acting and a signature defiant attitude. Bradley Whitford is the most memorable character here, with his wit and well-timed comic relief. Charles Dance, as Jonah Alan, is a great addition as the veteran actor gives his all in this menacing new threat. It's really all in the kaiju here, with their unique designs and characteristics. I quite enjoyed Ghidorah's banter between each of his three heads.

Michael Dougherty spectacularly directs with each roaring fight and exploration of lore. He pays homage to the best of the old Gojira movies. However, I do miss the more small-scale feel that Godzilla (2014) had. Gareth Evans really added something new to the monster movie genre with that. But, there are tons more fights here, which should alleviate fans' complaints about the lack of fights and monster screen-time in the previous movie. The soundtrack helmed by Bear McCreary roars, paying much respect to the original themes that started it all. My favorite scene is a climatic moment, but I can't spoil. It explains most of the surrounding lore and contains one truly chilling scene with Ken Watanabe's excellent acting. McCreary's track elevates this to one of the best scenes this year overall.

The message of this film about the commitment to family, whether from the Russells or between fellow Monarch crewmates. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, due to intense monster fights and language. The movie releases in theaters on May 31, 2019, so check it out.

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

Although I wasn't really exited about this film, I have to admit that I like it! Godzilla: King of the Monsters is pure Kaiju extravaganza. This movie is entertaining and made for the big screen and for fans of the beast.

Kaiju is a Japanese film genre with humongous monsters, usually battling with other monsters or military forces and it is beloved in Japanese culture. The third cinematic installment of Godzilla produced by a Hollywood studio is the sequel to the 2014 film Godzilla.

The film follows the heroic efforts of crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face a battle of gigantic monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, which collides with Mothra, Rodan and their final enemy, the King of Three Heads - Ghidorah. When these ancient super species, thought of as myths, rise again, they all compete for supremacy. The balance of the very existence of humanity is shaking. We also see humans fighting for power and, according to Dr. Emma Russel (Vera Farmiga), humans are the infection. Millie Bobby Brown plays Madison, Dr. Russell's daughter and her character makes very brave decisions. I liked seeing the mother-daughter relationship and how their connection impacts the world. Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe reprise their roles as Dr. Graham and Dr. Serizawa.

Godzilla is a metaphor for ecological disasters and we see how humans try to interpret, control, manipulate and even take advantage. The acting is good, but this is a movie more about the creatures and special effects than the actors. There are too many confrontations between the monsters and that, in my opinion, causes the impact of seeing the creatures appear on the screen to be lost, as well as the interest in the story. Godzilla King of the Monsters relies on the strength and power of Kaijus, while humans basically support the scenes.

The special visual and sound effects are very good. The locations and set designs are perfect for the story. My favorite scenes are when Dr. Emma Russell and her daughter Madison witness the birth of Mothra and when she turns into a butterfly.

The message of the film is that we should understand and respect nature and humans should work together to resolve environmental issues. I recommend Godzilla King of the Monsters for ages 12 to 18 and I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now, so look for it.

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

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is over two hours of nonstop monster action! I loved watching the extraordinary action scenes with giant monsters battling each other. The best part of this movie is definitely the special effects, which are amazing!

The action starts with a flashback to the previous Godzilla movie from 2014, but you don't need to have seen that film to enjoy this one. The plot revolves around a new communication technology that allows scientists to control ancient monsters like Mothra, Rodan and of course, Godzilla. Unfortunately, some bad guys steal the technology and try to release the monsters from captivity to destroy the planet, including the terrifying Monster Zero. The good guys have to decide if they want to take the risk of helping Godzilla defeat Monster Zero, potentially making him stronger than ever before.

My favorite part of this movie is a hilarious joke about a fortune cookie, delivered by my favorite character, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa. He's played by Ken Watanabe, who continues his role from the previous movie. Millie Bobby Brown, who you may recognize from Stranger Things, gives an excellent performance as the daughter of two of the scientists who built the technology that communicates with the monsters. There are lots of exotic locations, including Antarctica and overall the special effects are the most important part of this movie, particularly the monsters and especially Godzilla, who frequently shoots something like a giant blue laser beam from his mouth.

Parents should know that there's a lot of bad language and lots of people are killed in various battles, so younger kids are advised to stay away. Also, be warned that there's a very scary preview for the movie IT Chapter Two that plays before the film! So if you don't want your kids to see Pennywise The Evil Clown, make sure to come just as the movie is starting. Godzilla: King of the Monsters doesn't really have a strong message, it's mainly just action, action, action! Don't forget to stick around for the post-credits scene that sets things up for the next film in the franchise: Godzilla vs. Kong.

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Some adults will like it too, although my dad didn't think it was very good. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is in theaters everywhere Friday May 31, 2019.

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

I love this movie so much because of the cool creatures that lurk in the world. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

This awesome movie is about a family that is trying to save the world from creatures called The Titans. Godzilla is the main titan in this movie. The movie focuses on the wife, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her ex-husband Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler). Both of them are trying to save the world, but this villain veteran (Charles Dance) tricks Dr. Russell to unleash all of the Titans. She unleashes one of the oldest and strongest, three-headed monster named "King Ghidorah." King Ghidorah and the rest of the Titans that are awaken destroy numerous countries and it is Gozilla's duty to stop them.

Something cool is that famous actress, Millie Bobby Brown, from Stranger Things, plays Madison Russell, Emma's and Mark's daughter. She has a very important role and tries to fix what her mom did wrong. The special effects and sound effects are so good that it feels like you are actually there, live! And you can see everything. Seeing Godzilla fighting with King Ghidorah kept everyone in the movie theater on the edge of their seat. At the end of the fight, one of the Titans has a special connection with Godzilla and something very interesting happen.

The moral of this movie is that Godzilla is the one and only Boss. In this movie we learn that family comes first and the monsters second when seeing how Dr. Russell does not pay attention to Madison, because she was so fascinated with the Titans.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because there are some curse words and some scenes with strong content ,not suitable for little children. You can see this in theaters on May 31, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOG'S JOURNEY, A
DOG'S JOURNEY, A - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film A Dog's Journey, directed by Gail Mancuso, is the most heartwarming, tear-jerking, wholesome film yet to hit the theaters. This movie (the sequel to A Dog's Purpose directed by Lasse Hallstr�m) is much better than the original film, because it incorporates characters from the previous film as well as adding a whole new plot. The film is about a dog (Josh Gad) named Bailey (initially) and the many lives he experiences while trying to help and protect toddler Clarity Kathryn Prescott) from unnecessary hardships.

My favorite part is when Bailey does a major chase throughout a neighborhood in New York City in order to reunite with Clarity for the second time. The tension as well as the suspense of Bailey being lost for even just a split second, and then the progression of Bailey's character conveyed through his determination to make it to Clarity ties the movie together. This event effortlessly launches us into the next plot twist which is a key detail that I love even though it is a small event (timewise).

My least favorite thing about the film is the slow-paced beginning. I was so excited to finally get a sequel to the amazing original film, but the beginning is unnecessarily lengthy. A movie that good doesn't need the cushion of a background story, especially since we already have the previous film to refer to.

I give A Dog's Journey 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, although adults are sure to love this movie as well. You can catch this movie in theaters near you starting May 17, 2019.

Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I absolutely love the emotional journey that Bailey takes in this film! Bailey's sense of humor shines throughout the film as he tries to make sense of the actions of his various owners and his meaning in life. He balances his purpose with his love for bacon and all disgusting smells.

A Dog's Journey continues with the story of Bailey and the humans in his life. His relationship continues with Ethan on the farm until Ethan gives him a new purpose which is to protect Ethan's granddaughter, C. J. Bailey goes through many changes and continues to be puzzled by humans. He protects C. J. at any cost from the time she is a toddler through her adult experiences. Some of my favorite scenes are those where he deliberately misbehaves or manipulates to get rid of her boyfriend Barry. Bailey gathers people into his human packs and eliminates others that don't belong.

Bailey's voice is portrayed by Josh Gad who has a brilliant sense of comedic timing and he adds so much humor and depth to Bailey's character. W. Bruce Cameron who wrote the book, also worked on the screenplay. Dennis Quaid returns to the role of Ethan and the movie just wouldn't be the same without him. Casting is by John Papsidera and the entire cast is talented and works together seamlessly in their humorous and very touching roles under the guidance of Director Gail Mancuso.

The message of this film is to find meaning in your life experiences. In all of Bailey's lives he learns things which fulfill his purpose and allow him to find meaning in his actions with his humans. It is an emotional roller coaster filled with laughter, joy, love, tears and bacon.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, but of course adults will definitely enjoy it too. This movie opens nationwide in theaters May 17, 2019.

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

A Dog's Journey is my second favorite reincarnating dog movie. Opening this week, it is a sequel to the 2017 film, A Dog's Purpose. It's much like the first one with plenty of cute doggie screen time and Buster who dotes.

One strength, compared to the original, is that it spends more time on one particular canine / human relationship rather than jumping around to lots of new people. For a movie for dog lovers, this sure shows a lot of dog deaths. As the movie begins, loyal dog Bailey is living with Ethan and Hannah as an old St. Bernard on their farm in Michigan. As Bailey draws his last breaths, Ethan orders the dog's spirit to watch over his granddaughter C.J. throughout her life. That's exactly what the reincarnating dog does, first as a puppy named Molly to help C.J. as a child, next as a terrier named Max who helps teen and adult C.J. (Catherine Prescott).

Josh Gad is back as the perfect dog voice, which stays the same regardless of the breed in which his spirit is currently living. Director Gail Mancuso has made a real tearjerker for dog fans aided by Mark Isham's sentimental musical score. This movie has fewer adult themes than the book it's based on. Aside from the dog deaths, there are a few other things that might upset younger children. For example, one character gets very sick and another is stalked by an ex-boyfriend. There's also an upsetting car crash and some alcohol and drug use at a party.

The message of this film is that you can persevere to overcome the bad things that happen in your life. You need to surround yourself with people who you care about. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 but, adults will like it too if they really love dog movies. You can find A Dog's Journey in theaters everywhere starting May 17, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALADDIN (2019)
ALADDIN (2019) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Young Aladdin embarks on a magical adventure after finding a lamp that releases a wisecracking genie.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Aladdin is one of my favorite stories and I enjoyed Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin with its mesmerizing, exciting, colorful and heartwarming scenes. I particularly enjoyed the way the movie begins with the story telling by the Mariner (Will Smith) to his two young children.

The performances by Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and Jasmine (Naomi Scott) are very good. They display warmth and love for each other in a playful way. Will Smith plays Genie and makes the character his own. I could feel the rapper, actor and creativeness of Will Smith.

My favorite scene is when Aladdin uses his first wish to be a prince because Princess Jasmine is required to marry a prince. Genie creates several possibilities and finally gets to Prince Ali. The pomp and circumstance and pageantry of his entrance into the kingdom of Agrahbah is spectacular with color and thunderous music and marching bands.

The CGI is excellent. The scenery is breathtaking. There are some scenes that are a bit scary but exciting such as when Aladdin is in the cave to retrieve the magic lamp, an eruption causes him to be thrown around. Aladdin is a film with messages about the value of friendship, courage, integrity and a clear reminder of love and family.

I give Aladdin 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Some adults will like it too. It opens May 24, 2019 in theaters nationwide. Hop on your magic carpet and see it!

Reviewed by Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Aladdin is bolstered by its great direction and acting talent, but ultimately it doesn't quite break the Disney fatigue in remakes. Still, its grandiose production overcomes its lack of originality. Fans of Disney movies, especially the cartoon classic Aladdin, must check this out.

The film centers upon the beloved classic story, taking a few liberties. The adventure roams as "street rat" Aladdin (Mena Massoud) frees a genie (Will Smith) from a lamp, granting all his wishes and transforming himself into a charming prince so that he can please beautiful Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). But, every hero has his villain as evil sorcerer Jaffar (Marwan Kenzari) is determined to secure the lamp for his own sinister purposes. He threatens to do this at any cost necessary, and only Aladdin can outsmart him.

First off, Mena Massoud, as Aladdin, is fantastic with his charisma and kind heart, while also proving his physical prowess in the adventurous parkour scenes. His chemistry with Jasmine is well realized and moves forward their iconic romance. However, his singing does not fare well, with most of it appearing like a mediocre lip dub. This appears to be more of an error on the production side, than that of Massoud's. Will Smith, as Genie, is my favorite character because it's really just a medley of charm and swagger. I was worried that he would just try to imitate Robin William's signature fast talk. Thankfully, he really does his own thing, and it works. Naomi Scott, as Jasmine, is stellar with her overall strength, and a few liberties are taken to establish her as more independent than her predecessors. Her aspirations to become a ruler among Abragah are well-fleshed, and her singing fares the best, despite some choppy editing. Unfortunately, Marwan Kenzari, as Jaffar, gives his best, but fails to leave an impression. His character is terribly one-note with his nefarious intentions. The script fails to develop his motive, but then again, he was never the classic cartoon's strength. He always was a moustache-twirling villain.

Guy Ritchie elegantly writes and directs with many dazzling musical numbers and soaring perilous adventures. His movies always contain a unique style, but at times, style outweighs substance. Here, it's mostly not the case as the brilliant acting talent carries emotional and humorous scenes relating the story. The pace moves fast from one Saharan setting to the next. The production value and costume design are always wondrous. My favorite scene is the "Friend Like Me" number which doubles down on the craziness of the original. It's a familiar, but faithful take that highlights Will Smith's ability to helm the iconic musical number. New numbers such as "Speechless" are welcome additions that highlight the changes in Jasmine's overall character in this version. They also showcase Naomi Scott's range as a singer, and that musical number also stands among my favorites.

The message of this film is that love conquers all. It is not just in Aladdin and Jasmine's love for each other, but also in the brotherly fulfillment of promise on the Genie's side. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 due to some action and peril. The movie released in theaters on May 24, 2019, so check it out.

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

Aladdin is an enchanting retelling of the classic Disney animated film.

Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is a streetwise thief living in Agrabah, stealing to survive with his monkey Abu. He has a chance encounter with the Princess of Agrabah, Jasmine (Naomi Scott), disguised as a handmaid and romance blossoms. While sneaking into the palace one day, he is seized by the nefarious Jafar (Narwan Kenzari), an advisor to the Sultan, who sends him to retrieve a powerful lamp in the magical Cave of Wonders. Once he gets the lamp, he is granted three wishes by mystical Genie (Will Smith). Aladdin wishes to look like a prince in order to get closer to the Princess, but has to prove to her and to himself that he is worthy without truly being a prince.

Aladdin keeps the best parts of the original, while adding a few really awesome new things. None of these tweaks to the story feel like filler, but necessary changes that bring this story to life for a new audience. I really like that characters Genie and Jasmine get more to do. Jasmine, in particular, takes on a much more active role in this version.

I love the performances in this film. Will Smith is measuring up against the pretty iconic voice performance of Robin Williams as Genie in the previous film. He makes the role his own and really gives a unique, colorful flair to it. Smith's performance is charismatic, energetic and, above all - fun. Naomi Scott is very powerful as Princess Jasmine. She does a lot of this film's emotionally heavy lifting and has amazing vocals. Mena Massoud is likable and relatable as Aladdin and has a strong, comedic rapport with the Genie.

Jafar is a weak antagonist in this film. I think the character's motivations are well-executed, but Marwan Kenzari's overdone performance lacks the qualities that make the character compelling.

This is one of those films made to be seen on the big screen. From the sprawling landscape of Agrabah, to the magical, magnificent Cave of Wonders, the visuals in the land are excellent. Director Guy Ritchie mixes in some of his familiar trademarks with a lot of really colorful set pieces. Every musical number feels huge and well-made. From costumes to sets to cinematography, on a visual level, Aladdin is astonishing.

I recommend Aladdin for ages 8 to 16, for some implied violence and scenes of peril and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Aladdin is a feel-good summer movie and a magical ride well worth taking. I highly recommend you check it out when it swoops into theaters May 24, 2019.

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

This action filled movie is incredible. The acting is remarkable and the music is excellent. It will truly touch your heart.

The story is about a poor boy named Aladdin (Mena Massoud) who lives in Agrabah and falls in love with the Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). At the beginning of the movie Aladdin faces challenges when he is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer named Jafar (Marwan Kenzari). The sorcerer sends him into a dangerous, but treasure filled cave to retrieve a magical golden lamp. After getting trapped in the cave, Aladdin accidentally rubs the lamp and, voila - the Genie (Will Smith) appears. Soon after, Aladdin sets out to impress Princess Jasmine and their adventure begins.

Disney has make so many spectacular movies from Snow White to Moana, and now this live action movie Aladdin, which is by far one of the best. Of course this is no surprise, because it has many wonderful actors like Will Smith, Mina Massoud and Naomi Scott. The costumes are dazzling. Not one detail is missed. I absolutely love all the costumes. My favorite scene is when the Genie describes how he lives inside of the itty-bitty golden lamp for 1,000 years. It's very cramped. My favorite characters are Dalia and the Genie. Dalia is innocent, giddy and funny. The Genie is magical, entertaining and charismatic.

The message of Aladdin is to be yourself and don't do anything to change that. It has some negative behavior and some risky things that kids might imitate, but that's unlikely.

I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars I recommend this for ages 6 to 15. Adults might like watching this with their kids. This movie is in theaters on May 22, 2019.

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

Aladdin is one of the best re-created films that I have seen. It's funny, colorful, has lots of action and amazing special effects, and the hip hop flavor of the songs and choreography helps to keep the audience alert and watching. Although all of this makes me happy, there are times when little ones, like my four-year-old sister, tend to close their eyes and ears. So, I recommend this movie for ages 6 to 18, as well as for adults who are still kids at heart.

In this upgraded adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated film, you still get that magical feel of the original Arabian Nights in Agrabar. There's singing, dancing, princesses, sultans, sorcerers, monkeys, magic carpets, parrots, tigers and even a charismatic "street rat". The infamous Cave of Wonders, while a bit more scary, still offers jewels and gems, and houses the lamp of that big, blue, blubbery genie, that we all know and love, once brought to life by Robin Williams.... That character is now portrayed by Will Smith, who takes on the comedic challenge, sensitivity, and power like a champ! Bringing a touch of that "Fresh Prince" swag and humor to this live-action film really sets it apart from other remakes. Seeing this newly-improved genie as a buff, ladies man definitely flips the script from the original, and gives moviegoers a little bonus. Other characters, such as Marwan Kenzari, who plays Jafar, are not as frightening in this movie, but nonetheless he is a beast as a result of its booming CGI. The sultan, Navid Negahban, not as clumsy and stubby as in the Disney version, also helps to keep the sacred story of Aladdin together.

Writer/Director Guy Ritchie sticks to the original story. This film is straight to the point, has some intense moments, and teaches the importance of just being yourself. The best part is seeing the heart to heart talks that Genie and Al have, and being able to feel for both characters. Actress Naomi Smith brings strength and "woman power" to Princess Jasmine's character, which makes you forget that at some point she kind of becomes a prisoner, and her handmaiden, Dalia, played by Nasim Pedrad, serves as a great comic relief. Although I like this 2019 reboot, Iago should be funnier, and Raja is supposed to be more fierce! At the end of the day, it's our charming thief who steals the show and his way to Princess Jasmine's heart. Mena Massoud, real-life actor playing Aladdin, is awesome! He executes backflips and popping when he dances. His swag makes all of the ladies love him, and his good heart and promise keeps him right with Genie. Overall, this movie is a must-see for anyone who calls themselves true Disney fans.

Aladdin not only continues to bring smiles to faces of many, it also represents doing the right thing. Sometimes we get caught up in our own problems, and forget that if we help others first, everyone can come out "royal". I give Disney's Aladdin 5 out of 5 stars. It's another one for the entire family, unless loud noises, flashes, and some mild violence bothers you. Go see Aladdin at a theater near you Friday, May 24, 2019. Remember to like and subscribe to our channel and newsletter. Reviewed by Brandon James R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9. That's a wrap. Peace out!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
HUSTLE, THE
HUSTLE, THE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the men who have wronged them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hustle is an extremely mixed bag of a movie. On one hand, it's very entertaining and had the entire theatre laughing because of the raunchy humor and continuous jokes, but this is also its weak point. The jokes keep on coming and coming, but they are all so similar that after awhile they get boring. The jokes are either fat jokes or raunchy sexual jokes and easily get stale.

The Hustle is adapted from the film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and it features two huge stars in the lead: Anne Hathaway as Josephine and Rebel Wilson as Penny. The story follows Penny, a con artist who catfishes men and takes their money. She is coincidentally on a train with world-class con artist, Josephine. Josephine overhears Penny's tactic to get money from an old man. She is afraid that Penny is going to "take over the market". So to get Penny out of the city she operates in, Josephine trains her and doesn't pay her, just to make her mad and force her to leave. This causes Penny to retort and purpose a turf war.

The Hustle has two huge stars leading the film. Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are both predominant stars. Anne Hathaway is an Oscar-winning actress for her works in Les Mis�rables and has gotten praise for her performance as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Rebel Wilson has been in franchises like Pitch Perfect and Night at the Museum.

My favorite part of this film is when Penny is getting trained by Josephine to be world-class con artist like herself. Josephine shows Penny how to react to any situation by teaching her tricks that are used in a heist and not really to scam a man for money.

The message in this movie is that just because you're a con person trying to steal money from men who have done you wrong doesn't make all men evil. This movie has a lot of swearing and crude sexual remarks, and I strongly advise parents to look into the content before taking their kids. This film is no doubt entertaining, but once the jokes get stale the film does as well. The Hustle is appropriate for children 14 to 18. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. The Hustle hits theatres Friday, May 10, 2019.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOLKIEN
TOLKIEN - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the "fellowship" apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tolkien is an incredibly heartwarming film telling the story of John Ronald Tolkien's life and how he drew inspiration for his books. This film is extremely entertaining for a biopic. It tells his life story in a way that shows how events throughout his life fueled his imagination to create his incredible fantasy stories. It brilliantly represents how people make connections with other people and events that inspire creativity.

Tolkien begins with J.R.R. Tolkien in a small camp in a WWI trench, where he is having visions of mythical creatures battling. It then cuts to him as a child and shows how he always loved these mythical creatures that he wrote about. Suddenly, due to a lack of money, his family is forced to move to the city where he has no friends. He and his brother are admitted to a prestigious school on scholarships where he makes some lifelong friends.

The use of imagery in this film is incredible. Lots of normal things are transformed by John's imagination into incredible creatures from myths and legends. Many of the things that John experiences over the course of his life are mirrored by the events in his books. The film excels at showing that Tolkien was really passionate about his writing and the use of language. The war scenes in the movie are quite graphic and hard to watch, but show the inspiration for Tolkien's epic battle scenes in his writings.

One thing I disliked is the way the movie starts. It begins with a scene of two CGI horses being ridden into battle. The CGI used isn't that great and is a terrible choice for the opening scene, because it instantly turns down the audience and makes it just a little bit harder to get their support. However, the story is strong enough to compensate for that and you become quickly lost in the world of Tolkien's imagination.

The moral of this film is that you should try to accomplish your goals and overcome obstacles. This is told throughout Tolkien's journey. He constantly tries to accomplish different goals and is incredibly dedicated to finishing them. There is also an integral message about dealing with loss. This is shown in how he deals with the many devastating losses in his life.

The music in this film is great. It is exciting and conveys a strong tone that matches the film incredibly. It is very interesting and has a lot of variety. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 through 18, because it covers some heavy topics that are unsuitable for younger viewers. Any fan of the writings of JRR Tolkien will love this. It is one of my favorite films and I am certain I will watch it again. It opens in theaters May 10, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

At this point, it's hard not to know about J. R. R. Tolkien. Given that The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings are behemoths in pop culture, you've no doubt heard of the author. Even though I'm not a Tolkien fan, I'll admit this movie is quite interesting.

This movie is a biopic about the early life of J. R. R. Tolkien showing his high school years, him building his strong friendships, falling in love with Edith Bratt - all culminating in the creation of The Hobbit.

A mind like Tolkien is very intriguing. I was interested in how creativity and imagination are the central focus of the movie. As I writer, I get very excited when I hear how "creativity can change the world," because that is something I believe in very deeply. So, I enjoyed that very much.

A big focus of this movie is about how friendships we build in school can push us and help us ascend to become better artist. Early in the movie, Tolkien befriends three boys - Robert Gilson, Christopher Wiseman and Geoffrey Bache Smith. They form The TCBS Club which created such a strong brotherhood that it probably would have lasted a lifetime, if not for the war. Most of the scenes in this movie focus on their relationship and the performances really bring their friendship to life. Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the performances in this film. The two leads, Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien and Lily Collins as Edith Bratt, work really well together. Not only do they have a lot of charm, but they also have a lot of chemistry. There's one scene where they're in a restaurant and talking about Tolkien's stories and languages. The dialogue feels very natural. Something about the whole scene is very immersive and charmingly romantic, without being cheesy, which is very rare in modern cinema.

I like how references to Tolkien's future works are sprinkled throughout the film. From he and Edith going to see an opera about a magic ring, to a very well shot scene from Tolkien's time in World War 1 where he sees fantasy creatures throughout the battlefield, it reminded me of how I picture scenes for my own stories.

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It comes out May 10, 2019. Look for it, especially if you are a fan of his literature.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRUDER, THE - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Intruder is very suspenseful. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I watched it, wondering what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the good balance between mystery, horror and romance. There isn't too much of one genre, so the mix of styles is all spread out evenly.

The Intruder tells the story of a young married couple who buys a beautiful house with several acres of land in the middle of a some very lonely woods. They find out that the man they buy the property from refuses to let go of it and, in fact, has an obsession with it. The film shows how emotionally attached the landlord is to what once was his, and also shows the actions the couple takes to protect their new home.

The film was written by David Loughery and directed by Deon Taylor, who sets the film in a very lonely and rural town in modern day. This location is essential to the plot; since it takes place in an old house located in the middle of the woods, the setting helps create a feeling of curiosity and creepiness. The music in this film intensifies the emotions in certain scenes. It adds a lot of eeriness to the more action-based scenes and brings out the horror in them.

The Intruder has a very intense ending that leaves the audience feeling empowered. This film values the importance of family and what it means to stick together through the hardest times. It emphasizes how there's nothing as valuable as family for those who are lucky enough to have one, like the married couple in the movie.

I really enjoyed The Intruder! I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for how creatively this suspenseful film was made. I recommend it for ages 10 through 18, but adults might also enjoy it as well. The Intruder will be released in theaters on May 3, 2019.

Reviewed by Leire G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 15

The Intruder is a hair-raising, creepy thriller movie!

The film was shot in Canada in British Columbia and Vancouver. The scenes are tranquil, and everything looks crisp and clean on the big screen.

The Intruder has a great plot. A newly-married happy couple embark on a move out of the city to start a family. The husband receives a promotion at work, so they can finally afford their dream home. The conflict is that the owner of the house loves the home too, and just can't seem to let go. Which makes you wonder: why did he sell it?

The house is the perfect setting for this mystery film. The antagonist homeowner is Charlie Peck played by Dennis Quaid. He is perfect for this role because he is very intimidating and eerie. His home has a long history, and it's his legacy, so he is not letting go easily. Meagan Good plays Annie. She is a country girl at heart and wants to raise children in a loving home. She is really great at portraying the naive young wife who sees the good in people. Mike Ealy plays Scott, the husband. He really brings energy to this role. He is reluctant to move to the country. At first Scott is very tolerant of Charlie's intrusions. Then his suspicion grows as to the true motives of Charlie. You totally understand the doubts and fears of these characters. Is Scott able to protect his wife from Charlie's secret motives and gain back her trust?

The director Dean Taylor does great work in this film. The acting scenes and timing are great! The momentum and build up are perfect. I love how it gradually builds up to be more thrilling to scary. I screamed and jumped out of my seat a couple of times! The writer is David Loughery. Everything really flows very well in this script. I really enjoyed the music and sound track, too.

The moral to this story is when buying a new home do your homework before making such a huge purchase. The couple is too eager and trusting. They ignore all the signs and red flags that lead to the conflict.

I give this film 5 out 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. There are a few vulgar words and heavy romantic scenes. If you love a good mystery thriller with a few screams be sure to check this out. Release date is May 3, 2019

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT (2019)
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT (2019) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny "hoomans" who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! In Project Egg Hunt, the Floogals mistakenly think Mom and Dad Hooman have accidentally dropped candy eggs in the garden when in fact they have placed them there on purpose to create an egg hunt for their kids. The Floogals think they are being helpful and tidy up the eggs! Once the Floogals realize their mistake, they must get all the eggs back on the ground before the kids arrive so their fun day won't be ruined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Floogals Project Egg Hunt is incredibly entertaining and will definitely hold a toddler's interest. It is 60 minutes of silly education that allows kids to boost their knowledge of everyday life. The five included episodes; Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise, each with a run time of about 10-12 minutes, teach little ones about experimentation, discovery and observation. Each episode can be played separately or continuously. In addition, the cover of the DVD case, color codes each episode to highlight the expected learning activity. The series uses live action, animation, live animals and fun songs to present positive role models with bright colors that will grab young kids' attention. Floogals encourages critical thinking, fun and is great for ages 1 to 5. It highlights that adventure can be wholesome and is helpful for kids that are learning to talk. I give this lively series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for all young kids. Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

This is a colorful and exciting DVD with five episodes, totaling 60 minutes of fun! The Floogals are a group of curious alien scientists named Fleeker, Boomer and Flo. Their curiosity is sparked by everyday earthly experiences and adventures that lead to experimentation, discovery and observation. The mix of crisp animation alongside "hoomans" (real actors) and live animals is really unique. These little aliens sometimes get into a bit of trouble, which they use problem-solving and teamwork to remedy as they learn something along the way. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 10 to 12 minutes and include: Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. This DVD is a great educational tool and extremely entertaining. Children between the ages of 2 to 5 will definitely enjoy the songs and story lines. Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1 LET'S GO! I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for outstanding animation, cohesiveness, interesting story lines, songs, educational and overall entertainment value. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready to find, question and explore everywhere you go? This is an enjoyable animated DVD for a younger audience. Floogals: Project Egg Hunt is a fun way to learn, because we're learning through adorable little aliens called Floogals. And the Floogals are always ready to help the "hoomans" (humans).

This 60 minute DVD has five adventures, including an "eggcellent" egg hunt, the hunt for the end of a rainbow, a kite adventure, a playful picnic and studying a wrinkly rock creature (also known as a tortoise). The fizzer-flying Floogals include Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer. In each story, the Floogals encounter something new that becomes their mission of the day. At the end of each mission, they sum up everything they learned and report about it to their home planet.

The colorful animation makes the Floogals look so cute! My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he always ends up in funny spots. My favorite part is when Captain Fleeker calls the tortoise a crinkly, walking rock creature.

The message of this DVD is to always try to help - especially if you're an alien in a hooman world. There is no bad language, no bad behavior and nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to imitate. It promotes teamwork and learning. And the characters are always happy.

I give this DVD a 3 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 3 to 7. This is available on DVD now.

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

The Floogals take us on different adventures where we can explore and experiment. The animation and hoomans (played by real actors) are an interesting combination. The Floogals problem-solve and work together solving everyday problems.

The main characters are Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer, which are cute little aliens from the planet Floog. There is adventure everywhere they go as they try to understand the hoomans' world. They learn how rainbows are created, how kites fly in the air and the different types of activities that take place at picnics. As they discover and explore, they report to their home planet to describe what they've learned.

My favorite character is first officer Flo. Not only is she the smartest in the group, she is the only girl. Flo has the cutest yellow outfit, olive eyes and pink horns. The music is cheery and made me want to sing along. The animation is detailed and bright. The combination of animation and real life actors reminds me so much of the movie Smurfs.

All of the episodes are educational and entertaining. It is interesting to look at the our world from a different point of view. The message is: teamwork makes the dreams work. These aliens came from a different planet and learned so much about our planet Earth. They could not have survived on Earth without each other.

I give Floogals 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11. Parents would enjoy watching this with their little ones. Floogals is out on DVD now so look for it!

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Floogals Project Egg Hunt is a DVD about tiny secret aliens from planet Floon that sneak around your house learning about humans or, as they call them, hoomans. I really enjoy the animation and admire how they have real people walking around with animated characters. It's a very colorful, bright show with a new lesson in each episode.

The three Floogals in this series are Captain Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker), the bravest of the group, First Officer Flo (Jules de Jongh), the smartest of the group and Junior Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison), who is clumsy and crazy in most episodes, which makes him very funny. These Floogals wander around a house, encountering new things that the 'hoomans' are doing. Then they spend the day researching what the object or activity is and sometimes try to help, often with hilarious results. At the end of each episode they send their report to their leader, who always likes it. So, they receive a strip of stickers based on their observations.

The episodes in this DVD are, Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. My favorite episode is Project Rainbow which is about the Floogals walking in the yard and, as they take cover from a sudden rain shower, they hear the girl "hooman" talk about a rainbow and they decide to investigate rainbows. I like this episode because I can relate to it, as I loved trying to find the end of the rainbow when I was younger. Another good episode is called, Project Tortoise which is about the Floogals discovering a tortoise and deciding to research it more, but when they look back at the tortoise he is gone. The Floogals must find him and bring him home. The title episode, Project Egg Hunt, is very funny because they almost ruin the egg hunt by trying to help. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is always being clumsy and causing accidents that sometimes helps the team in unexpected ways. The message of this DVD is, if you work together you can do anything.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 5 because every episode teaches a new lesson and is very repetitive. Older kids and adults might find it amusing too. This DVD is available on Blu-ray and standard DVD now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Floogals: Project Egg Hunt, directed by Ruth Ducker is an imaginative, exciting space adventure that seems to take place right in my own backyard! The characters are diverse, funny and kind and the storylines are clever yet simple thrills. The story follows three Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who are sent to explore and understand the interesting ways of the Hoomans.

The animation and voices add to the special aspect of each Floogal that makes them unique. For example, Junior Boomer is innocent and the youngest of the three which is shown by his bigger eyes and wide smile. The voice actors are able to capture the character's personality in their voice. Dominique Moore voices First Officer Flo and expresses the sweetness of her character in her voice.

My favorite part is how the Hoomans are considered the mysterious aliens and the Floogals are there to learn about these queer creatures and their ways.

The message of this show is to help those you can and never miss a chance to learn something new. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The fabulous Floogals are back with five brand new episodes that are filled with magic and experimentation! I love how all the episodes are spring and summer related with the Floogals observing rainbows with pots of gold, egg hunts, kits, picnics and tortoises.

The alien characters in Floogals Project Egg Hunt are just adorable. I find Flo (Jules de Jongh) to be just too darn cute. Her alien personality is a true scientist at heart. She is also very silly and friendly with her other alien partners. Flo is a fantastic role model for young children because she teaches them the value of observation and experimentation.

Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker) is the kind of captain who put everything he has into his observations and projects. He comes up with the most hilarious hypothesis about the new objects they find. Make sure to keep an eye out for Rasmus Hardiker in the new SYFI series Krypton as the character Kem. The first episode is amazing.

Even though Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison) is the youngest in the bunch, he has the biggest heart. He also has the biggest appetite. He loves to eat, so any mission that includes a scrumptious meal is his favorite. My favorite episode is "Project Egg Hunt", because as I watched it I laughed a lot. I know what the eggs are used for, yet the Floogals don't and they are hilarious as they make crazy guesses and try their best to figure out the puzzling mystery. They try to be helpful and put the eggs back, only to find out that they have to hide them again.

This DVD has many lessons for kids such as the wonders of experimentation, observation, discovery and science in general. The Floogals teach kids by observing objects and humans and seeing how strange objects are used in our everyday life. Experimentation is completed by trying all kinds of crazy experiments, whether it is tortoise races or catching rainbows. The discovery comes once the Floogals have made their experiments and observations and finally find out what the object is. Simple things seem complicated, because they are small aliens.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 89 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIREFIGHTERS
FIREFIGHTERS - ZAK MORGAN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC
Series: MUSIC VIDEO, AGES 5-8
Description - Music video for a song honoring firefighters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This music video is quite appealing. The music is very catchy and the scenarios have a comedic twist. I'm sure that children will enjoy this because it is based on firefighters, has wonderfully funny actors, energetic music and lots of comedic stunts throughout.

The video shows us an actual fighter station, live children visiting it and fun scenarios that relate to everyday life. It is well constructed, very entertaining and made me laugh a lot. The actors dress up as firefighters who are looking to put out any fire they see in a childlike manner. It has wonderful visual appeal with an overall summer vibe. There are many hilarious outcomes that an audience will enjoy. There are images of putting out fires but they are quite appropriate for the target age.

This is an adventure to watch. I like that I could pause and replay the screener. There are some moments when I just had to laugh out loud! The song itself is very catchy and makes you want to sing along. The cast includes a diverse group of actors involved in silly scenarios. Audiences can easily relate to this visually pleasing musical story. Children will surely dance along with the very relaxed interpretation based on the lives and work of flame fighters. It is very action packed and thought provoking.

It has a very relaxed message honoring firefighters in a fun way. It's thought provoking in that it helps kids understand that real life firefighters fight fires of every size and save lives. You can appreciate watching the different lengths that these firefighting actors go to extinguishing fires. The concepts are fun, but still contain messages of heroism and safety.

I recommend this for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Aside from one reference of an adult attempting to smoke from a wooden pipe, there are not any other adult behaviors.

Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really admire this music video because it has the funniest song I have ever heard about firefighters. The firefighter in the video is so hilarious and the people in each scene are very funny.

This video recognizes how good firefighters are and what they do, but in a very playful and funny way. The firefighter messes up people for doing things at a birthday party, a an engagement celebration and then, three "cavemen" trying to lit fire. Where it falls short is not being more clear what firefighters actually do.

The actor portraying the firefighter, singer Zak Morgan, is very good at singing and acting funny as well. One hilarious part is when the firefighter brings a whole bucket of water just to take out candles on a birthday cake. My favorite part is when a couple are on a date celebrating their engagement and the firefighter dumps water all over the table to take out the candles that are part of the table decorations. The song in this video is so catchy, that I could listen to it over and over again.

The moral of this video is to thank firefighters for what they do. We need to appreciate them for their hard work. A firefighter's job is not easy. They risk their life in order to protect ours. Even though this is a funny video showing us what they do, we should take in consideration that they are heroes doing a risky job.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 8. It is a silly music video and you can find it online at zakmorgan.com.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: Video and DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UGLYDOLLS
UGLYDOLLS - STX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don't have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Three words I can say about this film - animated musical adventure. This thrilling, exciting, intriguing and stimulating film had my hooked to the screen. This film, directed by Kelly Asbury, shares many indispensable and major lessons.

The story follows Moxy who is a brave, independent, free-spirited and inspiring UglyDoll. For her entire life, Moxy has eagerly viewed the real world, hoping she would be good enough to join and find the love of a child. This film is an animated adventure where the free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different and struggle with their desire to be perfect. As the film develops, you get to see how Moxy and her back-up crew inspire the people of manufacturing and Perfectville to realize what makes them different through multiple catchy, up-beat and thrilling songs.

The lead characters in this film are Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), Ugly Dog (Pitbull), Lou (Nick Jonas), Mandy (Janelle Monae), Ox (Blake Shelton) and complimented by many more. My favorite scene, without giving anything away, is when Moxy proves to everyone that being different Is not something to fear. She proves to everybody that standing out is not harmful and does not make you ugly in any way. In this scene, Moxy is being punished for being who she is. She gets yelled at for trying to make a divergence in Perfectville. Watching this scene shows how some of her peers were "fake friends" to Moxy.

My favorite character is definitely Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), the main protagonist. When she makes a change, she bounces a cause and effect on others which makes them realize that being unique and being yourself are important ways to carry yourself and show who and what you are. She is the glue that sticks for her team and holds hope tighter than any of her team members.

The animation is groundbreaking, amusing and bright. I was amused by all the colors and little details which make it so believable. For example, in one scene there is a dark tunnel and, as you get a clear shot of the tunnel, you see scratches and mold which help identify it as an old tunnel.

There are many important messages here such as: be true to yourself, be proud of who you are, don't be afraid to be yourself. You should be aware that this film has some rude humor which makes in inappropriate for younger viewers. Beyond that there are no other bad actions that kids might imitate.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 16, as well as adults. This film opens in theaters May 3, 2019. Make sure to check it out!

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

UglyDolls is such a cute and feel-good animated movie! It made me feel happy inside, even as I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next! UglyDolls is an entirely kid-friendly musical and comedic throughout -- all while tackling tough topics. Throughout the story, there are recurring themes of body positivity, trusting in your friends, and believing in yourself.

In this heartwarming story, the main character Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) has the dream of becoming a loving doll to a special little girl. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Moxy, because of the way the doll-making factory works, all of the ugly dolls (or rejects) are thrown into the recycling chute. These dolls end up in a different made-up world called, Uglyville. If you go to Uglyville, you don't get to go to the real world and become someone's special doll. But Moxy doesn't know this is how it works. Moxy and her friends in Uglyville have a pretty special and fun life there together. Every day, Moxy wakes up and dreams that this is the day she will meet her new friend, a little girl. When that day fails to arrive, Moxy decides, with the help of her friend Lucy Bat (Wang Leehom), that she is going to go on her own to look for a little girl to comfort . So, off she goes, with a group of her ugly doll friends, on a journey to make her own destiny. Along the way, she runs into many obstacles, such as mean people who send her back to the beginning, and happy occurrences, such as people who encourage her to stay strong and fight for what she wants! Does she end up back in Uglyville? Is she a little girl's doll? Sorry! No spoilers here!! You'll have to watch the movie to find out!

In UglyDolls, there are so many cool sound effects, pretty backgrounds, and smirky/funny comments that make it extra fun to watch! I especially loved the backgrounds and settings, which are colorful, bold and just right for whatever is happening in the story. Additionally, the songs (and soundtrack) in this movie are amazing! The songwriters, Christopher Lennertz and Kelly Clarkson, created some very inspiring and catchy tunes.

There are multiple deeper messages in UglyDolls. One of them is to never give up. Another important theme is to love and accept yourself no matter who you are, because Moxy, the whole way through her challenges, never loses confidence in herself and keeps fighting to be accepted.

UglyDolls is an inspiring movie for so many people but especially for kids. I got the chills watching it because it was so good and I really love the messages! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to12. If you are into musicals, animation, and loving, heartwarming movies, definitely check it out!. This film opens May 3, 2019.

Reviewed by Lexi G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This animated musical is adorable! The music is outstanding, which is no surprise because it has so many amazing singers. The colorful and lively animation makes you feel as if you are in a wonderful world of dolls.

In the film, we first see how happy everyone is in Uglyville, where the ugly dolls live and actually embrace all of their different appearances. Even though the protagonist Moxy (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) is happy in Uglyville, she wants to be with a real kid. So Moxy sets out with some friends to find a way to get to the real world. After going through a spooky tunnel, they find themselves in Perfection where dolls try to get a home in the real world. They soon realize that living in "Perfection" is not that easy.

In addition to Kelly Clarkson, there are so many other incredible voice actors including Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. My favorite characters are Ox (voiced by Blake Shelton) and Moxy, because Ox is the absolute nicest mayor of any town and Moxy is always happy and believes in herself.

The message of this movie is that no one is perfect and you should follow your dreams. This movie has no bad language, but it does have a scary robot dog and a dark tunnel. And of course, there is some negative behavior such as calling things ugly.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. This movie opens in theaters May 3, 2019. Look for it.

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

Wow, where to start? This film is absolutely outstanding, adorable and remarkably inspirational. I love how the characters lead the viewers into their world to create a warm welcome. Everything about this film, from the animation, to the voice acting is incredible. The characters and their personalities really make the emotion of the film come to life.

A group of rejected dolls know as "Ugly Dolls" go on an adventure to see what the real world truly looks like, but they end up in a picture perfect world where everyone is a perfect doll and must prove they are ready to go to the real world. But, when the Ugly Dolls show up, they are taken for granted and they must prove they deserve a chance in the real world. You'll have to watch the film to find out where they end up.

My favorite part definitely has to be when the ugly doll Moxy sings her song about how today can be the day. That is absolutely my favorite song out of all the amazing songs in this film. I also love all the characters and their bright and colorful personalities. I love the music and songs which help the audience feel the vibe ten times better.

The message is such an amazingly powerful one. It emphasizes how you should always celebrate your weirdness and strangeness, because beauty is more that meets the eye. You shouldn't be afraid to embrace and believe in yourself. Be yourself, don't try to be like the rest of the world. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Jada P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE
LITTLE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - A ruthless tech mogul, Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self (Marsai Martin) at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear after a girl she offended wishes she was little. Jordan receives help from her overworked assistant, April (Issa Rae), to find a way to revert to normal.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Little is a mostly enjoyable romp with its familiar, but unique spin on clich�s. Well-matched talents and a heartfelt script carry this fun, but flawed ride. Families may want to check out this crowd-pleaser.

The comedy centers on woman (Regina Hall) who, when her successes get the best of her, is forced to take the form of her younger self (Marsai Martin). This gives her not just a chance to relive more careless days, but an important lesson pertaining humbleness.

Marsai Martin, as little Jordan, is my favorite character with her introductory film role racking up well to most experienced stars. She translates her great work from Black-ish even more here. She truly plays well off Regina Hall's adult footing. She, as well, nails it with her energetic banter, but rudeness to others, being a center focus. But, all this is not complete without Issa Rae, as April, who sells the chemistry with both actors equally well. This trinity truly sells most of the comedic and heartfelt wonders.

Tina Gordon Chism aptly writes and directs with fresh takes at common plots. It also helps that every joke is well-timed and most end up landing. She really nails more heartfelt moments as the movie's tones remain natural. My favorite scene is the restaurant karaoke, because it is truly a staple of creative and relevant humor. Marsai Martin and Issa Rae really give it their all with their zappy singing being on point. However, many other jokes just don't land. It really falters when the middle school subplot becomes center focus and the talent show finale with its Fortnite dance-off doesn't help anything. It feels uninspired and, with the solid buildup, the whole setting really could have strived for more. All the characters here feel cartoonish and clich�d to a fault. Thankfully, the "friend zone" kids (J.D. McCrary, Tucker Meek, Thalia Tran) are a saving grace with their twee personalities and relatable struggles.

The message of this film is to just be yourself. Sure, it is one simple aphorism to live by, but the movie offers a fresh take by diving into the minds of kids. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, due to some suggestive content and brief language. The movie releases in theaters April 12, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie quite a bit. The storyline is very fun and the actors are perfect for each role.

The movie is about a woman named Jordan Sanders who is the owner of a gaming company. She is also the office bully, the office Negative Nancy type. She is constantly offending her employees and ignoring team dynamics. One day at work, she meets Stevie, a young girl who loves magic. When Stevie sees that Jordan is nasty and unkind, she casts a spell on her to be little. When Jordan wakes up, she is little - as in 13-years-old little. So, she goes back to school, is bullied all over again and needs to figure out how to change herself back. Her attitude changes as well along the way.

Regina Hall plays the lady Jordan and is a great mean boss lady. Marsai Martin plays little Jordan and is an amazing thirteen-year-old diva. Something that stands out to me is Marsai's hair! It is so, so, so beautiful. My favorite character is Jordan's assistant, April (Issa Rae). She is a donut-loving assistant that helps Jordan with everything. My favorite part is when Jordan first wakes up and realizes that she is the little Jordan. Little Jordan is hilarious.

The message of the film is to be yourself! Don't let bullies change you. And, don't be mean to a girl with a wand. You should know that there is some profanity, some suggestive sexual content, some negative behavior and risky things that kids might try to do, like piercing your ears without using a piercer machine. EEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!

I give Little 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Adults should enjoy it as well. It's not very appropriate for anyone younger. It is in theaters on April 12, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING LINK
MISSING LINK - ANNAPURNA DISTRIBUTION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing Link is a positively charming adventure with a lovable protagonist and fantastic animation.

The story line follows Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), a daring adventurer with a flair for the dramatic, who stumbles upon a massive discovery. He receives a letter confirming the existence of the Sasquatch and treks off to meets the sender, a Sasquatch named Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis). Mr. Link convinces Frost to help him track down his cousins, the yetis, living up in the Himalayas. Together with Frost's old flame Adalina, they travel the globe in search of Link's distant family.

My favorite character in this film is Mr. Link. He is a big creature with an even bigger heart. Link yearns for family after years of loneliness in the wilderness. Link takes everything very literally which provides the film with some witty gags. Zach Galifianakis's voice work on this film adds an extra layer to this character with his warm, upbeat energy and comedic voice performance.

I really like the character of Sir Lionel Frost also. He is a flawed explorer who has lost his passion for adventure and has gained a desire for success in all the wrong places. It's interesting to see an adventurer who, although good at what he does, isn't as dashing and is more unlikable at the onset of this film than the norm. Frost isn't readymade for the role of hero and earns it as we watch him become a more selfless, kind person during his arc in the film.

I love the animation in this film. With Missing Link, animation studio Laika continues to prove that its animation is getting better and better with each film. Every locale in this film, from India to the Himalayas is colorful and vibrant. These environments and characters are well-crafted and thought out. You sense the work and passion behind what you see on screen and the animation is breathtaking and even unbelievable at times.

Missing Link doesn't overuse the fish-out-of-water trope with the character of Mr. Link. The one flaw with this film is the use of an assassin character named Stenk. This character doesn't add much to the film, other than an action scene every once in a while and comes across as underdeveloped.

I give Missing Link an age rating of 5 to 15 for some scenes of peril and crude humor. I give Missing Link 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend you see this film when it ventures to theaters on April 12, 2019.

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

Missing Link, written and directed by Chris Butler is a heartfelt and funny film. It is a story about adventure and friendship.

It tells the story of monster hunter Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) who is in search of a mysterious creature - the Missing Link. He wants to join an exclusive club and needs this discovery to become a part of it. Soon he goes searching and spots the Missing Link in the woods. Link, who goes by Susan, is played by the hilarious Zack Galifainakis. The two set out on a journey to find Link's home, a land of yetis, so he can finally be part of a family. They are joined by Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana). She is a spunky and fearless woman who helps them on the way. On their way, they encounter villains who are determined to stop Sir Lionel from proving Link's existence.

The movie has outstanding animation and a unique storyline. Because it's a LAIKA studio film, the characters are made out of clay and there are a lot of incredible details that add to the movie. Fans of LAIKA films will enjoy the artistic style of the film. My favorite character is Link (aka Susan) who is funny and lovable. The movie takes the audience on a journey as Link tries to find out who he is and where he belongs. I also enjoyed the character Adelina because she is the motherly figure of the group. Together, Sir Lionel, Link and Adelina are a perfect team. My favorite part of the movie is when the three characters set out on an adventure to find Link's family. It is the first time they work together and they are hopeful.

The film is a story about belonging and friendship. Sir Lionel and Link form a strong bond. They remind me of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The movie is full of humor and surprises.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18, as well as adults. It's fun for the whole family. You can find it in theaters on April 12, 2019.

Reviewed by Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I enjoyed this animated, action and adventure, stop-motion film! LAIKA's Missing Link has exciting motion, stunts, fight scenes, an amazing musical score and a wide range of characters. It is simply fascinating to me. I love to make stop-motion films, and so I know firsthand how difficult it can be to bring the sets to life. I applaud the writer/director Chris Butler. He weaves everything together perfectly.

In the beginning of Missing Link, we are introduced to a character named Mr. Lionel Frost who's a dapper and self-centered explorer. He longs to be part of an elite explorer's club. One day he comes across an opportunity to prove himself worthy to the club. In order to gain their approval, he sets off on a wildly adventurous voyage to find the Sasquatch, a famed beast. Soon they form an unsuspecting bond. Mr. Link (aka Sasquatch) wants to find his long-lost cousins, and so Mr. Frost agrees to help him in exchange for proof that he (Sasquatch) is real. They set off to travel across the world to the Himalayas in search of the Yeti, a similar beast.

Hugh Jackman is the perfect voice actor for Mr. Lionel Frost. Zach Galifianakis is the tender voice behind Mr. Link , also called Susan. My favorite character is Susan, the sweet, silly and oh so lovable Sasquatch. She is so clumsy and hilarious and takes everything quite literally. My favorite part is when Mr. Link names himself Susan because the name is very fitting for his character.

The message of the film is that friendship can be found in the most unusual places and that sometimes you can fit in or belong in places where you don't think you will. Susan and Mr. Frost are joined halfway through the film by a lady friend Adelina. She helps Mr. Frost understand the importance of thinking of others, caring, kindness and friendship.

The movie has a lot of gun violence, fight scenes and a rowdy character that is constantly trying to kill the trio. That could frighten younger kids. There are a lot of risky things in the movie that should not be imitated like fighting and trying to shoot or kill someone. It has no bad language.

I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This movie is in theaters on April 12, 2019.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLOEY - VIVA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - A plover chick has not learned to fly when his family migrates in autumn. He must survive the arctic winter, vicious enemies and himself in order to be reunited with his beloved one next spring.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ploey, Ploey, Ploey... where do I begin? This is a cute family / love story that dragged until the last 10 minutes of the film. It was very hard for me to stay engaged.

The story is about a little plover chick named Ploey, who has not learned how to fly before his family migrates to the south. He learns about bravery and adventure through the scary winter. Ploey must face his fear of flying, in order to be reunited with his family and his true love Ploveria. Throughout his experience he meets a malicious hawk named Shadow, a creepy cat and a sympathetic big bird named Giron.

My favorite character in this film is Giron. The voice of Giron is played by John Stamos who is well known for his role Jesse on Full House. Giron is amusing, lovable and smart. He comes to Ploey's rescue. My favorite part is when Giron uses Ploey as bait, then accidentally falls asleep in the middle of the trap. I could not stop laughing. Ploey is another favorite character of mine, because he reminds me so much of the adorable Chicken Little. There are several parts in this movie that are not necessary, which causes the film to drag. The music is very mundane and I felt like I was going through the long winter with Ploey. The movie starts to pick up towards the last ten minutes of the film.

The message is to never quit. Everyone learns at their own pace. As long as you keep going and not give-up, you will make it. I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 11. I do not think adults will enjoy this so much. Ploey opens in theaters in the US on April 26, 2019.

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BEST OF ENEMIES
BEST OF ENEMIES - STX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Best of Enemies has some truly captivating messages and storytelling, but its presentation of the segregation debate can get lost with the lack of background insight. Still, the excellent performances here carry over some of the weaker writing. Anyone interested in docu-dramas might want to check this out.

The film centers on the most unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson), an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), a local Ku Klux Klan leader. The two reluctantly battle over the desegregation of schools in Durham, NC during the one of the nation's racially-charged turning points. C.P. slowly feels drawn towards Atwater's commitment to her people and becomes a frenemy. Can love trump hate?

First, Taraji P. Henson, is fantastic as Ann Atwater with her acerbic nature, but heartfelt fight for the poor and oppressed. She respectfully handles the rebellious, yet kind-hearted nature of the real-life figure. But, the drama's center comes from Sam Rockwell, as C.P. Ellis, who is my favorite character despite playing an initially despicable figure. His redemption is naturally done, and the messages never feel forced here. The two really work well off each other, and their chemistry is hilarious to watch. Babou Ceesay, as Bill Riddick, gives another great performance with his contributions to the segregation debate being another interesting learning experience.

Robin Bussell spectacularly writes and directs with the events presented in a clear, chronological order. But the pacing can be lost amongst this, as the film really stalls when juggling multiple real-life figures. It's the individual moments that stick, because she knows how to write human and relatable characters. The racial tension feels real here, as did the moments of unity. My favorite scene is the final verdict as the scene is filmed so well, leaving the audience unnerved at each person's decision. Still, it's C. P.'s monologue that sells the scene, which I just can't spoil. Seeing is believing. However, in addition to many moments of rocky pacing, the movie's focus on other characters, especially Atwater, is quite minimal and scattershot at times. C. P.'s development is forefront and that's understandable given he is the most complex character. I would have loved to see more personal looks at other characters.

The message of this film is that love is the greatest asset in any debate. We can all learn to reconcile our difference and just love each other. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to mature themes and racist language. The movie releases in theaters April 5, 2019, so check it out.

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

I really enjoyed The Best of Enemies. The movie shows a lot of anger and humor between two enemies who oddly share very common goals in life - family, faith and education. The movie is based on a true story and shows the audience what life might have been like in the 1970s in North Carolina.

Ann Atwater is a poor, black single mother living in Durham, N.C. in 1971. C.P. Ellis is the president of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). When the black children's school is damaged by fire, Ann wants the black children to attend the same school as the white children and learns that the black children are not getting as good of an education. Ann and C.P. then spend their time convincing others to be on their own side.

The acting is terrific. Taraji P. Henson plays Ann Atwater and shows a variety of outstanding emotions from her voice, to her walk. C.P. Ellis is played by Sam Rockwell and his acting is incredible also. I wanted to hate him, but still liked him because he is such a good father, especially to his special-needs son. Ann Atwater is my favorite character because she adds a lot of humorous comments right after saying something really serious. My favorite part of the movie is the ending - but no spoilers here!

The key message of The Best of Enemies is that change is worth fighting for. If you see something that you think is wrong change it, even if it's going to be really hard. The movie has mild profanity, some violence and deals with a very serious topic - the inequality of segregation.

I give the movie a 4 out of 5 stars. It is appropriately rated PG-13 and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. This movie opens in theaters April 5, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOAH (2019)
NOAH (2019) - SIGHT & SOUND THEATRES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - With a catastrophic storm on its way, Noah is given a monumental task: build a boat big enough to save mankind from a flood that will cover the entire earth. Seen by more than 5 million people live on stage, Sight & Sound's landmark production sets sail into movie theaters this April for a nationwide Fathom Events presentation. NOAH takes you on history's best-known voyage as you board the enormous ark--along with two of every kind of animal! Filmed before a live audience, NOAH captures the panoramic scope, spectacle and grand scale that are signatures of a Sight & Sound musical production.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Sight and Sound Theatre's NOAH is a stage musical presented as a film and I really like it. Full disclosure, I am not a pious person, but I derived a lot of enjoyment out of this surprisingly entertaining rendition of the story of Noah's Ark. The moment you set your eyes on the stage, you realize just how much budget and coordination went into making this show. It's outstanding. The stage and props are huge with fantastic quality and tremendous variety. It really sets this production apart from other of a similar vein. Similarly, the actors are remarkably multifaceted in their talents. Every one of them seems equally capable of transitioning from deep dramatic moments, to musical numbers, to comedic moments. For the religious and the not-so religious, this is a wonderful stage show with very obviously high production values. The musical numbers are very cute and catchy. Recalling this story from Bible school when I was younger, it was always one of my favorites. This really helps bring Biblical stories to a fun light for younger ages. I recommend this for ages 9 to 14, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Can I say memorable, exciting, truthful, teachable and intriguing? This film takes you on a journey through the perspective of Jesus and Noah. It will keep you interested throughout the whole film. Are you ready for this extraordinary Bible story coming to life on the big screen?

The story follows Noah, a dedicated believer of Jesus, along with his family. One day Jesus speaks to Noah and exclaims there will be a massive flood throughout the land and his family and he will be the only ones to survive because Noah will build a boat. Noah listens right away as his brother, king of non- believers of God, tries to stop him. His brother has little faith in God left. We see the outcome while watching the film.

My favorite part of the film is that this is a physical film which allows me to see the back story that leads up to the ending. I also love that this story is not animated and you are able to see real reactions and actions. My favorite real-life character would have to be Noah. Not only because he is the lead person in the story, but because he stands up for himself throughout the hardest time and he completes a task without any doubt of his own beliefs.

This film shares important messages such as stay strong to your beliefs. We see this important message modeled in the scene which shows everyone except Noah and his family leaving and exclaiming how they didn't care about money. Noah and his family stay strong and happy. Another important message is to always stand up for yourself, no matter the situation.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I believe the whole family will enjoy it as well. It will play in theaters for three days, April 11, 12 and 13, 2019. Make sure to check it out at your local theaters on these dates.

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

NOAH is incredibly different and wonderful! It teaches about trust, choice, family and beliefs. Noah believes in God. He stands alone and people are against him because of what he believes in. He has to do what God says and not let anyone change his decision to listen. This is what all of us have to do sometimes, even when we feel alone. Sometimes we know we are right, but everyone says we are wrong. Noah doesn't want to die with everyone else. He wants to save his family, so he builds an ark.

There are lots of lessons and parts when you feel scared to see people that are going to die. God is tired of everyone that does not obey and does not live like God wants them to. So, he tells Noah that he is going to end the world. Noah gets treated badly. It reminds me of school, when people want to pressure you to do bad things and if you don't do them, they will turn on you. Noah has to do the opposite. He has to turn on the people who don't want to do good, in order to save himself. It is hard to say no to peer pressure sometimes.

The film is a recording of a live performance. It is different than other films and seems more real in some ways. We know it is not real because everything happens on the stage, but it made me pay more attention to the characters since there are not different setting or locations like in most films. I liked it. I would not want to watch a lot of movies like this. I prefer seeing plays in person. However, this is good.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-11. It made me proud of what I believe in and that I can trust my family to protect me too! It is playing at select theaters April 11, 12 and 13.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHAZAM!
SHAZAM! - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM! - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Shazam! keeps up the strong footing of solo DC movies within the Extended Universe. It soars far above other superhero movies buoyed by a unique direction and story. This is a must watch for all.

The story follows street-smart foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who turns into an adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) by yelling "Shazam!" Courtesy of an ancient wizard, Billy revels this adult version of himself alongside foster pal Freddy (Jack Dylan Gratzer). Can he fly? Can he buy beer? Does he have X-Ray vision? Better yet, can he talk to fish? These scenarios are tested to their limits, but seriousness strikes as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) seeks to defeat Shazam and steal his powers. Billy realizes there's more to this than jokes, but also a test to prove what makes a hero.

First, Zachary Levi owns it as Shazam with his natural comedic talent and physical prowess. He looks the part with his Godlike figure, while nailing the childishness with believability. The same goes for Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson with the similar youthfulness, but nails his quieter heroic actions. The transformation is so seamless that you can truly believe the two are playing off each other. But, the cast's standout comes in Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy who proved his talents in IT, but here he is even better. His conversations with Billy/Shazam are so improvisational and random and they just work. Every line of his lands. The rest of the foster family, played by Faithe Herman (Darla), Ian Chen (Eugene), Jovan Armand (Pedro) and Grace Fulton (Mary) are all incredible with each member having their own unique characteristics. I especially love Darla's innocent goodness and happiness to have Billy around. Mark Strong, as Thaddeus Sivana, is a formidable foe with an apt back story. Still, I would have loved to see Strong saved for a bigger endgame.

David F. Sanberg's direction is superb, especially for his first action movie after a variety of successful horror movies. He even flexes his horror muscles with some truly terrifying designs for Sivana's powers. My favorite scenes are Freddy's training montages as those are a true testament to the film's sense of humor. Scenes like these are so unique in comparison to most superhero films. I also love many of the heartfelt moments within Billy's quest to find family. I wish the film had a bigger budget to make up for its action scenes, which could be far-between and underwhelming. But, in a way that adds to the movie's freshness, giving small scale looks at big fights.

The message of this film is that family is found from loving and genuine experiences, not in a word. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to intense action sequences, brief suggestive content and language. The movie opens in theaters April 5, 2019, so check it out.

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

Shazam! is absolutely amazing. It's entertaining, funny, action packed and engaging. This is maybe the best DC Extended Universe movie so far.

Fourteen-year-old Billy Batson discovers, with the help of an ancient wizard, that he can turn into a Superhero, just by saying the word Shazam! But Billy is not just dressed in a superhero outfit. He looks older and bigger.

Converted into Shazam, Billy, who lives with adopted parents, goes home and tells his friend Freddy that he is Shazam. Freddy loves and knows everything about superheroes. Together they test Shazam's capabilities and, surprise! He is indeed a real superhero. Billy uses his powers for good, but also for fun.

I think Shazam! makes the cinematic world a better place. This is not just a hilarious comedy. It is about finding a family, making true friends and combating bullying.

The acting in this film is amazing. Zachary Levi is the perfect Shazam. He has the charisma and humor to make this hero adorable and he is a big kid. Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer also make this movie very engaging. They are not just funny but also kind hearted. These actors totally carry the film. I think all the actors make it more relatable for younger audiences and new generations. I definitely think this movie is unique, because superhero films are usually more serious and only have a couple jokes, but this one kept my laughing. There's action and emotional moments as well. The amount of comedy is perfect and what makes it so special. The director David F. Sandberg surprised audiences. He's most know for his horror films, but this one turns out to be incredible and enthusiastic.

The message of the film is that we can all be heroes. It only takes a pure heart to have the power and strength to do good deeds, help people and beat the bad guys. The story works perfectly for the whole family, so I recommend it for ages 8 to18. I am a huge fan of this film as it made me laugh and I felt entertained the entire time. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Shazam! opens in theaters April 5, 2019, so make sure to catch it in theaters!

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

Shazam! is a refreshing, rollicking good time with some hilarious comedy and great performances. Shazam! has tons of superhero fun, but also has a warm emotional center.

The story line follows Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid, who moves in with a new family. Billy gains powers from a wizard who chooses him to be his champion against the forces of evil. He can transform into a powerful superhero just by saying the word "shazam." He and his foster brother Freddy test Billy's abilities to figure out the extent of his powers. Billy navigates the ups and downs of being a sudden superhero, while also clashing with Dr. Sivana, who is determined to take Batson's powers to rule the world.

I really like the performances in this film. Jack Dylan Grazer is good as Freddy. Grazer takes a comedic best friend and makes him much more than a one-note sidekick. Zachary Levi is great as the super-powered version of Billy Batson. Levi channels the personality of a teenager very believably. His performance is natural and I don't feel like I'm watching an adult try to play a teen. Mark Strong hams it up as Dr. Sivana, but he's still quite frightening and a real threat to the characters.

I love the tone of this film. It's never self-serious and, rather than making the hero dark and brooding, Shazam! captures its heroes and their powers with a childlike wonder. This film understands that superheroes are people who we can look up to because, even though they are flawed, they always aspire to do the right thing. I love the stakes of this film. It does not rely on apocalyptic proportions to make you care about its characters.

Shazam! starts as an origin story, but ends up doing more than that. Billy has always pushed the idea of family away and is more scared of accepting family than his powers. He has to embrace the idea of family to grow as a person and a hero. He realizes he can't beat Sivana alone and what you gain from having people support and appreciate you. I think this arc is heartwarming and a great direction for this film.

I recommend Shazam! For ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although this film sometimes veers into predictable and clich�d territory, I came out of Shazam! with a smile on my face and excited to see what comes next from these characters. I highly recommend you check out this film when it comes out in theaters April 5, 2019

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BREAKTHROUGH
BREAKTHROUGH - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake Sainte Louis and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth's mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Breakthrough is a phenomenal, inspiring film. I was intrigued by this film because of the powerful message it shares.

The film was inspired by a true story that hit the nation with unwavering faith, hope and prayer. John Smith, who the film is about, is played by Marcel Ruiz who grew up in the film industry and both parents are award-winning directors. John Smith, a courageous teen, is Latino who struggled with his identity and learned that love conquers all. John Smith is passionate about basketball and hopes to one day become a professional basketball player. His passion helped him endure this incident to the very end. Due to excruciating events that occur in this film, I realized and appreciate the miracles that I am able to witness and enjoy within my own life.

The film is directed by Roxanne Dawson, a theater arts major from University of California Berkeley who is also known as an actress (Baywatch, Star Trek). Breakthrough was written by Grant Nieporte a screen writer (Seven Pounds).

What I like most about this film is the friendship of family and friends who become family in a tight knit community. They join forces and focus on one major life threatening situation. This film portrays unity, love and compassion.

Another thing that I really enjoyed is when one rescuer, who didn't believe in God, learned that there actually is a God and, from that moment on, it changes his life in many ways. The rescuer later received other signs that led him to believe in God.

John Smith's mother is played by Chrissy Metz (This Is Us, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) who portrays her in the most believable way. She delivers a powerful message about faith and perseverance. Chrissy builds a relationship with Pastor Jason-Noble (Topher Grace, That '70s Show). In Breakthrough, Pastor Jason-Noble is intricately involved in helping Chrissy deal with the situation and is an inspiration and light to many.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and as well as adults. Breakthrough comes out in theaters April 17, 2019 so make sure to look out for this inspirational, educational and motivational film at a theater near you.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Despite not being religious and usually not enjoying movies like these, I like this movie. Every once in a while, everyone needs an emotional yet inspirational story and this is it.

This movie is based on the true story of Joyce Smith and her son, John, after he falls through a frozen lake and ends up dead for about an hour. Yet, when his mother prays for him to be revived, he suddenly gains a pulse. The rest of the movie is about Joyce hoping for John to fully recover.

It is important to mention how this is a movie about faith in God and the love of a mother. I am not religious, so I must bring up the question: "Do you need to be religious to enjoy this movie?" I feel that you can enjoy this movie, even if you don't believe in Christianity. The religious aspect is very prominent, however it's not as forced as I originally predicted it would be. Plus, having strong faith in God actually makes sense in the context of this movie.

In a movie like this, arguably the most important aspect is the acting. While the whole cast is pretty great, the main star, hands down, is Chrissy Metz as Joyce. Most of the emotion comes from her stellar acting. The scene where she prays over John's body really hit me hard. Of course I can't gloss over everyone else in this amazing cast. A particular favorite is Topher Grace as Pastor Jason Noble. He really helps lighten the mood when the movie needs some relief.

This movie is based on a true story and, since John Smith is still alive, one can guess how this film ends. Despite that, many moments in this movie are genuinely suspenseful. When John falls through the ice, it actually startled me, despite the fact that I knew what was about to happen. The actual climax is filmed in a very interesting way which is filled with tension.

My one problem with the film is that it feels as if the dad doesn't have much to do. He is present in his son's life and he cares about him, yet it feels like the movie mostly forgets he exists. This movie definitely is more focused on the mom, yet that felt weird to me.

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 10 to 18. It comes in theaters nationwide on April 17, 2019 so look for it.

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

The film was inspired by a true story that hit the nation with unwavering faith, hope and prayer. John Smith, who the film is about, is played by Marcel Ruiz who grew up in the film industry and both parents are award-winning directors. John Smith, a courageous teen, is Latino who struggled with his identity and learned that love conquers all. John Smith is passionate about basketball and hopes to one day become a professional basketball player. His passion helped him endure this incident to the very end. Due to excruciating events that occur in this film, I realized and appreciate the miracles that I am able to witness and enjoy within my own life.

The film is directed by Roxanne Dawson, a theater arts major from University of California Berkeley who is also known as an actress (Baywatch, Star Trek). Breakthrough was written by Grant Nieporte a screen writer (Seven Pounds).

What I like most about this film is the friendship of family and friends who become family in a tight knit community. They join forces and focus on one major life threatening situation. This film portrays unity, love and compassion.

Another thing that I really enjoyed is when one rescuer, who didn't believe in God, learned that there actually is a God and, from that moment on, it changes his life in many ways. The rescuer later received other signs that led him to believe in God.

John Smith's mother is played by Chrissy Metz (This Is Us, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) who portrays her in the most believable way. She delivers a powerful message about faith and perseverance. Chrissy builds a relationship with Pastor Jason-Noble (Topher Grace, That '70s Show). In Breakthrough, Pastor Jason-Noble is intricately involved in helping Chrissy deal with the situation and is an inspiration and light to many.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and as well as adults. Breakthrough comes out in theaters April 17, 2019 so make sure to look out for this inspirational, educational and motivational film at a theater near you.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Description - A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve a mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is very entertaining which is why we go to the movies. Even though I have no nostalgic attachment to the Nancy Drew books, I really enjoyed this film.

The story is about Nancy Drew who has just moved to a small town called River Heights. She meets an elder woman named Flora who claims her house is haunted. Nancy decides to investigate with the help of her friends, George and Bess, and Flora's "mean girl" niece, Helen. My biggest issue with this movie is the mystery. I understand that this movie is aimed at younger kids, yet I feel the mystery is too easy to solve. However, that is my only major problem with this film. Plus, I didn't mind this that much, since even though the mystery is obvious, I mostly let it slide as I enjoyed the characters so much.

One thing I really like about this film is the typical mean girl character, Helen. At first it seems like Helen is just a stereotypical popular girl. Instead, she's only mean for a little bit of the movie. Halfway in she actually goes through a character arc. I really like this as I honestly feel mean girl characters are so overdone at this point. So it is nice to see this character done differently. However, my favorite character is hands down Flora. She is a very funny and so memorable. Everyone needs to have an Aunt Flora in their life. Flora had some of the best lines in the movie.

I really like the cast of this film. Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew is fantastic. She is very engaging and I hope to see more of her in the future. Linda Lavin as Flora is amazing. She brings so much charisma and humor to every scene she is in. Zoe Renee as George and Mackenzie Graham as Bess are also pretty good supporting characters. I wish they were in the movie more.

Now, it's no secret that Nancy Drew is timeless. The books were first written in 1930 and they have been inspiring women ever since. I believe Nancy Drew is timeless and we all need a little girl power!

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. This film comes out on March 15, 2019 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN MARVEL
CAPTAIN MARVEL - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, "This film makes good use of its 90s setting. There are a lot of jokes involving technology and pop culture from this period that work well. Also, the soundtrack has a nice selection of songs from the 90s that complement the film very well." Arjun N. adds, Captain Marvel is a solid, if slightly flawed entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A talented cast and savvy direction make for a crowd pleaser. Any superhero fan must watch this as the hype for Avengers: Endgame arises."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Captain Marvel is a solid, if slightly flawed entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A talented cast and savvy direction make for a crowd pleaser. Any superhero fan must watch this as the hype for Avengers: Endgame arises.

The story follows Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes. Set in the 90s, this adventure follows her struggle to regain her past as one mysterious incident created her powers. Amidst this, a galactic war arises between the Kree, her brethren, and the Skrulls, shapeshifting fugitives, as Carol remains the only one powerful enough to end the war. This war takes to Earth, with S.H.I.E.L.D. in its adolescence investigating. With this, Carol must team up with no other than a nascent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as the two investigate all sides to this war.

Brie Larson, as Carol Danvers, surprised me and is my favorite character as she is nothing like what the controversial trailers portrayed - hardened and emotionless. In fact, she is very sassy and witty, like Tony Stark, and even humanizes the character with her relatable struggles. Sure she is stoic and hardened to some extent, but she does everything she needs to, as audiences need to be sold of her importance in not just Avengers: Endgame, but the whole MCU, and that's exactly what we get. Samuel L. Jackson, as Nick Fury, is absolutely incredible, even if certain character decisions from a writing standpoint are very questionable, with one reveal just baffling. The dynamics between Danvers and Fury is one of the movie's best, with a buddy cop feel to it. It is investing to watch the younger, more inexperienced Fury, with certain nods to his future being a neat addition. The same goes to Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson. It is a welcome surprise to see the simpler days of these two. Ben Mendelsohn, as Talos, also gives his all with his Skrull leader a formidable foe and he is more charismatic for it. As twists and turns reveal, he and his race became a sympathetic asset, with their kind being one of the most intriguing amongst the MCU roster. Last but not least, Jude Law, as Yon-Rogg, is interesting in his mentorship of Carol, and the twists regarding his character add for an emotional edge.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fledge aptly direct the film, with a stylish approach somewhat like Thor: Ragnarok. Every scene is well produced, but the style and vision are sometimes lost amongst the craft. The special effects are mostly on standard, but the de-aging effects for Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg rise far above the standard. They don't look fake, and all expressions are truly natural. We are truly in the future of seamless CGI. My favorite scene is when Danvers truly becomes Captain Marvel, unleashing her full power amongst an enemy crew.

The message of this film is to never give up. Danvers takes several hits, to the point of giving up, but she always rises up to the challenge. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to some intense violence and language. The movie released in theaters on March 8,, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Captain Marvel is a fun, if sometimes flawed superhero adventure that further develops the cosmic landscape of the Marvel movies with good performances from Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Captain Marvel takes place in 1995 and follows Vers, a Kree warrior with flaming fists on her way to becoming Captain Marvel who finds herself on Earth after a mission gone wrong. She teams up with a detective named Nick Fury to pick apart the secrets of her past. Meanwhile, Vers has to stop the shapeshifting Skrulls from infiltrating the planet and putting an end to the war with the Kree.

I like the performances in this film. Brie Larson is good as Captain Marvel and brings an understated verve to the role. Larson is good at delivering quips, but also has a few pretty powerful moments in her performance that help develop Captain Marvel as a character. Samuel L. Jackson is also good as Nick Fury. This is a different Fury from what we're used to with Jackson offering some nuanced clues about the changes Fury will face in the future. In Larson and Jackson's third onscreen collaboration, the duo brings great chemistry and the scenes with them playing off of each other are easily some of this film's best moments.

This film makes good use of its 90s setting. There are a lot of jokes involving technology and pop culture from this period that work well. Also, the soundtrack has a nice selection of songs from the 90s that complement the film very well. The setting doesn't feels like an attempt to cash in on nostalgia, but the 90s theme gives the film a more pronounced tone and humor. I also really enjoyed the element of mystery that comes with the Skrulls' ability to shapeshift into anyone and its clever use throughout the film.

I do find quite a few flaws with this film. Jude Law's performance as Yon-Ragg, the Kree leader, is disappointing. He feels so self-serious; it's as if he's in a different movie. There is a lot of exposition throughout the first half that, after a while, is a chore to listen to. Action scenes range from well-choreographed to hard to tell what is going on.

I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18, for some sci-fi violence and language and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Captain Marvel falls a bit short of being completely marvelous, but it's enjoyable and well worth the price of admission. I recommend you go see this film when it comes out on March 8, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: HERE COMES THE BOOM
SONIC BOOM: HERE COMES THE BOOM - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 7-11
Description - It's a Sonic you haven't seen before - an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he's up against, Sonic is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. The series is set in a wide-open world, where most of the characters live in and around an unnamed village. Just over the horizon is a vast landscape filled with beaches, jungles, mountains, undersea civilizations, cloud cities, frozen lakes, and more! Includes 8 Action-Packed Episodes!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is a compilation of episodes from Sonic Boom, an animated (CGI) kids' show based around the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Let me frank, I have seen better kid's shows. That's not to say that it is not a good show, it just isn't as great as the video game that it originates from. Aesthetically, it is a fairly good looking show, certainly above average your standard kiddie show in that regard. The voice acting is pretty good, but I have other concerns. The dialogue seems as if it is intended for preteens or adolescents, but it is not nearly clever or funny enough for that audience. Although it's based on the Sonic franchise, there is not a lot of on-screen action to keep little one's eyes trained on the screen. That said, I believe that any young kid who is a fan of the game will be very excited to see Sonic on screen. I recommend this for ages 7 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action packed series is very educating. The morals taught in the episodes are valuable for the target audience. I love how they are able to teach important lessons in a very entertaining way.

The show follows the characters Sonic, his friends and Dr. Eggman. Sonic and his friends always have some conflict with Dr. Eggman. The different schemes that Dr. Eggman comes up with are amusing and I watched till the end to see if Sonic and his friends were be able to solve the problem.

Mike Pollock voices Dr. Eggman in a very interesting way. Pollock can sound like a villain in one scene and in another he could be your grandfather. Dr. Eggman is a character with two personalities and it is great that Pollock voices both of them.

The characters in this series are unique in their appearance. Sonic and his friends are animals, but they only have a few features that are recognizable as animals. I like that they vary their appearances from other films and series. It keeps the audience interested and intrigued.

My favorite part about this series is that they always find a way to make it humorous and add some plot twists. Every episode is different and that makes the audience want to watch the whole series all at once.

There are many underlying messages in each episode. The ones that stand out are to find the goodness in people and to work together. Sonic and Dr. Eggman will forever be rivals, but they do enjoy each other's company. Sonic realizes that Dr. Eggman is desperate for attention and uses that to his advantage to be able to get to the good side of Dr. Eggman. This is how Sonic is always able to calm Dr. Eggman down and stop him from continuing his crazy, sometimes evil, ideas - for a while. Sonic and his team of superhero friends have to work together to come up with a plan to stop Dr. Eggman. Sometimes, when Sonic leaves, they fight over what to do and who should be the leader. In the end, they resolve their problems and learn the right thing to do for the next time a similar situation arises.

I loved how this DVD teaches valuable lessons that are usually overlooked in other children's shows. I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 9. Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom is out now on DVDs so check it out!

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

I like this show because it has lots of characters from the classic Sonic Video games and TV shows. It shows their personality and fighting techniques. This is a good introduction to the characters to anyone that wants to play the Sonic games. If you want to try Sonic games, but you don't know any of the characters just watch this show.

Sonic Boom - Here Comes the Boom is about Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) and his friends facing challenges usually involving Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock), where they must work together to either escape a temple or destroy a robot. Sonic can't fight off Dr. Eggman by himself, so he gets help from his friends and sticks the completely wild badger that uses a boomerang as her weapon of choice. Amy Rose is a pink hedgehog who fights with her hammer and keeps everyone at peace. Rounding out the team are Knuckles the echidna with a love of fighting and Tails Sonic's tech-loving fox sidekick that can use his two tails to help him fly around.

My favorite episode in this DVD is "Just a Guy." In this episode, Sonic accidently calls someone "just a guy" and everyone gets angry at him. I like this episode because it is funny and has a good message. That message is "don't stereotype people." Another good episode is "CowBot," which is about when Dr. Eggman sends a robot that looks like a cow after Sonic. After a bit of fighting, Sonic gets the CowBot to go after Dr. Eggman. He goes to save him, but the CowBot is incredibly slow so they do loads of funny stuff while they wait. This episode is hilarious in how they solve the problem in the end.

My favorite character is CuBot because, whenever his partner OrBot says something smart about something he just says the real meaning without knowing what OrBot wants. For example, in the episode "The Meteor." OrBot says, "Perhaps it is time we bid our foes "adieu." CuBot doesn't know what that means so he just says, "No time, we have to leave," which means the same thing. I find these parts funny.

The main message of most of the episodes is, you must work together to complete a challenge. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7 because it has good messages in every episode that younger kids will like.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-11 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BRINK, THE
BRINK, THE - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A fly-on-the-wall chronicle of embattled former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon's global mission to spread extreme nationalism.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Brink is an interesting yet disturbing documentary that leaves the viewer feeling passionate but angered about the state of our country. It gives young people ideas about how not to behave, especially if you are a public figure. The Brink gives an inside look at all the intimate details of the brain of a political figure and shows just how crazy life can be for them. Although I do think that they could've done a better job on some certain aspects, I left the theatre feeling ultimately very disgusted, which I believe was the intent of the filmmakers.

The Brink is a documentary film that follows Steve Bannon, the founder of Breitbart News and Donald Trump's ex-chief strategist. It chronicles his life after the 2016 election and his attempts to form a group called "The Movement," which is a nationalist movement that involves a lot of world leaders and billionaires who have primarily conservative views (not to mention are extremely racist and anti-sematic). Bannon is portrayed throughout the film as being determined and dedicated, but those qualities are misguided as he is not advocating for the good of the people.

The Brink does a decent job of showcasing what a creep and how dimwitted Steve Bannon is. It catches him reusing the same joke over and over again ("a rose between two thorns") and hosting gatherings for The Movement filled with old white people. Most of these gatherings were fairly small, the majority of them consisting of around forty to fifty people or less. Bannon's attempts to make The Movement happen, although arguably seeming successful, appear rather pathetic if you look deeper into it. The film captured Bannon's life and business affairs but I feel as though it pandered to him a little bit. The filmmakers could've done a better job of exposing him and making him seem more disgusting. Even though the film portrayed him in a negative light, I don't feel like it was enough. That said, there were some funny bits within the film that I did enjoy. It was also captivating, watching someone be so outwardly awful and idiotic on camera.

I would give The Brink 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 14 to 18. Kids younger than that may not understand it or find it boring. There is also some language, used by Bannon, that may not be suitable for younger audiences. The Brink might not have done the best job of portraying Steve Bannon's story and proving their point, but I was captivated by it and ultimately learned a lot about not only Bannon, but what it means to be a decent American. This film opens in theaters March 29, 2019 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her loved ones behind and face this new cutthroat world alone. Paige's journey pushes her to dig deep and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - When I heard about this film, I thought, "What a crazy title!" Well, it is not so crazy; it is enchanting. This film is based on a true story and follows the antics of a former wrestler and his family, as they make a living wrestling in small venues in northern England. The family is in the business, and the kids dream of making it in big in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

While wrestling is not my jam and the film is slow at times, it captured my heart with big family values - life lessons about believing in oneself and each member of one's family. The sibling wrestlers Saraya (Florence Pugh) and Zak Knight (Jack Lowden) have trained for the big stage of wrestling since they were young. In fact, Zak reminds us that this was his dream since he was three. When they get the call from a WWE scout named Hutch (Vince Vaughn), it is a dream come true. On the other hand, is it?

Florence Pugh is fantastic and I cheered for her throughout the film. Her family brings a lot of comedy and grit to their roles. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is in all the trailers and has some key scenes. He will definitely help sell tickets! It is great to see Vince Vaughn in a positive and upbeat role.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. The stunts are detailed and outstanding. The choreography is flawless. The casting is great. The costumes are authentic and there are many laugh-out-loud lines. You do not have to be clan of grapplers in Norwich, England to like this film! The film screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and opens in theaters nationwide February 22, 2019. Look for it!

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fighting with My Family is already one of 2019's best movies. Excellent performances and an apt direction make for not just one of the best wrestling movies but documentaries also. This movie truly has something for all audiences.

This docu-drama follows the incredible story of WWE superstar Paige, or Raya Knight (Florence Pugh). Born into a cheerful wrestling family, Raya and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden) get a once in a lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE. Raya earns the spot, with Zak being left behind, and Raya having to leave her family behind to compete for the spot as Diva. With rigorous coach Hutch (Vince Vaughn), Raya will be pushed to new limits while Zak faces a test moving on from his dreams. These journeys push them to fight for their family and prove what truly makes a star.

Florence Pugh becomes Raya Knight/Paige with her persistence and wit towards any obstacle being very inspirational. She respectfully adapts Paige and her final speech at WrestleMania looks exactly like its real-life counterpart. Jack Lowden does the same with Zak, my favorite character, as his character arc is so relatable with his struggles to move past his dreams of making the WWE, disregarding his own wife and child. Jack shows excellent range presenting Zak's eventual passion for helping others with his family's wrestling service and taking care of his child. Nick Frost and Lena Headey, as Ricky and Julia Knight, complete the family with their uniquely jovial, but lewd attitudes that only want the best for their children and other people in need. Vince Vaughn, as Hutch, is very impressive providing an inspirational mentor for Raya, as well in his real-life friendship with the Rock. Dwayne Johnson plays himself, enough said. In all seriousness, it is very entertaining and informative to watch his real-life impact on Paige.

Stephen Merchant spectacularly writes and directs, with the events presented in clear chronological order. But the real standout comes from his snappy writing, as all the jokes and emotional moments land. He truly knows how to write human and relatable characters. My favorite scene is when The Rock gives Raya's family a surprise call. Dwayne Johnson and Nick Frost truly give their all in the funniest repartee, while also giving the feels with The Rock presenting his admiration and best regards for Raya. Still, with all the positives, I feel that the film doesn't acknowledge all angles to a boxing match and the matches here feel very simplistic at times. However, the film's main intent is to flesh out the family first and then get into the nuances of the sport, so this flaw isn't particularly egregious.

The message of this film is that a person's character doesn't come from the title they hold, but by one's contribution to help others. Zak holds the strongest example of this. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to language and sexual references. The movie is in theaters now, so check it out.

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



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