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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GRINCH, THE
GRINCH, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming, and visually stunning, it's a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism. Academy Award� nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Grinch is a cute and funny movie that reminds us of the real spirit of Christmas. This film is based on the famous Dr. Seuss book about the Grinch who hates Christmas so much. He tries to spoil it for everyone in the very Christmassy town he lives in, Whoville. Meanwhile, a small Who child tries to catch Santa, so she can talk to him about something very important that she wants for Christmas. The Grinch is an orphan and never had a family Christmas. He used to sit at his window watching all the Whos playing and celebrating outside. This made him hate Christmas. Years later, he decides to try to stop it. The Whos are a species that are always incredibly jolly around Christmas, so it will be hard to take it away from them.

I like how the music is the same music from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), but modernized with a hip-hop beat, complements to Danny Elfman. The way the Whos move around the town quickly is quite unique. Instead of roads, the Whos get around get on snowmobiles and sleds. The main characters in this movie are, The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), the only person that hates Christmas and Cindy Lou, (Cameron Seely), the little-girl that is trying to catch Santa and talk to him.

The Grinch lives in a cave north of Whoville that is full of rooms with inventive passageways and elevators to move between them. It is clear that the Grinch is very inventive. For example, in the music room there is a thin pathway that leads to a massive organ for the Grinch to play and a tiny drum set, for Max, his faithful dog. The Grinch is always telling Max to stop playing because he is ruining the vibe, but eventually gives in. He does this most times Max wants something, showing he is not as mean a character as he pretends.

Max is my favorite character in this movie. He goes about his day using Rube Goldberg machines to help the Grinch get ready for his day. My favorite scene is when Cindy Lou is sliding down the hill to get to the postman and crashes into the Grinch. That scene is hilarious and cool at the same time, featuring lots of fast action and comedy. Another good scene is when the Grinch is choosing his clothes. Inside his closet, he has clothes that have tags on them that read, "sad, very sad, miserable, very miserable, Christmas or happy." The happy pants are super clean while the very miserable pants look old and worn. This shows that the Grinch has been extremely sad lately.

The message of this film is that being together with friends and family is the only gift you ever need. Cindy Lou shows this through how forgiving she is, even though he steals their Christmas. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, because it is a great family Christmas movie with a good message. This movie opens in theaters on November 9, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

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

What a touching moment! This full-length animated film intensely has you gazing at the screen, without a doubt. This enjoyable, wonderstruck, emotional, touching and kid-friendly movie is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. Get ready to enjoy this perky piece of family entertainment, just in time for the holidays. It is filled with memorable and touching moments that catch you off guard.

The story follows a mean-spirited, cynical and grumpy Grinch who sets his eye on a mission, with his energetic dog Max, to destroy Christmas for one deplorable reason. The Grinch really hates Christmas, especially the loud, bright celebrations in Whoville. In order to get some peace and quiet, the Grinch disguises himself as Santa Clause and you'll have to wait to see how he steals Christmas from The Who's. He doesn't expect what happens when he meets a young girl names Cindy Lou. The Grinch realizes he is only afraid of one thing that has affected him his whole life.

The lead characters in this film are Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), Cindy Lou (Cameron Seely), The Mayor of Whoville (Angela Lansbury), Izzy (Scarlett Estevez) and narrator (Pharrell Williams).

My favorite part of the film is when the grumpy and cruel Grinch changes his attitude and action choices. He has a change of heart and experiences his old ways to become happy and respectful as he feels valued (which is what everyone should feel). A quick theory of what happens is the small young girl changes the Grinch heart with a sentence, and that sentence changes everything.

This holiday film will definitely bring lots of laughs and humor. The film certainly provides positive messages about optimism, compassion and generosity. The animation deserves a big round of applause. It is jaw dropping, extraordinary, realistic to the story theme, beautiful and vibrant. The amazing animation is brought to life by Cinzia Angelina (storyboard artist), Sylvia Deboissy (Character Designer/ Development Artist), Patrick Muylken (color designer) and many more.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 16, as well as adults. Truly, the whole family will enjoy the film. It is designed with so much reaction moments. Don't miss this live-action film when it opens nationwide November 9, 2018.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PUPPY STARS CHRISTMAS
PUPPY STARS CHRISTMAS - AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - A song-filled new Air Bud 'Pup Star' movie that introduces four new pups to the family, who stow away on Santa's sleigh and find themselves trapped at the North Pole, trying to save the world's Christmas spirit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most amazing thing about the Pup Stars films is how the filmmakers animate the live animals so you actually believe they are talking. After the first 10 minutes, you just accept for what it is and buy into the idea that this parallel universe has talking dogs in it.

This film is the fourth in the Pup Star franchise and it is as cute and charming as the other, with a Christmas theme as its focus. Who can resist a combination of cute dogs with their even cuter puppies, celebrating a favorite holiday. Of course, there has to be a antagonist thrown in, in the form of a pack of evil dogs that want to take over Christmas and commercialize it, making more money than anyone ever imagined.

Most of the original characters have returned, Mackenzie Moss as Lou, David DeLuise as Steven. Most importantly, the voice actors that play the dogs - Kaitlyn Maher as Tiny, Mackenzie Sol as P.U.P., Dillon Fontana as Brody, Oakley Bull as Cindy and Chloe Coleman as Charlie all deserve high fives for their outstanding voice talent.

The moral of the story is one that we can all resonate, that Christmas is really about family, not commercialization. Look for this film on Netflix November 20. It'll make a fun one to watch with your family Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the holiday season. Get grandma and auntie and Uncle Joe to sit down and laugh together watching the antics of these cute pups. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am not usually a fan of musicals, but this movie is better than some that I've seen. I really like how the dogs are animated in this movie. It really looks as if they are actually talking and dancing. That makes the movie as entertaining as it is.

Puppy Star Christmas is a Christmas themed sequel to Pup Star 2 that follows the Pup Star company making a Christmas special right after Tiny has puppies. The movie follows the pup's parents getting ready for Christmas. It also focuses on the pups as they carry out some crazy ideas and plans that sometimes get them into trouble. For example, the pups decide to go to the North Pole to meet Santa, but while trying to do that, some evil dogs are trying to take over Christmas! Tiny and the Pup Star staff are working on the Christmas special while searching for the missing pups.

The four new members to the Pup Star family are Brody (Dillon Fontana), an adventurous little pup that thinks of something fun to do and his sisters usually follow. Rosie (Vivienne Rutherford) is the pup who always thinks of herself as the star of everything. Cindy (Oakley Bull) is the pup who knows when something will go wrong, but none of her siblings ever listen to her. Last is Charlie (Chloe Coleman), the sarcastic one, who has some of the best lines.

My favorite scene in this movie is when the elves sing "The Worst Christmas Ever," while the villains think they are singing the same thing as they are - "The Best Christmas Ever." Another good scene is when the reindeers bring Roland to the Pup Star stage. The reindeers are doing loop the loops, while going as fast as they can, just to be mean to Roland. My favorite character is Brody, because he is adventurous and he loves to eat, just like me. He also comes up with a bunch of crazy ideas that get him in trouble, but I don't think he will ever learn. For example, in the beginning of the film Brody tries to eat both the turkey and the pumpkin pie. That really gets him into trouble.

The message of this movie is that Christmas isn't just about the gifts, it is about being with family. The pups show that throughout the entire film. I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, because it is an amusing movie that shows the meaning of Christmas in a great way. I think adults will enjoy watching this film with their children. This movie will be available exclusively on Netflix on November 20, 2018 so look for it!

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ZOONICORN SING-ALONG SONGS VOL. 1
ZOONICORN SING-ALONG SONGS VOL. 1 - ZOONICORN, LLC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Four Zoonicorns, magical hybrids of zebras and unicorns, take young animals who are facing a real-life challenges on imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. Songs introduce the characters and share empowering social-emotional lessons that teach the power to win is always within!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Zoonicorn Sing-Along Songs, Volume 1 is a web series that features 3-D multicolored unicorn characters, My Little Pony-ish, with unique magical strengths that impart through song and story positive and uplifting answers to children's fears and esteem issues. The songs are well-performed and produced, though somewhat repetitive in style. Children will be drawn to the vivid color and texture of the scenery and characters as well as the child-like voices. In addition, children will identify with the trials and tribulations of the little Otter, Pancake, as he learns life lessons with the help of the Zoonicorns. Nicely produced and performed music. Orchestration is particularly well done on the Pancake story. There is definitely value in the positive messages such as: You can do anything if you try. Don't give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. The sample episode and songs follow the uplifting winner approach of this concept and the 3-D visual style works well as a platform. One problem I have with it is that some concepts or particular phrase are over the heads of little target audience such as 'go with the flow' or 'dot your i's and cross your t's'. It teaches children about tools to use to overcome fear or self esteem issues. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready to listen to the unique, magical and joyful web series that features 3-D multicolored unicorn characters. Get ready to view real-life challenges and imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. This colorful masterpiece web series is created and executive produced by Mark Lubratt and directed by Cliff Dew and Ariel Yamus.

The web series follows four Zoonicorns, magical hybrids of zebras and unicorns, taking young animals facing real-life issues on imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. The songs introduce the characters and share empowering social-emotional lessons that teach the power to win is always within. When the animals fall asleep, the Zoonicorns appear in their dreams.

The set of songs are well-performed and produced. Along with each song, you will meet seven new colorful, inspiring and adventurous friends as you visit beautiful Zooniverse. The songs provide age appropriate lyrics for which kids can easily sing alone. How fun is this? The music provides positive impact for children to build their vocabulary. No question that every child will be drawn to the vivid colors and texture of the scenery and characters, as well as the child-like voices.

This web series deliveries very powerful messages - for every problem, there is a solution; nothing is impossible, if you just believe in yourself; you can do anything; don't give up! Some of my favorite themes are about showing children to care about themselves, to be creative and to use their imaginations. The Zoonicorns provides lots of positive answers.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this web series and kids will certainly enjoy the catchy tunes This web series launches December 1, 2018 so look for it. Enjoy the fun adventures of the Zoonicorns. I recommend it for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Zoonicorns are four mixes of Unicorns and Zebras that help other animals with their problems. When the animals fall asleep, the Zoonicorns appear in their dreams. As the Zoonicorns help others, they sing and their singing provides lyrics for which kids can easily sing along. This singing is great for preschoolers. The Zoonicorns provide answers to problems. The solution they find for every problem is that it comes from within and nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. Teaching a child about caring for themselves, using their imagination and creativity is another part of their message. The sing along builds up and introduces words to help the child expand their vocabulary, understanding new words and learning how to use them. This great web series comes out December 1, 2018. You can find it online so look for it. Enjoy the fun adventures of the Zoonicorns. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Cemre C, KIDS FIRST! Youth Reviewer, age 14
Runtime: 17 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: THE 1980S VOLUME 1, PLUS BENDABLE
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: THE 1980S VOLUME 1, PLUS BENDABLE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Limited edition includes bendable Prickle and Goo figures. Two DVD set. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of '80s episodes. Featuring 50 clay-animated episodes, fully remastered 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 lovely collector's edition comes with two bendable toys that are two new lovable characters from this Gumby DVD. The characters are Prickle, a cute yellow dinosaur/dragon and Goo, a green gooey mermaid. Having been a fan of the original Gumby series, I enjoyed seeing my favorite characters rejuvenated on screen with better film quality and sound. The stories are always so eccentric and fun-loving and this collection is no different. My favorite episode from Vol 1 is Birthday Party in the Middle Ages. During this story, Gumby and friends are invited to King Ott's birthday party from the middle ages book. I love seeing all of these characters brought to life in true Gumby form; the shapes and colors are fantastic. This DVD is captivating for the younger ages. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for its timelessness. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 250 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (2018)
JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (2018) - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN is the third installment of the Johnny English comedy series, with Rowan Atkinson returning as the much loved accidental secret agent. The new adventure begins when a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the Secret Service's last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analog methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This entertaining film, written by William Davies and directed by David Kerr, is very funny. The main character, Johnny English is supposed to be a spy, but fails a lot. For example, he accidentally sets things on fire or blows things up. And, when he does things wrong, he pretends that he was trying to do it.

The film is about a cyber attack, which exposes the identities of all of Great Britain's undercover spies. Johnny English is a retired spy, currently working as a teacher, and he comes out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker who did it. When he was a spy, he used old gadgets, but now they use more digital things like tablets and smart phones. Since Johnny doesn't know how to use them, he just throws them at his targets instead.

The actor playing Johnny English, Rowan Atkinson, is very good. Every time he fights someone, it looks quite realistic. He is hilarious when he dances in the middle of the dance floor and doesn't stop the whole night. Also, the gadgets he uses, like his magnetic boots and his exoskeleton suit make the film even more exciting. My favorite part of this film is that Johnny English is a teacher and he teaches the kids how to be spies instead of teaching them normal school subjects.

The soundtrack is excellent and so are the sets. They make it feel as if it's a real spy movie. All of the crazy things that you expect to happen in a spy movie happen here, plus even more. The special effects and stunts make each scene that much more fun to watch.

As fun as this film is, you should know that people are violent with each other and there is one inappropriate scene when Johnny's pants fall down and you see his rear end. The violent parts are not bloody or gory. They are just normal fight scenes like you would see in any funny spy movie. There is some humor that younger kids may not understand or might find disturbing, but I think older kids and adults will definitely be amused. As thrilling as all of the stunts are, they are dangerously unrealistic and not the kind of thing you would want a young child thinking they should try.

I recommend this film for ages 9 to18, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available in theaters on October 26, 2018, so look for it.

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

Johnny English Strikes Again is an incredibly humorous film that definitely holds up to the success of the two previous Johnny English films. There isn't a low moment in this movie and I plan to see it again. This is a "cannot miss" film that everyone is sure to love.

The storyline follows the Prime Minister of London (Emma Thompson) who calls Special Agent English (Rowan Atkinson) back into action after cyber-attack leaks the identities of all the undercover agents working for the MI7. English must stop the hacker in order to save the people of London.

My favorite part about this film is when English is practicing his mission using a virtual reality simulation. The simulation is said to be highly "immersive." While English is running through the simulation, he makes his way out of headquarters and into the streets of London, causing havoc for the people of London. I also found it interesting how well Johnny's old fashion ways comes into play numerous times throughout the film.

The director, David Kerr, makes a huge play on irony by making the bad guy a super high-tech professional, with special agent English not tech savvy at all. Luckily for Johnny, his lack of knowledge about technology helps him for the better.

There isn't anything about this film that I didn't like. From its special effects, to props to acting, everything fits together nicely, creating a great film that audiences will enjoy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters October 26, 2018, so look for it.

Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HELLO, GOODBYE, HELLO
HELLO, GOODBYE, HELLO - LIGHTHOUSE RECORDS
Series: MUSIC VIDEO AGES 2-5
Description - This video from Vincent Nunes' 10th CD of original music for children is fun and catchy and introduces early learners to the idea of respecting others even when they are different.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - If a picture is worth a thousand words then Victor Nunes' video of his song Hello, Goodbye, Hello must indeed speak a few thousand more. The simple repeated gesture of multi-ethnic children shaking hands and moving together to the positive lyrics of the title song exemplify love, acceptance and cooperation for the human beings we share this planet, this country, this neighborhood, this school and this life with. Sometimes it is just a song and dance together. The video has children as its focus and the material is uplifting. The song flows well. The continuity of the visuals could be more interesting and less repetitious. The material is right on for the intended age group. I recommend this for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 3 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIRST MAN
FIRST MAN - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A biopic on the life of the legendary American Astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969, on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon. Exploring the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Neil himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Easily one of the most famous events in human history is centered around a singular man, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Behind the Apollo Mission that landed the first human on the moon, Neil is a man with conflicts, a man with a history and a man with a mission.

Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.

The film begins up close and personal seeing Armstrong in his daring mission on the rocket-propelled plane, the X-15. Immediately, the story shows just how dangerous space exploration can be and how close those who brave exploring the final frontier get to never returning home. It follows Neil and his story intimately from the X-15 mission to the loss of three astronauts (close friends of Neil's) in Apollo 1, the near-lethal mission of Gemini 8 and, of course, the incredibly daring mission of Apollo 11, that landed the first people on the Moon. Throughout these milestones in space exploration, the story pauses to look at the relations and life of Neil, truly unveiling the blueprints showing who he was as a man.

While incredible in revealing a massive side of this well-known historical event, the film attempts to focus so much on a story that has little to tell. The length clocks in at just under two and a half hours, which feels very stretched after the adrenaline of the exciting opening scene wears off. Neil Armstrong is portrayed as a deep man with little visual emotions mixed with dramatic internal conflicts. While this decision allows for excellent character design, it makes him rather boring at times. It seems the writers wished to divide First Man into three stories - one, the story of Neil as a man; two, the story of Neil as a father and three, the story of Neil as an astronaut. All three have their pros and their cons, but mixed together, the film becomes daunting and stretched.

The cinematography sadly could have been better. Only a handful of camera shots do not shake. In most shots, the camera moves constantly or jitters. In the beginning, with the X-15 mission, this effect adds to the entertainment of the film. The audience quickly becomes sucked into the important and lethal mission with dangers at every corner. After two hours of shaky camera shots, that excitement changes to annoyance. While a mix would be ideal, and in more intensive scenes a camera shake would be appropriate, having the entire runtime featuring shakiness as well as many blurry shots, looks amateur and comes off as poor execution of what should be an interesting and captivating story.

However, the film does go beyond the moon in many ways. Predominantly, in the acting. Neil Armstrong has deep faults and that stands as a challenge to any actor. Ryan Gosling nails the role in what turns out as an Oscar�-worthy performance of the famous astronaut. Others, including Claire Foy, also deliver extraordinary performances bringing each character to life. Despite the fact that no one can hear you scream in space, the sound design really belongs out of the world due to the quality and complexity of the sound effects. Much of First Man contains loud, intricate sound effects that vary and cover a massive spectrum. Perhaps more powerful would have been the use of silence in the most dramatic moments, sending chills to the entire audience.

My favorite scene is one of these moments of eerie silence. In this scene, three members of the Apollo 1 mission do a test in the Apollo capsule. It goes horribly wrong and the interior of the capsule catches on fire, sadly, resulting in losing the lives of all three. Yet, the film takes this a step further, as the three fallen heroes are not new in this scene. The viewer gets time to like them, understand them and befriend them - just as Neil did in real life. This makes their sudden and dramatic loss nothing short of shocking and cold, replicating the real-life impact it had on Armstrong.

Although, First Man has a strong beginning, a strong ending and many high points throughout, it also has many mistakes and things that could be improved that simply negate the extraordinary story of this story. For that reason, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The story is quite intensive and is best suited for older audiences that will understand the impact of the events so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This film opens nationwide in theaters on October 12, 2018 so, look for it. If you are a fan of space exploration, it is sure to make an impact, but even if you aren't you will learn something new.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

First Man is a visually stunning and up-close account of the Apollo 11 mission. Excellent acting and innovative directing excel this personal focus, as one of a well-built dramatic journey. Anyone interested in space studies or even cinematic craft must check this out.

The story follows the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) in the 1960s on his journey to becoming the first man to walk on the moon. More so, an exploration of the sacrifices and costs that the journey had upon Armstrong's personal life and the nation itself, during one of the nation's most desperate and dangerous missions.

Ryan Gosling, as Neil Armstrong, is my favorite character with near-perfect representation of Neil's reclusive, yet adventurous self. His struggles to overcome the death of his daughter Karen and fellow crewmates offer the movie's best share of emotions and present a newfound inspirational look into this real-life pioneer. Claire Foy, as Janet Armstrong, excels with her bitter opinions on her husband's involvement in the Apollo program. Her intense wariness effectively presents the instability that the Armstrong family faced during such tough times. Corey Stall, as Buzz Aldrin, respectfully acts out the childlike, but intellectual aspects of his real-life counterpart. Jason Clarke, as Edward Higgins White, impressively presents a good friend in need to Neil, contributing to the success of NASA's missions with his tragic accident being handled all the more respectively.

Damien Chazelle expertly directs the movie with an innovative handheld approach steered by cinematographer Linus Sandgren that captures the paranoia, but wondrous awe of each voyage into space. This approach can become a little disorienting at times and requires an adjustment factor. My favorite scene is the Agena voyage, as it distinguishes itself from the Apollo 11 landing, by focusing on NASA's most miniscule attempts to catch up with the Soviet Union. As a result, the mission comes with its huge share of bumps, which are helped by the cringe-inducing sound design and a self-contained terror within the astronauts involved.

The message of the movie is that success never comes without sacrifice and failure, but most of all, perseverance. Armstrong sets a strong persevering mentality and example towards dealing with any obstacle as he seeks to support his family peacefully and the mission safely. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of infrequent intense scenes and language. The movie releases in theaters on October 12, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - While collecting junk one day, best friends Sonny and Sam meet Slappy, a mischievous talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps" book by R.L. Stine. Hoping to start his own family, Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his ghoulish friends back to life -- just in time for Halloween. As the sleepy town becomes overrun with monsters, witches and other mysterious creatures, Sonny joins forces with his sister, Sam and a kindly neighbor to save Sonny's mom and foil Slappy's plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is spooky, fun and creative! It is very engaging and entertaining throughout the whole film.

The story is about a young boy, Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his best friend, Sam (Caleel Harris) who finds a book. When they open it, a doll called Slappy comes out! The boys lose the book, but keep Slappy. The friends are very surprised and a bit scared when they discover that the doll can talk. He seems nice at the beginning. He wants to have a family. But later, the boy, his sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) and his best friend realize he is strange and don't want him to be part of their family anymore. Slappy has his own personal agenda and decides to create his own family. He makes Halloween come to life as he invades the whole town with monsters and all the creatures as allies. This is a very scary Halloween for the town of Wardenclyffe, where the story takes place, as all creatures make real chaos. Sonny, Sam and Sarah team up with neighbor Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong) to find the book that Slappy from to figure out how to stop him. They discover that the book can suck up monsters and they are determined to save the city.

The story is based on R.L Stine's books. This is where Jack Black comes in as he reprises his role from the 2015 film, playing the writer who came to help. His performance as the author is excellent. I love him.

The movie is funny and spooky in equal amounts. There is mystery and discovery all combined in the storytelling. There's kind of a homage to horror films, as we see some classic monsters. My favorite scenes are the ones with the Halloween decorations coming to life in the store and the fight with the gummy bears that become real and attack Sonny and Sam.

The effects are very well done. This story focuses on the 3 main characters and the actors did a good job carrying the film. There's a tribute to the books and literature. There's a beautiful metaphor with the blank pages in the book which is powerful. It is so interesting and kind of reminded me that reality is scarier than fantasy and there will be more stories to be written. The message of this film is, "when we face our own fears we learn how not to be scared."

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween opens October 12, 2018 and is the perfect movie for kids this Halloween. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 6 to 13 and grown ups as well.

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

Boo! Trick or treat! Who is ready for a perky piece of family entertainment? Giant spiders made of balloons, pumpkin-headed scarecrows, witches with glowing heads are the factual stars of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Who's ready to pop some popcorn with a fresh drink and enjoy the film?

This very funny, energetic, colorful and well-crafted film is directed by Ari Sandel. The film follows best friends Sonny and Sam, who meets Slappy, a frisky talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps " book by R.L. Stine. Slappy hopes to start a family of his own. Well you will see how that unfolds. Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his frightening friends back to life, literally bringing Halloween back to life! Just in time for Halloween. As the Slappy town becomes infested with monsters, witches and other shadowy creatures, Sonny joins powers with his sister, Sam and a concerned neighbor to save Sonny's mom and stop Slappy's strategy.

The lead characters are Kathy Quinn (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman), Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong), Sonny Quinn (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Sam Carter (Bryce Cass) and Slappy (Mick Wingert).

My favorite part of the movie is pretty much, the whole movie. This movie is one of those sequels where it gets restated in a new way, greater and sillier than before. I love how Slappy uses his magical powers to bring typical "Goosebumps" monsters to life.

Wow! Can I say the music in this film is surprising? Composer Dominic Lewis creates a perfect match to the Halloween theme. Every action coordinates with perfect music accompaniment. The music provides escalating emotions and had me jumping out of my seat a few times - in a good way, not a super spooky way. The animation has lively, attractive colors and put me in the spirit for Halloween.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 16, as well as adults. I believe the whole family will enjoy this film. The film is designed with so much fun reaction moments. It delivers on what Goosebumps fans have come to expect. Don't miss this live-action film when it opens nationwide October 12, 2018.

Reviewed by Nathalia Maria J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VENOM
VENOM - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake's experiments, Eddie's body merges with the alien Venom -- leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Venom is a somewhat entertaining comic book-based movie watch. The acting and directing provide for serviceable entertainment amid some of the movie's ill-fated attempts. Fans of superhero movies may want to check it out.

The story follows former investigative and maverick journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) after he attempts a comeback following a scandal that left him jobless, despite good intentions. Eddie's life furthermore takes on more complications, after accidentally becoming the host of an alien symbiote, giving him the carnivorous alter ego, Venom. Soon, he must rely on and master his newfound powers to protect the world from the shadowy organization he so sought to destroy, because of their involvement in experimenting with other symbiotes, before it's too late.

Tom Hardy, as Eddie Brock, is my favorite character and absolutely lives up to the hype surrounding his performance, even if a few of his deliveries come across as random, due to an inconsistent script. Also, he further sells the voice of Venom, delivering numerous nuances underneath the carnivorous savage. Michelle Williams, as Anne Weying, does the best she can with an uninspired script, that doesn't do her character justice, as Anne comes across as a stereotypical love interest. Despite this, she adds nuances to her characters' emotions and occasional comedic remarks. Once again, Riz Ahmed, as Carlton Drake, suffers from the same issue, but presents just enough threat to make his foe a formidable one. Still, his plotline involving the main lab corporation, remains one of the movie's stalling points as it remains nothing more than a disinteresting evil lair. Jenny Slate, as Dora Skirth, fares better as the script provides more material to go around. Her vibrant expressions and remarks make her one of the movie's most memorable assets.

Ruben Fleischer aptly directs the movie with an effective grasp on understanding the Venom character, which is the movie's saving grace. The mix of horror, adrenaline-fueled action and black comedy provides for a unique experience, unlike any other superhero movie, despite not being as polished as most. My favorite scene is the SWAT action scene, as it is a great showcase of special effects and unique sound design. The choreography further sells the excellent pace towards Venom's attacks. The other main flaw stems from the sub-par script, as it doesn't compliment the all-star cast's talents well. Aside from Eddie, every character is stereotypical and not as interesting to watch, with stilted dialogue further adding unintentional awkwardness to the characters' relationships. At times, the movie's plot progression becomes littered with holes and doesn't match the brisk pace that the many action scenes provide. In fact, any of the movie's plot, not involving the Venom symbiote, is met with a gruelingly slow pace, leaving us waiting for Venom to show up.

The message of this movie to always stand up for what's right and be careful about it, in spite of anyone in your way. Eddie's brutally honest responses to evil and the Venom alter-ego support this with a positive example. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters October 5, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FRANCIS THE FIREHOUSE MOUSE
FRANCIS THE FIREHOUSE MOUSE - NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: EBOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - My name is Francis. As you can see, I am a mouse, but I am not an ordinary mouse. From the time I was very young, I was bigger than all the other mice - and I always wanted to be a firefighter. Being a firefighter is a very rewarding job. You get to help put out lots of different kinds of fires and sometimes save people and even animals.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I feel this picture book will truly be a hit with younger children, because it is engaging and educational. The combination of cartoonlike and realistic illustrations really bring the story to life. Francis is a likable hero, because he is a firefighter. I loved the quote by Tom Hanks in the beginning: "A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown." The storyline is simple, with vocabulary that children will understand. This story flows quite well and it does make sense. It is a simple, fun picture book that teaches about firefighters. It shows how firefighters help others, put out fires and rescue people and animals. Young children will learn what firefighters do besides put out fires. I give this 4.5 stars out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. I believe this story will entertain young children and includes many pro-social social and educational benefits. Many young readers may want to visit a fire station or learn even more about these amazing heroes after reading this book. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.95 Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STAR WARS RESISTANCE
STAR WARS RESISTANCE - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot for the Resistance, is tasked with a top secret mission to investigate the First Order, a growing threat in the galaxy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Get ready for a high-flying adventure. Star Wars Resistance is back - the animated TV version, that is. I am beyond excited! Who doesn't love Star Wars? Disney's newest series is inspired by Japanese anime. This astounding, well-intentioned, well-crafted and powerful series is executive produced by renowned Lucasfilm animation veterans Dave Filoni, Brandon Auman, Athena Yvette Portillo and Justin Ridge with Art Direction by Amy Beth Christensen.

The series centers on Kazuda (Kaz) Xiono (Christopher Sean), a young pilot with big dreams, adventurous and a bit overconfident, who is recruited by Poe Dameron to join the resistance and spy on the forthcoming threat of the First Order. Kaz is the son of a wealthy senator from New Republic and also serves in the New Republic military. The time period for the show is set just months before the events of The Force Awakens, so the First Order hasn't shown their destructive power yet and General Leia Organa's resistance is helping to secure the galaxy.

The lead characters are Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean), Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), Jared Yeager (Scott Lawrence), Hype Fazon (Donald Faison), Jim Rash (Bobby Moynihan) and Torrance Dona (Myrna Velasco).

My favorite character is definitely Kazuda Xiono. He is the new character who has this fierce attitude dealing out some serious damage. Christopher Sean makes a great protagonist. He brings out his character by showing his passion for flying and his confidence in his own skills as a pilot. I absolutely love his determination.

The animation in Star Wars Resistance is extremely beautiful, vibrant, engaging colors and charming. The visuals provide clear and effective impressions. I also fell in love with the music. As a fan, it brings a feeling that draws me in and made me enjoy the first two episodes that I watched. Lucasfilm Animation has excelled in creating a real organic 3D world that looks undoubtedly like the galaxy. It looks so modern and fresh and definitely makes a great impression with its outstanding visual effects.

I give episodes one and two 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this series for ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. The series far delivers what fans have come to expect from Disney in terms of the humor and style of art. You don't want to miss it! You can find this series on the Disney Chanel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD. Streaming airings will also be available on Disney XD. The next how airs October 14, 2018. Look for it!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RACK PACK, THE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-12
Description - A children's storybook author reminisces about his childhood adventures with his brothers and friends. In a time before kids spent hours watching television, on the computer, playing video games and texting, they went to the park to play with their friends. As military brats, these kids lived their own adventures. They lived a different sort of childhood that challenged their imaginations to soar to a different level. Following in their parents footsteps, they pretended to be soldiers as they played army in the woods. Life seemed simpler back then, until danger came to town. In our story, a cynical man comes across a Civil War General's old map that may lead to long lost treasure buried deep in a mining tunnel. The kids come across the man and his team and learn about the treasure. Our heroes come up with a plan to try to find it first. ?Things take a serious turn when the kids are discovered. The thieves up their status and become kidnappers as they take one of the children's fathers hostage. The kids, in full army gear, set out for a rescue mission. As they learn more about each other they form a bond of brotherhood and friendship called ...THE RACK PACK.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Rack Pack is a funny film that pays respect to our military, all while expressing independence for the youth. I appreciate the diversity and persistence of these school-aged children. Yes, some rules are broken, pranks occur and sometimes a skunk just needs to let one rip. But, overall this movie makes your inner child smile. One of the most appealing things is finding out who the pack includes and why they were given this name. I like that there's a bit of rebellious behavior, taking charge of adults and how the humor is all kid-friendly.

The film flows well. I like seeing the diversity in both race and genders, when it comes to forming a team - on both the child and adult side. I was drawn in from the beginning to the end.

There are various characters and scenes that involve bullying. Some of that goes unresolved or are dealt with retaliation. There are moments when kids get revenge on adult thieves, but it is handled in a more imaginary and comedic way.

As a viewer, I wanted to see how the kids would find the villain and recover the treasure. The way the kids handle the situation lines up with what a tween or young teen would do if they were trying to confront a thief.

I found the production value of this film above average for a lower budget film. I watched an online screener which included bonus footage showing bloopers and behind the scenes content on which was enjoyable.

The message of this film is that children can join forces and fight for not only their community, but for being respectful human beings. Children of all types can be their own advocates and fight for what they believe in. I think those are compelling messages to learn.

I love action films. There's something about being covered in dirt and playing outdoors or "members only" zone where you can just let loose and be yourself. There is a specific message about the fight, that not only stems from its military theme, but also from inside the minds of each character. Whether characters are labeled good or bad, they fight for what they value. Self evaluation, action and adventures are a big part of this film. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. I do suggest parental guidance since there are some mild examples of fighting and weapons. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Rack Pack makes fun of its goofy 80s vibe, but ultimately falls a bit flat with its underdeveloped plot. However, the acting and cohesive script provide vibrant energy. This is sure to be a enjoyable watch for anyone looking for that nostalgic 80s goodness.

The story follows the adventures of military nerd brothers Darrell (Nico Ford), Gerald (Hunter Lee Manning), and Loren (Wyatt Walter). Their escapades take a dangerous turn when they come under the contact of a Civil War treasure map. To compete, the cynical duo Ted (C. Thomas Howell) and DJ (Nick Vernon) race to obtain the map and sell it to criminals. However, the boys slip themselves to the thieves leading to their own dad (David Schifter) getting involved and kidnapped. In a race against time, the boys must save both their dad and map all while earning the legendary name The Rack Pack.

Nico Ford, as Darrell, excels with his sharp, yet reckless thinking. His banter with Tammy also add one of the movie's funniest dynamics as she continuously dupes him. Hunter Lee Manning, as Gerald, sells the eldest brother dynamic with his wise mentorship even if he can come across as disloyal. As well as Wyatt Walter, as Loren, who wonderfully presents his cute youngest brother self always following his elders into trouble. David Schfiter, as Mr. Rackley, excels with his fatherly presence as he holds the family together through tough times and is always willing to take risks to save lives. C. Thomas Howell and Nick Vernon, as Ted and DJ, allow for a charismatic villainous presence, with DJ being my favorite character as his comedic timing was perfectly handled. Last but not least, Cece Kelly, as Tammy, accelerates a fun side-plot as her biting remarks never got old.

Thomas J. Churchill talentedly directs the movie with great 80s gags and adventure with the Goonies being a big influence. My favorite scene is when the boys attempt to stop the duo's perilous plans which result in some truly hilarious scenes as they rely on outsmarting than violent means. However, my problems with this movie stem from the plot of the movie in general which feels devoid of any emotional appeal or development. At times, it feels like there is zero plot. Thankfully, the movie's quirky characters are able to hold attention as their wise cracks always bring something new to the table.

The message of the movie to always trust in your team as the Rack Pack always powers through and fights for what is right. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 10 as some scenes can come across as intense. The movie is available on DVD, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 7-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
NIGHT SCHOOL
NIGHT SCHOOL - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mom always said, stay in school. Well, this cast of troublemakers did not. Night School is their effort to obtain their GED and matriculate back into productive society. I am not going to lie, the sophomoric approach to telling this tale did not light me up. I struggled to stay engaged with the themes of the film, as well as all the female stereotypes, racial stereotypes, schmaltzy, slap-stick and crude behavior.

Kevin Hart wrote and stars in Night School. He plays Teddy Walker, a successful sales man who blows up his one success and returns to night school to better his career choices. At times disjointed, I often felt the multiple story lines and activities of the cast do not coalesce into a coherent film or story. Fans of Kevin Hart's comedy shows will likely love the film, as there are a few good belly laughs.

Tiffany Haddish plays Carrie, the night school teacher and the leader of the pack. She plays a tough teacher, who also adds tough love to the mix as she corrals a ragtag group of students. The character contributes to a theme of second chances, which is the best part of this film. If you loved Tiffany Haddish's role in Girls Trip, do not look for the same comedic success here. She plays a more serious role in Night School and I venture she is much stronger in a pure comedic role.

I give this film of 3 out of 5 stars for lack of consistent story and character development. This is the most disjointed film I have watched in a long time.

This film will appeal to ages 13 to 18 as well as some adults. I caution younger viewing due to sexual references, crude language, drug use and reference, adult themes and violent scenes, which are inappropriate for younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Night School is a mostly enjoyable watch with no shortage of humor and heart. The acting and writing perfectly encapsulate the fast-paced comedic delivery. This is sure to be an enjoyable watch for anyone looking for a serviceably hilarious time.

The story follows street-smart, but academically dull-witted Teddy (Kevin Hart) as he fails to pass his GED college admissions test. Even still, he finds success as a grill salesman with a financially successful, yet unaware fianc� Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). However, when disaster arises with the accidental destruction of his workplace, Teddy must search elsewhere to support Lisa and hide his school failure from her as the GED is the only way out. With a determined teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) and a group of misfits by his side, Teddy must test his mental and physical boundaries to power past his setbacks to pass the GED if there is any chance of him supporting himself and Lisa.

Kevin Hart, as Teddy, brings his signature style, as his exaggerated reactions and loud mouth continue to entertain. His character's inspiring attempts to change through hard work and perseverance provide for newfound nuances in his performance. Tiffany Haddish, as Carrie, shines alongside Teddy providing great amounts of sharp banter which truly bring out some of the movie's funniest scenes. Megalyn Echikunwoke, as Lisa, is great in her support of Teddy despite all his misfortunes. Taren Killam, as Stewart, presents a relatable, yet ruthless threat for Teddy as he threatens to damage his relationship with Lisa for the bullying he suffered. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Anne Winters and Al Madrigal round out the all-star cast, as the rest of the night school students, with each providing a uniquely hilarious persona. Romany Malcom shines as my favorite character, with his overdrawn reasoning providing for the movie's best jokes.

Malcolm D. Lee directs the movie with an effective grasp on character and comedic situations as there is never a dull moment. My favorite scene is the heist scene as its parody on heist movies is smartly done and the end gag leaves you breathlessly laughing. However, many of the movie's jokes don't land due to an overreliance on crass bodily humor, which come across as overly done for laughs. At times, much of it comes across as derivative of other school-based comedies, leaving much of the gags feeling unmemorable. Despite this, a good amount of smart deliveries and fun character work help balance it above many comedies that have failed to garner laughs.

The message of the movie to never give up, in spite of any obstacles as with proper rigor, we will succeed and learn the most. Teddy's disabilities and determined attempts to combat that compliment this message with a touching underdog story. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on September 28, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE
HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who wanted to cause the Apocalypse so that he could see what happened afterwards. To do this, he constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it's too late, and before Isaac's wife, Selena, gets to it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gather around and get ready to travel to a land of magic adventure and mystery, where things come to life before your eyes and people and places are different, because they are filled with magic and beauty. In this land we shall meet new people and see fabulous things that have never been seen before, such as talking couches, Griffins and much more. So come with me and you will see all the magical things that lie inside the world of The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is a wonderful warlock. As a mater a fact, he is my favorite warlock throughout the entirety of this film, because he grows during his adventures and becomes a better warlock, friend and family member. As he becomes a better person, we see him learn magic with the help of a few friends and family members. These scenes are just adorable.

Jonathan Barnavelt (Jack Black) and Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) are the two best magic teachers in all the land. After all, they have an entire enchanted house which they use to teach magic and they also know how to be great family members when you stay with them. These two characters have totally different personalities and that is what makes them the perfect couple. Jonathan Barnavelt is very funny and acts just like the person who portrays him, Jack Black. While Florence Zimmerman is very serious and kind, she is a lady and acts like it too. She is the perfect replica of Cate Blanchett who portrays her perfectly.

Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) and Selena Izard (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) are the villains we love to hate. I have to say that their plan for world domination is actually very scary. They make this film perfect for Halloween by adding scary little trick and treats up their sleeves that gets us into the mood for this special holiday that comes once a year.

The best scene in this film is when Lewis Barnavelt taps a water fountain and makes plants come to life as he taps it. I found my eyes lighting up, just like the stars as I watched the plants pass me by in the blink of an eye. Also, I like that it has so many different plants and that the cast interacts with them by juggling them and bouncing them on top of their heads.

I love the graphics because they not only look lifelike, but they act as if they are real, not just computerized graphics. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Griffin, the Couch and the Glass Mural. Each and every one of them has a personality and they act like people, not just old abandoned furniture that you might see in an old house such as the one that Jonathan Barnavelt and Florence Zimmerman live in.

Since this film has some scary aspects such as ventriloquist dolls, live pumpkins with faces, demons, the devil, witches, warlocks and many more, I recommend that your kids know that they are all fake and not real. As long as they know this, then they are okay and will enjoy the movie with no problems. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give this film 5 out of 5 stars.

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

This is an amazing live-action film. It is funny, exciting and a little spooky. I don't usually like scary movies, but this one has just the perfect amount of scary. This film is based on a novel of the same name from 1973 from writer John Bellairs. I haven't seen too many movies with Jack Black in it, but I can tell you Jack Black has usually played funnier roles. This time he plays a more serious character. Cate Blanchett is the perfect addition for this cast. I think the editing is very well done. The sound effects and the film effects are also really good and create an enchanting atmosphere. This story is a classic tale about self discovery in a beautiful magical set up, just like a good old magic trick.

The movie is directed by Eli Roth who is better known as a producer, but has directed a few films with some dark content. This is actually the director's first film not rated R.

The storyline follows a 10-year-old boy, Lewis (Owen Baccaro) who lost his parents and goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in a very old house with a peculiar thinking heart. His uncle is quite mysterious. He is a warlock and his neighbor, Florence is a good witch (Cate Blanchett). A warlock is basically a boy witch and Jonathan is not a very good one, but he is sweet and has the best intentions. Florence's spells do not always come out right, but she is very caring.

Lewis wants a normal life, but he soon discovers some strange forces dormant within the house. His new home is magical, because a long time ago, a man named Isaac (Kyle McLachlan) lived there with his wife Selena (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) and they constructed and hid a powerful clock to bring the world into apocalypse. One day, he was doing a spell that accidentally killed himself and his unfinished purpose was hidden in the house with a clock in its walls. Lewis tries to adapt to his new strange home and school. He tries to make new friends and impress the popular boy in the school. By doing so, he releases Isaac and Selena from the tomb on Halloween night, causing chaos in the old pacific town. Lewis goes through an incredible journey in order to have the life he wants.

The story is very engaging at the beginning, but loses a bit of interest as it progresses. The actors are very good. The cinematography and production design are beautiful and immerse the audience in a fantastic world. The music and sound effects are my favorite technical aspects. To me, they become a character themselves.

I definitely give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended from ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. The message is that things happen and you can't really change them, but magic and great things are always within our hearts. This film opens in theaters September 21, 2018.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OPERATION FINALE
OPERATION FINALE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Director Chris Weitz's historical thriller is based on the story of how a group of Israeli secret agents arrested notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann - the man who masterminded the "Final Solution" - in Argentina. Oscar Isaac plays the legendary Mossad agent Peter Malkin, while Ben Kingsley plays his emotionally manipulative arch-nemesis. After tracking Eichmann down to Buenos Aires, Malkin and his men captured him and brought him to Israel for a historic 8-month trial.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Operation Finale is horrifyingly intense as well as funny at times. The two main characters, Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) are terrifyingly realistic. The suspense feels like it's on real stakes because this film is based on actual events. One criticism I have is that all the secondary characters are easily forgettable.

The story of this film focuses on a group of Israeli agents who are tasked with capturing and bringing back Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi Lieutenant who escaped justice after World War II to Israel. The agents spot him at his house after a spy tells them where he lives. They watch his daily routine until they memorize it and fake their car being broken in, to jump him. They take him back to where they are staying and take turns watching him. One day, the airport calls saying that they have to get a signature from Adolf Eichmann to let them board so they try to convince him to sign. Malkin tries a more friendly approach to make him sign and they get to know each other.

My favorite part in this film is when Malkin and Eichmann are getting to know each other. You get to see Eichmann's side and how he interprets the holocaust. That is very interesting.

There are two big names in this film. Ben Kingsley plays Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac plays Peter Malkin. Ben Kingsley has been in numerous award winning films such as Ghandi, which he won an Oscar for best actor. Oscar Isaac has been in Ex Machina, an Oscar winning film and the Star Wars series.

I recommend this film to anyone who wants to know more about the Holocaust or World War II. You should be aware that the adults in this film smoke and drink. I recommend Operation Finale for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters August 29, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SEARCHING
SEARCHING - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This new drama/thriller grabbed my attention since the beginning, because of its amazing and unique storyline. I felt thrilled to discover what would happen at the end and, whether or not the outcome would be what I expected. I came up with my theory for the conclusion by putting together the clues from the movie, little by little. It is very entertaining, because the film gives the audience an opportunity to be detectives for a moment and try to solve the very unique mystery in the film.

The storyline is about a father, David, that enjoys watching his daughter Margot grow up while posting pictures and videos of her to social media, sharing his happiness with his love ones. As Margot enters her teenage years, she starts to grow apart and seem distant from him. One day, she disappears after telling her father that she went to a study group. David looks on the internet to try to find clues about where she may be. Her friends don't seem to know much and don't help either David or the detective that comes on the case to figure out what happened to her and hopefully find her alive.

My favorite scene is when David starts to get desperate because of Margot's disappearance, leading to him brainstorming ideas about how to find her. This results with him going into Margot's computer to find answers as to whereabouts. This is my favorite scene because it is very meaningful and is the moment he starts to realize, although he doesn't admit it, that he truly does not know his daughter at all. When he opens her laptop, it is as if he is entering unknown territory and we see the distance between him and Margot. He was very close to her, while she was growing up, but as soon as she hit the teenage years, she became a stranger.

The important message in this film is that better communication between family members is encouraged and will improve the dynamics of the family. For example, in the beginning of the movie, the reason for her disappearance is unknown and that leads to the suspense and mystery of the storyline. But, let's say hypothetically that Margot disappeared on purpose, because she was dealing with a problem and, since she had grown apart from her dad, she didn't feel he could help her. If parents, especially those raising their children alone, communicate and interact better, they can help their kids through the tough times. They ease the process of going through conflicts, so that running away is not their only choice. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults and I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters August, 31, 2018 so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JOSH LOVELACE & FRIENDS PRESENT: YOUNG FOLK
JOSH LOVELACE & FRIENDS PRESENT: YOUNG FOLK - STONYCROFT RECORDS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Josh Lovelace, Knoxville, Tennessee native and member of the Grammy Nominated rock band NEEDTOBREATHE, has been making music his entire life. As a young kid, he would sing songs and put on shows for his family and friends, pretending to be the world's next big superstar. Now, 33 with two kids of his own, he is reliving the spirit of those early years with a collection of children's music the whole family can enjoy. This CD features 15 original songs, written from Josh's experiences as a father. Produced and recorded in his East Tennessee home, the record includes guest appearances by Ben Rector, Ellie Holcomb, Spirit Family Reunion and legendary children's recording artists Sharon & Bram. There is something for every member of the family to enjoy!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Josh Lovelace's Young Folk album is sweet candy for the ears and soul. It's like being wrapped in a warm blanket, staring with wonder at the night skies with someone you love. Love is the overriding theme in this wholesome family collection that talks directly to and not down to inquisitive little ones, with just the right touch of zany added to the mix. Lovelace and Friends' vocals are smooth and inviting as a summer day. Fine production and songwriting round out a lovely, gentle listening experience. It is very accessible for children and adults alike - striking just the right balance. The flow of the album is perfect with each song a nice surprise. Lovelace draws from his family observations as he treasures every moment through his art. Love of family and each other permeate the collection along with caring and sharing life experiences. The songs are perfectly constructed with the intended audience in mind and include a few gems for adults. I can't say enough good things about it. I love the vocals and instrument choices. I would hope that the listener would model awareness of the moments and observations of the world around us. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 8. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist.

Josh Lovelace and Friends presents Young Folk is a rock n roll and folk-inspired collection of children's music the whole family can enjoy. This CD features 15 original songs written by Josh Lovelace, produced and recorded in his East Tennessee home. The record includes exciting guest appearances by Ellie Holcomb, Spirit Family Reunion and legendary children's recording artists Sharon & Bram. There are additional vocals by Josh's wife Whitney and his son Henry, age four. His daughter, Margo, lends her toddler talents in the form of baby coos and sound bites. The songs are inspired by Lovelace's personal experiences as a father of two. While some songs will have you rocking out, there are also a few incredibly smooth sleepy-time ballads. The cover artwork on the inner sleeve is a high quality, colorful portrayal of the Lovelace family enjoying music and picnic time. Included are pages of whimsical illustrations alongside the lyrics to each original track. Lovelace dedicates the album as a "love letter to my children" and the beautiful music and heartfelt lyrics prove that's exactly what it is. Reviewed by Eli Byerly, KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Josh Lovelace and Friends Present: Young Folk is an album for the whole family with a nice, mellow atmosphere throughout including a few silly, fun songs. The collection is geared towards children by Josh Lovelace of the band NEEDTOBREATHE, who has been nominated for a Grammy. My favorite song on this album is You're My Very Best Friend because it is very sweet with good usage of backup vocals and it describes friendship quite well. It also tells me this is going to be different from other kids' albums with a much more sophisticated feeling to it.

Where this album really succeeds is in its broad appeal. There are one or two louder, repetitive tracks on the album you might find on your typical children's CD, but there are also more quiet, reflective pieces that parents will also enjoy. This is why I give this CD and age recommendation 4 to 15 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I think I might go back and listen to this one again. I recommend you listen to this album for its fun, yet sophisticated atmosphere.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 34 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WORLD FAMOUS INANIMATES, THE
WORLD FAMOUS INANIMATES, THE - GUILLERMO MACHADO
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-10
Description - A spent sock, puny penny, kicky key, brainy bookmark and soft spoon each have a special story to tell.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like this e-book of different stories and found it refreshing and appropriate for the intended age group. I felt that it would inspire young children to take a more positive outlook on every day, ordinary items such as a sock that lacks a matching sock. The rhyming storytelling is fun and engaging. The colorful illustrations really add a colorful pop and makes these items even more appealing! I recommend this for ages 5 through 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 5-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALPHA
ALPHA - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, ALPHA tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man's best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe's most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This unpredictable film is a roller coaster of emotions. Although some parts are pretty graphic, it makes the whole thing more real and it helps you feel empathy for the characters.

The film starts off with the turning point scene, then goes to the backstory, then goes back to review what happened in the turning point scene in dramatic snippets and finally continues with the rest of the story. The film tells the story of how a man's best friend came to be. In the story, Keda helps an injured wolf who he eventually become friends with and they help each other survive.

The actors all have amazing abilities. They really draw in the audience in an emotional way. Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Keda wonderfully in this film. He cries tears of sadness, longing and joy. Keda also leads us to believe he is cold or sick in different scenarios.

The cinematography in this film is amazing. The different camera scenes are shot most creatively. The cinematography really helps conveying different emotions, depending on how different scenes are shot. All the different biomes and climates look so beautiful.

My favorite scene is the scene where Alpha, the wolf, cuddles up next to Keda one cold night. Usually, whenever Alpha tries to get close to Keda, he pushes Alpha away. Seeing Alpha and Keda finally become close warmed my heart.

The message of this film is to always show kindness. Even though the wolf tried to hurt Keda, he still helped it heal. Later on, Alpha is very helpful to Keda. The wolf, who was once his enemy, becomes his best friend. Another message of this film is to never give up. Many times Keda considers giving up. He feels so hopeless at times and thinks he isn't getting anywhere. Even so, he keeps going no matter how hard it is and it pays off big time in the end.

This film is such a wonderful experience. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. This film will also appeal to nature lovers and dog lovers! Even if you don't fall into one of these categories still check this film out. You might become a nature or a dog lover! It opens August 17, 2018, so go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a beautiful film about survival. I love everything about this live action film. The editing flows nicely and there are many visually stunning scenes. The story is about survival, loyalty and, most importantly, following your instincts.

In this film, a boy named Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is attacked by a buffalo. His father thinks he died, so he leaves him on the cliff where he was attacked. When he finally makes it to the ground, a pack of wolves attack. One of the wolves is very hurt and he decides tries to help him. During the course of movie, they help each other in many different ways. At the end of the film, you discover a beautiful surprise about the wolf.

Please keep in mind that this film takes place in prehistoric times and the dialogue is not in English, but is subtitled in English. I could understand the movie perfectly, even though it isn't in English. Keda becomes a man as the story unfolds. It is a coming-of-age story, wherein the boy and the wolf look out after each other as if they are family. The boy tries to prove to himself and his tribe that he can become a man and can be strong. By bonding with the wolf, he accomplishes the unimaginable.

This type of film is uncommon in contemporary cinema. The editing is very well done and there is a flash back at the beginning that helps you understand the back story. The costumes are tribal, which makes the characters seem more believable and tribe-like. The landscapes are quite extraordinary. In so many ways, this film is truly beautiful. Everything that happens takes place in natural environments.

The message of this film is that we should bond with nature, follow our own instincts and preserve our innate quality of being kind. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the beautiful landscapes and touching story. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. I was very lucky to watch this movie with my dog, because I attended a special screening that allowed dogs, so that experience was truly unforgettable. Alpha opens in theaters August 17, 2018 so, look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Everyone get your time machines set up to go to a land filled with adventure and love because we are going to the Ice Age. On our journey we will find stunning views and magnificent creatures that no longer exist, so get ready for one terrific ride.

The graphics in Alpha are breathtaking. I love that we get to see so many animals and different views because they make this film really stand out from other films. We don't see animals like mammoths, saber tooth tigers and warthogs everyday. This not only adds history, but also a few fun facts for kids to enjoy as they watch this film.

During this era there were hardships that were dealt with by brutal force. However, sometimes one finds a kind, cautious and adorable friend to help you along the way. In this case, Alpha. love the wolf Alpha and his new found owner Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Since there are only two main charters, I might add that I like them both because they are too gosh darn cute together. Also Keda's performance as a caveman is quite believable.

My favorite scene is when Alpha and Keda spend the night together for the first time. I admire this scene because it shows Alpha's love when he listens to Keda. This scene made me miss my dog Dusty because Alpha reminds me of him. Alpha is definitely a film for pet owners, especially those with furry friends. Even if you don't have a pet, you will want one after seeing Alpha. This film is truly about man's best friend and how the bond was made over a short period of time.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. Kids will love the wolf and will learn a few things about being future pet owners. Also they will learn about the Ice Age and the creatures that lived during this time period. Older kids and adults will love the animation and the acting. Please note that children need to be able to read, because this film is subtitled. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Alpha is in theaters now so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MEG, THE
MEG, THE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Five years ago, expert sea diver and Naval Captain Jonas Taylor encountered an unknown danger in the unexplored recesses of the Mariana Trench that forced him to abort his mission and abandon half his crew. Though the tragic incident earned him a dishonorable discharge, what ultimately cost him his career, his marriage and any semblance of honor was his unsupported and incredulous claims of what caused it - an attack on his vessel by a mammoth, 70-foot sea creature, believed to be extinct for more than a million years. But when a submersible lies sunk and disabled at the bottom of the ocean - carrying his ex-wife among the team onboard - he is the one who gets the call. Whether a shot at redemption or a suicide mission, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life and the lives of everyone trapped below on a single question: Could the Carcharodon Megalodon - the largest marine predator that ever existed - still be alive ... and on the hunt?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Meg is a somewhat entertaining homage to old-era shark flicks. A frightful direction and vibrant special effects provide a serviceable summer-end movie. Fans of shark flicks may want to check it out.

The movie follows a Shanghai-based, deep-sea team as they seek to postulate new discoveries among the underwater trenches. However, their discoveries go awry when a previously thought extinct Megalodon attacks their submersibles and threatens to roam the Shanghai seas. With time on the run, team leader Dr. Zhao (Winston Chao) recruits former rescue diver Jonas (Jason Statham). Unbeknownst to everyone, Jonas has previously encountered the same Megalodon and must now confront his fears to save those aboard.

Jason Statham, as Jonas, is always a vibrant presence with his charm and smarm making gold of the cheesy script. He also excels in his underwater stunts, creating some nail-biting thrills. Bingbing Li, as Suyin, proves herself as a smart, yet impatient presence, who wants to prove herself. However, she does fall key to an unnecessary clich� father-daughter subplot, but makes the best of what she is given. Winston Chao, as Dr. Zhang, greatly presents his fears and desperation for Suyin and the mission, in spite of the weak backing for the emotional stakes of the two. Rainn Wilson, as Jacks, heightens his stereotypical rich guy presence with well-timed remarks alike his in The Office. Shuya Sophia Cai, as Meiyang, is my favorite character in her banter with Statham and brave actions power her from just being a 8-year-old damsel in distress. She truly excels in her first, breakout role. Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, and Cliff Curtis complete the rest of the pack, each giving a unique performance, even if the characters can be viewed as expendable at times.

Jon Turteltaub's direction allows for brisk thrills taking inspiration from Jaws, but allowing for his own unique takes on the genre. My favorite scene is the final act, as it goes all in with the illogic of the shark conflicts allowing for a fun conclusion. The other flaws are the inconsistency of the tone and writing of the movie, which goes from serious to knowingly funny at times and the placement of the scenes feels off at times. The movie also suffers by detracting from the shark conflict and focusing on poorly written character situations. In fact, it takes a long amount of occasionally grueling time and development for the Megalodon to even show up.

The movie's message is that being a hero can come with its fair share of compromises. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, because of intense action, gore and some language. The movie releases in theaters on August 10, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Meg is a very exciting film to close out summer. The huge shark is very scary and the images look very real. The chase scenes are intense and the action scenes are really entertaining.

The film begins with Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), a marine explorer having to save an underwater exploration team that is stranded after something broke their sub. He saves all but one crew member. He goes back to the exploration center later and one of the scientist's daughters sees a Megalodon, which is what stranded the other scientists in the Mariana Trench. He realizes that they broke the barrier between the modern world and the world of prehistoric animals. Now, it is up to Jonas Taylor to save millions of people from the Meg.

My favorite part of this film is when the shark heads towards an overcrowded beach in China and we see how much terror a shark can cause. The protagonist Jonas Taylor is played by Jason Statham (Fast and Furious, Spy and Parker). DJ is played by Page Kennedy (Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., Rhett and Link's Buddy System).

This film begs the question: Should you save everyone and risk everything or should you sacrifice a few people for the better good. There are some risky thing kids should not imitate and the main character is portrayed as an alcoholic. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and People that like Jaws or other thrillers. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. This film hits theatres August 10, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018)
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An adult Christopher Robin, who is now focused on his new life, work, and family, suddenly meets his old friend Winnie the Pooh, who returns to his unforgotten childhood past to help him return to the Hundred Acre Wood and help find Pooh's lost friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What day is it? Why it is today, my favorite day. I am a life-long Disney fan. While it is not surprising I loved seeing the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood come to life via CGI transformation, I was surprised to see A.A. Milne's beloved characters in their original book form, not their Disney animation form.

Christopher Robin does not spend a lot of time introducing the viewer to the characters from the idyllic forest where a young British boy spent time creating adventures with his friends - Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo. If one is not a Disney-phile, it may be hard to comprehend why a boy arrives from a tree to have picnics with animals.

That said, the Winnie the Pooh, Disney lover that I am, saw so much love in this film with its themes of friendship, love, family and tenderness. The vintage, live-action look is appealing and kept me intrigued wondering what the "silly old bear" would do next. Winne the Pooh is quite the adventurous wanderer as he goes in search of Christopher Robin who has grown up and works in London. The adventures suspend belief as grown-up Christopher Robin, well played by Ewan McGregor, originally annoyed by Pooh, remembers some of his favorite things, like "doing nothing" and realizing true north is his family and friends, plush or live.

As a grown man who has returned from World War II, married to Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and father of a daughter, Christopher Robin is an efficiency manager for a luggage company or "a fish in the sea" as Winnie the Pooh says. He is a work-a-holic and has a taskmaster as a thankless boss. When told he must work rather than go on holiday to the country with his family, Christopher Robin attempts to take Pooh back to the forest where he and his woodsy friends awaken the lost child from within. They also meet his daughter Madeleine (Bronte Carmichael) and another adventure ensues. Madeline assists Pooh in getting to Christopher Robin when he needs all of them most.

For a franchise, which has historically targeted the very young, the film has melancholy themes. Visually, it is beautiful with its artistic production values and cinematography. The score is also very good. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for the casting, cinematography, life lessons, amazing cult Winnie the Pooh references and music. I recommend it to ages 8 to 18, due to some mature themes. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you're a fan of Winnie the Pooh, it's safe to say you are going to love this movie. But even if you aren't, you might still enjoy it. This film is absolutely adorable and it makes you feel like a kid again.

The story follows a grown up Christopher Robin, with a wife and daughter, as he struggles with his job and runs into Winnie the Pooh. The movie follows him interacting with his old friends, while also remembering what's important.

This movie is straight up gorgeous. The Hundred Acre Wood is so lovely. It definitely looks like a place I would like to hang out and read a great book under a tree. It is just how I imagine Winnie the Pooh's home to be. The special effects on the Pooh characters look great as well. There's something charming about their designs, especially Pooh's. I just wanted to hug all of them and take them home with me.

Speaking of cute, that's a good way to describe this movie. Pooh is absolutely precious and is super charming. Every single one of his lines are just so pleasant. He's very likable and he really made me think about my younger self. I feel like Winnie the Pooh is one of those franchises that you always associate with childlike wonder and this film represents that very well. There's something kind of innocent in this film's tone. There's so many scenes that remind me of what it was like to be a younger child and it made me really happy.

This movie also made me tear up a lot. I had tears in my eyes almost instantly, mainly because of how adorable a lot of the scenes are, but there are also a lot of pretty emotional scenes. We see how innocent Pooh is and how a child doesn't stay a child but grows up to have different ideas about what is important.

The soundtrack is really pretty and atmospheric. The background music really works well with the setting and the instrumental version of the Winnie the Pooh song made me really nostalgic. The voice acting is also really great. Each of the Pooh character's voices fit incredibly well with the actual characters. I can't imagine any other voice than these ones. The Pooh characters are the real stars of this movie. Ewan McGregor is wonderful as the adult Christopher Robins. I felt the acting from Bronte Carmichael, who plays Madeline, Christopher's daughter, to be average.

Be sure you stay till the end for a charming scene. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 as well as adults. It opens August 3, 2018 so go see it with your family. Pooh is 93 years old, so everyone, no matter their age, can enjoy it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I honestly love Winnie the Pooh, because this bear never goes out of style. After all, my grandmother grew up with this bear in the original book that came out in October 14, 1926. Then, my mother and sister grew up with him and his friends -Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore - when the first Winnie the Pooh movie came out March 11, 1977. Now, I am growing up this silly old bear and soon my children will as well, because not only is this bear cute, but he has a kind heart and is a timeless classic.

The cast in Christopher Robin all act and sound exactly as I imagine these charters. Jim Cummings (Pooh, Tigger) brings such a beloved bear to life. He really sounds like Pooh and I found myself wanting to grab him right off the screen and make him my own. As you can tell, I am a Winnie the Pooh fan and this he is one of my all time favorite characters, because of his kind and courageous heart and the way he enjoys life, which is in little things like honey and balloons. That is a characteristic we should all have. Also his voice of Tigger makes this character fun to watch and his version of the Tigger song is one I truly love.

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is a very complex character and different from the rest. You see, he is Christopher Robin as a grown up and his viewpoint of the world has changed along with is characteristics. He has given up his childhood dreams and has moved onto things like bills and jobs. This grown Christopher Robin is portrayed perfectly by Ewan McGregor and I greatly enjoyed his performance. Also he is great at interacting with the other characters because, as we know, they are mainly animated. Therefore, he is staring at nothing while talking to his beloved Pooh bear.

Hayley Atwell (Evelyn Robin) plays a magnificent mother and she shows many sides to Evelyn, which I liked. Bronte Carmichael (Madeline Robin) is just too cute. She might be one of my favorite childhood characters named Darby from My Friends Tigger and Pooh. I really hope they make a sequel about her and her new found friends. Brad Garrett (Eeyore) is hilarious. I couldn't help but laugh at his performance, because he was not only funny to me because he brought this carter to life in a new found way but because he reminds me of my sister Chantel in how he acts. One top of that, when I was 6 years old Brad Garrett gave me the most adorable hamster who I named Hamie. That hamster was an amazing hamster and so very adorable.

My favorite scene in Christopher Robin is when Madeline Robin joins Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore on their great adventure to help Christopher get his important papers. What makes this scene funny is that while they are trying to help Christopher, they cause a lot of mischievous and the whole town goes into panic. Also I like all the bouncing, playing naptime and going to a getaway car along the way, which makes their journey very fun and entertaining to watch.

The animation is very life-like and, at times while watching the film, I felt as if I was really holding my very own Pooh bear. It took me a while to get used to the stuffed animals' new looks because they look a bit ragged, but after a bit, I didn't notice it anymore. I found out it was due to aging. I felt that the movie gets better and better as it develops.

During the film, I noticed that they kept some of the Whinny the Pooh language, so seems closer to the book. This is something I really enjoyed, because I love the fun words used in the books and I think the writer A. A. Milne would smile down upon for sure.

I recommend this film for ages 3 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - So far, this summer's action and adventure films have been very boring. However, Mission: Impossible - Fallout is far from boring. It's full of adrenaline-pumping action! I believe that this is the best summer action / adventure film of the year and the best Mission Impossible film to date.

In this film, we see Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he receives a mission he chooses to accept, but fails to complete, because of an ambush. As a result, Ethan and his IMF team must work together with the CIA and other familiar allies to stop Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), John Lark (Henry) and his group, known as the Apostles, from trying to execute a nuclear threat to the world.

What I really enjoyed about this film are the sound designs, stunts, plot, cast and all the mind-blowing illusions IMF uses to trick the bad guys. I must say, the sound design is fantastic. The audio for explosions and gunshots sound authentic. It sounds so real that I felt as if I was in the scene. The stunts are intense because, if you don't already know, Tom Cruise does all of his stunts. When he performs them, it is hard to watch since he jumps off of many things such as planes and buildings. I felt so nervous that these stunts are real. The stunts are so nerve racking because most of the movie isn't made with CGI's, so most of the stunts are done exactly how the movie shows it. The story is very interesting. I like that you really don't need to see the other films to understand what goes on in this one.

The cast overall is superb. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are excellent as the IMF, since every delivery is spot on. I like that Benji is the most nervous character and you feel what he feels when a dangerous event happens. Also I enjoyed the performance of Sean Harris, who really brings in the mystery of this character, since he doesn't speak a lot until the end of the film. Rebecca Ferguson, as Ilsa Faust, makes a great curious assassin, since she always goes the opposite way of the IMF and always finds something different and important, which helps the IMF. Also, Angela Bassett and Alec Baldwin's performances as Erica and Alan are fantastic. I like how their relationship is shown as contradictors, because they both argue their own points. It is a shame we don't get to see more of this in the film. Henry Cavill, as August Walker, is also fantastic. I like how Ethan and August have different ideas about what they should do in the missions and they both try to incorporate their ideas, but those ideas come at a cost.

I really like how each scene feels more intense than the last scene. At one point, I thought that the movie was going to end a certain way and I was so nervous about what was going to happen that I almost fell out of my seat. Finally, what I extremely like about this movie is the tricks the IMF use to trick the bad guys. In certain scenes I was surprised that it was an illusion. My favorite illusion is the masked one where Benji wears a mask that allows him to look like anyone.

This movie had a lot of great things going for it. The only thing I did not like about it is that it shows way too much in its trailer. However, it is fantastic. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to people who like action / adventure and thriller movies. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. Make sure to see Mission: Impossible - Fallout when it opens July 27, 2018.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Mission: Impossible - Fallout is one of the most action-packed films of the year, and perhaps of the entire Mission: Impossible franchise. The legendary Tom Cruise never fails in making cutting edge films and surely he has not let his fans down in this one.

This film is a continuation of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The story follows the agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he embarks on another dangerous mission with his fellow teammates, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickle (Ving Rhames) to stop a catastrophic event from taking place.

I have been a very big fan of the Mission Impossible films for many years. I have watched them all and enjoy them very much. That being said, this film feels very different from the others. This storyline is very intricate and complex so, if you miss a piece of dialogue, it's very easy to get lost. It has always been easy to grasp what's happening in the other films in the franchise, but this one is quite overwhelming. There are a couple of new characters introduced including the spy August Walker (Henry Cavill) and they bring back characters from past films. If someone missed the last film, it will be almost impossible to keep up with the story line. I highly recommend watching the previous film, just to jog your memory.

One thing that makes this film different from past ones is the deep emotional connection Ethan Hunt faces in this film. It really goes deep into Ethan Hunt's mind and shares his greatest fears with the viewer. I enjoy that this film gets more personal and cuts deeper into who Ethan Hunt really is as an individual and not just as an agent.

The action scenes are absolutely insane. There are car chases, motorcycle races, jumping off roofs, mountain climbing and way too many more for me to begin to describe. It's a very big clich�, but I was actually on the edge of my seat throughout the entire film. The fighting scenes are very climactic and interesting. The scene I looked forward to watching most is the scene where Tom Cruise actually injured himself performing a stunt. Yes, he broke his ankle performing a stunt! And, the best part is, they kept that scene in the film. Tom Cruise has shown time and time again how he is devoted to this franchise. He is an extremely talented actor and makes the films jaw dropping. He brings much needed humor and intensity to this film.

This film is one to definitely go see. It is entertaining with its captivating fight sequences, goes deeper into Ethan Hunt's psyche, and still keeps the story light and fun to watch. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. You should know that there is lots of rough fighting and bloody shots that are inappropriate for younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters July 27, 2018 so put it on your watch list.

By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout definitely lives up to the hype and is an all around enjoyable film. There are some parts where Tom Cruise does a stunt, but could have done something simpler to achieve his goal. For example, he knocks a car into a river, but he could have extracted the hostage just by pulling him out.

The storyline follows Ethan Hunt saving the world from a nuclear apocalypse. He goes to deal with a terrorist to get plutonium cores, to stop other terrorists from making nuclear bombs. He fails at this, because one of the terrorists finds out he's there and puts a gun to his friend's head. Ethan decides to save his friend and hence leaves the plutonium cores unprotected. Ethan's mission changes course. He must now earn the trust of a gang boss in order to get the cores.

My favorite part of this movie is when Ethan tries to get a detonator from the bad guy and has to hang onto the helicopter of his enemy. He does all sorts of crazy stunts to get inside the helicopter and ram it into the other helicopter where the bad guy is. Another really good part is in Paris, where they have a huge car chase while trying to outrun the gang members. Ethan has to make a decision whether to save a cop or kill all the gang members.

There are a lot of huge names in this film including the star, Tom Cruise, (Risky Business, Edge of Tomorrow Mission Impossible). Co-stars include comedian Simon Pegg (Ready Player One, Mission Impossible, Star Trek), Alec Baldwin (Boss Baby, Mission Impossible, Saturday Night Live), Henry Cavill (Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel), Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson. Obviously, many of these actors are Mission Impossible veterans, along with Cruise.

The message of this film is that you should always save your loved ones no matter what. There is a bit of bad language in this film, including one f-bomb. Most importantly, in case you haven't read about this, all of Cruise's stunts are astonishingly real, so tell your kids not to try these at home. I recommend this movie to those that enjoy Marvel comics and films, because the style is typical combining comedy with action. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. This film is in theaters now, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FROGSPAWN CODE, THE
FROGSPAWN CODE, THE - 0
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Description - Milton Riggles, age 14, nerd, loser, president of the Frog Club becomes involved in a life and death situation when his science teacher and mentor disappears and weird sightings of humanoid frogs jumping around the neighborhood. Milton and his side-kick Jenny begin to focus on the Frogspawn Laboratory Industry. When our undaunted duo begin their investigation they encounter the evil Doctor Prince, head of Research and Experimentation at the Frogspawn Corporation headquarters. A villain ready to cash in on gene splicing with a miracle drug that can change the course of human evolution and the coming of global warming. Now Milton and Jenny are in a nail-biting situation to stop the sinister Doctor Prince from turning the world into evil huphibians. Sometimes evolution makes a giant leap, sometimes it just takes a hop.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A definite yes. This is an interesting and engaging story and the characters are a very strong part of the screenplay. There are a couple of subtle messages for teens about not judging others too quickly and getting to know them, but most of its value is entertainment. The story flows well and there is conflict and resolution with a good ending. It is a bit predictable, but I think it would be well received by teenagers. (mine enjoyed the story) Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Ranked 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Narrated by Academy Award� winner Jeff Bridges, DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World is a first film of its kind for IMAX� and giant screen theaters that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world's tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, and extraordinary visuals for the world's largest screens, DREAM BIG reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. DREAM BIG is a MacGillivray Freeman film produced in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by Bechtel Corporation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary is extremely educational and filled with a lot of information about engineering. I enjoyed the narration by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and found the different scenes quite amazing! The scenery is my favorite thing about this film. I also enjoyed the background music and the inspirational stories by all the different engineers. Overall, this is enlightening, inspirational and quite interesting. I like how it shows that engineering really makes a difference in our lives. My grandfather, who was an engineer, would have loved this film. That being said, I think kids may get a bit bored after a while, unless engineering is something that really interests them and they want to learn more about it. I wanted to love it, but have to admit, even I was a bit bored about half way through, because there is a lot of information. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and anyone who is interested in learning more about engineering and all its wonders. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is really informational and the camera shots are amazing. The only drawback is that it gets a bit boring after a while. There is so much information that isn't all that interesting. This documentary would really appeal to those interested in architecture and engineering.

The film reveals stories about different engineers who all want to make the world a better place. They create buildings that won't collapse in earthquakes and build bridges across rivers so people can get to school. It shows that engineering is an occupation that can really impact the world and make it a safer place.

Jeff Bridges, as narrator of the film, has the sort of deep voice that suits the documentary. Some of the information seems a bit random and doesn't enhance the story. The best parts for me are when they tell the back stories of peoples' lives and how difficult they are. After the engineers help them, I love seeing them so happy and having easier lives. Those are things that inspire people to want to become engineers.

I have to say, the camera shots and angles are truly amazing. They capture massive cities and buildings beautifully. There is obviously lots of effort that went into editing this film and adding suitable background music. These all really help the viewer picture engineering as an art, that is very helpful. They show majestic buildings that glow at night, roller coasters that give so much happiness and thrills, and bridges that help you access high areas and look down at the scenery or up at the beautiful stars.

My favorite scene is definitely the story about the engineers building a bridge across a river so kids could get to their school. Before the bridge, they literally risked their lives getting to school. Many people have drowned in the river, but they crossed it everyday in order to get an education. After the bridge is built everyone, including the children, is extremely excited and relieved. They are dancing, playing music and getting to school without risking their lives or getting wet. The bridge changed their lives.

The moral of this film is that engineering is a profession that helps people. This film shows that engineering is interesting and rewarding. However, I did find parts of it a bit boring, with the exhaustive information. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 11 to 18, as well as adults. If you are interested in engineering, you will definitely enjoy this documentary. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PECK - A LONELY, LITTLE LOVEBIRD DOWN UNDER
PECK - A LONELY, LITTLE LOVEBIRD DOWN UNDER - REMI NICOLE
Series: BOOK, AGES 2-5
Description - A little lovebird named Peck lives happily in Australia with his animal friends until he starts to feel like he is the only one without someone to share his life with. Peck decides he must travel to a faraway land to find what he seeks, but he learns through his many adventures that there is so much fun in the journey along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a simple story with likable characters and engaging illustrations. Peck is a likable character and the illustrations are quite lovely. It's a simple story and appropriate for younger children who will enjoy Peck and the images. It has a nice message about meeting new people. But, the ending is bit surprising since you may think that Peck will find someone to really become his friend. The ending is not a strong which is slightly disappointing. The beginning and middle flow really well. It does make sense and is suitable for the target audience. There is nothing inappropriate or out of place. Peck feels lonely and got on a search to find someone to love. Most of the characters he meets are pleasant, except for a jealous Bee. Young children could be asked what does Peck learn by going out on his own? The illustrations fit the story and are quite eye-catching. There is a message that the main character realizes he won't be lonely because there are new creatures to meet. There is also a subtle message that you don't have to find someone just like you to not be lonely. I'm not sure if it will motivate kids of the target age to further action or inquiry. However, I think they will get the subtle message. It certainly meets and exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging. I recommend this for ages 3 through 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 2.99 Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SKYSCRAPER
SKYSCRAPER - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building...above the fire line.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This science fiction film grabbed my attention from the beginning, because of its very interesting plot and fascinating storyline. It made me feel driven to discover what would happen at the end. From the beginning of the film, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen, because it has a combination of topics that I love seeing in movies - action and suspense! These drew me in. I wanted to finally find out what the outcome of the movie would be. I also liked it because I admire Dwayne Johnson's exceptional work as an actor. He is very expressive with his actions and makes the audience empathize with what he is going through. Because of that, I always follow the movies he works in.

Skyscraper is about a past FBI leader and war veteran called Will Ford who is now managing security programs for skyscrapers. He's been sent on a once-in-a-lifetime work opportunity to establish security measures for the tallest and safest building in the world, located in China. Suddenly, the skyscraper turns into flames and the security measures fail. He is the primary suspect since he is the only one authorized to control the security. As the story progresses, Will must find those responsible for the destruction in order to clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building, above the fire line.

My favorite scene in this film is when Will runs away from the authorities, climbs up the construction equipment, moves it so that it will point at a floor close to the fire line, and jumps towards a broken window. I love this scene because it shows what a man is capable of doing for his family's welfare. He risks his life in order to save them from the fire that is threatening their lives. Aside from that, I was astonished at all the special effects used to create this action sequence. The post production of this scene is flawless. It all seems as if it really happens. You don't notice the editing at all.

The main message of this film is that family comes before anything else. Some people are driven to do the impossible because of the love they feel towards their family. In this film, Will's devotion to his wife and kids is very impressive and is admirable. It sends a very family oriented message and teaches a valuable lesson that can be applied to anyone's life. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 and up. The film is available now in theaters so, check it out.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Skyscraper is an entertaining, yet derivative homage to the 80s action era. A towering pace and consistent acting provide for a memorable summer detour. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any action movie fans.

The movie follows former hostage negotiator Will (Dwayne Johnson), who now accesses building security after a tragic misfire left him as an amputee. While analyzing the world's tallest and safest building, terrorists led by Kores (Roland M�ller) mysteriously access building schematics to take control. However, things reach an all time low for Will once Kores takes Will's family hostage and frames him for the infiltration. With everything left to lose, Will must push past his setbacks in order to sort out this mess and save his family.

Dwayne Johnson, as Will, is my favorite character due to his ever-present charisma and even relate-ability with his physical struggles. His love and determination for his family also make the movie all the more intense. Neve Campbell, as Sarah, is just as believable with her determination to the family and has more nuances than just resorting to a damsel in distress. Chin Han, as Zhao, brings a mysterious layer to his involvement with the skyscraper as his business is not what it seems. Roland M�ller, as Kores, gives Dwayne Johnson a run for his money in terms of strength and is a formidable yet clich�d threat for him. However, his vibrant expressions are enough to lighten his clich�d dialogue. Noah Cottrell and McKenna Roberts, as Henry and Georgia, complete the pack as the cute twins of Will and Sarah, whose combined braveness helps forward the family dynamic. However, Henry's asthma seems a little too situational at times.

Rawson Marshall Thurber's direction brings out a brisk pace with fresh new takes at fisticuffs and shootouts alike many 80s action movies. However, a few of the scenes lack in originality, feeling like a borderline copy of other action films. My favorite scene is the opening hostage negotiation, as it sets a thrilling and unexpected array of events, even if it is not set in the main skyscraper centerpiece. The other flaw is that it could have used more nuances in the scenarios as opposed to having such a predictable plot with unsurprising twists. At times, it feels more like a parody than a movie, with unintentionally funny scenes. However, the fact that it never takes itself too seriously adds to its quality and creates pure escapism.

The movie's message is to never judge a man by his impediments, as pure willpower can defy many obstacles. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters July 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUCHOKIDS: GALAXIA AND HER QUEST TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE
MUCHOKIDS: GALAXIA AND HER QUEST TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE - MUCHOKIDS
Series: BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Thee Book of Azbel, whispered in fable across the universe as the key to all knowledge and magic. The Book was kept safe by Galaxia on Amethyst, a world of beautiful, rare minerals and kind people. But one fateful night, Alekko, a mysterious boy and force of destruction beyond compare came looking for it and left Galaxia's planet in pieces. Now, with Alekko hot on her trail, Galaxia must assemble a team to help protect The Book and save the universe. Let the adventures begin!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story is wonderfully engaging. I love the descriptions. It left me wanting to read more about Galaxia and Kazar and hear more about the Muchokids that Galaxia was starting to form. The story is only the beginning, so I do not know how it will all end and whether Galaxia will save planet Earth. The two main characters are excellent role models. It has a great story line about space. Children will find it entertaining and will want to know if Earth will be saved by the Muchokids in future chapters. The story flows well and makes sense. I was a bit uncertain about Galaxia being on her own, but other than that it makes sense and has a great plot. The vocabulary and the subject matter are suitable for the target age and there is no violence or bad language.�The storyline demonstrates a keen It friendship and trust between Kazar and Galaxia. I like when Kazar could have stolen The Book from Galaxia, but decides not to do so because he realizes the consequences and makes the best choice.�I like all the characters, but especially Galaxia. It has great illustrations which add a lot to the book. I would have loved to see even more. Perhaps in subsequent volumes, the author will consider that. Ultimately, this has excellent entertainment value as well as pro-social messages about trust and friendship. I am not sure it will motivate children to further action, but I do feel very strongly that they will want to read more about Galaxia and Kazar and the Muchokids. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 thru 12. Personally, I would like to see more about the Muchokids.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.99 Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAMP ANDYLAND
CAMP ANDYLAND - ANDYLAND MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - Strikingly crafted pop songs for kids, with stick-in-your-head lyrics and catchy melodies - plus a memorable cast of characters that bring kids into Andy's world, taking them on a musical adventure. The camp every kid will want to go to.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lets go to Camp Andyland or camp in general or stay at home and listen to the CD! This CD is well produced and entertaining. If your busy schedule does not allow you to take your valuable time and refresh and renew at a Camp near you, then sit back, relax and listen to the infectiously fun Camp Andyland - a world inhabited by zany dinosaurs, not-so-scary pirates and a host of other silly sausages! The songs are engaging, delightful adventures that will tickle your ear lobes - and we all need that - so make a date to have some fun and sing-a-long with your new found friends at Camp Andyland! The character voices are quite engaging as are the different musical styles and fun kid-friendly topics. I predict lots of fun and participation from young audiences as they experience the quirky adventures and music. This exemplifies good songwriting skills, terrific use of tempo and instrumentation and very experienced kid-friendly content. Explore and learn about the many wondrous things in this big wide world! Andy respectfully connects to the kids, because he still retains the joys of the child within. He has a handle on what kids like and respond to and doesn't talk down them, but leans in to their level. This is a professional recording all around. Andy does most of the heavy lifting on vocals, instruments and character voices and the recording quality is well done. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by John W., KIDS FIRST! Adult Music Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for camp? Sit back, relax and listen to the upbeat, feel-good music to cheer you up! Let's take a trip with Camp Andy, the camp every kid will want to go, with true joy from beginning to end. I perfectly love tuning in, singing and grooving to the songs. This collection of appealing, remarkable fun, lovely adventures is produced, arranged and engineered by Andy Z.

This CD is filled with strikingly crafted pop songs for kids, stick-in-your-head lyrics and catchy melodies - plus, a memorable cast of characters that bring kids into Andy Z's world. This infectious collection of songs contains many from the popular AndyLand series such as "Welcome to AndyLand," "Return to AndyLand" and "Summer in AndyLand."

This collection includes 16 songs, each with a catchy melody and memorable lyrics. I must say, it's an astonishing set of songs. Each song puts you into the camp vibe. Plus, the memorable cast of characters brings kids into Andy Z's world. You can see Andy's creativity and imagination in each song. This whole CD definitely kept me engaged from the beginning to the end.

My favorite song is definitely "I Went to a Party with Dinosaurs," because the lyric are outstandingly funny. This song certainly gave me a laugh-out-loud moment. The rhymes have a way of making you giggle. For example, here's one of my favorites lyrics: "I went on over to say 'hello' and he almost bit off my nose." That rhyme shows why it made me laugh like crazy. The song brings has a professional vibe with its high pitch instruments and great vocals.

Who is Andy Z? Andy is the creator of Camp AndyLand and all its humorous songs. He is an multiple award-winning children's performer, singer, songwriter and educator who combines music, movement, storytelling and character puppets to create a experience that capture children's attention.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this musical collection and kids will enjoy the funny, kid-friendly, exciting, intriguing set of songs. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This CD is now available online and at discriminating music stores.

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 34 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. The rest of Drac's Pack cannot resist going along. But once they leave port, romance arises when Dracula meets the mysterious ship Captain, Ericka. Now it's Mavis' turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his "too good to be true" love interest is actually a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, ancient nemesis to Dracula and all other monsters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This comedy film had me laughing the entire time with all the ways the creatures are portrayed and how the director, Genndy Tartakovsky, manages to bring them to life through the exceptional animations. I love how all the actors resonate with their creature, making it sound natural and fitting. I was excited waiting for this movie to come out since it is the third film in the Hotel Transylvania series. I have seen the previous films and, when I found out there was going to be a sequel, I practically counted the days to the premiere.

The story follows the monster family embarking a vacation on a monster cruise ship. They mostly go so that Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else vacations at his hotel. The whole pack starts to have fun by getting involved in all of the activities the cruise has to offer such as monster volleyball, excursions and tanning. But, the amazing vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes her father likes Ericka, the captain of the ship, who she suspects to be hiding something from Drac and his family.

My favorite scene is when Ericka, the captain of the ship, welcomes all the guests and informs everyone that the first time that a monster cruise has been created. Because monsters are not allowed to live and socialize with people that are not monsters, they have had the opportunity to take a cruise before. I like this scene because, in it the variety of creatures are shown and I was amazed at the creative animations that the creators designed and brought to life.

The important message of this film is that letting go of old grudges and being open to changes in your life are very important. This film is a reminder that one has to honor the past, but be willing to allow new aspects to take place in your life. For example, since his mother's death, Drac has never fallen for anyone else. But when the family arrives for the cruise, the head of the pack starts having feelings for someone else, making it weird for the rest of the family. As time progresses, Mavis, her daughter and the rest of the family accept the fact that they have to let go of the past and be open to new changes in their lives. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and I rate this 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters July 13, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is an entertaining animated film filled with unique creativity. Wonderful voice acting and a distinctive animation style separate this from the majority of animated films. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for all families.

The movie follows Dracula (Adam Sandler) as his boring hotel business and lack of love continue to bring him down. Wanting to bring back his joy, daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises Dracula and the rest of his best friend-monster pack with an adventurous monster cruise. Initially angered by this, Dracula slowly begins enjoying himself and even finds a new crush in the mysterious yet charming cruise captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). However, things take a left turn when former nemesis Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) hunts the cruise, threatening the lives of all monsters aboard.

Adam Sandler, as Dracula, is my favorite character as his transformation to being his old adventurous self is well-presented. His love for his daughter and kind acceptance of humans also provide for a nice central message. Selena Gomez, as Mavis, continues to shine by providing an equally strong father-daughter bond with Dracula. Kevin James, as Frankenstein, greatly presents a dumbfound friend to Dracula whose deteriorating body assures for some inventive comedy. Steve Buscemi, as Wayne/Wolfman, regales with his signature voice highlighting the character's parenting struggles with his many cubs. David Spade, as Griffin/Invisible Man, equally entertains despite not having a corporeal form. Last but not least, Keegan Michael-Kay, as Murray/ Mummy, completes the pack with his unique, child-like nature. Kathryn Hahn, as Ericka, adeptly portrays her mysterious past and interesting attraction for Dracula. Jim Gaffigan, as Abraham Van Helsing, exhibits a new take on the legend monster hunter.

Genddy Tartakovsky brings out his zany and fast-paced direction in new ways. In spite of that, this is nowhere as memorable and groundbreaking as his other works, such as Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. My favorite scene is the opening one which quickly introduces us to the Dracula-Van Helsing rivalry and sets the stage for a grand adventure. The biggest flaw in the movie is that some of the humor comes across as farcical and this could dissuade adults from watching. Also, the plot is rather one-note and forgettable, especially when compared to the standard of Tartakovsky's other work.

The movie's message is to never discriminate against a person based on their looks and instead, appreciate them for who they are. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on July 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This phenomenal, action-packed film kept my eyes glued to the screen for the full two hours. 2018 is the summer of Marvel. The writers had very big shoes to fill, following on the heels of the blockbuster Avengers movie. My expectations were greatly exceeded, with a combination of comedy, action and some heartfelt moments.

With the help of the Wasp, Ant-Man must come to the rescue, in order to bring back Dr. Hank Pym's wife, who vanished years before, by saving the world from a nuclear missile. Before Pym's wife can be rescued, our hero has to find the technology the team needs to extract her from the subatomic particle abyss. Along the way, Ant-Man finds himself transforming into various sizes, from the size of a microscopic dot, to a massive skyscraper. The race is on to capture Pym's lab, with the law always one step behind.

The major characters from the first film return for the sequel. Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man/Scott Lang, is teamed up once again with him love interest, Hope Van Dyne/the Wasp, brilliantly played by Evangeline Lilly. As an individual, Paul Rudd's character is at best, ordinary. But, with his suit and sharp wit, he becomes a formidable superhero. Hope's no-nonsense personality traits come directly from her father, Dr. Pym, played by Michael Douglas. The coldness in both characters will leave you warm by the end of the movie. Luis, Ant-Man's sidekick, played by Michael Pe�a, offers up lots of comic relief, with a personality that everyone would want for their best friend. With more than one show-stealing scene, Luis balances out the comedic moments in the film.

The special effects are just what you would expect them to be, for a Marvel extravaganza. Disappearing cars, shrinking buildings and giant ants entertain the audience, while the action swirls around Ant-Man's crew. The IMAX 3-D animation is breathtaking, because you feel as if you're right in the middle of the movie. The giant ants are a seamless fit.

My favorite part of the movie is when the criminals interrogate Luis, to try and find Ant-Man. There is an interaction between a number of people, that had me laughing, even after the movie concluded. Speaking of which, do not, under any circumstances, leave the theater, until all of the credits have rolled. Enough said.

The sanctity of the father-daughter relationship permeates the film. It starts with Lang and his daughter, playing in a man-made fort, which takes up most of the house. It continues with the relationship between Dr. Pym and his daughter, Hope, after the loss of her mother. Love your parents to the ends of the earth, because you never know when they will be gone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, but I wish I had more stars to give. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, and adults will certainly enjoy it too. There are a few scenes with violence, so it is not suitable for young children. Also, the ants can be scary, so if you don't like ants, make sure to bring some bug spray.

Check it out in theaters nationwide on July 6, 2018. The sequel is just as good as the original.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I laughed so much when watching this film! It has an amazing storyline as well as great humor. There also is wonderful CGI and acting. There are a lot of characters in this film, but I never became confused or overwhelmed.

Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place around the same time that the film Avengers: Infinity War (another film in the MCU series) takes place. It shows what Ant-Man is up to while the rest of the avengers are fighting a war. There are a lot of hilarious jokes that I enjoyed, but younger children might not understand. There also is a little bit of bad language in this film.

Paul Rudd, who plays the main role of Ant-Man / Scott Lang, is such an incredible actor. In some of the uncomfortable scenes, he really gets into his character and is unfazed by some of the weird stuff he does. He is also a hilarious character and brings comedy to this action filled film which makes it even more enjoyable. Hannah John Kamen, who plays the role of Ghost (a new character who was affected by the Quantum Realm and now has powers), is also a very good actress. Just through her face she expresses so much desperation and sadness. Even though the things that she does are violent and unnecessary, you can't help but have empathy for her.

The CGI in the Quantum Realm is out of this world. Even though I have never seen anything like it before, all of the movement and colors make it seem real. It is truly incredible that they are able to make a world that we have never seen before look as if it is real and not like some imaginary magical world.

My favorite part of the film would be a spoiler. So instead I'll talk about my favorite character, Jimmy Woo, the detective. He is my favorite character because, first of all, he is extremely hilarious when working or talking with Scott. Second, he is such a determined and hardworking character. He really wants to do his job right. Even though he isn't perfect, I still give him credit for working so hard.

There are multiple morals in this film. The ones that stand out to me are about family and helping others. Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), the daughter of the Wasp who gets stuck in the Quantum Realm, misses her mom so much and does everything she can to rescue her. But the Ghost also needs the Wasp to save herself which would be fatal to the Wasp. I don't want to give too much away, but they both need the same thing and they have to find a way to make it work. Whether that is through just fighting it out or other means.

As you can probably tell, I was intrigued the whole time watching this film and I really enjoyed it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults too will enjoy this film. You should definitely check it out to see what happens! It comes out in theaters July 6, 2018.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Four years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down, Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on the island is active and is threatening to extinguish all life there. Along the way, Owen sets out to find Blue, his lead raptor, and discovers a conspiracy that could disrupt the natural order of the entire planet. Life has found a way, again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I've never really been a huge fan of the Jurassic Park franchise. I felt it went on for way too long and it needed to end. But, I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. It is genuinely entertaining and, I think it's a good way to conclude the franchise, even though I know it probably won't be the end.

The story takes place three years after the events of Jurassic World. When the island the dinosaurs inhabit is about to be destroyed by a volcano, Claire and Owen go to rescue the remaining dinosaurs.

So first I want to talk about visuals. It's not really a surprise that the visuals are really good. The dinosaurs look great. Combine that with great sound and the fact that, you can essentially feel the scale and weight of the dinosaurs. It feels as if they are actually there. Along with some really cool shots of the island and the Lockwood Mansion, the presentation of this movie is fantastic. The shot that was used in the trailers of Owen running from the volcano with the dinosaurs and being encompassed by ash, looked really compelling to me. It is one of my favorite shots in the movie and the presentation helps a lot. But, there is one particular scene that they hold on a brontosaurus that really tugs at your heartstrings. It probably wouldn't have been as good if it wasn't for the way the shot was directed. (J. A. Bayona)

The actors in this movie are also really good. Chris Pratt as Owen stands out to me, but that's mostly because I really like Chris Pratt. But, Chris Pratt is still very good. He has great comedic timing and he is really funny in general. However, he's the second best actor. Hands down, the best actor in the whole movie is Isabella Sermon as Maisie, the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood. This girl is absolutely amazing in this film. Talented child actors are hard to come by and wow, this girl is really fantastic. Her scenes are very compelling and she clearly is very invested in her role. I really felt for her, especially during the emotionally terrifying scenes. This is Isabella Sermon's first role and she is great. I genuinely look forward to what she has next in store. She has a bright future ahead.

Now, I mentioned earlier that I felt this movie would be a good conclusion to the franchise. The Jurassic Park franchise has been around since the 90s and the series is still going. I feel like it's been going for too long and I hope it doesn't continue for much longer. I know the series is very popular, but a lot of franchises have worsened from going on for a long time just because of their popularity.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It comes out June 22, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a serviceably entertaining addition to the series, even if genuinely compelling thrills are a bit in short supply. Regardless, the enthralling direction and special effects provide for an outstanding visual experience. This is sure to be an essential watch for any sci-fi fan.

The movie follows the chaotic closing of the unethical, yet technologically advanced Jurassic World as park-created dinosaurs are forced to seclude themselves at Isla Nubar. When a dormant volcano threatens to extinguish the lives of those dinosaurs, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) join a rescue operation in the midst of a controversial debate over leaving the animals to die. However, the rescue team has alternate intentions to enslave and auction the animals, resulting in Owen and Claire urgently trying to free the dinosaurs before the rest of the rescue team gets to them.

Chris Pratt, as Owen, is my favorite character, with his never-ending charm that allows for well-timed banter with Claire. He is also great with his dramatic range, especially in his estranged relationship with raptor Blue. Bryce Dallas Howard, as Claire, equally entertains in her scenes with Owen, as well with leading her dinosaur protection group that eventually joins the rescue operation. Justice Smith, as Franklin, regales with his intelligently fast-talking nature and his phobia for all things nature related never get old. Daniella Pineda, as Zia, excellently presents her caring and rebellious stance to the dino-debate as she risks her life for the goodness in humanity. Isabella Sermon, as Maisie, breaks the norm of predictable child actors with a charismatic and emotional performance that gives even older actors a run for their money. Rafe Spall, as Eli, serviceably depicts his history with Claire while holding a mysterious motive. Last but not least, Jeff Goldblum's short but sweet cameo, as Dr. Ian Malcolm, adds further nuance to the dino-debate.

Director J. A. Bayona captures each sequence with spectacle whether it is from his masterful use of shadows to his wonderful color contrasts. My favorite scene is the whole island escape, as it is one of the most thrilling scenes of any Jurassic Park movie. The sound design and wondrous special effects truly depict an apocalyptic level event. The flaws with the movie are mainly in its second half, which undercuts any of the well-thought out thrills of the first half by presenting one predictably illogical situation to the next, with an unnecessarily mediocre plot-twist. Even so, the consistent talent of acting and direction are enough to lighten the blow.

The message of this movie is to always be careful when playing with nature as it comes with consequences. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of intense action, horror and some gore. The movie releases in theaters on June 22, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FEARLESS AND FLUFFY
FEARLESS AND FLUFFY - DILPREET KAUR WALIA
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Description - The friendly Grim Reaper Junior is not a chip off the old block, leaving his dad open to being hoodwinked by the evil Birthday Candlewicks.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This screen play is not what I expected and I mean that in a good way! The ones I thought would be bad are the good guys and the ones I thought would be good...are bad. This is a refreshing change! I really like the imagination and creativity of the characters and the story line and could see this as a movie that tweens and teens would enjoy. I recommend it for ages 8 through 18. I also like that it is entertaining but has a message about not changing for others and being yourself. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MINNIE NOIR
MINNIE NOIR - KATIE GROTZINGER
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 5-8
Description - Minnie Hughes is a hardboiled noir detective that also just so happens to also be the shortest girl in the fourth grade. When a candidate for class president's show and tell South African ostrich egg goes missing, Minnie jumps on the case. Meanwhile, she also deals with her best friend Lincoln Park feeling under appreciated after she calls him her secretary and struggles with asking her crush, Vijay Sampat, a kind of male femme fatale, to be her dance partner for gym class.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The script was enjoyable to read. The term Film Noir (French for suspense film) is most likely a double-entendre since the main character is African-American and is a mystery solver. Strengths- Multicultural cast of characters, main character is an African-American female, which is unusual for any story. Weaknesses - One character is a bit stereotyped. Yes because the WHODUNIT mystery theme is very universal and the school setting makes it relatable to most viewers. Theme- Helping another out in a time of crisis and helping them receive justice. In an increasingly terrifying world and last years headlines exposing injustices against women, Kids need to know that they can attain control over some situations and feel empowered. Plot and Structure- Narrative Logic: A good example is when the viewer can sense that Minnie will get to dance with Vijay when in gym class by the end of the story. Emotional Impact: the best example is when the viewer wonders where Minnie's parents are (or what happened to them) at the synopsis' conclusion. Dramatic drive: a good example is when Vijay kicks open the bathroom door and Dash appears with a bloodied nose. Structure of the storyline: Introduction of characters and story, mystery to be solved, finding the culprit, and conclusion are clear and straightforward. Characters and dialogue: Minnie is the most thoroughly developed character because she is the main protagonist. She is quick-witted and adept, yet comes across as bashful to her crush Vijay, and is annoyed/irritated by her ally in crime-solving, Lincoln. The characters, such as Lincoln and Dash, are not as fully drawn out. They can be described as geeky and devious, respectively. Dialogue- an example of the wittiness, humor, and power in the dialogue includes Lincoln injecting comments at Minnie which irritates/annoy her, but makes the audience laugh. Rhythm/ pace: script does not seem to lag and is easy to read from beginning to end, making it a good film production choice (viewers would not zone out.) Tone of script is light-heartedness. Narrative voice: Minnie is the type of character who is driven and will fight for justice of the deserved and will not stop until she finds the justice. Nothing will get in her way. Highly recommended for ages 5-8. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PIGJUICE
PIGJUICE - CASEY LAING
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-12
Description - A young girl fights to save her town from an evil farmer who wants to transform it into a giant pig farm, while rediscovering her mother, who died when she was just a baby.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This screenplay is very engaging. It has great characters, a story line that flows well and a happy ending. I also like the subtle way a young girl and her father are able to bond over the past death of the mom / wife in a more positive way. The dialogue is natural and realistic and I can see this on a big screen. There are few grammar and spelling mistakes and over all it is entertaining and has lessons to be learned.

The characters are my favorite, especially Emma and her dad Basil. The dialogue is done well and, although it is a bit predictable at times, it does hold your interest. I wanted to keep reading to discover how it ends. The one weakness is that I wasn't quite sure how the bad guy ended up with the winning pig that belonged to someone else. I suspect that he paid Percy's father for it but would have liked for this to be clearer.

I believe it has commercial potential and like that there is a soundtrack and descriptions of the scenes. It's a realistic theme that resonates with today's environment, where the rich and powerful try to own everything, yet it ends well. It does have conflict and resolution, and the story line is done quite well. It flows well and the characters are natural and realistic. It has a bad guy but he actually changes at the end, which is a nice twist.

I liked how well the dialogue is formed and how natural it seems. It fits the characters and flows well.

I like that one of the main characters, Emma is persistent and does not give up easily. She is a good role model. I also like that the rich and powerful do not always win.

Kids could be asked what they learned from the story and who their favorite character is and why?

I would possibly make it a little more straight forward about how Bulbous Swigbottom (what a name!) gets hold of the pig that wins. Did he steal it or did he pay for it?

I found very few grammar and spelling mistakes. On page 11 there is one sentence that needs correction: She is doesn't seem to know anyone. But, over all there are few mistakes. YES ! Highly recommended. It meets or exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Charmingly soft-spoken and yet powerfully incisive expressing his profound ideals, Fred Rogers was a unique presence on television for generations. Through interviews of his family and colleagues, the life of this would-be pastor is explored as a man who found a more important calling to provide an oasis for children in a video sea of violent bombardment. That proved to be his landmark series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968), a show that could gently delve into important subjects no other children's show would have dared for that time. In doing so, Rogers experienced a career where his sweet-tempered idealism charmed and influenced the world whether it be scores of children on TV or recalcitrant authorities in government. However, that beloved personality also hid Rogers' deep self-doubts about himself and occasional misjudgments even as he proved a rock of understanding in times of tragedy for a world that did not always comprehend a man of such noble character.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This should be required viewing for anyone interested in the history of children's television. Fred Rogers was truly a visionary and an amazing man. He wrote, directed and starred in his own show for over twenty years and brought to it an authenticity that we rarely see on TV or elsewhere. Even the most jaded of industry leaders have to admire what Mr. Rogers brought to the table. He is beyond good; he is truly truly outstandingly awesome. This beautifully crafted documentary reaches back to the beginning of Fred's career, to before he even started his own show, showing us what drove him to create something outside the realm of what was becoming standard fare in the 1960s. Oh my, I miss him so very much. It's good to see how revered he is today. I admit that that documentary brought tears to my eyes more than once. Reviewed by Ranny L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I've ever seen! I still hear its catchy theme song in my head. I usually don't like documentaries because they are very slow paced. But this one has jokes throughout that makes it so much more interesting to watch. I not only learned a lot about Fred Rogers' life and career, but also about how television shows were made and produced back in the 1960s.

This documentary is about Mr. Rogers and his television show for young children "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, we learn about Mr. Rogers' ideas on how important it is to talk to children about every aspect of life and how television can be used as a positive influence. During his show, Mr. Rogers sings songs about specific topics so that kids, as young as pre-school age, can understand the topic of the day.

The film shows scenes from the actual show as well as behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the interviews with the crew from the show. Those parts made me belly laugh. The film brings back the original lessons of the show and re-promotes them. For adults, this film might make them remember watching the show as a child and they might find some episodes to share with their own kids. For children, this film might spark an interest in the show and make them want to watch it, just like I did. The film gives everybody something. One thing I love about the film is that it really goes in depth about Mr. Rogers' sunny disposition and how he truly was like that in real life, even through all his struggles. It shows us that there are still kind people in the world. My favorite scene is when Mr. Rogers goes to Congress to try to get the funding to save PBS. That scene shows who Mr. Rogers really is, his personality and love for children. By the time he finishes his speech, I was tearing up and could hear the audience sniffing.

The message of this film is to love yourself as you are, just like Mr. Rogers says in his song. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because it talks about topics such as divorce and war, in a serious way, which is not appropriate for very young children. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its amazing message and all the cool inside facts about Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This film opens nationwide
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIGIMON TRI ADVENTURE: COEXISTENCE
DIGIMON TRI ADVENTURE: COEXISTENCE - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES...The arrival of the super powerful Meicoomon starts a countdown to the real world's collapse. The DigiDestined are cast out of the Digital World, and even after returning to the real world, are driven away by people, due to their partnerships with the Digimon. Meanwhile, a cruel fate appears imminent for Kari, who has a more honest and sensitive spirit than anyone.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The storyline in this episode, about dark forces taking over, flows well. There are no long lagging sequences. The viewer will empathize with the protagonist Kari and the evil force overtaking Meicoomon. Created in Japanese anime style, Digimon-tri has sharp-edge graphics and action sequences that draws the viewers in. The storyline addresses the struggles that many of us have to deal with, but shows how there are friends to help along the way. Some might be even be going through something similar.

This entire series is very good at displaying consequences of both negative or positive behavior. It also displays excellent problem solving behavior. Watching this show might convince viewers to seek out others when they are going through tough times. The message is that life has complicated challenges but you can overcome them.

The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended age group and could further enhance vocabulary and concepts the viewer does not understand. A good example of portraying social models is when the main protagonist feels that she might be responsible for a specific situation. One of the other main characters reassures her that this definitely isn't the case. This entire series is very good in displaying consequences of either negative or positive behavior.

The DVD menu allows scene selections, subtitles and a bonus feature interview.

You should be aware that at one point, a character pulls out a gun, but is no blast, and at another point we see a powerful being shaped somewhat like a naked woman. For that reason I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. I would raise the highest age to 25 if I could, because it is so thought-provoking and intellectual.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri 5: Coexistence is an enjoyable show that I loved.

This animated film is the fifth sequel to the Digimon Adventures and it definitely builds a lot from the previous films.

The story is about how Meicoomon becomes a vicious creature, thus creating a perilous fight between the real world and the digital world.

My favorite part about this film is the authenticity of the characters and their emotions. It might sound weird that the animated characters are able to display a significant amount of passion and care for other characters in the film, but they do. Their emotions and reactions allow me to see past the drawings and the unlikelihood of this scenario.

My least favorite part is the style of the animation. The artwork looks like any main stream anime. The graphics didn't really hook me or caught my attention. Even the action and the fighting scenes are uneventful. They look somewhat dull and downplayed. I was looking forward to more intense explosions or epic toe-to-toe fighting scenes, but there is only a glimpse of exciting action throughout the whole film.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14. It is available now so, look for it.

Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.97 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OCEAN'S 8
OCEAN'S 8 - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I happen to be a fan of heist movies, don't ask why. Maybe it's their Robin Hood aspect in many cases. This one differs from most with it's all female cast of thieves spearheaded by the charismatic Sandra Bullock and filled out with a veritable who's who of women - Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway who steals the show. The plot is a romp, the costumes are absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and the jokes work. If you are looking for a lightweight summer movie, this is it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ocean's 8 is the best comedic action movie ever! I like it because of the fantastic animation and storyline. I enjoyed the way the movie flows, as if it's a normal day stealing a billion dollar necklace. The comedy is the icing on a cake. It makes the movie sweet and enticing to watch.

The movie's main character is Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). In the beginning, we see her being released from jail after five years. During that time, she has planned the greatest heist with hidden intentions. Debbie Ocean's team includes one of her old friends, Lou (Cate Blanchett). Lou and other highly intelligent cheaters are all part of the team, Ocean's Eight. As the heist unfolds, it exposes the twists and turns behind the storyline to the audience. Sandra Bullock's charisma in this role draws you to love her even more. The beautiful Rihanna is also in the film as "9-Ball", the Jamaican hacker. The amazing actress from 12 Years a Slave, Sarah Paulson plays a caring mother who loves to shop for home goods. In the mix of the film celebrities pop up everywhere. You just have to pay attention to notice them.

What I love about the film is the all women cast planning on doing something not good. Most heist movies are about men robbing banks, planning their moves and then executing them. Ocean's 8 has the same idea, but without the men. The costumes at the Met Gala for each of them are simply amazing and match each character's personality and abilities.

My favorite part is the ending when everything is pulled together, from Debbie Ocean's release to the creation of Ocean's Eight. My favorite character is Constance who is played by Awkwafina, because of her funny attitude throughout the film. Also, her pick-pocketing skills blew my mind.

Ocean's 8 is a movie to enjoy just because it's an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Some jokes are questionable and there is some mild profanity, but nothing is extreme. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 because of some language, alcohol and drug usage. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

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

I have never seen any other Ocean films and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue is realistic and it is really funny. There are some flaws. It does feel like a lot of other heist films. For example, it has a recruiting phase where one character is the hacker and another is talented at stealing things. Also Debbie Ocean has been in prison for five years plotting her plan, but her plan doesn't take into account that technology changes.

Ocean's 8 follows Debbie Ocean and her plan to steal a 150 million dollar necklace at the Met Gala. She has spent five years in prison and goes to her friend Lou, who helped her in past crimes and asks her to recruit people for the job. Her plan is to get Daphne Kluger, a world famous model, to wear the Cartier necklace and then they will create a fake one to replace it. After that, she would place one of the gems on the person that framed her with the intent of framing him and making it seem as if he stole it.

My favorite part is Rose's character. She is entertaining and realistic when she tries to comfort Anne Hathaway's character when her dress isn't turning out the way she wanted. In another scene, she acts as if she isn't interested in her and that makes her want Rose to be her designer.

There are a lot of big names in this film such as Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings, Cinderella), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Colossal). The director is also a really big name too, Gary Ross who wrote Seabiscuit and the Hunger Games.

There is some mild profanity but nothing too extreme. It is a heist movie, so there are lots of risky actions such as hanging from rafters and escaping prison. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed any of the previous Ocean films or other heist movies. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHERLOCK GNOMES
SHERLOCK GNOMES - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - After a string of garden gnome disappearances in London, Gnome & Juliet look to legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes to solve the case of their missing friends and family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Breaking news from London - garden gnomes have been kidnapped! "Oh fertilizer!" This is one of many amusing jokes from the very British characters in Sherlock Gnomes, sequel to the 2011 animated film Gnomeo and Juliet. Although the plot of this family-friendly movie is somewhat predictable, it is still quite funny and clever.

In this sequel, the formerly star-crossed lovers Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are married and have just moved to London where they are appointed by their parents as joint heads of the garden. Both Juliet and Gnomeo feel the pressures of their new leadership roles and the marriage begins to suffer through lack of communication and mutual appreciation. Meanwhile, their gnome friends are disappearing from homes all over London, and they attempt to search for and save them. With the help of Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the adventure begins - to defeat the evil pie company called Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) and save all gnomes. We also see that poor Watson is quite ignored and under-appreciated by Sherlock.

My favorite aspects of this movie are the music, Johnny Depp and the "planning" sequences. I love the song choices used in transitions between scenes. If you are a fan of Sir Elton John, you will be pleased to hear many of his hits, including "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and a fantastic new song performed by the great Mary J. Blige. Johnny Depp is hilarious with his condescending British accent. I have seen almost every movie he has ever been in and he never disappoints with his comedic intensity. Another interesting thing that happens is when we see the inner workings of Sherlock's mind in 2-D black-and-white animation. One clinker for me is when super-intelligent Watson, looking for Gnomeo, says "Gnomeo, Gnomeo! Oh don't make me say it - wherefore art thou, Gnomeo?" (Of course "wherefore" means "why" in Romeo and Juliet.)

The message of this story is a good one - that you will succeed by respecting the people who support you. Sherlock learns that lesson when he realizes that Watson feels that Sherlock isn't listening to him or respecting him. Juliet learns it when she realizes that Gnomeo feels as if Juliet is ignoring him, too.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because, almost all the scenes kept me laughing, the music is great, and I love the message. I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18. This is available on DVD/Blu-ray June 12, 2018 and on Digital June 5, 2018. If you are looking for a fun family movie, this is it!

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sherlock Gnomes is a great movie! I really like the storyline because it has an amazing good versus evil plot.

The story follows Gnomeo and Juliet's move to London where they become the new leaders of the garden. On their first day, somebody kidnaps all the gnomes in the garden! Luckily, Sherlock Gnomes and Watson are there. Gnomeo and Juliet help Sherlock save all the gnomes in London.

The animation in this movie is excellent. The gnomes look like real life gnomes with a small touch of cartoon. I like how, in the beginning, a couple of gnomes are standing on a book talking about how they are going to read about Sherlock Gnomes. Sherlock Gnomes is a great detective just like Sherlock Holmes, but instead of protecting people he is the sworn protector of Gnomes. This gives the feeling that the entire movie is about those three gnomes reading us a book about Sherlock Gnomes.

The movie has lots of characters named from other movies and books such as Gnomeo and Juliet whose names are take offs of Romeo and Juliet. Sherlock Gnomes is based on Sherlock Holmes. I like how the gnomes freeze around humans. They just stay completely still so humans don't realize they move. The frozen position is also what they do when fall asleep. As soon as they get frozen, they can choose to fall asleep instantly or not.

The characters in the film include Gnomeo (James McAvoy), Juliet (Emily Blunt), Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). My favorite character is Benny, (Matt Lucas) because he is smart with technology, but otherwise very clumsy. I find that funny.

My favorite scene is when Benny trips and he is forced to put on a show to distract the guard while Gnomeo escapes. That scene is a mix of action and comedy. Another of my favorite scenes is when Gnomeo comes up with a plan to get past Reggie the gargoyle (Dexter Fletcher). I like how they show the plan with paper versions of all the gnomes.

The message of this movie is never take advantage of your friends. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 11 because of its great storyline and message. I think adults will like watching this movie as well. It comes out on DVD and Blu-ray June 10 so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

Sherlock Gnomes is a frequently clever animated film that has a few fun moments, yet suffers from a jumbled story and too many characters to fully engage you in the movie as a whole.

Sherlock Gnomes is a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet and brings together garden gnome versions of the famous detective and the Shakespearean couple from the first installment. Gnomeo and Juliet move to a new garden in London that disappoints their entire faction of gnomes. Gnomeo and Juliet are appointed the new leaders to turn the garden into a beautiful wonderland for their little village. Meanwhile, several gardens have been erased of all signs of gnomekind and soon, Gnomeo and Juliet's is too. The dynamic duo of the incredibly smart, but sometimes selfish detective and protector of London's garden gnomes Sherlock Gnomes and his trusty sidekick Watson are on the case and intend to catch the culprit and track down the missing gnomes, with the help of Gnomeo and Juliet.

Unfortunately the collision of these literary duos doesn't work very well. Their stories have very different characters and tones. The film makes clever references to Sherlock Holmes and his works that will be enjoyable for fans of the character's inspiration, but the collaboration still feels forced. Gnomeo and Juliet go through a storyline that feels out of place and their conversations have a repetitive message. The characters feel less developed against the more engaging Sherlock Gnomes.

My favorite character is Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp). He embodies the qualities of the literary detective and makes his portrayal of Sherlock his own, giving him a more fun and comedic manner. He also nails Sherlock's complex relationship with Watson.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 9 due to some crude humor. Younger kids will enjoy the film's bright colors and caper elements and older kids and adults might enjoy some of the humor. However, this film lacks the vivid animation and nuance that offers the same wide appeal of other animated films. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars because the story is a bit confusing, although it has some characters and good laughs.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 86 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was excited to see the origin story of Han Solo, as he has been a character favorite of mine for years. The young man was boosting scams from age 10 and lived a life of adventure, for sure! Learning how his last name came to be was interesting - think passport control questioning. But, I digress.

While the film strives to tell the story of how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca, everyone's favorite Wookie (Joonas Suotamo) became BFFs after a contentious beginning, it had some stalls and at times, I wondered if Han was attempting to be our hero or villain. I felt the origin story of Han Solo did not go deep enough to show us who he is, and what lead him to be, Solo.

The most interesting character is Becket, played by Woody Harrelson. He is a true team player, but what team does he play for? His chameleon-like persona is wonderful to see and a testament to this talented and beloved actor.

The film begins centered on a bunch of bad dudes who all fear the reptilian and then, our hero Han, who eventually joins the Imperial armed forces to reconnect with his love, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke). Being the rebel he is, Han is kicked out of pilot training and ends up in one of the many Empire wars. His quest to find Qi'ra lands him in the clutches of the dreadful mob boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) and a gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

Long ago, in a vision far-away, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were off-loaded from the payload and rescued by super Director Ron Howard. Howard's optimistic effort on this prequel doesn't save the film. He made a good film, but if it was a stand-alone film, I would not predict a plethora of sequels.

I give this film of 4 out of 5 stars for the performances, which are spectacular, especially Glover, Harrelson and Ehrenreich, along with special effects, creepy wardrobes, action scenes and Star Wars references that any true fan will 'get' (like the Kessel Run, the Millennium Falcon and of course, the necklace hanging on the rearview mirror). I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to adult themes and fight scenes which may be disturbing to younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfectly serviceable origin story for the famous titular character. The acting and direction provide an outstanding mix of visuals and characterization. This is definitely an essential watch for any Star Wars fan.

The movie follows young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) on his journey to become the famed hero pilot. As a talented maverick, Solo joins forces with the thief Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his crew to escape poverty and become part of something bigger. However, one of their heists goes wrong resulting in a life or death deal with Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) which will determine the fate of their lives. To rectify this, Solo and newfound friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) enlist the help of old flame Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) and the charming Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to take part in the second heist.

Alden Ehrenreich, as Han Solo, wonderfully portrays his hero's journey from a poor, oppressed dreamer to heroic pilot. His mannerisms and line delivery excellently match up to the standard set by Harrison Ford. Joonas Suotamo, as Chewbacca, encompasses an extraordinary counterpart Peter Mayhew's mantle as he perfectly portrays his growing friendship with Han. Donald Glover, as Lando Calrissian, is my favorite character due to his exact interpretations of Billy Dee Williams's zany parlance. His banter with Solo only forwards the character's legacy. Woody Harrelson, as Beckett, provides for a flawed yet effective mentor to Solo by guiding him about motivations and how to deal. Emilia Clarke, as Qi'ra, is great with what she is given, but her character falls into the stereotypical "will they or won't they" love interest loop. Paul Bettany, as Dryden Vos, is menacing with his passive aggressiveness building to volatile outburst when his orders are disobeyed.

Ron Howard efficiently grasps all the characters' tales by providing great interactions with known Star Wars lore. My favorite scene is the initial train heist as it showcases how unprepared Beckett's gang was and is intense as regards the fates of all characters involved. Also, there are great displays of special effects with the train's movement patterns. The one flaw is that it really doesn't Solo any character transformation as he always remains heroic with the only change being how he goes from rags to riches. The love triangle between Solo, Qi'ra and Dryden also feels uninspired.

The message of the movie is to always abide by morals rather than selfish instinct. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters May 25, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES
DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - In this complete series set, enjoy 50 dino-filled adventures with junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson, as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! While Trek's brother, Dan, is away helping his dad, it's time for Trek to get his own dino time. Trek is going to finish some of the experiments in Dino Dan's Field Guide including seeing at least eighteen dinosaurs that Dan has never seen before! Trek will even meet marine reptiles for the very first time! It's time to join Trek Henderson as he embarks on one dino adventure after another and all in his very own way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dino Dan: Trek's Adventures: The Complete Series is a series for young kids with a lot of excitement, and fun adventures to go on! Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.

On this DVD, there are 50 dino-filled adventures with the dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson. Trek imagines different types of dinosaurs in the real world throughout all of his experiences! While Trek's brother, Dan is away helping his dad with something, Trek takes over and entertains himself with his dinosaur world. The goal is to finish up some of the experiments that Dan has started. Trek even meets some new dinosaurs and marine reptiles that he hasn't seen before! Join Trek on his wonderful adventures throughout the world of dinosaurs!

One reason I really like this show is how they incorporate educational lessons into it. It's not everyday that you see a kids TV show that includes all kinds of educational facts within the story line. This is exactly what this series does. For example, in the episode "Trek Rex," Trek is having trouble figuring out what dinosaur he wants to dress up as for a party. Throughout the episode, he has various encounters with several dinosaurs to help him make his final decision. Trek and the dinosaurs' encounters happen in the real world, in front of real people, so he is imagining it. I believe that creates a connection between Trek and kids in the real world, since many have big imaginations.

The overall message in this series is that it's okay to have an imagination and even share it with others! Trek has no problem sharing his findings out loud for everyone to see and has no shame about doing that. This is what kids should feel. And, sharing their findings throughout their childhood is a cool thing to do.

I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars for its playful storyline, exciting cast, imagination and much more. I would love to see the storyline develop more, but it's perfect for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 5 through 10 . This is available now on DVD, so check it out.

By Imani B.G, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested. I found Trek talking to an imaginary dinosaur somewhat strange but hey, it doesn't seem to bother his mom.

The storyline is about when Trek's brother who goes away to dig up fossils and Trek misses him. Then, one day a package arrives in the mail with a message from Dan asking Trek to help him do some dinosaur experiments. In later episodes, he gets better and better at conducting these experiments. One of his tasks is to find out if albertosaurus hunt in packs. For this, he gets a ham sandwich and gets the albertosaurus to chase him.

Trek is played by Trek Buccino who lives in Toronto, Ontario and attended Claude Watson School for the Arts. He has also been in Pacific Rim and PJ Masks. Trek's mom is played by Allana Harkin who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy award for Full Frontal which she produced.

What I like about the show is that it is enjoyable to watch while you learn some facts along the way. I recommend it for ages 3 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is available now on Digital and DVD/Blu-ray so, check it out.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 575 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Follow the Little Prince, a hero of multiple generations, as he experiences brand new adventures with iconic characters based on the masterpiece by Antoine de St. Exup�ry. In The Planet of the Rose, the Little Prince believes he has succeeded in getting rid of the Snake after a deadly battle. He can now finally continue to find the Rose's planet for his dear Rose. When the Little Prince and Rose reach the planet of the Rose, strange crabs live on the surface and are hardly hospitable. There is no trace of vegetation and no trace of the Rose people. Convinced they have reached the wrong destination, the Little Prince is ready to leave when they find some of the people. However, the Rose people are asleep and fossilized. The Little Prince and Rose need to bring them back to life. Unfortunately, that's not all they will need to do as the Little Prince's enemy, the Snake, hasn't died after all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I truly enjoyed watching this show. Based on the book series, it has a ring of positivity to it. The Little Prince is an incredibly good and popular book series and a wonderfully animated film series. The symbolisms associated with Rose, the Fox and the Snake may be lost on the youngest viewers. However, school age children will benefit from an increased imaginative mindset and the good vs. evil theme. The flow of the story lags a bit at times, but it is quite pleasant to watch. The Little Prince is definitely a positive role model in terms of protecting the ones he loves such as Rose and other protagonists. They all help each other out of peril like when the spirits help Fox from falling into outer space. The computer animation is exceptional. The characters, locale and colors are easy for viewers to identify with.

One aspect that really stands out are the geographical indicators notating inter-dimensional aspects of outer space. The cover design showing the Little Prince looking out into the distance along with Rose is big, colorful and enticing. Young people would enjoy this film because it is adventurous, the setting is unusual and the graphics are terrific.

The Little Prince series is based upon the teachings of Saint Exupery and holds morals based upon religious values. Although secular in tone, the theme of good overtaking evil is important for children to hear in order to give them hope in this world. The adventure of outer space will draw most children in. This film might get children thinking about other planets and the science of astronomy and geography. It definitely will expand their imaginations. Questioning and probing take place. For example, when the Little Prince talks about traveling to the Rose planet and the Geographer states that they might possibility be "lost forever in infinity" while trying to voyage there. The Little Prince determines it is worth the risk for Rose.

There are no bonus features on the DVD. One issue I have is that when you stop the movie and come back to it later, it starts all over at the beginning. It does not start where it left off, which is a nuisance. Also, there are no foreign language subtitles, which is something I missed. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13, as well as adults. It is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Once again, the little prince and the adorable Rose are getting back together and it's fantastic how everything is all happy and joyous for their reunion.

It's very fun and interesting and I absolutely love this DVD. The thing about this story, which is very fun and adorable is that they put a new twist on it. And there are lots of new characters as well as old characters from the series. I absolutely love that they brought the King and the Salesclerk back. I really like that they add new characters to the old ones we love and adore. Everyone will have a character that they can relate to. It is really fun and I love the scene when the Fox comes and they gets knocked off the rope and then he gets to meet the King and the Salesclerk again. It's a glorious movie, very hilarious and silly, which I like. Also, the Little Prince is, once again, a fantastic character. He is definitely my favorite character because he has a lot of wonderful traits. He's very kind and generous, which is glorious. At the same time, he serves as a great role model, and one that kids should see more often. It is good to see someone take their duties seriously, especially helping others. That's what we get in the prince, all the time. I also love little Rose. She's very adorable. She is very funny when she is arguing with the Fox. The two of them are just like yin and yang.

Now, one thing that is just fascinating about this show is the animation. If you think about it, when you look at it you think, "Wow! I'm stunned." I think this show is something that will inspire many young children who might think about traveling to another the moon or Mars. I think that idea is fascinating. I have always loved astronauts. That's what makes this DVD so perfect. The animation is so detailed and colorful and each planet has its own unique twist and turns. By just using words, a little bit of script and then adding all the colors in the DVD make this show perfect. I love that the animation seems to be a mix of anime and origami. They work perfectly together.

I really love that this show is something the entire family can enjoy together. I think it's suitable for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out! You don't want to miss this one.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Think work on the farm is easy? Then you don't know jack - Applejack, that is! Honesty, patience and friendships are tested in a new collection of adventures featuring everypony's favorite four-hooved apple lover! Join Applejack and her very best pals - Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Spike - as they experience the power and magic of true friendship. Bonus Feature: sing-along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Each episode in this collection is approximately 25 minutes in length. The storylines are very straightforward and the moral messages are charming and clear. They are very engaging for the target age. The characters draw you in with their multi-dimensional human personality traits. The language is quite suitable for the audience as well, although younger kids may not pick up every single word. The overall messages are what are important. Applejack, the main character, maintains an integrity even if others do something different. If she does something wrong, then she accepts the mistake as well as its consequences and, more importantly, apologizes. The other characters hold the same level of integrity as well. Questioning and probing are developed when certain problematic situations take place. An example is when a pair of scam artists dupe a crowd at a circus presentation into believing that a miracle product cures ills, Applejack instantly feels there is something fishy going on and is concerned when grandma pony purchases the elixir. In another episode, Applejack's younger sisters and friends want to help build carts for a race, but the older sisters take over designing the carts. The race ends in a big crash, destroying the carts. The younger siblings assert that the holder ones took over their project and the resolution is for the younger ponies to rebuild their carts without interference from the older siblings. I love the humor in these stories, the visual appeal, interesting storylines and great morals that children can easily pick up. The animation is big and colorful. There are five episodes and bonus singalong. The messages address how to be a person of high character, getting along with others, owning up to mistakes and apologizing. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 9. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Even though these episodes are clearly for younger kids, I can't deny that I actually really like these episodes. I don't think I'll actually start watching the show, but this show can be enjoyed by the whole family because it is very entertaining.

This DVD is a collection of five shorts from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with most of the episodes centered around the character, Applejack. She is an important character in every episode, even the ones that are not centered around her. I am aware that My Little Pony actually has some pretty interesting stories and can get pretty dark, but these episodes are filler. They do also reference major events in past episodes and one episode has two characters who appear to be recurring characters, so I really wouldn't recommend this DVD as a way to fully understand what takes place on the show.

That being said, Applejack has a sweet southern accent, works on a farm and appears to epitomize honesty. I like that My Little Pony shows have a moral compass that teach positive lessons. This show should make lots of parents happy. My Little Pony has a ton of effort and care put into each episode. I'm very impressed with this show. Often times in shows, filler episodes are boring and they make you wish you were watching a story driven episode. This isn't the case with these stories!

Now, My Little Pony has some really interesting characters. I love character driven stories and that best describes this series. The main cast consists of six characters, or "The Mane 6" as they're often referred to outside the show. By the way, it's an amazing pun. I really like when shows have a large cast of recurring characters that really make their world feel real. It helps world-building, character dynamics and of course, I love talking about characters in media. As I mentioned, these episodes focus mainly on one character, Applejack, but sometimes the other members of The Mane 6 share the spotlight. If you like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash and Rarity, then you will love this series because they are highly featured. My main issue is that, ironically, my favorite member of The Mane 6, Fluttershy isn't in any of these episodes. I know the episodes are about Applejack, but from what I've seen of recent My Little Pony, Fluttershy is the most under-developed of the group. So please, My Little Pony creators, show some love and character development to Fluttershy.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Howdy there everyone. Get ready for a brand new adventure with my favorite pony, Applejack! We will be exploring the terrific apple farm and seeing all the wondrous things Applejack, and her wonderful family, do there. I enjoyed all the new episodes in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Applejack because they show Applejack and her family in Ponyville.

Who can argue with Applejack? I know I can't! After all, she personifies the element of truth and that is one of her best qualities. Since she knows how to spot a lie at first sight, she makes the perfect detective. This is why "Leap of Faith" is my favorite episode, hooves down. I can't get enough of Applejack's detective skills and Granny Smith reliving her youth. There is just too much fun and humor in one episode and therefore it is so enjoyable to watch. Two of my other favorite characters are in this episode and they are brewing up trouble - aka Flim and Flam are back in town.

The pony who steals the show is defiantly Applejack. After all this DVD is all about her and she surely takes advantage of that. I would love to have Applejack as a friend and a neighbor, not only for her honestly, but because she is kind and gracious as well. Her sweet southern accent is hard to resist.

The animation in these episodes is very detailed and, once again, looks as if there is a pony running around this wonderful city. I adore the way the town looks with all the bright colors and fun characters. The barn is especially great. It looks as if you could go and pick apples right from the trees. That is one of the great things about this series. The colors appeal to both young and old audiences because of how vivid they are.

Another thing to look for in this DVD are the fun bonus features such as the sing-along and the amazing new cook book from Applejack. You will find recipes for caramel apples, baked apples and spiced apple cider - all of which are kid friendly. The sing-along is great for kids who want to become world renowned singers because they can sing along with their favorite My little Pony Songs with Applejack and the rest of the main six.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 15 and give it 5 out 5 apple stars. It is available on DVD and Digital now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD
MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - After a slow harvest season, the very survival of the hive is threatened. Maya, and her sidekick, Willy, go to Buzztropolis, where the Empress invites them to participate in the Honey Games. But if they lose, the hive will have to give the Empress all of their summer honey! Needless to say, Maya and Willy's teammates are neither enthusiastic nor athletic, but Maya remains positive and exclaims that "every bug has a talent!" Can Maya and Team Poppy win and secure her hive's future? Only if Maya is able to gain new friends and learn about teamwork, responsibility, and overcoming their differences! Bonus features: The Making of Maya the Bee 2; Original teaser and trailers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My six-year-old granddaughter really enjoyed this DVD. The storyline is quite interesting in showing the life of bees and how they gather honey and support the Queen and all the other bees in the colony. The story line continues with the Queen Bee of Poppy Meadow and her bees gathering honey for the winter. She realizes that they may not have enough honey for the hive to last the winter when she gets word that the Empress, her estranged sister, has declared that the Queen's colony has been selected for The Honey Games. The Hive of Poppy Meadow is required to honor the Empress to donate 50% of their honey. They don't have enough honey for their own hive to survive the winter, so the request is a difficult one to abide by. Maya and her best friend Willie go the Empress and please their case.

The story line is easy to follow and suitable for the target audience. The vocabulary and concepts are also right on target. There is a lot of teamwork shown and sometimes Maya tries things on her own but soon realizes that is a mistake and relies on her friends to help. There are some consequences and they are repaired by the characters in a nice way. Each becomes more respectful of the others as time passes.

The visual appeal of this DVD is appropriate and interesting enough for the youth it was designed for. The DVD is animated and colorful and lively in action to keep the interests of the intended audiences. I feel that the storyline of this is quite entertaining for youth and the pictures of the bees are so cute! The characters on the cover are so interesting you wonder what kind of trouble are they about to get into!

In terms of the message of this story, as the story develops, we discover that the Empress and the Queen are actually sisters that do not get along. Towards the end they make up and realize they love each other and miss being together. Forgiveness becomes the overall theme as we see the sisters resolve their differences. Also, during the competition games the contestants learn a few lessons about fairness and love. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed watching this! This animated film has many underlying messages without becoming confusing. Each of the characters have their own strong personalities which makes their interactions interesting. The plot line is intriguing also.

The main character, Maya is a bee who dreams of competing in The Honey Games. One day she has a chance to make her dream comes true, but it will put her entire city at risk. The Empress demands Maya's city to give up half of their honey to contribute to The Honey Games. They aren't allowed to participate, but are forced to give up their honey. Maya believes that this is outrageous and challenges the Empress. If Maya wins, she doesn't have to give up any honey. But if she loses, they have to give up all of their honey and her city will starve.

Maya (Coco Jack Gillies) is a well developed character. Coco Jack Gillies makes her voice distinctly sound differently which is good for Maya who goes through a lot of emotions. Gillies can sound distressed, guilty, ecstatic and hopeful.

The animation is done really well. The quality is great and all of the little details contribute to make it seem very realistic. The music also is very suitable for the film and sets the mood in the various scenes.

My favorite part is when Maya's best friend Willy realizes that Violet, a bee who is a bully, is trying to sabotage them. Willy has a slight crush on Violet, which blinds him of all the mean things she is doing to Maya. Finally Willy realizes what is happening and stands up for Maya. Even through all these hardships, Maya and Willy find it in their hearts to forgive Violet for everything that she has done. That is one of the messages in this film.

Other messages address how everyone has their own special talent, how you should believe in yourself and that no matter how small you are, you can still make a difference. These messages are really important and give kids a lot of self confidence. I love how they incorporate all of these wonderful messages into the story without making the film trivial.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The animation in this film is very high quality, except for the characters' hair. It's a bit odd that they put so much detail into the bodies of the bees, but none into their hair. For me, this movie is a bit too predictable. I like more exciting movies.

The storyline in Maya The Bee 2: The Honey Games follows a little bee named Maya who accidentally embarrasses the empress of Buzztropolis and is forced to try to win The Honey Games to prove that her hive are not all foolish bees. The Honey Games are a series of physical challenges. Maya must win them with a team of oddball bugs or the Empress will take all her hive's summer honey and Maya's hive won't survive the winter.

The main characters in this movie are, Maya, (Coco Jack Gillies), the leader of Team Poppy and Willi (Benson Jack Anthony), Maya's sidekick. Other characters include, Bedford, (Cam Ralph), a bedbug, Spinder (Jordan Hare), a vegetarian spider, Craig, (Jimmy James Eaton) a cockroach that fears dirt, Arnie, (David Collins) and Barney, (Shane Dundas) two ants with helmets, and the villain, Violet, (Linda Ngo). My favorite of these character is Willi because he is scared to do all the stuff Maya wants to do, but Maya won't listen to him and he is forced to do those things anyway. I find this funny.

My favorite scene is when Maya tries to get a honey treat away from Willi so she can give it to the Empress, but instead she accidently throws the treat at the Empress and embarrasses her. This scene is funny, because of the way Maya tries to help her but instead she gets stuck to the Empress's face. Throughout the movie Maya must learn about teamwork and overcoming differences. That leads us to the big message of this movie which is everybody has a talent or, as Maya says it, every bug has a talent. That means that nobody is useless.

I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 7 because it has a good message. I think adults might enjoy watching this movie with their children. This movie is available now on Blue Ray and DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 83 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 18.97 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Description - Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss is the fourth in a series of six feature length movies. After the "reboot" and Meicoomon's rampage, Tai and friends arrive in the Digital World. They reunite with their partner Digimon, who have lost all their memories. As everyone discusses what they should do from here in the Digital World, Meicoomon suddenly appears and then disappears. She still has her memories for some reason as she wanders around, looking for Meiko. Meanwhile in the real world, Nishijima receives word that Himekawa has gone missing. As he investigates, he determines that there's been some hidden agenda behind her behavior up to this point. It has something to do with an event in the past that determined both their destinies... Special Features: "The Evolution So Far" - Star Joshua Seth Catches Us Up To The Events Of Digimon Adventure tri.: Loss Digimon Adventure tri: Loss is the sequel to Digimon Adventure tri: Confession.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD will certainly entertain the viewer. It has many moving parts, flows well from beginning to end. Younger kids will not understand all the themes, unless they are familiar with the series. The protagonists are polite to each other and concerned for one another. They express emotions in an appropriate manner such as speaking directly about their feelings - "I was scared when you left me." Problem-solving is demonstrated by the characters working together. This concept fits the target age group. Viewers learn that when people work together, the results are positive. This film utilizes Japanese animation which is appealing to children. The color scheme is not brightly colored and the artwork is quite detailed. Young people need to have hope in this world and the theme that prevails here is of good overcoming evil. The storyline is very involved and mind-stimulating. The DVD's menu allows you to select specific scenes and there are bonus feature. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss entertained me because of its wonderful animation and impressive voice acting. This is sure to be a watch for Digimon and anime fans.

The story follows the events after the reboot where all Digimon were forced to forget their partners. In wake of this, the shrewd Joe Kido (Robbie Daymond) sets out to hunt them while they are at their weakest. To defend themselves, the team must unite and strengthen their Digimon to match up to Kido's wits. During this, a hopeless Sora (Colleen O'Shaugnessey) tries to reunite with her estranged Biyomon (Cherami Leigh), as Kido targets her first.

Colleen O'Shaugnessey, as Sora, excellently presents her sorrow and selflessness for Biyomon. However, their sullen interactions become rather repetitive and forced as the story progresses. Miho Arakawa, as Meiko, splendidly portrays her reformation from saving Meicoomon, using this hope to brighten Sora. Robbie Daymond, as Joe Kido, is my favorite character due to his clever performance full of charisma as he proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Also, his deceiving escapes add a theatric grandeur to the character. Tom Fahn, as Agumon, exhibits his leadership through his care and demands of the other Digimon. Cherami Leigh, as Biyomon, depicts an equally well acted counterpart to Sora with her inability to pair with her. Kate Higgons, as Meicoomon, spectacularly reforms from being the main antagonist of the last movie to one that is heroic following the reboot.

The direction by Keitaro Motonaro wonderfully adapts with a similar approach to the source magna. My favorite scene is the resolution between Sora and Biyomon. Its conclusion adds a touching ending to this mixed bag of a plot. My only problems with this movie are in its inconsistent writing which switches from one tone to the next or even underplays many character arcs. Also, the amount of farcical humor could have taken a break to service the plot's serious developments.

The message of the movie is to always take care of yourself first before concerning others. Sora's insecurities increase while trying to reconcile with Biyomon, but this leaves her and other team members susceptible to attack. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because of its frequent action. The movie is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 100 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR
PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR - AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - PUP STAR is back, with an all-new movie that takes the popular singing dogs on trip around the world, where Tiny and friends find fantastic new songs and meet exciting new canine singers that prove music really is the universal language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In some ways, this film reminds me of a combination of The Voice and American Idol, but with dogs as contestants and judges. I have to admit that I had some trouble getting into the film at the beginning, because it seems a bit too unrealistic. I had trouble imagining these dogs as music and rap stars. The beginning is a bit slow and then, someplace in the middle, it became much more entertaining. The songs and soundtrack are my favorite part of the film, but some of the dog characters really grow on you. Even though the storyline is quite predictable, it is entertaining. I really like that the tour goes to different countries. The characters are fun to watch and it has a great ending. It is a good film for families to watch together. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is definitely made for younger kids. The storyline isn't very complicated and it is pretty predictable, but still very enjoyable for the whole family.

The story is about the puppy celebrity Tiny, now a Judge on Pup Stars World Tour, and has selected a dog named Julio as her representative. The issue is, Julio is helping Bark, the villain from the first two movies, win Pup Stars.

Because almost the entire cast is comprised of talking dogs, the editing needs to look good. And, like previous movies, it really does look like the dogs are talking. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to film and edit this movie. In the scenes where Julio performs, he does all these crazy moves and twists and - he looks really good. Kudos to the editors, Jason Dale and Nik Svab. They say it is difficult to work with kids and animals.

One thing I liked in the previous Pup Star movie is the song that Tiny sang. It really was an ear worm. In Pup Star: World Tour there are tons of new songs, with some really talented singers and interesting cultural backgrounds. Because each contestant is from a different country, the songs differ depending on the culture. I really like that about these songs. It fits well with the message they are trying to spread about being united through music. Shout Out to Brahm Wenger.

I feel that, in this movie especially, the writers work with the fact that dogs in this make believe world are actors, singers and similar. There are dog soap operas and there are also tabloids covering dog news. It is as if dogs are not our pets, but more like our equals. Some people already consider them their kids, so I guess it is not that far fetched. Little stuff like that really helps the world building. Also, one of my main issues with the second Pup Stars movie was that I felt the human characters were too oblivious and easily manipulated by the villain's plans. Thankfully, it's different here. The villain's plan is a little more complicated, so I could actually see how the human characters could believe what was going on. Also, I surprisingly laughed a lot. The way certain scenes are shot and acted is just hilarious!

Now, my one question is, how many more Pup Stars movies will there be? The ending of this movie serves really well as the conclusion to the series. But, my guess is that this won't likely be the last movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18. If you like dogs and music from all over, I recommend this for you in particular. It comes out on May 5, 2018 so look for it.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Pup Star is back and bigger than ever, as the hit singing pup competition goes global! I am totally into this movie! It is absolutely hilarious - very entertaining, witty, sassy, incredible and completely a family Friday- night movie to enjoy. It is also perfect for dog lovers.

I love this heart-warming film because it is different, talking dogs... now that's pretty different. The dogs bring a fun and quirky style with the singing and dancing that will bring the best out of you. This is definitely a fun, big scale musical adventure.

The story follows Tiny, a charming Yorkie, as she joins the launch of the Pup Star World Tour as a celebrity judge. It takes the popular singing dogs on a trip around the world where Tiny and friends find wonderful new songs to sing from different countries. Each judge chooses their favorite contestant to compete for the new title of Global Pup Star Champion. This film literally makes you get up and dance. When the contest faces a severe threat from a trio of conspirators, you have go see the movie to find out how that is resolved.

Directed and written by Robert Vince, the lead characters and the talent that voices them include Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher), Julio (Jorge Diaz), Grandpa Growl (John Ratzenberger), Simon Growl (Steve Valentine), Bark (George Newbern), Shep (Reggie De Leon), Rover (Jonathon Mangum), Jimmy Kibble (Brian Hull), Steven (David DeLuise), Butch (Danny Woodbury), Raji (Maulik Pancholy), Lou (Makenzie Moss), Ming (April Hong), Juan (Steve Zaragoza), Kano (Diedrich Bader), Dog Gnarly (Ziggy Marley) and many more.

The dogs' costumes are glamorous, with all the sparkles, glitter and beautiful colors. The colors really bring great visual effects to the film. When all the dogs from different countries come out to sing in their cultural customs, it really drew my attention. I loved seeing all the different backgrounds and vibes in all of the dogs. The music is remarkable. It really fits the theme of the film and paints pictures of all the different cultures.

My favorite characters are Tiny, who unquestionably is the most adorable judge, Shep, the funny service manager and Julio, the Mexican pup with a big heart. Most importantly, all the characters are amazing. My absolute favorite part is when the cheaters (I'm not going to tell you who they are) get disqualified from the competition.

The message of the story is "cheaters never win; winners never cheat." I'll admit, I've never understood the utility of cheating. This film definitely calls you to action. It has a positive message that promotes positive social behavior. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it for ages 5 to 14 years old, as well as adults. The film will be released on May 5, 2018 in Canada and USA so look for it!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 87 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone -- or something -- begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Truth or Dare is a new thriller that has the audience questioning their real abilities and intentions behind the fun-filled game. I am a huge fan of horror and thriller films and was so excited to see the amazing acting and suspense behind this work. This film offers jump-scares, second guessing and is loads of fun to watch with friends.

Olivia (Lucy Hale) and a couple of her college friends take a trip to Mexico for a final getaway before graduation. Little did they know it would turn into something more. While there, they meet a stranger who convinces Olivia to play a harmless, fun game of "truth or dare" with the others. The game starts and so does chaos which follows the group back to their hometown, releasing all their deepest and darkest secrets. The rules are quite simple, but fearful: tell the truth or die; do the dare, or die. No one gets out alive if you don't play by the rules. Or do they?

Growing up, my friends and I always played the game "truth or dare" at sleepovers. This movie made me question what secrets are we all hide in this game? If the consequences were real, such as they are in this film, how would we react? My favorite part of this film is how I was able to somewhat relate to the characters. They are all teens, as am I. So, it really had me feeling as if I was in their shoes and made me question what I have done in order to survive. I adore the cast, because each one has something to offer to the character they play.

The message in this film is about being honest with your friends and family and to trust one another in any circumstance. Olivia and her friends are torn apart towards the beginning of the film, due to their belief about whether or not the game was real. Once their eyes are opened, they work together in hopes of beating the game and surviving.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. It has a great storyline, cast and cinematography. I it for ages 13 to 18. I recommend seeing it with a group of friends to really get the full effect. Also, it would be more fun! It opens nationwide in theaters on April 13, 2018 so, be sure to check it out. Think about this film the next time you play "truth or dare" with your friends!

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

Blumhouse's Truth or Dare is a somewhat disappointing thriller with lots of initial potential. However, the acting and direction allow for some fun thrills. Fans of thrillers and horror movies may want to check it out but proceed with caution.

The story follows teenage friends Olivia (Lucy Hale), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Markie (Violett Beane), Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Ronnie (Sam Lernie) and Brad (Hayden Szeto) on a trip to Mexico. Along the way, they encounter Carter (Landon Liboiron), an amicable person with a dark secret, playing a game of "truth or dare". This quickly takes a turn for the worst, once the game summons a curse among the friends. Upon returning home, the curse sequesters the friends, forcing them to play a deadly game of "truth or dare" - one which will result in death if lost. Realizing they are all being forced to play the same game, the friends try to find a way to remove the curse.

Lucy Hale, as Olivia, delivers a commanding performance as the main lead, willing to go to any lengths to stop the curse. She excels in presenting her unstable relationship with her best friend Markie. Tyler Posey, as Lucas, is extremely determined to save his friends using logic to outthink the curse. Violett Beane, as Markie, is excellent with what she is given, but her character could have been more aptly written. She denigrates a repetitive plot point used to propel her inconclusive relationship with Olivia. Sophia Ali, as Penelope, wonderfully presents her character's nonchalant attitude to circumstances, until it's her turn to play the game. Nolan Gerard Funk, as Tyson, prominently portrays a smart yet misguided teen. Sam Lernie, as Ronnie, is the most careless of the group. Hayden Szeto, as Brad, is my favorite character due to his clever comic relief. Landon Liboiron, as Carter, mysteriously presents his character's involvement in the story.

Jeff Wadlow directs the movie with some fun thrills, but also many that are predictable. My favorite scene is Olivia's first dare for Markie to break her hand. It is well-acted with a visceral intensity. The flaws in the movie are in its inconsistent writing, which completely steal all the potential we see initially. Most of the characters end up in situations that are unintentionally funny. The characters are written to be hate-able and bipolar for the sake of the movie's plot. The conclusion ends up feeling rushed and used as bait for a sequel.

The message of this film is to always be careful of strangers and unknown places. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of the horror, sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on April 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIRACLE SEASON, THE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - After the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line" Found, a team of dispirited high school girls must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is an inspiring account of a true story. The acting and narration respectfully accommodate the actual people involved. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any sports movie fan.

The story follows talented volleyball team, The Women of Troy, as they seek to win the championship. However, a tragic accident results in the death of team leader Caroline Found (Danika Yarosh). As a result, the team disbands in mourning, with coach Kathy (Helen Hunt) trying to lighten and reunite its hopeless members. Caroline's best friend Kelly (Erin Moriarty) chooses to become team leader and respect Caroline by espousing the championship. This results in a grueling training season where all team members must put aside their grief and work together to compete. With extreme stakes at hand, the team must win in order to fully respect Caroline's legacy and rectify their losses.

Helen Hunt, as Kathy, incredibly presents her tough-love attitude towards her team and their determination to win the championship. She performs wonderfully in depicting Kathy's attempt to imbue the team with a purpose in the most hopeless of circumstances. Erin Moriarty, as Kelly, excellently portrays her growth from novice volleyball player to motivating leader. Danika Yarosh, as Caroline, exceptionally characterizes her teenage friendship with Kelly, including some recklessness at times. This allows her accident to have an emotional weight to it. William Hurt, as Ernie, is my favorite character due to his character arc through his grief of his daughter's death, as he slowly pushes people closest to him away. His friendship with Kathy allows for a humanizing and emotionally charged redemption from his self-pity.

Sean McNamara directs the movie with a scenic chronological representation of the events that happened in real life. My favorite scene is one where Kelly and Ernie talk about their regrets, resulting in Ernie asking Kelly to stop being so harsh on herself. I love how it portrays a relatable aspect of life. The flaw with the movie comes in the first act, when it feels like another clich� teen drama. Fortunately, it improves once the more humanizing aspects of the story come into play. However, there is an overuse of mainstream music during much of the movie, which results in a few of the most emotional scenes being completely nullified.

The message of this movie is to always remain as a source of hope for others. Despite the extreme pressure the team faces, Kelly always finds a way to assure her teammates. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on April 6, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON - LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON - LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult. The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SAYIN' IT SAM: COLORS - 0
Series: APP, AGES 2-5
Description - This app is a game that uses speech recognition to activate animations. It is deigned for preschoolers and kids with autism and speech impairments to motivate them to play by voice. Say a color and see what happens - balloons pop, birds fly, dogs play fetch, trains go Choo Choo down the track and shapes spin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The game "Sayin' It Sam" is an amazing interactive game different from any other educational game out there. "Sayin' It Sam" is a game made for preschoolers and, in particular, those who have autism to motivate them to speak. There are different modes that have different colors that you have to name in order to get to the next set of colors. You can chose between popping balloons when you name each color, or naming the colors of different shapes.

The artwork for this game sets a warm tone and a kid friendly atmosphere. There isn't a pressuring timer, or a big bad boss level, just Sam encouraging you to name those colors, and use your voice. Unlike some games built around sound, this game has prompt responses to hearing voices, and a variation of responses to each color named correctly.

I give this game 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this game for ages 2 to 6. You can download "Sayin' It Sam" from the App Store. Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Sayin' It Sam: Colors is an educational app for young children and those with speech disabilities. This app is a good idea that could have been utilized better.

The app Is very simple which is a good thing because it's easy to navigate. When you open it, there's a menu. You select choose an item and then you guess the color of the item. The next screen has three items, each a different color. You say one of the colors out loud and it continues to another set of colors. When you get it right, Sam congratulates you.

I'm not sure if this is the app's fault, but it didn't understand anything I said. It might be because of my accent (I'm Irish), but I couldn't get past the first set of colors. The animation is good for such a simple app and Sam's movement is smooth and his mouth mostly matches the audio. The colors are a bit confusing, because brown looks like red and purple looks like pink.

I give this app 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 through 6.

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

Sayin' It Sam: Colors, is an app where you name the colors of shapes, balloons and other objects. When you click on a game to play, Sam says "Let's play!" After the objects appear he says, "Say a color." Then, you say a color and, if you said the name of the correct color, it does a special animation (different for each level) and the shape disappears. Sometimes it takes 4, 5 or even more tries to get the shape to vanish. This game is designed to give young kids who are still learning to talk and kids with language impairments a chance to practice speaking. The animation is quite good. For example, the character Sam, instead of being a random monster or talking animal is a realistic animated human. I like that.

I rate this app 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6, because it teaches speech and yet it doesn't seem to recognize older voices. I think it's a great idea, but I wish it recognized what I said more easily. I have an Irish accent so that might have been the problem. Some kids might get frustrated having to repeat themselves so many times. The app also has a website (http://www.sayinitsam.com/) which shows live videos of the app being played, a link to their blog and more.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: App



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