The KIDS FIRST! Endorsement category has 1991 titles

Here are up to 50 of them

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

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOSS BABY: BACK IN THE CRIB
BOSS BABY: BACK IN THE CRIB - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 6-12
Description - Theodore Templeton is framed for embezzlement and forced to revert back to his old Boss Baby self and crash with his brother Tim and his two nieces, brainy big kid Tabitha and fellow Baby Corp employee Tina. Together, Boss Baby and Tina co-lead a new Field Team fighting to increase Baby Love while keeping a new group of arch-nemeses - The Uncuddleables - from destroying Baby Corp itself. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, "Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents.

When Theodore Templeton (JP Karliak) gets framed for embezzlement by his employees, he is forced to turn into his baby self and hide with his brother, Timothy (Max Miittelman) to escape from the FBI. While staying at his brother's house, he rejoins Baby Corp. and goes on many secret missions and exciting adventures with former characters and a whole new crew.

Since this show is based on The Boss Baby, Boss Baby: Back in Business, and Boss Baby 2: Family Business, I would recommend watching them in advance as the series references characters and storylines from these movies and show, but it is not necessary. And even though there are several different storylines in the Boss Baby franchise, this series still stays fresh and unique. Although it's not for my age range, it's is the perfect show for young children and their parents to enjoy. The strongest performances of the show come from JP Karliak, Mary Faber and Ariana Greenblatt. JP Karliak as Boss Baby is so funny and excellently mimics Alec Baldwin, who voiced Boss Baby originally. Mary Faber voices Tina, and she brings such a happy and sweet mood to the scenes she is in. Ariana Greenblatt in the role of Tabitha has the perfect proportions of clever, smart and caring that a big sister would have. My favorite character is NannyCam No Filter CEO Baby, voiced by Nicole Byer because she is so hilarious and brings a wonderful personality to the long line of Baby Corp CEOs.

The message of Boss Baby: Back in the Crib to fight for what you believe is right. This show also has great themes of teamwork and friendship, and how everyone deserves love.

I give Boss Baby: Back in the Crib 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11, plus adults. It comes out on Netflix May 19, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BRIE'S BAKE OFF CHALLENGE
BRIE'S BAKE OFF CHALLENGE - HBO MAX
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-14
Description - Brie Hayes is an aspiring baker who wishes to win her school's Spring Bake Off Challenge. Troubles ensue when Brie's confidence reaches an ultimate low and her "arch nemesis", Vanessa, does everything she can to slim Brie's chances of winning. Brie's family and her best friend Millie must help her gain perspective and practice to win. Stakes are high as these pre-teens compete for the grand prize of $5,000 and for four Cosmo Land tickets. This is the ultimate baking movie for children and adults who love watching cooking and baking shows.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - First things first, if you are a fan of baking competition shows, you'll want to stop what you're doing and tune into this brilliant and fun film. Brie's Bake Off Challenge delivers all the adorableness and laughter of a teen dramedy while speaking directly to my food-loving spirit. If you appreciate a cute, teeny-bop movie, you're in for a sweet treat!

Brie Hayes (Devyn Mitchell) is an aspiring baker who wants nothing more than to win her school's annual Spring Bake Off Challenge. The path to victory becomes harder for Brie to see as her view is blocked by self-doubt, issues with her adversary, and tension with her best friend. With a $5,000 grand prize and four Cosmo Land tickets at stake, Brie is more determined than ever to be the champion.

Devyn Mitchell's performance pulls viewers in emotionally. Her acting range is evident in multiple scenes. First, you see her anger when she scolds her little brother Peter (Isiah Givens) for destroying her chocolate cake. Next, you see her discontentment and frustration when she goes toe to toe with her arch-nemesis and bully Vanessa Weiler. Then she shows you her creative and intelligent side when strategizing how to win with her best friend BFFL Millie (Mallory Vertman). This film keeps the competitive energy of baking shows while making us feel like we were walking the halls of middle school. My favorite part of the film was when Brie's Mother, Violet (Jennifer Richards), decides to put Brie and her best friend through intensive baking training.

Brie's Bake Off Challenge reminds tweens that even our worst days are temporary and demonstrates the importance of resilience and determination. There are a series of unfortunate events, and she easily could have used those dilemmas as a reason to quit. But instead, her perseverance has great reward. This sends an encouraging message to tweens facing similar situations.

I give Brie's Bake Off Challenge 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14, plus adults. Brie's Bake Off Challenge is available now on HBO MAX. Check it out if you love cute teen movies, delectable baked goods, and movies with happy endings.


Juror Recommended Age: 8-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NO VACANCY
NO VACANCY - KINGSTONE STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A jaded reporter is demoted to a rural news station, where she befriends a recovering addict and gets involved with a church's plans to transform an old motel into housing for homeless families.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - No Vacancy is a good, heartwarming tale, which is especially crowd-pleasing as it is based on a true story.

Brandi Michaels (Sean Young) is a news reporter who lives with her mom and an alcoholic brother (Wade Hunt Williams). Being a very close-minded person, her view of the world changes when she meets a homeless drug addict (T.C. Stallings). She believes that people are only out for themselves, but when she discovers a church that is struggling to purchase a motel for homeless families, her thoughts change.

The storyline hooked me into the movie the most. I found it very exciting. Even though this isn't an action movie, No Vacancy is engaging. Sean Young, who plays main character Brandi, is an exceptional actress when it comes to emotion. She has subtle expressions which contribute to my overall favorable opinion of this film. Brandi is portrayed as a simple person whose view of the whole world changes after she sees how unselfish and altruistic people can be, and the character development portrays this evidently. The pace of the film is perfect, not being too fast or too slow.

The message I took away from this film is that selflessness does exist, and when someone is selfless it can mean a great deal more than people may think it will. There are scenes that show smoking, and there are depictions of alcohol and drug addiction. No Vacancy is suitable for more mature children as there is no severe profanity or intimacy.

I give No Vacancy 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for mature kids ages 12 to18, plus adults. No Vacancy releases in theaters on May 9, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHLOE AND THEO
CHLOE AND THEO - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - Based on true events, a young woman living on the streets meets a wise Inuit elder who was sent to New York by his elders to provide a message of change to the world. The woman, who had been searching for something to believe in, becomes inspired and, with the help of a kind lawyer, the three of them present his story to the United Nations in hopes of creating a better future for us all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Chloe and Theo is a film about the effects of climate change and how they need to be stopped. The movie has a good message, but falls a bit flat, mainly due to some stereotyping and insensitive jokes, such as people calling Theo an Eskimo despite him telling them repeatedly that he is Inuit. I was disappointed about the representation of the Inuit people.

Chloe and Theo is based on true events about an Inuit man named Theo who comes to New York to warn people about climate change. While in the city Theo meets a homeless girl named Chloe who helps him on his quest. They are joined by a lawyer, and the three of them talk to the United Nations about the dangers of climate change.

Chloe and Theo has an interesting story a great message about spreading climate change awareness. However, the Inuit man, Theo is often the butt of jokes, which is unfortunate. The story flows well, although there are some parts where it drags and it takes a while to get the plot moving. I was disappointed that there wasn't more focus on Theo's story. The vocabulary is suitable for the audience. Visually, the movie looks quite good. The camera work is good and there are some animated aspects, such as when Theo talks about the Inuit tale of the sun kissing the earth that are terrific. The film provides some insight into Inuit culture, but it isn't explored that much, except for the tale of the sun kissing the earth. People may be inspired by this film to want to learn more about Inuit culture and hopefully about climate change.

The message of the film is about the devastating effects of climate change; it emphasizes the need for everyone to play their part in stopping it. There is some violence. For example, in one scene Chloe fights with UN employees and, although it's not graphic, they drag her on top of the table and restrain her. At another point, Chloe tries to jump off of a building, but is stopped by Tyler. At the end of the movie, Theo is stabbed and killed, and blood is shown on his body and on the knife.

I give Chloe and Theo 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Medha N. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Chloe and Theo is a touching and thought-provoking story based on the life of a young homeless woman named Chloe whose world changes when she meets an Inuit with a message to help save the world. Theo, an Inuit, travels from the snow-covered Arctic to New York City in search of the Elders of the South. They both discover that although their worlds are very different, friendship and a common cause can bring people close together.

The film begins in the Arctic, a winter wonderland, where Theo (Theo Ikummaq, who is playing himself) and other Inuit are discussing the effects of the sun and global warming on their environment. They decide it's time for someone to deliver this message to Elders in the South to help save Earth. They choose Theo as the best candidate because he spent time in the South when he was young. He sets out on his mission and ends up in New York City in search of the Elders. Along the way, he meets Chloe (Dakota Johnson), a homeless girl who seems tough on the outside, but has a kind heart. She listens to his message and decides she wants to help him spread it. Together they face many obstacles and dangers, but they also make new friends, including a woman named Monica (Mira Sorvino), who are determined to assist Theo in his journey to deliver his message help save the environment.

My favorite scene is when Theo goes to a meeting with other green environmental companies who have the same goals as Theo. Theo decides to take the stairs and walk up to the top of the building rather than taking the elevator. Thankfully, Chloe and his other friends cover for him in the meeting while he walks up all those flights. The scene shows how far Theo is willing to go for his cause while adding a bit of humor. The costumes fit each character's situation and culture. Theo is seen in clothes he would wear in his village in the Arctic and his clothes change in the film due to the storyline. Chloe is seen with worn, dirty clothes and messy hair, which showcase what it's like to live on the streets. The contrast in settings helps the viewer to understand the characters' lives. The peaceful Arctic village, compared to the noisy city, shows how different Chloe and Theo's lives are. The place Chloe shares with her street friends is also a contrast to the apartment belonging Monica who helps them.

The messages in this film are to care for others and for the Earth's environment. People are all connected no matter how far apart they live. Protecting the Earth is vital for survival for everyone, so everyone should work together to make sure it is taken care of for the future. There is some mild violence that parents should be aware of.

I give Chloe and Theo 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 12 to 17, plus adults. Chloe and Theo releases just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2022 on Digital and DVD.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Chloe and Theo is a unique and inspiring film that shows how unlikely friendships can change the world! Caring and helping with the environment is very crucial and this film brilliantly portrays this message.

A homeless female, Chloe and an Inuit named Theo build a relationship after getting a life changing message in order to save the world. Despite being total opposites and having a difficult, yet hilarious adventure, both Chloe and Theo create an unbreakable bond in order to finish the mission successfully.

Chloe (Dakota Johnson) is my favorite character in this film. Dakota Johnson is an all-around, well-rounded actress and her acting brings so much to the complex character of Chloe. There is so much character development with Chloe; we see how she grows and matures as a person. Her character is someone that many people will relate to. The Inuit, Theo (Theo Ikummaq) essentially plays himself and captures his own cultural heritage with what seems like little to no acting. His portrayal Theo makes this film heartfelt and more personal for audiences. Chloe portrays a homeless woman and her clothing shows us exactly what her circumstances are. Theo's clothing, to the best of my knowledge, does justice to the Inuit culture by using traditional attire. The music and score, from start to finish, is incredible! Every funny scene, serious scene or even dialogue rich scene is enhanced with the background music. My favorite scenes of the film are those with educational aspects. While much of the film is based on fictional storylines, there are many cultural and environmental aspects that I learned by watching this film -- an experience you don't have often with movies.

The message of this film is to be open minded to different people and possibilities. If Chloe had rejected the opportunity to help Theo carry out the message to save the environment, then she would not have been able to be a hero or make a difference. Despite their differences, they looked past this and decided to see the bigger picture - a lesson I encourage all to learn from.

I give Chloe and Theo 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Chloe and Theo releases just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2022 on Digital and DVD. Don't miss it!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This fascinating film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore finally gives us the long-awaited backstory of what is going on in Dumbledore's brilliant mind throughout the Harry Potter saga. The movie is heart-wrenching, and yet at moments it leaves you bent over with laughter. The actors are truly convincing, bringing their characters to life. Every Harry Potter fan will enjoy hearing the subtle references to the books as they watch the infamous Grindelwald at the height of his power.

The storyline follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his comrades as they act on instructions given by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to find and defeat the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). This unlikely team faces major challenges and setbacks as they try to stop Grindelwald from winning the election for Minister of Magic. Newt uses his quick mind to find him, with help from his fantastic beasts, his friends' brilliant minds and his brother's spell work. Dumbledore has a plan, although he is just as secretive as all Harry Potter fans will surely remember. Will a small group of wizards (and a muggle) be able to defeat the greatest dark wizard of the time?

Jude Law portrays Dumbledore almost perfectly, just as people have always imagined his younger self to be. Dumbledore's secrecy, love and trustworthiness come across effortlessly in Jude Law's face. The protagonist, Newt Scamander, is likable and a spark of joy in these dark times. The computer generated fantastical beasts are extremely realistic and adorable, and the visual effects during fight scenes are powerful. My favorite part of this movie is the bittersweet ending. Watching the characters finally enjoy their lives, far away from evil, brought tears to my eyes.

The message of this film is that strength comes in numbers. One person may be powerful, but when people come together using their unique strengths, they can triumph. This is a beautiful message to all those who feel helpless, reminding them that they can always turn to people they trust. There are not many age restrictions in this movie, but I think it will be more interesting to slightly older audiences. The film starts slow and there are subtle clues that the viewer needs to pay attention to in order to completely understand the storyline. Because of this, this movie would be most appealing to people over the age of eleven.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters on Friday, April 15, 2022.

By Nyara Afshar, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the 3rd movie of the Fantastic Beasts movie series. It brings the same mysterious, dangerous-yet-exciting adventure as the movies that came before it. Actor Eddie Redmayne's character, Newt Scamander has a new mission that is more courageous and dangerous than before! Can he do it? Will Newt and his team be able to successfully complete this mission?

Newt Scamander and his team are tasked with trying to stop Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) from taking over the wizarding world. Not only is this movie mysterious with great humor, but it is also dark, eerie and action packed with enough action and suspense to keep you guessing. There are parts where I laughed so hard--I love a movie when I can get a good laugh in. Let's talk about suspense: The whole movie kept me on my toes. I kept wondering what was going to happen next. I was never able to predict what would happen next, which made the movie extremely enjoyable. Viewers of the previous Fantastic Beasts movies will really enjoy this movie. Part 3 aligns perfectly with the other two movies; therefore, it makes it easy to follow what was going on from the start. Honestly, you really do not need to watch the other two to follow the movie.

There is a lot going on in the movie with switching clips from one character to next, yet the camera quality and editing makes it easy to keep up with. The acting also makes this movie wonderful-- it has a marvelous cast, and you can see how well they all worked together. I really enjoyed the plot and storyline of this movie. It is interesting all the way through, and I never lost my attention.

The message of this movie is to not judge people or alienate others because they can't do certain things, look different, and accept your family members for who they are. The movie is kid appropriate. There's no bad language or drugs. The most violence shown is battling with the wands. Some of the creatures can be scary or creepy for younger kids, but it is not too bad.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The film releases in theaters April 15, 2022.

By Ava Coleman, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

After four years of waiting, the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise is finally here! Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has a perfect balance of comedic scenes that will make you chuckle and action-packed scenes that will make your adrenaline pump and tightly grip your seat.

Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), former partner of Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) and future headmaster of Hogwarts, calls upon Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the socially awkward but loveable "magizoologist" to lead a team of witches, wizards and muggles to defeat Grindelwald and his vast crowd of supporters before he takes over the Wizarding World and starts a war between muggles and wizards.

I highly recommend watching the first two films in this prequel, Harry Potter spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald before watching this third installment. However, it is not necessary to watch the Harry Potter movies or read the Harry Potter books. The special effects are remarkable, as all the magical animals are truly "fantastic" and the magic spells coming out of the wands are so convincing. The movie takes place in the 1930s and the costumes, objects and sets are absolutely beautiful and so well put together. The movie also maintains an accuracy to the era. The acting is very strong in this movie, especially with Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, Eddie Redmayne as Newt, and Jessica Williams as Professor Hicks. My favorite character is, without a doubt, Jacob Kowalski, (Dan Fogler), the amiable muggle, because he is so hilarious at some points and also convincingly serious in others.

The message of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is to do what is right and not what is easy. There is violence and death in this movie, so be aware of that for younger viewers.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Fans of the Wizarding World will definitely enjoy this. This will be released exclusively in theaters on April 15, 2022.

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Now everything makes sense! Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore is the story all Harry Potter Fans have been waiting to witness.

As mentioned in the title, this film takes us on a journey through the incredible and unpredictable backstory of Albus Dumbledore. The wizard we all know and love is revealed to have a darker past that has impacted the lives of all wizards and humans.

Despite the title, Dumbledore is not in every scene--however, this brilliantly adds suspense and mystery throughout the execution of the plot. The main character Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) creates cohesiveness throughout this entire Fantastic Beasts franchise. Witch Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams) is a wonderful addition to the team--however, one thing I notice is how forced her personality comes across. The costume design and music score are phenomenal. Both interestingly work together in different settings throughout. My favorite scenes are the ones with Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger) who is the best comic relief for such a heavy story.

The message of this film is to never forget who you are and where you come from. Dumbledore had to come to terms with his past in order to solve the predicament that he is in. Some scenes may be mature for younger audiences.

I give Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore comes out Friday, April 15, 2022 in theaters.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, THE: FAIRLY ODDER
FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, THE: FAIRLY ODDER - PARAMOUNT PLUS
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Combining live action and animation, The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder will pick up years after the original ended by following Timmy Turner's cousin, Vivian "Viv" Turner, and her new stepbrother, Roy Raskin, as they navigate life in Dimmsdale with the help of their fairy godparents, Wanda and Cosmo. In The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder, Ty Turner uproots his life to reunite with his high school sweetheart, Rachel Raskin, in the town of Dimmsdale, thrusting his cautious 13-year-old daughter, Viv, into a new world where she does not fit in. Once there, Viv's cousin, Timmy, entrusts his fairy godparents, Wanda and Cosmo, to help her adjust by taking her under their wings. Witnessing the fairy transfer take place, Viv's charismatic new stepbrother, Roy, also inherits them, and the two siblings must take turns making wishes. Together, they learn to overcome the obstacles in their path, all with the help from their new wand-wielding and wish-granting fairy godparents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is funny new animated series, based on the original, that's sure to give you a good laugh. Besides many funny moments, the show has more serious moments that deliver important messages.

This show is about Vivian Turner (Audrey Grace Marshall) whose Dad, Ty Turner (Ryan-James Hatanka), uproots their life to go live with his new wife, Rachel Raskin (Laura Bell Bundy) and her son, Roy Raskin (Tyler Wladis). The crew has some hilarious adventures when suddenly Roy and Vivian get unlimited wishes from the Fairy Godparents, Wanda (Susanne Blakeslee) and Cosmo (Daran Norris).

The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is unusual in many ways. One is that the Fairy Godparents, Wanda and Cosmo, as well as a few minor characters are animated while everyone else is live action. For the actors in live action, they have the benefit of using many other things like facial expressions and body languages as well as their voices. Another interesting thing is that there is a Council of Pop Superstars made up of Dustan Lumberlake (Garrett Clayton) as well as three other pop stars in the show. Lastly, there are some very cool personalities among the characters such as Roy who is more of a classic jock, yet is also very kind and compassionate. And Vivian is a shy person who-- as she gets used to everything--opens up a bit more.

The overall message of The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is to show your love for your family and to have fun throughout your life.

I give The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It premieres on March 31, 2022, exclusively on Paramount+.

By Avalon Niemi, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REIGN OF CHAOS
REIGN OF CHAOS - LEFT FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - When the world is gripped by a plague unleashed by the evil lord Chaos, and humans are turned into rabid creatures, mankind can only be saved by three young women, descendants of a Goddess, with the power to stop Chaos' evil.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Reign of Chaos is a gripping, one-of-a-kind tale that will have you intrigued. Its plot makes up for the, at times, weak production.

Reign of Chaos is a tale of anarchy. The evil Chaos has released a terrible plague on the world. Humans are descending into a rabid race of monsters, and mankind's last hope lies in three young women, descendants of a goddess who each have special powers. They must train and then use their powers to take down the great lord Chaos.

The most remarkable part of Reign of Chaos is its storyline. There are also lots of closeup and medium shots with dim lighting to complement the eerie mood. The voice modulation used on Chaos, one part of the special effects in the film, is great; it gives him a Darth Vader-esque voice that's menacing and powerful. The casting of this film is not particularly memorable--perhaps because the roles are not especially memorable--though every actor portrays their character well.

Reign of Chaos promotes resourcefulness, leadership, taking action and teamwork. The film contains violence and some profanity; the protagonists are initially a bit hostile to one another, but in the end work together and are great examples to kids watching the film.

I give Reign of Chaos 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reign of Chaos will be available on Digital April 12, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROTOTYPE
PROTOTYPE - LEFT FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - In the near future, life-like androids with artificial intelligence have been created to help people with menial household tasks. The prototype, One, created by Roger Marshall and tested by his family, proves to be popular but flawed. Roger has been working on a new model, Two, whose improved features show promise of its super-human abilities. As tensions rise between Roger and wife Shelley, the androids malfunction and the lives of the whole family are soon in danger of Two's sinister plans.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Prototype, a frightening and profound portrait of a digital world, will spellbind viewers of all ages. Its chilling plot and well-written script combine with rather realistic special effects to make for an immersive viewing experience.

In the near future, androids with artificial intelligence are being created to help people with menial household tasks. The first prototype, One, created by Roger Marshall (Jamie Robertson) and tested by his family, proves to be popular. Roger has been working on a new model, Two, with improved features, but when things take a turn for the worse, human emotion is weighed against scientific progress and robotic efficiency.

The plot is the most compelling part of Prototype, and the film is very well written. The casting too works wonders. Jamie Robertson is phenomenal in his role as Roger Marshall, the mercurial inventor intent on revolutionizing the technology space. He delivers his dialogue with conviction and passion; I truly felt threatened by his character at times. Actor Ben Reid's character (Roger's son) is intended to emulate his father and Reid works hard to model himself after Robertson's character. Danielle Scott, who plays the wife Shelley Marshall, perfectly plays the role of a well-meaning housewife who is willing to do anything to protect her family. A trite character though it may be, Scott's take on Shelley is fresh and unique. The cinematography complements the dark and suspenseful theme, as several scenes play with light.

Prototype is just as much about entertainment as it is a lesson to value the technology around us, and yet to not let it take over our lives. The film contains scenes suggesting domestic abuse and a murder scene.

I give Prototype 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Prototype will be available on Digital April 5, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CYCLOPS CHRONICLES: THE STORY OF SCOTT SUMMERS
CYCLOPS CHRONICLES: THE STORY OF SCOTT SUMMERS - NETFLIX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - In the present year mutants are fighting each other in a civil war. Humans and mutants at war as well. Scott Summers (Cyclops) is a leader amongst a mutant organization and helping restore peace for all. This chronicles the backstory of Scott Summers from an early age to his mid adulthood years.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers, a new episodic series, is the perfect show for X-Men fans and the "unordained" who are new to X-men as well; its beautiful cinematography, compelling and sonorous soundtrack, plus great acting make this a must-watch series.

A fan-made production, Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers follows the story of Scott Summers (Keith Sutcliff) from his upbringing to how he became Cyclops, one of the most well-regarded and fierce leaders, and my personal favorite X-Men character. On the way, he faces several trials and must confront his enemies.

Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers has some incredible camera work, music and acting! Sutcliff's dialogue delivery perfectly fits the dark Cyclops; even a four-minute episode reveals his acting talent. For a fan-made, unofficial production, the camera work looks super professional. The shots of Cyclops driving down a dusty road and looking pensively ahead are my favorites in the pilot episode. Now, the music -- it sounds like something out of older Batman films, adding enough suspense and tension to the episode to keep viewers enthralled. It's one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a while. The production truly takes Cyclops Chronicles to another level.

Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers is all about the hero's journey: courage to face adversity and gumption! And this film contains some references to drugs.

I give Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Cyclops Chronicles is available now on digital and DVD.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JESSIE AND THE ELF BOY
JESSIE AND THE ELF BOY - ENTERTAINMENT SQUAD
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Description - Inspired by Scottish legend, this feel-good comedy follows the antics of the solitary forest elf Ghillie Dhu who becomes friends with a girl lost in the woods. When she is unexpectedly whisked away by her mother, a forlorn Ghillie sets out on a quest to find his lost companion. Years later, in the city, Ghillie meets Jessie Macrae, a plucky teenager determined to win favour with her high-flying mother by becoming a renowned hair stylist. When Jessie discovers that Ghillie has a gift for hair styling, they strike up a unique partnership which causes chaos for the manager of the chic hair salon and catapults Jessie to fame. Thanks to Ghillie, Jessie's dreams are within reach, but will this meeting of two worlds be enough to overcome the deep hurts of broken relationships through the generations?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jessie and the Elf Boy is a family-friendly film set in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a sweet storyline and its Scottish sense of humor, Jessie and the Elf Boy is one for the family to watch.

The story follows Ghillie Dhu (Huck Whittle), an elf that you can only see when wearing a special necklace. When a girl he meets in the forest moves away, he goes in search to find her, only to realize that that young girl has grown up. He then finds Jessie (Julia Brown), who he believes is that young girl from all those years ago. Jessie has just started a new job at her mother's salon, and it turns out that this elf may just be the thing she needs to become the next big hair stylist.

Jessie deals with her mother freezing her out as well as trying to get her to notice the amazing things she can do--Julia portrays these characteristics really well. Huck Whittle is a newcomer making his debut in this film--his character, Ghillie, is very comedic about how he searches for his childhood friend. He discovers various things that he didn't have in the woods--one of my favorites being fizzy juice. Jessie's mother, Valerie, (Gail Watson), the owner of the hair salon, plays a very big part in the end, but I won't say too much. My favorite part of the salon storyline is when Jessie discovers Ghillie, and he creates some amazing hairdos. I love the forest at the beginning of the movie where Ghillie's home is set--it is beautiful, and highlights the amazing scenery that Scotland has to offer.

The message of the film is that the truth will always come out in the end, and it will have its perks--good and bad.

I give Jessie and the Elf Boy 3 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 8 to 11, plus adults. The film will be released April 1, 2022 to digital platforms.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MORBIUS
MORBIUS - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar� winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil - or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The new Marvel film Morbius has a lot of action, which I liked a lot, though I did expect more from this movie.

Morbius is about a biochemist named Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) who suffers from a sickness that doesn't let him walk and limits his life span. Dr. Morbius uses bats to make a cure for him and for his lifelong friend from the orphanage they grew up in, Loxias Crown (Matt Smith), who also suffers from the same illness. When injecting himself with the serum it only makes matters worse --this serum makes the infamous Morbius come to life as an ugly bat-like creature that feeds on blood.

The graphics are fantastic, especially the way they make Morbius "poof" in and out as he moves to show his super speed. Not only do the graphics and lighting look good, but also the costumes fit each scene perfectly. This movie--one of Marvel's darkest-- can be classified as a horror film due to the violence and blood-thirsty vampires.. My favorite part is when Morbius says, "I am Venom" since this is a reference to the movie Venom which was funny. Another favorite part is a funny scene where Morbius says, "You won't like me when I'm angry" which is a reference to The Hulk.

The moral of Morbius is you don't have to change yourself--you are perfect for who you are. Morbius learned this when he started killing people. He realized he became something that was not him at all and regrets it.

I'd give Morbius 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Morbius comes out in theaters April 1, 2022.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Morbius is a jaw-clenching film, filled with jump scares, betrayal and a bit of romance. The film is also great to watch if you are a fan of bats.

Morbius digs deep into the life of Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), a man who has a deeply dangerous condition but is a complete genius in the lab and in the operating room. Morbius and his best friend Loxias Crown (Matt Smith), who he calls Milo, have been struggling with this condition since they were born, and they have not been able to find a cure yet. Morbius at a young age is accepted into a gifted school for kids, and he leaves Milo to find a cure for both of them. As Morbius gets older, he does more experiments, and he ends up unleashing this beast he may not be able to defeat.

As the storyline suggests, one theme of the film is that sometimes you don't feel like yourself. There are external forces that can cause you to do things that you would never do or say things you would never say. We all can be triggered by situations, circumstances, people and events that take us out of character; but hopefully, not to this extreme. The CGI in this film is phenomenal; you see a lot of detail in both the characters and the settings. The settings are very cool, and it is fun to see all the different landscapes. The music matches each scene very well, especially in the intense scenes. Not a lot of films have the amount of suspense and thrills that Morbius has, and it is unlike other Marvel films.

The message of Morbius is don't lose sight of who you are no matter what happens. There is some language that would be inappropriate for younger viewers.

I give Morbius 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Morbius is available now in theaters.


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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HIGH EXPECTATIONS
HIGH EXPECTATIONS - FATHOM EVENTS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 6-18
Description - Kelsey Grammer co-stars in High Expectations, an inspirational story about realizing dreams despite disappointments, while restoring relationships along the way. Jack Davis (Taylor Gray) finds himself adrift after his father, the legendary Coach Davis (Kelsey Grammer), cuts him from his renowned soccer club, the Carolina Mantis. Estranged from his father, at odds with his brother, Mantis All-Star goalie Sam (Adam Aalderks), and desperate for purpose, Jack turns to his ex-girlfriend Sophia (Ally Brooke). Jack is inspired by her tough love and unwavering pursuit to become a recording artist.�He tackles his depression and takes one last shot at his lifelong dream by trying out for a rival soccer club. Can Jack finally prove that he is worthy of his dad's love?� Can he forgive and believe in second chances? High Expectations is the film debut for pop singer Ally Brooke (formerly of the girl group Fifth Harmony). Brooke performs the title track for the movie.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - High Expectations is an inspirational drama about perseverance and chasing your dreams. It is also a lesson in holding tight to family and the importance of nurturing those relationships.

Jack Davis (Taylor Gray) is adrift in life and afraid to pursue his goals. He loves soccer and has dreamed of playing professionally for his father, the legendary Coach Davis (Kelsey Grammar) who also owns the Carolina Mantis soccer team. Jack was cut from the team before he ever played a professional game while his older brother Sam (Adam Aalderks) has become the team's All-Star goalie. Jack has always played in his brother's shadow both on and off the field and their relationship has resulted in many of his insecurities. Jack turns to his ex-girlfriend Sofia (Ally Brooke) for support, and her thoughtful, and, at times, tough love, helps him overcome his lack of confidence and direction.

This really is an ensemble cast put together by Russell Boast and Debi Manwiller, and I enjoyed the interaction between all of the different groups within the movie. The importance of family is felt in the large Davis clan headed by Kelsey Grammar who has some difficult and emotional scenes with Taylor Gray. The relationships between the brothers and other family members also seem very real. In addition to the familial relationships, there is also the support of his social groups such as team members and coaches, as well as his tight circle of friends. Pop singer Ally Brooke, who plays his love interest Sofia, is an inspiring recording artist in the film, and I enjoyed the scenes where her music inspires him--she performs the title track for the movie as well. Another interesting fact is that Brianna Scurry (Coach Scurry) who portrays the first-ever female head coach of a professional men's soccer team is also a legendary U.S. Goalkeeper, World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist.

The message of this film is that family is everything. Even if you have very little wealth, if you have the love and support of your family you are blessed with more than real gold. Another important message in this film is to have grit and show everyone what you're made of. Don't accept other people's expectations regarding your abilities or limits.

I rate High Expectations 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. High Expectations premieres exclusively in over 850 theaters nationwide on April 7, 2022 for a special one-night-only event with Fathom Events. Don't miss your opportunity to view this uplifting film.

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

If you're in search of a family drama or sports movie, High Expectations has it all. The storyline is fantastic, with many relatable characters and experiences, and a few important themes expressed throughout the story. However, the acting isn't all it could be, with various characters slightly underdeveloped.

High Expectations follows Jack Davis (Taylor Gray) three years after being cut from his father's (Kelsey Grammer) Division 1 soccer team. Having always been in the shadow of his star brother, Sam Davis (Adam Aaiderks), Jack longs to prove that he has athletic abilities too. With family issues and romantic conflicts along the way, Jack's journey to play for the Davis family's rival team is one entertaining hour and a half.

This film has numerous strong points. The storyline is the best element--it is relatable and realistic, including many aspects of life. Love is portrayed through Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Sofia (Ally Brooke) on their adventure through breakups, proposals and breakups again. Jack's family issues--though probably more extreme than many viewers' own experiences--replicate modern familial conflicts. His friendship with Eddie (Tyler Chase) makes for heartwarming segments of the film, when Eddie shows how wonderful a friend he is. Their support for each other, while having plenty of fun, provides a good model for healthy friendships. The sad moments when Jack is having an intense anxiety attack or struggling with anger issues make the film relatable. The locations for the soccer games are well chosen--they show Jack's transformation from being just a local industrial league player to a professional soccer player. First, he plays on a poor quality grass field with a few bleachers. Later, he's on a turf field stadium with thousands of seats. The sets provide an easy way to differentiate the two opposites, especially when the plot moves so fast that it's slightly confusing. While not a clear shortcoming, the acting and character development doesn't reach the level of the plot. Taylor Gray as Jack has the top performance, excelling at portraying the struggles of anxiety, anger, and dealing with a mostly unsupportive family along with the romance and friendships. For the most part, the rest of the characters aren't as completely developed by the actors as the writers gave them room to be.

The message of High Expectations is to value the time you have with the people you love. Jack spends years hating his dad, but never gives him a chance to strengthen their father-son bond, until it could be too late. High Expectations reminds us we don't know what other people are going through and cautions us about making assumptions; and it expresses the theme of resisting drugs. Adults should be aware of some profanity, plus alcohol and drug use, as well as some heavy topics.

High Expectations gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me, and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can view High Expectations in participating theaters on April 7, 2022.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

High Expectations is the perfect representation of millennial life! An extremely relatable protagonist and a fan favorite sport will leave you wanting to watch this film again several times.

High Expectations follows Jack Davis (Taylor Gray), a young soccer player who was recently cut from his father's soccer team. Jack can't seem to catch a break, especially after his recent breakup with his girlfriend. Jack learns to navigate life as his family expects more of him and he learns to grow into himself.

This movie is very relatable. Many viewers will see themselves in Jack, a young adult who second guesses himself and never seems to do anything right. Jack has trouble finding his place in the world and proving his worth to everyone, including his own parents. After being kicked off his dad's team, Jack digs deep inside of himself and learns that he only needs his own approval. This speaks to many young adults, and even younger audiences that may feel lost in the word. To see a character that is such a mess learning to take things day by day makes this refreshing and keeps viewers engaged the entire movie. By the end of the film, I wanted to know more about Jack, as if I was his longtime friend. The acting all around is phenomenal. The simplicity of the performances of each actor stands out, making it seem as though we're watching a reality show, not scripted dialogue. The chemistry Jack and his ex-girlfriend Sofia have is extraordinary. Without revealing too much of their history, we see the tension expressed by the two actors and feel how much Jack is still in love with her.

The message Jack learns is to love and respect himself. Jack struggles with gaining the approval of his friends, his family and especially his father. Once he learns to blaze his own trail and stand up for himself, he's viewed in a different light.

I give High Expectations 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18 plus adults. It is available in theaters April 7, 2022.

By Heather Suarez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

High Expectations is a suspenseful film, filled with surprises and romance. The film is also great to watch if you are a soccer fan.

High Expectations digs deep into the life of soccer player Jack Davis (Taylor Grey), a man who is trying to find his path in life with a soccer career but keeps getting discouraged along the way. Jack is struggling throughout this time but his best friend Eddie (Tyler Chase) and his ex-girlfriend Sofia (Ally Brooke) help push him to make good decisions so he can conquer the conflicts he has. As time goes along, Jack starts improving himself so he can continue a real career in soccer.

As far as the storyline goes, it's very relatable. I would find it difficult to live in someone's shadow and that would block me from who I truly am--which is how Jack feels when compared to his successful brother. My favorite part is the ending when Jack sees his true potential and puts all his work and effort into how he plays his games. I love how this film is relatable to many people and shows the struggles within people's families and how it affects them. The story's ending is happy and includes a milestone for Jack to pass, which viewers will see if he does.

The message of High Expectations is that you should never give up on your dreams. Never give up on love. And never give up on your family. There is some language that would be inappropriate for younger viewers.

I give High Expectations 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 16, plus adults. High Expectations is set to premiere in theaters on April 7, 2022.

By SaniyaRain, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF PEANUT AND PIG
ADVENTURES OF PEANUT AND PIG - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The floating paradise of Goola is in trouble when the island begins to sink! An unlikely team of rival monkeys, a scientist bunny, and a jolly pig put aside their differences, learn about friendship, bravery, and save the day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you are looking for a fun film to sit back and watch with younger children, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is a great choice. This new film is so chock-full of incredible animation and interesting adventure that viewers of all ages can certainly appreciate its creativity. The Adventures of Peanut and Pig has a high level of energy and its brightly-colored scenes will surely hold a child's interest.

The Adventures of Peanut and Pig follows a diverse team of interesting characters living on the Island of Goola, as they desperately try to save their floating island from sinking. Something is causing this paradise island, held afloat by the Goola Juice Bubble Maker, to gradually sink beneath the waves--it's up to two rival monkeys, a scientist bunny, and a comical pig to figure it out. Although these characters are unwillingly thrown together to save Goola, each brings a different strength with them, which helps with their quest.

Scenes in The Adventures of Peanut and Pig move a bit fast, making it difficult at times to follow; however, the animation is so captivating that it doesn't seem to matter. Those cast for the voiceover roles fit each character perfectly and help to bring the characters to life. Some of the humor may be outside of the film's target age group, but those funny one-liners and gags can easily hook young adults into loving the movie as well. Overall, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is full of so much energy that it makes loving the film easy.

The main message of The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is about the benefits of working together despite your differences. Working together can even strengthen relationships resulting in close friendships. The film also demonstrates perseverance and courage. The misfit team doesn't give up on their mission to save Goola, but, rather, they work together with their differences to help solve the problem.

I give The Adventures of Peanut and Pig 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to ages 5 to 13. The Adventures of Peanut and Pig releases April 5, 2022 and can be viewed on streaming and cable platforms.

If you're looking for a fun and animated film for young kids, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is a perfect fit. Bright and colorful animation combines with a unique story to deliver a film packed with excitement. A variety of creatures truly emphasizes the theme of diversity.

In The Adventures of Peanut and Pig, Goola, an island of paradise, is in danger of sinking, as it did before, and panic is spreading. Unlike last time, Peanut (Louis Ferreira) has no genius inventions that can keep the island afloat. Peanut and Pig (Peter New) team up to adventure across the island and try to save the day. In order to save Goola, Peanut and Pig must navigate the ups and downs of their unlikely friendship. This sets in motion a fantastic storyline for this kid-friendly movie.

While slow at times, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig has an excellent plot. It incorporates a couple of important themes by displaying how to have a healthy friendship and how to properly disagree. Throughout the intriguing primary storyline, sprinkles of side plots and surprises make the film extra interesting--although the story can sometimes be a bit too complicated. Both action and dialogue scenes can range from slow to very fast-paced, and when they're on the speedy side, it can be difficult to follow the action. This is especially noticeable when the world of Goola is being explained, and it's hard to grasp the important elements. Subtle comedy enters exactly when the audience needs it to, with short breaks in the intensity allowing for laughs in the midst of action. This humor is specifically aimed at kids, as it grabs their concentration when it might be slipping. The tone of the comedy is also very much geared towards a younger age group.

The message of The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is to value friendship even when faced with a crisis. Peanut and Pig don't have a perfect relationship, but they still manage to work together during a scary time.

I give The Adventures of Peanut and Pig 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. The Adventures of Peanut and Pig releases on streaming and cable platforms April 5, 2022 and on DVD April 19, 2022.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is a colorful and lively animated family movie. The humor is perfect for younger audiences and will keep them engaged while also teaching them great lessons about teamwork and friendship.

Goala is a beautiful paradise island with all kinds of animals living in harmony, until it starts sinking. So a scientist bunny, a mechanic pig and two rival monkeys must work together to save Goala before it is destroyed.

Although predictable at times, this storyline will entertain young audiences and keep them engaged the entire length of the movie. The backgrounds, specifically the island itself, is very bright and fun with twisting tubes carrying bubble fluid and rivers and oceans filled with purple water. The voice actors give their characters unique personalities. The original songs are very catchy and creative while also having sweet messages. The comedy is definitely meant for younger audiences.

The messages of The Adventures of Peanut and Pig are that you must work together to accomplish things and that you can find friendship in unexpected places and times.

I give The Adventures of Peanut and Pig 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. This movie is available on digital April 5, 2022 and on DVD April 19, 2022.

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BETTER NATE THAN EVER
BETTER NATE THAN EVER - DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE, AES 7-18
Description - Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is an unpopular Midwestern kid who entertains vivid fantasies of becoming a big Broadway musical star. In the meantime, however, Nate can't even get a decent role in his middle school's drama productions, getting cast as a tree in the chorus instead of the lead role he craves. However, when he and his best friend Litty mastermind a daring trip to New York City, without their parents' knowledge, to audition for Lilo and Stitch: The Musical, Nate may be on the verge of fulfilling his lifelong dream. But first, he has to overcome a series of comical obstacles that threaten his Broadway adventure with disaster at every farcical turn.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Based on the book with the same name, Better Nate Than Ever is a lighthearted and playful musical comedy, filled with showy sets, catchy songs and dreams of being on Broadway. Director and writer Tim Federle is also the author of the semi-autobiographical book, which helps it stay true to the spirit of the story.

Nate Foster (Rueby Wood) is a quirky 13-year-old thespian who loves the theater, but his small town in Pennsylvania doesn't satisfy his dreams of the stage. When his parents go on a weekend trip out of town, he and his friend, Libby (Aria Brooks), run away to New York City to audition for Lilo and Stitch: The Musical on Broadway. Will Nate get the part, or will he be a bust and never see his dreams again?

This movie is very personal to Tim Federle, the director and writer of both the book and movie, as it is an introspective love letter to himself and his childhood. He wants to show the world a glimpse into what it's like to be in the theater. And as a bit of a theater kid myself, I love how it feels so accurate in how it shows the processes the characters go through, like auditions. Rueby Wood, the star of the movie, really shines because of his bubbly personality and beautiful voice. I also love the performances of supporting actors Aria Brooks (Libby) and Lisa Kudrow (Aunt Heidi). Aria seems to care so much about Nate while also finding her true passions. Libby and Nate have such a strong and genuine bond in this movie. Aunt Heidi, the outcast of the family, flawlessly portrays Nate's supportive aunt and secret idol. The sets have a perfect and distinctive contrast between that of the boring too-small-of-a-town in Pennsylvania, the big skyscrapers and bustling activity of New York City and the colorful destinations of Nate's dreams in his songs. The New York and Pennsylvania venues are very realistic and tangible, while the sets of the songs are bright and colorful and straight out of a play.

The messages of Better Nate Than Ever are to follow your dreams, as long as you are being rational, and never give up because it produces great fruit. The importance of friendship is also a key theme. This movie does depict some risky behaviors such as teens running away from home and teens having a house party while parents are away. The film also has some bullying and adult references.

I give Better Nate Than Ever 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases exclusively on Disney+ on April 1, 2022.

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

Better Nate Than Ever is a remarkable film that, at some points, is quite the musical. It captured me from the first few minutes. If you're into Broadway and performing arts, Better Nate Than Ever is for you. If you're not, this movie has a lot of comedy, and I'm sure you won't regret watching it.

The film takes us on a journey from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, to the bustling streets of New York City. After being disappointed in the school's musical's cast list, Nate (Rueby Wood) turns toward his best friend Libby (Aria Brooks) who announces the auditions of Lilo and Stitch: The Musical, on Broadway. Without hesitation, Libby decides to sneak away with Nate to New York City in order to audition. Nate is revived with hope, and agrees. With the help of the people around him, what new adventures will Nate experience?

The lead characters are Nate, Libby, Anthony (Joshua Bassett) and Aunt Heidi (Lisa Kudrow). Nate and Libby make an irresistible team--I can't think of a better best friend duo. Furthermore, Tim Federle's work as both the director and writer (he adapted his own novel) is phenomenal, as is the work of the other producers and crew--they made a masterpiece. The casting is well done and the actors absolutely live up to their characters. My favorite part is when Nate calms his nerves in his audition. It was truly inspiring, and I got teary-eyed. This movie's music is extraordinary. After watching it, the songs were stuck in my head the entire day. The highly talented Rueby Wood and Aria Brooks have angelic voices.

One message of Better Nate Than Ever is to pursue your dreams and never give up, especially when people try to shoot you down. Another lesson is to learn to, as Aunt Heidi proclaimed, "find your light." There is some bullying in the beginning, though there isn't any bad language.. Kids could possibly imitate running away from their households, like Libby and Nate do.

I give Better Nate Than Ever 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Better Nate Than Ever begins streaming exclusively April 1, 2022 on Disney+.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST CITY, THE
LOST CITY, THE - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 10-18
Description - Brilliant, but reclusive author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) has spent her career writing about exotic places in her popular romance-adventure novels featuring handsome cover model Alan (Channing Tatum), who has dedicated his life to embodying the hero character, "Dash." While on tour promoting her new book with Alan, Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes that she can lead him to the ancient lost city's treasure from her latest story. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the ancient treasure before it's lost.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Lost City is an attention-grabbing comedic film, filled with action and adventure while still having an important message.

The movie follows Loretta (Sandra Bullock) who's best known for writing her popular book series about adventures in ancient times. However, with an overbearing book cover model Allan (Channing Tatum), and pressure from her tour manager, Loretta has been struggling to write her final book. Luckily, she is swept off her feet and thrown into the reality of her own novels. Loretta must learn to put her pride aside and work with the people that care for her to escape the island that they're stuck on.

The sound and visuals in The Lost City really stand out to me--I am amazed at how clear the audio is. All of the fighting scenes feel so real, without being overbearing. Plus the picture quality is top-notch. Everything feels very realistic, and it's almost as if we are really there. I am very impressed with the acting, too. Each actor grabbed my attention the entire time. For example, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum's chemistry is so strong, and they make their characters very believable. Lastly, the storyline is so interesting. There's a fun twist to it, and the story is overall unexpected. There are so many different elements, plus it is also a comedic experience. I personally love a good laugh, because it lightens the mood, and this movie definitely does that.

The message of The Lost City is that being greedy and evil will never get you anywhere. In the end love will always win. This film does have some violent scenes including fighting and the use of guns.

I give The Lost City 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The Lost City in theaters starting March 19, 2022.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 15

Everyone hold on to your seats! The Lost City has you in for a surprise. Combining great actors, action, and comedy, The Lost City surely offers many things you will enjoy.

The Lost City is about a widowed author named Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) who is being forced to promote her book along with her cover model Alan (Channing Tatum). After Alan ruins the event, Loretta gets unexpectedly kidnapped by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) and taken to a remote island. Luckily, Alan follows and tries to rescue her. Then, not so luckily, it turns out he's not like Dash, the strong, tough, and charming character he models on Loretta's book. Loretta and Alan have to find a way to work together and get out of danger before it's too late.

I enjoy how dynamic The Lost City is in terms of the scenes and the character development--there is always a new twist in the storyline, and never a time when only one thing is happening.. The character development is especially impressive with Loretta and Alan. At first, Loretta is mad at the world and doesn't want anything to do with her book after her husband dies. Alan is a man hiding behind the character he portrays, not wanting to be himself. However, Loretta and Alan help each other realize that they don't have to hide anymore. I will say the villain's motive was a little lost on me. Abigail Fairfax originally kidnapped Loretta to have her decrypt a hidden message. However, it isn't really made clear what Abigail wanted that for, or what he is going to do with it. The set plays a major role in this movie being so interesting to watch--the image of the forest and the high-intensity fight scenes are visually appealing and help the story move forward.

The message of The Lost City is that sometimes people deserve second chances. After Alan embarrasses and offends Loretta at the promotional event, she walks away not wanting to hear from him. However, in the end, she is grateful that he comes to rescue her. This film includes a few inappropriate scenes and minimal vulgar language.

I give The Lost City 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It will prove very appealing to people who like comedic action movies. You can find The Lost City in theatres now, so make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAST GLACIERS, THE
LAST GLACIERS, THE - IMAX FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 9-18
Description - Embark on a global adventure in IMAX, following filmmaker Craig Leeson and UN Mountain Hero Malcolm Wood as they use extreme sports to explore the causes and effects of climate change. IMAX immerses you in an extraordinary journey to the top of Earth's glaciers as Leeson and Wood hear from leading scientists and impacted communities about the imminent dangers if we fail to protect what's left of these rapidly disappearing natural water reservoirs. Filmed over four years in twelve countries, The Last Glaciers captures the fragility of the natural world, the impact humans have on our life support systems and the friendship, personal challenges and tragedies experienced by the explorers during their journey. The Last Glaciers brings forward a call to action from the next generation determined to reverse the climate crisis for their own future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Last Glaciers is an informative, heartwarming film that sucks you into the storyline, and really makes you think about your life and the world around you.

This documentary follows the main climbers as they take us through their journey of scaling glacier mountains. Throughout the film we learn about how the climate crisis has seriously affected the glaciers, along with the rest of the world.

I really enjoy how informative The Last Glaciers is--it explains how climate change is affecting the world, and raises awareness to the subject. In addition, the structure and tone of the documentary is very easy to understand. For instance, there are lots of visuals, and even though climate change is a complex subject the language is clear and easy enough for the average person to comprehend. Another thing that stands out to me is the quality of the visuals. All of the scenery is beautiful, and even in the extreme weather conditions they had during shooting, they still managed to get good shots. Lastly, the emphasis on the importance of the message is really well done. Throughout the entire film they are constantly reinforcing how important it is that we make a change.

The message of The Last Glaciers is that if we all don't start actively making a difference to stop climate change, then soon enough we'll all be affected.

I give The Last Glaciers 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. The breathtaking documentary The Last Glaciers opens in select IMAX theatres March 22, 2022.
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TEAM ZENKO GO
TEAM ZENKO GO - DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-10
Description - Niah, Ari, Ellie and Jax are members of Team Zenko Go, a secret squad of stealthy do-gooders who harness the art of distraction to perform anonymous acts of kindness for the unknowing residents of Harmony Harbor. These four kids have been taught by their mentor, Auntie Yuki, a special set of skills that allow them to do good deeds (or Zenkos) for others, making their town the happiest in the world. Like Auntie Yuki says "when we help people without them knowing, they start to think that the world is just a nicer place."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Team Zenko Go is a positive children's series that shows kids that you don't need to be a superhero to do something good. And that even though you might not agree on the same things as other kids, you can problem-solve to figure things out.

Team Zenko Go focuses on a group of kids named Niah (Nakai Takawira), Jax (Dominic Mariche), Ellie (Penelope Good), and Ari (Hartley Bernier), who live in a town called Harmony Harbor. Together, they are Team Zenko. The people who live in Harmony Harbor think their town is the happiest place on Earth, and it's all because of Team Zenko, who, in their free time, devote themselves to anonymously doing good deeds. The best Zenkos are the ones that are kept secret.

What makes this show unique is that the kids aren't doing good deeds for fame and glory. They are doing it just to be nice and to help out. In fact, this is probably my favorite aspect of the show. Another thing I like about this show is the diversity. For example, Ari is in a wheelchair which demonstrates that just because you have a disability doesn't mean you can't accomplish things you would be able to do without it. My favorite character is Ari because he is optimistic and intelligent for his age. For example, in episode one, when Ari messes up his first mission, he gets kicked out of the team. But he uses his intelligence to figure out that it was all a test for him to prove he is worthy to be on Team Zenko. In most of the episodes when something goes wrong, Ari thinks positively and finds a way to get the job done.

The message of Team Zenko Go is that when good things happen to you, you are more likely to do good things for others, and that just makes everyone happy. The series is completely family-friendly.

Team Zenko Go is an amazing show for kids to watch with their families. I give Team Zenko Go 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 10. Parents will also enjoy watching it with their kids. This show is available to watch on Netflix starting March 15, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 4-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING MAP: UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE
MISSING MAP: UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE - NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - The Chief of Police asks the entire Charles family to help find the missing map, including Upton, who is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), a little white dog, with well-honed canine detective skills and Watson, his feline assistant.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Missing Map: Upton Charles-Dog Detective is a little slow to start. I like that it's a cute little story about a dog detective.

The story starts out on a nice, spring day when the Charles family decides they want to go to an event at a park and when they arrive they discover that a map has vanished. A dog named Upton thinks like a detective and takes on the case to find out how it left the display case.

I like how friendly the structure is and how the story is written. It is very suitable for a young audience. I was curious to see how the dog detective would act. The story is developed as a mystery to find the missing map and have a little adventure. The illustrations in the book are nicely drawn. I love the front cover.

The book teaches kids a little bit about dogs, such as how they are color blind. It could motivate kids to act like a detective and problem solve.

I give Missing Map: Upton Charles-Dog Detective 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. It is an e-book and can be found online wherever e-books are sold.

By Ethan P, KIDS FIRST! F
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing Map from the Upton Charles-Dog Detective series is an enjoyable read. The story is told from the perspective of a dog and we read his thoughts and ideas. It makes one wonder if dogs know more than you think and, if only they could speak, would you be amazed. My favorite part of the book is when he proves the librarian wrong by solving a mystery.

The Missing Map follows a dog names Upton on his journey to recover the Waldorf Map. Along the way he encounters many clues while sniffing around a librarian's van. He gets help from his cat friend and his Great Dane friend and faces a few challenges from a doubting librarian. Will the clues lead to the map or will he have to start back at Square One? The story, told from the perspective of a dog, sparks the imagination. The vocabulary is easy to understand. The drawings make a fun addition.

Told in Upton's voice, this story is easy to follow, engaging, and appeals to the imaginative child. The storyline flows well. The story happens over the course of a few hours, which keeps the reader on their toes. It holds your interest from start to finish, because there are constantly new clues and hints to solving the mystery. The story is entirely fictional. It portrays very positive interactions with a specific focus on the interaction between humans and animals. Everyone is treated with respect except for the potential antagonist -- the librarian. She is sometimes mean to the protagonist because she does not believe in him. Problem-solving is central to the story. There are many things that go wrong and the clues don't always lead you in the right direction. They are developed in a very age-appropriate way. The vocabulary and concepts are very suitable for its audience. While some words might be harder for kids under the age of eight, they can still understand the story from the context. For example, the word surreal is used, which is not a common word for younger children. The cover is very detailed and has a good image of the dog, the protagonist. Each chapter has an image that helps you visualize the scenery and location where that chapter takes place. This book will encourage kids to read because it is engaging, fun and entertaining.

This book might encourage children to think about animals or pets and wonder whether they have deeper thoughts.

I give Missing Map: Upton Charles-Dog Detective 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9. It is available online where books are sold.

By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Missing Map (Upton Charles-Dog Detective Series) is a detective story with an interesting twist - the detective is a dog. I recommend this book to people who admire this kind of tale. My favorite part is when they all decide to go to the autumn festival. It reminds me of festivals from other cultures.

The book tells the story of a dog and a cat that go out with their owners to an autumn festival and meet a policeman who discusses a case where a very famous painting has been stolen from the neighborhood library and they get involved in the case and solve the mystery. The book is full of life lessons, has a good mystery, and is enjoyable to read.

The storyline develops very well. I looked forward to discovering who stole the painting and the story kept me interested through to the end. It refers to historical places, which connect the story point to point. In the course of the story, they show and talk to different characters, and the dialogue is very intelligent. Problem-solving is built into the plot. The vocabulary suits the target audience. This is an E-book. It is easy to access and fast. You can easily continue where you left off. Kids will enjoy the characters, especially the dog who is very attractive.

The message is that what you love, money can't buy. It also emphasizes how helping people is an act of kindness.

I give Missing Map (Upton Charles-Dog Detective Series 4.5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It is available online wherever books are sold.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADAM PROJECT, THE
ADAM PROJECT, THE - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Adam Project is a sci-fi movie that takes you on a wild, CGI-filled flight that is out of this world--with futuristic technology that makes you excited but also afraid of what could come, and crazy fight scenes that defy gravity. This film also whooshes you into some very realistic topics, too, like grieving for a loved one, being bullied by classmates and accepting who you are.

The year is 2050 and time travel exists; however, it is proving to be too dangerous for humanity's own good. After time-traveler pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) misses the destination of his mission, to land in 2018, and instead crash-lands in 2022, he is found by his 13-year-old self (Walker Scobell). Together, they embark on a mission to "un-do" time travel so they can fix the past to save the future of the world. But first, the Adams must learn how to get along with each other.

The special effects are one of the most notable things about this movie. The wormholes have a mind-boggling appearance, and the ships are straight out of an alien planet. The sci-fi elements look so realistic - as realistic as those can be - that it gives the impression that the cinematographers used time travel themselves to capture these scenes. The overall storyline of the movie is creative, but it does not really have any unique plot twists nor is it fully developed. And as a result, this film comes off a little bland and seems to be missing something. The Adam Project includes some great actors besides Ryan Reynolds, including Jennifer Garner (Adam's mom). In Reynold's performance, you can really feel all his tension and childhood trauma built up, ready to burst. He also manages to make you laugh really hard. Jennifer Garner is the perfect fit for Adam's loving mother who's trying to keep it together as a single mom.

This movie has great messages about never giving up and learning to live with your past. There is some profanity, intense fighting scenes, blood, and some adult jokes.

I give The Adam Project 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases exclusively on Netflix on March 11, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FRANCIS AT THE BEACH
FRANCIS AT THE BEACH - NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: EBOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - Francis is exhausted. He has been working extra shifts. Francis decides that he will go to the beach and visit his lifeguard sister, Fiona. Fiona is delighted that her firefighting big brother is coming to see her. She wants to share with him all the amazing things the oceans have to offer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Francis at the Beach didn't quite catch my attention. I am not fond of the characters, which are unsettling to me and the storyline falls short. The wording is simple and the story is definitely easy to understand. I like that it has pictures, which make it more interactive, but they're not great.

The story is about Francis, a firefighting rat, who is tired and needs a break. He decides to go to the beach to visit his sister, Fiona who is a lifeguard and lives on the beach. So, he packs up and goes. Together, they visit the beach, learn about animals, shells and lifeguard duties. They even get smoothies. Then it's time for Francis to say goodbye to his sister and the beach so that he can return to work.

The story makes sense, but it is not very interesting and feels a bit choppy at points. The facts about the animals and shells are accurate, but seeing a rodent as a firefighter or lifeguard is definitely imaginary. The characters all portray positive interactions and respect for one another. The only questions they ask are about what the main character should wear or do on vacation. The vocabulary is mostly appropriate for its audience and, when new words, such as vacation, are introduced, they are explained. I expect most kids to the word vacation, but not words such as pristine or delectable. I did not find the characters attractive, but I'm not a fan of rodents. Stock photos are used for the backgrounds. A reader could learn about dolphins, turtles and birds, and also about climate change. It might make children more interested in knowing more about the beach or nature.

I can't say I'm a big fan of Francis at the Beach, but it might appear to early readers, ages of 2 to 7. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Francis at The Beach is both entertaining and educational. The images are appealing and the cartoon characters are set against real-life photographs, which is nice. Readers will enjoy following Francis's time at the beach with his sister Fiona while learning about beach animals and beach safety.

Francis at The Beach is an educational children's fiction book about Francis, a firefighter, who decides to take a vacation to visit his sister Fiona at the beach. He packs up his things and heads off to the beach where he is greeted by his sister who shows him around. Fiona talks about the different animals they see. The next day they head off to the beach where Fiona works as a lifeguard and she talks about certain dangers at the beach by explaining the meanings of the different flags. During his day at the beach, he enjoys learning to surf and collecting shells. Francis learns about the importance of keeping the beach free from pollution. In the end Francis returns home with a lot more knowledge and appreciation for the beach.

The characters in this book are kid family and good role models. The way they interact with each other and the environment is positive. The story has a well thought-out storyline that stays on topic. It gives reasons why Francis travels to the beach, explains the activities he enjoys and the things he learns while he is there. It held my interest because there is a lot of detailed information. For example, the information about the meanings of the different flags at the beach is interesting and useful. The facts about the beach seem accurate. Francis and Fiona, the main characters, are siblings and they have a positive relationship. They are polite and enjoy each other's company. Fiona teaches Francis about the beach, and he appreciates it. The story also addresses the issue of pollution. There is one instance when Francis finds a plastic bottle floating in the ocean. They take it out and dispose of it properly. There are other examples, such as when a shark is spotted close to the beach, and they respond with the appropriate actions. The vocabulary is rich; however, some of vocabulary might be difficult for younger readers to understand. For example, the words quandary and dilemma are not words that are common for the target age group. The book's cover is colorful and inviting to kids. It features an animated character with a beach as the background. As an e-book, you have option to view one page at a time or several in smaller panels. There is also a search option where you can type in a word, and it shows the pages where that word is featured. This book might make kids inclined to learn more about animals that live at the beach and to do things to protect the beach environment.

One of the important messages of the book is about pollution. Francis and Fiona discuss the importance of cleaning the environment and taking care of the ocean's animals.

I give Francis at the Beach 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13.

Something very appealing about Francis at the Beach is that it has amazingly edited pictures along with words. The story has lots of good messages and it is not too scary for younger audiences.

This is a very interesting and engaging book with terrific pictures, a nice plot and interesting storyline. The story follows a firefighter rat, Francis, who decides to go visit his sister who lives at the beach. His sister, Fiona, is a lifeguard. While at the beach Francis learns things about the animals that live there and what a lifeguard does.

The story held my attention quite nicely without dragging. It is very accurate, especially when it talks about professions such as the lifeguard and firefighter. Good behavior such as listening to lifeguards is demonstrated. It is very easy to get though; there are even arrows that make it very easy to follow the pages. Kids will find it entertaining to hear about Francis's adventures. They may even decide to do some research on professions such as lifeguards and firefighters.

The story encourages kids to be grateful and to appreciate a vacation. It also talks about necessary professions such as lifeguard and firefighter.

I give Francis at the Beach 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 12. You can find it online where books are sold.

Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The most appealing thing about Francis at the Beach is how much Francis learns and enjoys about the beach when he visits his sister Fiona. This would be a great book for someone to read who longs to go to the beach. I especially enjoyed when Francis discovers the conch shell; those shells are beautiful.

This book is about Francis, a hardworking firefighter, who needs a rest and decides to visit his sister, Fiona, who is a lifeguard and lives at the beach. He learns so many things about the beach and ocean from his sister while he has a very relaxing time.

This e-book is an easy read with interesting illustrations featuring cartoon characters in live action settings. Francis learns how to ride the surf, relax and take better care of the ocean and its inhabitants. We can all take better care of our planet by recycling plastic. Francis at the Beach is a great book for a fun escape to the beach. One thing I found confusing is when Frances takes the bus trip, it states that he will need to take two busses. Then, he falls asleep and still wakes up where he needs to be. Otherwise, the story moves along nicely and is easy to follow. I like that Francis takes a vacation to rest from his hard firefighter job. I also like that Fiona is respectful of the baby turtles by leaving her porch light off. That is a kind and thoughtful idea. The vocabulary and concepts are easy to understand. At first the use of animated characters in a live setting didn't make sense, but by the end of the book I liked it.

The message of the book is that we need to treat our planet better, especially our beaches. Picking up plastic bottles to recycle is important, or limiting the use of plastic.

I give Francis at the Beach 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. It's a fun book that can be read by parents for little ones and older kids can easily read it for themselves.

By Madeleine H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Book


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TURNING RED
TURNING RED - WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - Disney and Pixar's Turning Red introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother's dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter--an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren't enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she "poofs" into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award� winner Domee Shi (Pixar short "Bao") and produced by Lindsey Collins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Turning Red is a vivid and dazzling animated story of friendship, parenting, adolescence, and boy bands. Director Domee Shi makes her feature film directorial debut and gives us her unique take on puberty and parenting. Kids and adults alike will find this movie enjoyable given the relevancy of the topics and relatability of the characters.

Set in Toronto in 2002, this beautifully-animated movie follows Meilin "Mei" Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a confident 13-year-old girl who is torn between staying her overprotective mother's obedient daughter and being an independent person with her own interest. And if that is not enough, whenever she feels a powerful emotion, she turns into a giant, fluffy red panda.

The world-building is phenomenal, specifically that of the boy band that Mei and her friends are obsessed with. 4-Town, the boy band, perfectly captures the essence of a boy band with corny love songs, crazy fanatics and, of course, cute boys. Along with that, Turning Red captures the complexity of mother-daughter relationships across generations with both comedy and drama. The animation is visually stunning as it mixes Eastern and Western animation techniques together to make a fresh, new style while still staying true to Pixar's recognizable animation form and style. My favorite performances are that of Sandra Oh (Ming) and Rosalie Chiang (Mei) because there is such a strong chemistry between the characters in how the actors portray a real-life, genuine relationship.

The message of the movie is to honor your parents, but make sure to be your own person while doing so. The movie animates the idea of suppressing your emotions and personality for others. It also highlights the power of friendship and the key role it plays in your life.

I give Turning Red 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Turning Red releases exclusively on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LUCY AND DESI
LUCY AND DESI - AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - From director Amy Poehler, Lucy and Desi explores the unlikely partnership and enduring legacy of one of the most prolific power couples in entertainment history. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz risked everything to be together. Their love for each other led to the most influential show in the history of television, I Love Lucy. Desi -- an immigrant from Cuba who lost everything in exile, became a band leader, and eventually a brilliant producer and technical pioneer. Lucille came from nothing and, with an unrivaled work ethic, built a career as a model, chorus girl and eventually as an actor in the studio system. She found her calling in comedy, first in radio. When Lucille was finally granted the opportunity to have her own television show, she insisted that her real-life spouse, Desi, be cast as her husband. Defying the odds, they re-invented the medium, on the screen and behind the cameras. The foundation of I Love Lucy was the constant rupture and repair of unconditional love. What Lucy and Desi couldn't make work with each other, they gave to the rest of the world. Lucy and Desi is an insightful and intimate peek behind the curtain of these two remarkable trailblazers -- featuring interviews with Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Norman Lear, Desi Arnaz Jr, Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lucy and Desi is a mediocre take on a story fans have heard millions of times! Throughout the film, you'll be craving a sense of something new and fresh, but unfortunately this film simply doesn't deliver anything worthwhile.

Lucy and Desi is a documentary that tells the story of two of the biggest comedians in television, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The film provides behind-the-scenes clips of the hit show I Love Lucy, video recordings of Lucy and Desi throughout the years, and sit-down talks with some of their closest friends like Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.

This film falls flat for several reasons. The story of Lucy and Desi has been told too many times for this documentary to provide anything new or exciting. The timing of its release is unfortunate as another film on the two stars, from the same studio, Being the Ricardos, came out only a few months ago. Lucy and Desi fails to differentiate any information from what the biographical drama gave audiences. Lucy and Desi feels like a watered down version of its predecessors and is unable to engage its viewers. However, it does have some incredible cameos like those by Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and Norman Lear. They give some anecdotes that not many fans have heard and will definitely leave you wanting to hear more of their relationship with Lucy and Desi, which this film does not deliver. The greatest part about the documentary is the romance between Lucille and Desi--their pictures and video clips show a love that is timeless.

The film's main focus is the love of Desi and Lucy, how they were able to create a fantastic and iconic series, and still be in love off camera. There are no warnings for this documentary.

I give Lucy and Desi 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 15 to 18, plus adults. It is being released in theaters and on Amazon Prime Video March 4, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOG
DOG - UNITED ARTISTS THEATERS CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Dog is a buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier's funeral on time. Along the way, they'll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dog is a thought-provoking film about an important subject. This movie tells a compelling story about a former Army Ranger and his journey to bring a canine hero to the funeral of his previous comrade and handler. In the end, the two warriors rescue each other in their odyssey of self-discovery.

Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois K-9 Working Dog) are joined together against their will to honor the service and sacrifice of Sergeant Riley Rodriguez (Eric Urbiztondo) at his distant funeral. Along the way, they drive each other crazy, exhibit self-destructive and bad behavior while also escaping dangerous situations. They begin to bond on their journey and heal the wounds they both experienced from combat situations which makes them realize that life can move forward in unexpected ways.

Channing Tatum (Army Ranger Briggs) adds a lot of humor in his character's dialogue and in the physical comedy between Lulu and him. Tatum also co-directs this movie along with Reid Carolin who wrote the screenplay as well. My favorite scene is when Briggs coaxes Lulu into taking a bath--and there are many other funny physical interaction scenes between the two of them when they are fighting or at odds. There are some touching scenes together as well, such as when Lulu is comforting him after a severe headache.

The message of Dog is that life typically unfolds in unexpected ways and embracing change can bring about unexpected happiness. Both Army Ranger Briggs and Lulu are wounded warriors and together they experience this journey of healing. Parents need to be aware that this film has some mature elements involving language, drugs and sexual material. Younger audiences may also be frightened by some of the dog's aggressive behavior. I give Dog 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The film opens exclusively in theaters on February 18, 2022.

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLACKLIGHT
BLACKLIGHT - OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Trust, identity, and the danger of unchecked power push a covert operative to the edge in director Mark Williams' intense action thriller Blacklight. Travis Block (Neeson) lives and fights in the shadows. A freelance government "fixer," Block is a dangerous man whose assignments have included extracting agents out of deep-cover situations. When Block discovers a shadowy program called Operation Unity is striking down ordinary citizens for reasons known only to Block's boss, FBI chief Robinson (Quinn), he enlists the help of a journalist (Raver-Lampman), but his past and present collide when his daughter and granddaughter are threatened. Now Block needs to rescue the people he loves and expose the truth for a shot at redemption. Nothing and no one is safe when secrets are hidden in Blacklight.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Thrilling, fast-paced and intricate, you won't want to miss Blacklight! Liam Neeson's strong performance, the plot by Nick May and Brandon Reavis and impeccable cinematography all make this film a joy to watch.

The film follows Travis Block (Liam Neeson), a freelance government operative coming to grips with his past, present (still a bit of a gray area) and future, which he sees in his daughter and granddaughter. When he discovers a plot undermining the safety of American citizens that has proliferated through the upper echelons of national intelligence, Block is pitted against FBI director Gabriel Robinson (Aidan Quinn), whom he once protected while on tour in Vietnam. Using the help of tenacious journalist Mira Jones (Emmy Raver-Lampman) to get the truth out, Block must find a way to keep his daughter and granddaughter safe while combating grave danger.

Just as he plays all of his roles, Neeson seems to have invested all of his mental and emotional energy into perfecting Block's troubled and cerebral personality. He portrays the agent's struggle with great conviction and vigor, and he certainly is my favorite actor in the film. I have to say, though, that as a journalist, I have a soft spot for Emmy Raver-Lampman's character Mira Jones. From Jones' first scene, her grit and tenacity are visible. She even confronts the head of her news corporation! Just as Raver-Lampman acts from her heart, Jones writes from her heart, and I'm sure she would have taken some inspiration from her own craft to portray Jones' courageous quest for the truth. The production of the film isn't all about the acting, though. The variety of unique, dramatic shots in the film including several cutaways, medium shots and close-ups, adds to the intensity of several scenes. As is apt for a film with "light" in the name, the lighting plays a large role in the cinematography; the number of bright scenes steadily decreases over the course of the film as the characters descend to the dark depths of their lives.

Blacklight promotes honesty, valor, persistence and perseverance. There's really no other way to put it. Regardless of how many hurdles Mira Jones faces in her pursuit of the truth, she never backs down. Similarly, Travis Block, however ragged he may look, never throws in the towel in his pursuit of the shadowy figure from his past. There is some violence to look out for and in one scene, a political activist is murdered.

I give Blacklight 4.5 stars out of 5, and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Blacklight is available in theaters now.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUES ON BEALE
BLUES ON BEALE - ECHELON STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Featuring Grammy award winner Bobby Rush, Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland, award-winner Castro Coleman and a host of acclaimed musicians, Larry Lancit's Blues on Beale was filmed entirely in the Blues clubs on famed Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, captures the people, the soul and music of the 36th International Blues Challenge, an annual event organized and staged by The Blues Foundation. Starting in the early fall of 2019, Blues Societies from across the globe held local competitions for Blues bands and solo/duo acts. The winners of these competitions qualified to travel to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge in late January 2020. 232 winners of these local contests brought their hopes and aspirations to Memphis to compete for medals, recognition and possible record contracts by performing in 20 clubs along renowned Beale Street, the most celebrated Blues location in the world. The 2020 IBC was perhaps the last major music event staged before Covid-19 put the world on "hold."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you love the blues genre of music, Blues on Beale is the perfect documentary for you! If it is not your favorite style of music, or you don't know much about it, this film written by Cecily Lancit and directed by Larry Lancit (also producers) provides a rich insight on this art form and its place in American history. As a music lover, I found this exceptional work beyond entertaining.

Some background: The International Blues Competition on its 36th edition was one of the last events that took place before the lockdown in January, 2020. Over two hundred acts (bands, solo or duo) from around the world got together at the iconic Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee to compete in a challenge organized by The Blues Foundation. Only 16 acts make it to the final and 5 are awarded winners. This documentary covers this competition and intertwines live performances and interviews with the musicians, judges and music experts. The montage brings the audience back to the origins of blues with footage and photos from legends like BB King and Elvis Presley and others that gave birth to this touching music. Stories about those blues pioneers contrast with contemporary artists like Bobby Rush and Shemekia Copeland, making Blues on Beale educational as well as fun to watch.

I am impressed by the talent and the different ethnicities and performers from countries like Croatia and Australia that share the love for blues, despite the fact that it is a secular folk music created by African-Americans early in the 20th century in the South of the United States of America. The producers excel at getting these artists to share their stories. You learn how blues is perhaps the music genre that better connects with the human condition and how it transcends boundaries. Despite the connotation of the word "blues." this music is uplifting and meaningful. Blues also connects with the audience by telling a story whether is about slavery and oppression, longing for a better job or love.

The editing flows nicely and surprisingly--there's a good element of surprise. It just feels that the narrative is sometimes redundant and lacks a deeper insight on the venues and idiosyncrasy of the city. Memphis is the perfect location, but feels a bit abandoned in the storytelling. My favorite part is the energy in how they present the information and ignite a spark in the audience. You'll appreciate the true craftsmanship in the performers and how they don't follow a trend nor are they part of a marketing campaign.

The message of the film is that music is powerful and transcends gender, race and nationality; it unites people and goes beyond the competitive spirit.

I give Blues on Beale 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 10 to 18, plus adults. Blues on Beale is available now on VOD.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TALL GIRL 2
TALL GIRL 2 - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - After her inspiring speech at the homecoming dance, Jodi (Ava Michelle) is no longer just the "tall girl" - she's popular, confident, has a boyfriend, and just booked the lead role in this year's school musical. But as the pressure of her newfound popularity intensifies, so do her insecurities, and new relationships are formed while old ones are tested. As the world she built starts to crumble around her, Jodi realizes that standing tall was only just the beginning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tall Girl 2 is a heartwarming, inspiring film. It has a light happy feel to it, but still has a deep meaning and message.

The storyline continues from the original teen romantic comedy Tall Girl and features Jodi making her way through life in high school. No time has passed--however, now Jodi (Ava Michelle) and Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) are officially dating and exploring that new aspect of their life. On top of this major change in Jodi's romantic life, she's also starring in her school's musical. Jodi must learn to juggle these new experiences, while figuring out her own identity.

The structure of the film really stands out to me. Although this is a sequel, the storyline still feels entertaining, fresh and relevant--unlike with some sequels-- and continues to grab my interest throughout. I also enjoy how different each character's personality is. For example, Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) is very confident, and knows what she wants. Whereas Stig (Luke Eisner) is more sarcastic, and still trying to figure out who he is. Representing different types of personality is a strong quality in a film--it also attracts a bigger audience, because viewers are always looking for a character they can relate to.

The message of Tall Girl 2 is to never give up on yourself. And the meaning in this story really stands out--throughout the movie they illustrate an important lesson. Overall, it's very inspiring, and makes you examine your life through a different lens.

I give Tall Girl 2 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Tall Girl 2 releases on Netflix February 11, 2022.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD, THE
ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD, THE - TWENTIETH CENTURY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - The all-new animated adventure, "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild," continues the hilarious escapades of the beloved sub-zero heroes from the wildly successful global "Ice Age" franchise as they create more prehistoric pandemonium. The thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie have grown restless in Snow Valley. They need plenty of wide-open space to practice their extreme stunts and are eager for a bit of independence. Their older sister, the woolly mammoth Ellie, is over-protective and worries too much. Still, Eddie and Crash are like sons to Ellie and Manny (her woolly mammoth husband), whom they met following a devastating flood, and they have bonded to become a make-shift family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How wonderful it is that the crazy characters of Ice Age are back with a new adventure. Having watched the Ice Age movies from the beginning, I am familiar with their sarcastic and humorous personalities. It's almost like hanging out with old friends.

Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris) crave adventure and feel Elli (Domonique Jenning) is preventing them from living their "best life." Eddie and Crash leave the safety of their pack and find their way to the Lost World. Not realizing the actual dangers of the Lost World, Eddie and Crash unexpectedly become reunited with Buck Wild when he has to rescue them from unruly dinosaurs. Buck Wild is in the middle of trying to restore harmony to the Lost World and doesn't have the time to deal with the Opossum brothers. Eddie and Crash are oblivious to the risks involved in staying but have no choice because the cave entrance was blocked. Together with Buck Wild, Eddie, Crash set on a quest to restore the peace of the Lost World.

With the talented cast, visual and animation department, director John Donkin produced an action-adventure film that embraced the Ice Age saga and introduced a fresh outlook.The music by Batu Sener brought life into the action scenes by absorbing the person into the movie. Danger, drama, and humor were not only told through dialogue but also musical notes. The animation team directed by Marshal Fels Elliot seamlessly brought all the original characters back onto the screen while at the same time introducing new friends and foes. The details and color of the animated plants, animals, and birds captured the moviegoer's attention from start to finish.

Teamwork, family, and courage are themes throughout Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild. The pack realized that family is family even if you are apart. Love for each other doesn't change just because you have added distance. Change is not something to be afraid of, and taking risks to find your true happiness takes courage.

I rate Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 13. I would have rated the movie higher if it had included all the main characters I love and did not have so much dialogue. Adults will also enjoy watching this action-adventure film. Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, January 28, 2022.

By Calee N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BITE ME
BITE ME - BLUE FIREFLY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - When Sarah, a real-life vampire, gets audited by the IRS, the last thing she expects to get out of it is a date. But James, her hopelessly romantic IRS agent, thinks she's other-worldly. As an unlikely attraction sparks between the two misfits, they are forced to confront whether they have the courage to commit the terrifying, radical act of falling in love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bite Me is the most creative story about vampires I have seen. Like many teenagers, I am an ardent vampire folklore fan, romance-focused to be more specific. Twilight and Vampire Diaries among the most popular vampire series, and this film is a refreshing and enticing change in the vampire lore storytelling.

Bite Me is romantic comedy about an IRS agent, James (Christian Coulson) and a real-life vampire, Sarah (Naomi McDougall Jones). As Sarah gets a concerning message from the IRS about her church called Twilight she must explain to James about her lifestyle to throw out the case. As romance sparks between these two unlikely lovers, will Sarah have to choose between blood and James? And is James's love strong enough to handle her bite?

The idea of a real-life 21-century vampire is such an interesting concept. In the beginning of the film I was confused, though, by what they meant by the word "vampire"--with so many different variations of this fictional creature in storytelling, I had a hard time defining it. However, director Meredith Edwards cleverly defines this film's interpretation of vampires throughout the story. This is done through James' hilarious jokes and twists on the stereotypical vampire, which are then debunked by Sarah or another vampire. In terms of the film, the cinematography is excellent. The footage is extremely clear and has a depth that almost seems like an "IMAX effect." Naomi McDougall Jones is the best actress to play a modern-day vampire! Many people could relate to her story in the film-- minus the blood. Her co-star Christian Coulson plays James as so cheesy and odd and does things like busts into breakdancing, which is my favorite scene. His character is a perfect example that even the most average "mundane" people can live fantastical lives. My favorite character is played by Annie Golden-- she provides great comic relief throughout. Like a lot of romcoms, Bite Me is set in New York City which creates the perfect tone for every section of the movie.

The message of Bite Me is simply to love who you are and who you wish to become. Sarah and James are both looking for something more in their lives, but realize that it might just be each other. This movie contains some profanity, brief sexual content, and blood, which may be disturbing for younger audiences. The movie promotes some negative behavior that may be mimicked by younger children.

I give Bite Me 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Bite Me on digital download on February 8, 2022.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WOLF AND THE LION, THE
WOLF AND THE LION, THE - BLUE FOX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 7-18
Description - After her grandfather's death, 20-year-old Alma decides to go back to her childhood home - a little island in the heart of a majestic forest. While there, she rescues two helpless cubs: a wolf and a lion. They forge an inseparable bond, but their world soon collapses as the forest ranger discovers the animals and takes them away. The two cub brothers must now embark on a treacherous journey to be reunited with one another and Alma once more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Wolf and the Lion is a great family movie for young animal lovers. The sets and locations are very pretty, and the music is lovely. The storyline is unique, although sometimes predictable.

This story follows a 20-year-old young woman named Alma (Molly Kunz), an orphaned musician. After her grandfather dies, she inherits his house only to find that he had befriended a she-wolf and her pup. Then, after exploring the crash site of a plane, Alma finds a lion cub. The pup, Mozart, and the cub, Dreamer, soon develop an inseparable bond. But when they are separated, all seems lost. What lengths will they go to see each other again?

The most notable performances are probably those of the animal actors. The wolf and lion that play Mozart and Dreamer are not only best friends on the screen, but best friends in real life. They are now in a Canadian sanctuary where they will spend the rest of their days together. Along with the animals, Molly Kunz also has a strong performance. She really seems to care for Mozart and Dreamer, and her struggle of how to best take care of them is very visible. Also, Alma is a pianist, and Molly plays piano, too. The sets and locations of The Wolf and the Lion are stunning. The island that Alma lives on has a gorgeous lake and beautiful forests, and her house feels very homey and comforting. Overall, the story of this film is distinctive, but the ending, as well as some other scenes, is somewhat expectable.

The messages of the movie are that you are the only person who knows what's best for you and that animal welfare is important. This film depicts hiding and raising two large, potentially dangerous animals in your home.

I give The Wolf and the Lion 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases in theaters February 4, 2022.,p>By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TASTE OF HUNGER, A
TASTE OF HUNGER, A - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 14-18
Description - A power couple within the Danish gourmet scene run the popular restaurant Malus in Copenhagen. The couple is willing to sacrifice everything to achieve their dream - getting the coveted Michelin star.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The captivating film, A Taste of Hunger by Christoffer Boe, truly shows the perfection of the culinary world. Each dish in this movie is carefully arranged and perfectly cooked. The acting portrays the deep desire that every chef has to create a dish that the customer would never forget. I can almost smell all of the delicious food, as if the scent of saut�ed oyster, cooked octopus, and fermented lemons are wafting through the screen.

The storyline revolves around a Danish couple, both culinary experts. Maggi (Katrine Greis-Rosenthal) and Carsten (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) both dream of only one accomplishment, receiving the world's most renowned culinary award, a Michelin star. Although their dream is big, they use every means of achieving it, even if it comes in the way of their relationship, and more importantly, their family. Will Maggi's affair destroy their dream altogether, or will they push past this bump in the long road to a Michelin star?

The protagonist, played by Katrine Greis-Rosenthal, portrays her character with a sense of mystery. You never truly know what is going on inside of Maggi's head. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays both a loving father and an uncompromising boss very realistically, giving the viewers mixed feelings of whether they should root for him or not. The food shown in this movie is designed to almost perfection, enhancing the quality of this film. My favorite part of the movie is the opening sequence. The beautifully presented food and the music create an enthralling introduction to the movie.

The message of this film is that working hard is the only way to achieve your dream. No matter how hard you try, there will always be setbacks and forks in the road, but to reach what you want, you have to get back up, no matter how many times you fall. This is an uplifting message to all those who have a big dream, no matter how hard it is to fulfill. The main age restriction of this movie is due to the sexual scenes. There are multiple scenes that would not be appropriate for ages 13 and under.

I give A Taste of Hunger 4 out of five stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters and on demand January 28, 2022.

By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REEL MONSTERS
REEL MONSTERS - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Four teens are swept into an adventure of a lifetime when they discover a connection between an urban legend (Big Foot!) and a missing father who uncovered a mysterious reel of "creature" footage. Threatened by shady characters and stalked by a mysterious entity, they go deep into the woods to look for clues to unravel a decades old conspiracy that leads to proof of the unexpected.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you want to watch an adventure-filled film with a little bit of drama then Reel Monsters is a great choice for you! It has all those things and more, including a great plot and characters--and some mystery along with that, too.

Reel Monsters follows four teen sophomores who find a connection between an urban legend and a father and a mystery surrounding both. They get stuck in a situation that leads them into crazy adventures--including a mysterious forest and film footage of a monster--as they search for the truth about what's really going on.

This film is exciting, especially when the plot seems to be dying down a bit, but even then the characters find things that keep one glued to the screen wondering what they might discover. The cinematography isn't always the highest quality, but that really doesn't take away from the movie because the great story makes up for it. I really love how they switch up the timeline in this movie. They go back and forth from the '80s to the present day which definitely adds some interest to the plot. My favorite part is when the kids are watching the film strip and discover more about the secret because I love mysteries and the vibe they create.

The theme of this film is friendship and how teamwork helps you reach goals. These kids could never have gone on this amazing adventure apart, but together they could overcome anything--their friendship really makes you feel better. This film does mention drinking and includes some scenes with kids doing risky things.

I give Reel Monsters 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film releases on February 15, 2022 in theatres and on digital platforms.

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

Reel Monsters stood out to me because I had an immediate connection with the main character. We both want to make movies. If you're a teen like me, and you have a love for acting, writing and movies, then you will also relate with the characters.

The story's lead characters are Cory (Dawson Hilfinger), Boone (Nicholas Olson) and Sandra (Sophia Guss). The title Reel Monsters is a funny play on words because the movie is about teens taking a directing class and directors make film "reels," and the teens end up filming a "real" monster, Big Foot. The main action starts after Cory shows a film his dad made before his mysterious disappearance. The teens decide to find Cory's dad and, in doing so, they go on a journey that both brings them closer together and changes their lives.

The story is one that has been told before (finding Big Foot in the woods), but this one is different because it is from the perspective of teens. This helps keep the attention of younger audiences. All the kids want to be directors, so it's not like other movies where only one person has a skill or dream. So it is a nice plot twist to have all the main characters share so much in common. Also, the film manages to be suspenseful and funny. For example, the creative ways Cory, Boone and Sophia deal with the two bullies. Also, the actors are believable as teens dealing with regular teen problems like bullies and major family issues--like the missing dad.

The message of the film is that if you have a goal then stick to it and be prepared for any opportunity. Another message is that it is okay to be nervous and afraid, and to get others to help you accomplish your goal.

I give Reel Monsters 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to ages 11 to 18, plus adults who will enjoy it, too. Reel Monsters releases digitally February 15, 2022.

By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Reel Monsters is a breathtaking film--full of suspense and big revelations throughout the movie that made me excited wondering how it would end.

The storyline follows four teenage friends named Cory (Dawson Hilfiger), Sandra (Sophie Guss), Boone (Nicholas Olson) and Millie (Grace Hines) who get mixed up in an adventure when they find a connection between an urban legend about a monster, some film footage and a missing father. They journey deep into the woods to discover a conspiracy and a mystery from the past.

This film is really terrifying! The script is very well written and the acting is very well done. My favorite part is when the teenagers are in the forest, and they hear something exploding, and they go see what's happening, and solve the catastrophe. I like it because seeing someone saving and resolving the situation is exciting. The brave teenagers in this story made me feel like we have superheroes to protect us. I also really enjoyed it when Millie looks at Cory with an interested eye when they meet each other--it's very cute. The costumes are very well done, too. The soundtrack strongly supports the tone and theme of the movie. During the film, because of the soundtrack, there are times that I was very nervous imagining what would happen in the end. The camera angles and shots are really well positioned, and the scene transitions keep the story moving. I am filled with admiration for Reel Monster�s production team overall.

The message of this film is that we don�t need others' opinions to follow our dreams. And that it's important to know who your real friends are.

I give Reel Monsters 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Reel Monsters releases digitally February 15, 2022.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Reel Monsters has an interesting storyline, awesome props and cinematography that captures everything in a unique way. However, there is a shortage of important themes and suspenseful elements despite the plot being action-packed. Overall, Reel Monsters is a fine film with some positive and negative aspects.

Reel Monsters follows four teens, members of the film club at school, as they find evidence that a supposedly fake monster, Bigfoot, actually exists. They venture into the woods on a camping trip to find out more and capture the monster on camera. At the same time, we flip back to the past to find out more about the monster. Can the teens survive the monster, two scary hunters and their parents searching for them?

Reel Monsters has a very intriguing plot. The way it flashes back and forth in time allows us to see two different run-ins with the antagonists as well as understand certain characters' motivations. There are mysteries in the present time period that are gradually solved in the past, and vice versa. The props are also incredibly cool--since even the present time period is a couple decades ago, we get to see what the cameras and film looked then. This is especially cool for kids and teens who are interested in the business and history of movie making. We also get to experience old-fashioned cars. The cinematography in Reel Monsters is done really well. Shots from all different angles highlight the important parts of a scene and show the body language and facial expressions that are vital to understanding the characters. The views from above also make it easier to understand distances between places. The acting, though, isn't fantastic enough to match the wonderful story, props and camera work. Even the primary protagonists aren't very developed. Their motivations and strong traits aren't shown, so it's hard to make connections to the characters in order to root for them. Millie (Grace Hines), one of the four teenagers, emerges as the most developed character despite her being probably the least important to the story. Grace Hines delivers one of the best performances here. She clearly understands the character and captures the quiet determination and slight shyness of Millie.

The message of Reel Monsters is to be careful where you let hobbies and curiosity lead you. It emphasizes the importance of exploration and love but warns against letting these things put your life in danger. There is some violence including guns and scary monsters, but nothing too scary.

I give Reel Monsters 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 15. If you are interested in Bigfoot or creating movies, this film will be very engaging. You can view Reel Monsters online beginning February 15, 2022.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST TREASURE, THE
LOST TREASURE, THE - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - When a treasure hunter discovers his family ties to an ancient Hawaiian secret that's been lost for generations, he embarks on a quest to find and protect this mystical staff which, in the wrong hands, could lead to the island's doom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Lost Treasure is a greatly scripted, nicely executed film. It has quite a bit of action but definitely not too scary for younger children.

This film is about treasure hunter Eddie Fox (Josh Margules). One day he finds a book which leads him to find out about a magical staff. He embarks on a mission to get this staff before it falls into the wrong hands.

First, this film has lots of amazing stuff in it. Most noteworthy are the locations, all of which are beautiful; some are in the forest and others are on the beach, and are all stunning. This makes it a fascinating show to watch. There are a lot of interesting camera shots in this film. One example is the shot from behind the leaves which shows the main characters exploring. There is a bit of some intense stuff going on and its accompanied with some intense music that goes great with it. One of my favorite things is how the story of the staff is similar to mythological stories, without actually being mythology. I very much enjoy mythology so that made this story all the more interesting to me. Lastly, I noted that there is a group of three bad guys and a group of three good guys, which means there is a 50% chance that either side wins. You just have to watch it to find out.

The message of this story is to never give up and keep persevering because you never know what you might uncover.

I give The Lost Treasure 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases on streaming January 11, 2022.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Based on one of the greatest themes in film history, The Lost Treasure is a beautifully-shot film with a riveting plot. Unfortunately, some elements of the film, including the music and actors' performance, let the beauty of the story down.

The Lost Treasure opens in the middle of the action, as Eddie Fox (Josh Margulies), a treasure hunter, discovers the existence of a secret Hawaiian staff that's been lost for generations. He also finds a special journal with information about a mythical spirit named Mahina (Angelica Quinn), who is a nature nymph of sorts. While paging through this journal, he finds that the staff has a connection to his family, and it's up to him to keep the staff safe from evil forces. He embarks on a quest to find and protect this staff for the sake of the island and his family's legacy, and he locks horns with a band of nefarious, scheming villains led by Charles Wellington (Dezmond Gilla) along the way.

The film is quite a mixed bag. One on hand, The Lost Treasure is a cinematographic masterpiece. The sets truly transport viewers to Hawaii. Vibrant colors, the serene bright blue sea, and a good number of Pacific Islander actors enhance the setting. I especially love Fox's office -- the warm, woody tones contrast with the exterior setting. On the other hand, the music could have used something more. Suspenseful music cues arrive at odd times, and there are some scenes (including close-ups of reactions with no dialogue) where viewers will be left questioning why no music is playing. The dialogue is stilted and forced throughout the film due to a mix of actor delivery and script quality; it's a pity, as a good script could have been a game-changer. It took me about half the film to cement everyone's roles, especially that of Tanya Granger (Stella Tinucci) (Eddie's sidekick, of sorts). She seems rather out of place as a European pundit, and Eddie and Tanya's love story is underdeveloped.

The Lost Treasure is all about the triumph of good over evil. It's a story of discovery and exploration, and it educates viewers about Hawaiian culture and tradition. The use of Hawaiian language in some parts is a nice touch that allows viewers to learn a few phrases in the language.

I give The Lost Treasure 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 15. It releases on-demand on January 11, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Lost Treasure is an entertaining, fun and enjoyable movie. It has lots of action scenes, and really grabbed my attention. Plus it is very family friendly.

The film's storyline revolves around a small book that is very important to all of the characters. There are two teams that are independently working to win it back. They constantly go back and forth with who has hold of it. However, the treasure hunt that the special book takes you on is worth it!

Something that really stands out to me is the setting of this movie. Throughout the film the location for the characters is a pretty beach, on what looks to be a small island. The schenary is gorgeous. The ocean looks clear blue, and there's tons of beautiful flowers everywhere. I also like the concept of the story. The characters are all trying to get hold of a book, which leads them to a treasure hunt that eventually takes them to the treasure! However, the viewers don't realize this extended storyline until they are actually doing it. This creates good suspense, which always surprises the audience. Finally, it is very interesting how each character is so different from the next. They all have their own distinct personalities and way of thinking. Plus, each has their own style. For instance, Tanya (Stella Tnucci) wears a lot of unique clothing. Most of it stands out. I really liked this, because I'm very into clothes and personal style.

The message of this film is to never give up. If you want something badly enough, teamwork can always help you to achieve that goal. Be aware that this film does include the use of guns and swords.

I give The Lost Treasure 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 12. It releases on digital Jan 11, 2022.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, aged 15
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DRAGONS: THE NINE REALMS
DRAGONS: THE NINE REALMS - HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Set 1,300 years after the events of How To Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens up an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth's surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they've been hiding -- a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they've discovered.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dragons: The Nine Realms is a fun, animated, action-packed and mystical kids TV series that will entertain young kids everywhere! Anyone who is a fan of the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise and/or loves dragons and themes of friendship and uniqueness will enjoy watching the series, set 1,300 after the Dragon films, Dragons: The Nine Realms features a group of kids: Tom Kullersen (Jeremy Shada), Jun Wong (Ashley Liao), D'Angelo Baker (Marcus Scribner) and Alex Gonzalez (Aimee Garcia) who form a group called The Dragon Club. The group starts after Tom breaks the rules and travels deep into Earth into a place called the Fissure and they end up befriending a dragon who is hiding there with other dragons. Now, it's up to The Dragon Club to unite, protect the dragons from getting hurt and to save the dragons' homes from being destroyed.

One of my favorite scenes in Dragons: The Nine Realms is when a sheep randomly shows up and tries to blow the cover of the kids who were trying to keep their dragons a secret. The sheep constantly tries to sneak up on them or make noise to blow their cover, so it is funny how the kids always have a "not again" moment but are still able to avoid the sheep. I also love how each character is unique, but they come together and have fun with each other like they are one of a kind. My favorite character is Alex Gonzalez because of her combination of personality traits. She is really into electronics and anything that has to do with cameras or using advanced technology, and yet she also is willing to help out others and make friends. Alex will even break some rules, though she is very introverted and shy person at first, which seems to make her an unlikely rule-breaker.

The message of Dragons: The Nine Realms is to be yourself, take time to appreciate who you are and stand up for what you believe in. Coming together is a key theme: all the characters have different personalities and beliefs in this series, but they all come together in The Dragon Club and protect the dragons from their parents who may harm them with their experiments.

I rate Dragons: The Nine Realms 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. You can find Dragons: The Nine Realms streaming on Hulu and Peacock starting December 23, 2021.>p>By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PORTAL RUNNER
PORTAL RUNNER - TERROR FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - When 15-year-old Nolan discovers a secret family legacy and a portal that enables him to travel to parallel worlds, it's a young boy's dream come true ... until it becomes a nightmare when he realizes he's being pursued across the ages by an evil force. When he becomes stranded on Christmas in an alternate timeline with his quirky family and a rebellious and petulant older sister he's never met before, he realizes Mae may be the key to defeating his adversary and must enlist her help fast ... before it's too late for them all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Portal Runner is a great horror film that also qualifies as a family film. The character development between two siblings, Mea and Nolan, is worth noting. They go from siblings that hate each other to a duo willing to collaborate to solve an issue. I love all the sound effects and music, the props (especially the cooker-like appliance that is the cause of the all the horror) and the main character, Nolan, who is willing to sacrifice himself to stop all the unfortunate things that are happening in the house.

The story follows Nolan, the main character, as he discovers a portal that allows him to travel to parallel worlds. But things start to fall apart when he realizes that he is not alone. He tries to fight off the monster by himself and fails to do so. When he is all alone he uses the portal, which causes him to be with his family and a sister that doesn't exist in his "real" life. Their relationship develops from him mistrusting the sister to realizing that she might be the one to remove the evil force and the two of them would have a race against the clock. There are certain aspects of this film that are pretty scary such as when the monster shows its deformity. The sound effects and visual effects make it feel like a horror film. The parts where Nolan argues with his sister are perhaps too realistic, especially for someone who had argued with their own siblings. The movie flows well. The characters, Nolan and Mae, develop from argumentative siblings to ones that can work with each other to solve the problem of how to get rid of the evil force. Their relationship definitely drew me in, in terms of how they develop. I enjoyed the background music, which is tense and eerie, suitable for a horror movie. At other times there is upbeat music, such as when the family is celebrating Christmas. The costumes, in particular the monster's costume, are fitting. The sets, especially the one in the garage or basement where Nolan's uncle is setting up the Christmas tree, are typical family settings. The story does encourage ways of problem solving. For instance, when the monster approaches Mea and her mother, they come up with a temporary solution of restraining the monster. The entire process of how Mea and Nolan collaborate to remove the curse is another example of problem solving.

The message is that teamwork is the key to success. You should be aware that there are references to Hitler, smoking weed and a shooting.

I give Portal Runner 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.

By Tom E., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Portal Runner is a new, captivating movie with so many twists and turns there is never a dull moment. Up-and-coming actors use an interesting plot to turn this film into a memorable one. Portal Runner has the potential to become a fan favorite.

The film Portal Runner follows a young boy, named Nolan (Sloane Morgan Siegel), who was living a perfectly normal life, until he discovered a portal to other worlds. When he realizes that he is actually being targeted by an evil force, he ends up on the run, going between parallel worlds. With the help of his sister Mae (Elise Eberle), he must try to stop the evil force before it's too late.

Something that impressed me in this film is the way the tone matches the plot and the different scenes. Director Cornelia Duryee clearly knows exactly what she wanted this film to look like, and conveys it precisely. In the scene where Nolan is being chased by the evil force, it is dark and the music grows increasingly intense. When watching, the audience feels the same kind of fear that the characters are feeling. It has a small cast and that actually benefits this particular film as the scenes seem more intimate and it's easier for the audience to understand the dialogue. The actor that really stands out for me is Elise Eberle who plays Mae, Nolan's sister. She is very versatile character; she is sly, rebellious, scared, angry and lovable at different points of the film. Elise Eberle's performance definitely delivers that. Portal Runner is a movie that will entice you to watch it multiple times, especially if you're a sci-fi fan and like time travel related films.

The main message is that sometimes you need to sacrifice things in order to help the people you care about. There are lots of times when Nolan and Mae want to focus on themselves and what they want, but they eventually come to terms with the fact that their family needs them more.

I rate Portal Runner 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Portal Runner is very different from traditional holiday films. Even the name, Portal Runner, is titled differently from most holiday films. The fact that the film takes place around the holidays seems secondary to the actual events of the film.

The story is about a 15-year-old named Nolan (Sloane Morgan Siegel) who has the ability to travel to parallel worlds. Noah is also cursed because he is chased through the parallel worlds by a monstrous evil. The parallel world includes family members, like a sister Mae (Elise Eberle), that Nolan doesn't have in his true world. Once the portal stops working, Nolan must make allies and dig deep to destroy the creature before it destroys him.

Portal Runner maintains a good and interesting story line. That is, once you get past the beginning, which is a little confusing. The writers allow the viewers to figure out that Nolan is able to travel to parallel worlds by watching the movie. Although later that is explained. It may take a younger audience a few minutes to catch on to this. Overall, the characters are believable as family members and we observe Nolan's character grow and become more caring as he interacts with family across the parallel world. Both Uncle Boon (Brian S. Lewis) and Carol Roscoe (Klara/Mom) bring some comic relief and serve to help the film stay family friendly. There is definitely more room to explore Nolan's relationship with his extended family in the parallel world and how that shows him what he is missing in his world. Perhaps a sequel is in sight.

The message of the film is that sometimes we need the help of loved ones to fight our demons. Another message is to spend as much time as you can with you family because it could be over in a blink of an eye.

I give Portal Runner 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRUDER, THE (2021)
INTRUDER, THE (2021) - 101 STUDIOS
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 15-18
Description - Ines works as a dubbing actress and sings in a choir in Buenos Aires. After a traumatic experience during a holiday trip, she develops a sleep disorder and starts suffering from very vivid nightmares. At work, the studio microphones pick up strange sounds coming from her body, threatening her career and her singing. In�s becomes paranoid as she has increasing trouble telling what is real from what is not. She begins to entertain a dangerous idea: the characters in her dreams are trying to take over her body.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Its one-of-a-kind mix of horror, humor, intrigue and a sprinkling of mystique make The Intruder, Argentina's entry for the Oscar Awards, a spellbinding watch. With enjoyably offbeat storytelling and crisp cinematography, this film is not one to miss.

The Intruder opens with some scenes that are up to the audience's interpretation, where we meet In�s (Erica Rivas), a voice artist who suffers from troubling nightmares after her partner Leopoldo (Daniel Hendler) commits suicide. Additionally, as every time she tries to dub someone, there is electromagnetic interference (a slight hum) that ruins the recording. Fellow voice-actress Adela (Mirta Busnelli), a wizened and mysterious woman, provides In�s with a curt answer - In�s has an intruder, a being who came to her in a nightmare and was involuntarily invited by In�s to stay. She struggles in a variety of outlandish ways to get rid of this pest.

Erica Rivas provides a compelling, authentic performance as In�s, and her genuine emotion makes up for some clunky dialogue in the film. The supporting cast of Nahuel Perez as Alberto, Cecilia Roth as In�s' mother Marta, Guillermo Arengo as Ines' maestro and Agust�n Rittano as Nelson support the storyline well, with P�rez's portrayal of the sweet, yet mysterious Alberto truly taking the cake. The film gets complicated when dealing with the secondary cast, as the lines between reality and hallucination begin to blur. Confusion may arise during this segment, despite how clear each of the characters' personalities are. Music plays a large role in this film, as Alberto is charged with tuning a large church organ and In�s is part of a choir that sings some suitably haunting songs. Every musical element of The Intruder has been carefully thought through and meticulously composed by Luciano Azzigotti. The direction and screenplay by Natalia Meta are also flawless.

The Intruder is all about overcoming tragedy, bouncing back from trauma and confronting your inner demons. In�s' journey is much like that of humanity as we (hopefully) exit this pandemic and move forward. There are several sexual scenes and dark themes to watch out for.

I give The Intruder 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18, plus adults. The Intruder is available to watch on HBO Max and Hulu.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HARRIET THE SPY
HARRIET THE SPY - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - Set in 1960s New York when the original book was published, Harriet the Spy follows the outspoken and perpetually curious 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch. More than anything, Harriet wants to be a writer, and in order to be a good writer, she'll need to know everything. And to know everything means she'll need to spy ... on everyone! Produced by The Jim Henson Company, the animated series stars acclaimed actor Beanie Feldstein as Harriet, a fiercely independent and adventurous 11-year-old girl, alongside Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch as Ole Golly, Harriet's larger-than-life, no-nonsense nanny. The first half of the series (five episodes) debuts on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 19, 2021, and the second half will return with additional episodes in spring 2022.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A sweet series bringing back to life a classic character, Apple TV+'s Harriet the Spy is a fun watch, though its animation doesn't break any barriers.

Harriet the Spy follows 11-year-old Harriet M. Welch (Beanie Feldstein), the same wannabe spy popularized by Louise Fitzhugh's 1964 books. She's a normal kid, attending a prep school with her friends in an indeterminate time without cell phones and with nannies wearing tight updos. What sets Harriet apart from her classmates, though, is that she embarks upon unique espionage adventures across New York City in a quest to become the best writer and best spy ever. It is unfortunate that only one of the five episodes in the first season deals directly with spying. Regardless, Harriet's adventures are enjoyable in their sheer otherworldliness. For example, she uses a dumbwaiter to spy on a weary aristocrat.

Feldstein's voice acting provides the series with a warm tone, and most of the humor springs from her dialogue. There are also a few comedy Easter eggs thrown in there - see if you can catch one in episode 2! The animation is clean and colorful, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. There are lots of hand-drawn lines with an emphasis on natural movement. I wish the animation team had tried something out of the box for Harriet, who truly is an out-of-the-box kind of gal. The show is easy to digest, and very addicting -- each of the five episodes in season 1 is 20 to 25 minutes long, and you won't be able to stop watching!

Each episode of Harriet the Spy has a nuanced lesson - finding comfort in isolation, discovering yourself, and setting boundaries are just a few examples.

I give Harriet the Spy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. The first five episodes aired on November 19
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED
ADVENTURES OF SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATUREE, AGES 6-14
Description - Snow White and Rose Red begin to cross paths with magical characters from their fairy tale book! On their adventures, learn the importance of sisterhood, friendship, and kindness. Life can be far from ordinary if you just believe in a little magic.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red is a fantastic movie. It is comprised in short episodes that are filled with lessons such as the importance of reaching a compromise if you cannot reach what you want from the other person. The characters are familiar characters from fairy tales we all grew up with.

In The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red the two lead characters, Snow White and Rose Red, meet magical characters from their book of fairy tales. On each adventure, they solve problems such as finding a way to rescue the fairy queen or finding an alternative when Alice cannot be the princess's knight.

Each story presents new challenges that the princess has to face and solve, which is refreshing from traditional fairy tale-based movies. A child would enjoy this film as it involves typical fairytale characters but drastically differs from typical stories. The costumes are signature outfits that we identify these characters with such as Alice's blue dress. I like the props a lot, in particular the fairy book. The movie has some problem-solving scenarios such as when they are rescuing the fairy queen, where the princesses have to solve a simple mathematic question to get the key to bring the fairy queen back. I was disappointed by the simplicity here because I expected something more elaborate. Some of the lessons are things that you can relate to in real life. I enjoyed the issue with Alice where she cannot be the princess's knight and she throws a tantrum due to that. The story does flow well and I empathized with some of the characters such as when Cinderella is left out.

The messages in the film are to be nice to other people and value the importance of teamwork.

I give The Adventures Of Snow White And Rose 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. It releases on DVD and VOD - streaming and hundreds of cable platforms - across the US and Canada on December 7, 2021.

By Tom W., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Adventures Of Snow White And Rose Red is an amazing tale of two sisters. It takes many different fairy tales and puts them all into one film. The excitement and adventure never stops.

The storyline follows two sisters, Snow White (Demetra Zorbas) and Rose Red (Callista Zorbas) who go on many adventures together, such as exploring the world of Alice in Wonderland, and helping Little Red Riding Hood. At the end, the fate of the world hangs in their hands in the last original story about the golden key.

I found it interesting that Demetra Zorbas and Callista Zorba are sisters in real life. One thing I really enjoyed about this film are the camera angles; there are some cool shots such as one from a treetop looking down on them. My favorite character is Prince Ferdinand (Angelo Polito). Prince Ferdinand has a brother in the show that appears in the "Cinderella" section who happens to be Prince Charming (Daniel Batista). Angelo is a prince who appears a few times and can even change into a wolf. I also like the cute little bunny that appears at the end of Alice in Wonderland; he's an albino. The little bunny is played by a real bunny. As for locations, there are some cool places such as the quaint little cottage, which the characters always return to after ever story. This film is filmed almost completely outside in a forest. I enjoyed the background music throughout; the song at the beginning sets the tone and the one at the end stands out.

The message of this film is to be kind and always help others.

I give The Adventures Of Snow White And Rose Red 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14. It releases on DVD and VOD - streaming and hundreds of cable platforms - across the US and Canada on December 7, 2021..

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST!

I like The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red because it's a lighthearted and enjoyable film. It has a very happy energy to it, and really reaches its intended audience.

This film follows two main characters, Snow White (Dematra Zorbas) and Rose Red (Calista Zorbas), as they embark on adventures. Throughout the film the two girls help multiple characters, including Cinderella, Alice and Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood. They constantly are doing good deeds, and helping people solve their problems. The girls encounter some troubles along the way, but with the help of some friends, they contribute to the peace in the land.

Something that I enjoy about this film is the genre. The entire movie is very light and relaxing to watch. You don't really have to think too hard or pay a lot of attention to understand what is going on. Plus, it's a good length, not too long or too short. Another thing that stands out is the interpretation of the characters. The cast is mainly made up of children, playing roles that were originally played by adults. It is interesting to see how the director creates these characters in different ways. For instance, Rapunzel has blue hair and is in a tree instead of a tower. I personally love the original Tangled and it is cool to see that character brought to life in a new way. Finally, the set designs are really terrific throughout the entire film. The production quality, from lighting to camera work is all exceptionally well executed and makes for a pleasant viewing experience.

The message of this film is to never stop having faith in yourself.

I give The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red releases on multiple streaming platforms and on DVD December 7, 2021.

Byu The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red Is a simply amazing film, filled with magic and beautiful stories. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and it will make me feel special.

The storyline follows two sisters named Snow White (Demetra Zorbas) and Red Hair (Calista Zorbas) who, as they read a certain book, go to the world of several princesses to help them with their conflicts.

This movie is very magical. The script is very well written. All the characters are very beautiful and each one of them has a gift. My favorite part is the part is where we see Prince Ferdinand (Angelo Polito). actor) turning into a wolf. I like this part because it's all about magic and imagination. It made me think of what would it be like if I could turn into an animal. It would be amazing, wouldn't it? Another part that I really like is when the girls are having tea because it made me feel like I was a peaceful princess along with these girls. The acting is really good and the special effects are exceptionally well done, especially the magic lights. I love witnessing magic and these are very radiant. The soundtrack is also very beautiful and almost mystical. I love the voice of the girl who sings the soundtrack. The costumes are terrific and suitable for the time and for adventures too. If the dresses had more lace or accessories, the girls wouldn't be able to run or sit on the floor. I congratulate Linda Wood on the costume design.

The message of this movie is that brothers are always our best friends, and that love prevails.

I give The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It releases on DVD and VOD - streaming and hundreds of cable platforms - across the US and Canada on December 7, 2021.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRODUCING JODEA
INTRODUCING JODEA - FAIRMONT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - A struggling young actress's fortunes change when a world famous movie director drives into the back of her car.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love Introducing Jodea! It is an incredible film that brings great emotions to the viewer and is full of teachings. This film tells the story of Jodea, a woman who, since a kid, dreamed of becoming an actress, and she finds someone who can help with that. This film is so amazing that you could not look away from the screen!

The storyline is about when Jodea (ChloeTraicos), a struggling young actress, crashes into the car of a very famous film director (Jeff Coppage) and this event changes her life.

The script is well written; I especially enjoyed the way Zac talks to the actors, which is very funny. My favorite part is when Zac and Jodea are training to box and she accidentally punches Zac instead of hitting the spot where the punch is supposed to go. That is too funny! Some other things I love are the acting, because they not only act, but they give life to the character. All the actors are amazing. Something else that I love is when Jodea is showing her talent for the first time. I really like the background music, because it gives us an energetic vibe or a sad one. For example when Zac is training Jodea to be an actress, there background song in that scene is infectious. The costumes are also noteworthy, because they are right for every occasion. I particularly love the outfits for Jodea and Zac, especially Jodea's red carpet costume. They are radiant!

The message is that we shouldn't give up on our dreams. Don't listen to bad people; believe in those we love with our eyes closed and there will always be someone who will care FOR us.

I give Introducing Jodea 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters November 16, 2021.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love the romantic comedy Introducing Jodea directed by Jon Cohen and written by Chloe Tricos. It is completely entertaining, exciting and humorous. Its light-hearted, humorous plot lines center on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles.

Introducing Jodea is a teen romantic comedy about a struggling young actress, Jodea Maxwell (Chloe Traicos), whose fortunes change when a world famous movie director Zac Kawalsky (Jeff Coppage) drives into the back of her car. Desperate, the actress uses the opportunity to beg Kawalsky for a role in his latest movie, but her audition is woeful to say the least. However Zac's agent Grant tempts him with a bet he can't refuse, the condition being that Zac has one week to make Jodea a brilliant actress.

My favourite character is Chloe Tricos because she never gives up even when she is told that she cannot become an actress because she is ugly and she can't act. Chloe keeps on trying and pushing until she succeeds. My favourite part is when Zac Kawaslky's agent Grant (Kent Hatch) tells Jodea that she is a very bad actress, but Jodea still believes in herself and knows that she can do it, she just needs help.The production design and costume are on point and very well executed. Introducing Jodea is very engaging and intriguing; it is definitely worth checking out. I can see it catching on with audiences.

We all like to feel that dreams can come true and that true love does exist, which is the message of this film - the traditional Cinderella story that'll make you laugh and cry. The idea that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind and soul to it; that you should not give up when you get bad feedback and that you should be resilient and determined.

I give Introducing Jodea 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Introducing Jodea releases in theatres November 16, 2021. Save the date!
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
14 PEAKS: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
14 PEAKS: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible explores Nepal's deep connection to high-altitude mountaineering through the eyes of Nirmal "Nimsdai" Purja, a fearless, fun-loving Nepali climber on a quest he dubs "Project Possible"--to summit all 14 of the world's 8,000-meter mountains in just seven months, breaking the previous record of seven years. With a team of skilled Sherpas, he traverses Mount Everest, K2, and other iconic peaks through extreme weather, life-or-death decisions, and the emotional weight of his mother's illness back home. 14 Peaks is a thrilling, action-packed story about courage, perseverance, and pushing the limits of human endurance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible. It's an intense emotional documentary film that highlights the reality of mountain climbing. Most importantly, it showcases the ability that a human being has.

This film follows the journey of Nimsdai Purja as he manages to climb the world's 14 highest and most dangerous mountains in just a few months. He calls his mission "Project Possible," and we see the reality of this challenge and how it affects his life. However, Nimsdai's confidence, courage and hope inspire his team to help him break this record.

Something I enjoy about this film is its structure. Throughout the movie there is footage of Nimsdai climbing the mountains, as well as background information. The director really makes sure that the audience has enough information about climbing to fully understand the film. They also interview some important people in Nimsdai's life, in order to help us understand him better. Another thing that really stands out is the quality of the movie. Even during the shots of the climbers high up in the mountains with snow blowing from every angle, you can still see what is going on. The entire film feels very ready for the big screen; even though most of the mountain shots aren't filmed by professionals, they are definitely remarkable.

The message of this documentary film is that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, even if it seems impossible. This film does include some profanity.

I give 14 Peeks: Nothing is Impossible 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. You can watch 14 Peeks: Nothing is Impossible on Netflix starting November 29, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
RUMPERBUTTS, THE
RUMPERBUTTS, THE - GLOBAL CONTINUITY PUBLISHING
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A married couple and indie band duo, who never reached the success that they had always hoped, decides to stop pursuing their dream when a financial opportunity arises for them to perform on a new children's program called "The Rumperbutts." In spite of all the money and newfound success, the two of them are miserable and have spilt up. However, on one magical evening, a mysterious stranger comes into their lives and gives them a second chance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Rumperbutts was interesting and fun to watch, but it's geared for an older audience than me. I did like the storyline a lot and the editing is great. My favorite bit is probably the music. Yeah, definitely the songs - some are a little corny (the Rumperbutts ones), but some are actually really, really beautiful.

Bonnie (Kori Gardner) and Jack (Jason Hammel) met in 2005, formed a band and started dating. Three years later, they became partners on a popular kids' show, The Rumperbutts. The show made them break up and become miserable and they still had another THREE years on their contract! Then, they both are invited to meet with a guy named Richie (Josh Brener) who tricks them into smoking magical pot which sends them on an unexpected journey.

The acting in this is one of the highlights. I especially like the performances of Josh Brener as Richie and Kori Gardner as Bonnie. Kori Gardner has a gorgeous voice and the songs are quite beautiful. Some of the songs have nice messages like "listen to your parents." Josh and Kori really embody their characters in a way that is very fitting. I also really like the costumes. Julia Knapp made the Rumperbutts costumes which are the funniest ones in the movie. The photography and editing are really good and the animation when Richie snaps his fingers and the setting changes is excellent. I like the plot. The storyline is well thought out and well written, planned and directed. It has multiple sets that are all really good.

The message of the film is: you made your bed, now you have to lay in it. You should be aware that there are some curse words in the movie and there is pot smoking.

I rate The Rumperbutts 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. The Rumperbutts releases on digital November 19, 2021. Go check it out!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFT FROM BOB, A
GIFT FROM BOB, A - SABAN ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. For James (Luke Treadaway), a struggling street musician, a very special one arrives in the form of Bob, a strong-willed stray cat who wanders into James's tiny flat. Bob enriches James's life, giving him companionship, purpose, and a large, new audience. When Animal Welfare officers threaten to take Bob, the local community rallies to help James and Bob -- sparking a journey that takes the pair to places they never imagined in this heartwarming, spirit-lifting movie for the whole family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Gift From Bob is a holiday story with a touching message and a loveable cat named Bob. The film shows how a musician and a cat come together and form a bond that touches everyone around them. It's based on a true story and is an uplifting reminder of the true spirit of Christmas.

This movie begins with the main character, James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) at a party. He has published a successful book about his cat Bob and is struggling with an idea for his next book. When he walks outside with his cat, he sees a young man being accosted and he intervenes. He learns the young man is homeless and decides to tell him about his past struggles. The majority of the film centers around this flashback. Life has not been easy for James. He has experienced many misfortunes and he struggles to make ends meet as he tries to escape his past and care of Bob. Throughout the film, James meets a lot of people along the way, including Bea (Kristina Tonteri-Young) and Moody (Phaldut Sharma) who are willing to help him. He also meets people who are trying to take away the one thing he loves most. He must try to figure out his path in life and what is best for Bob.

My favorite scene is when James is dealing with a tough dilemma and suddenly, all the people of the city gather around him with gifts. This display of affection shows how much they all care for Bob and that they all agree James and Bob are perfect for each other. His friend Moody tells him some stories which are inspirational and interesting to hear; they also add to the message of the film. The setting is perfect for Christmas with the city decorated in lights and Christmas trees and, even Bob wears a holiday outfit. I also like how James' apartment changes to reflect what is happening in his life. It is a big contrast from the beginning to the end. The music in the film is enjoyable. I particularly like how James turns a traditional Christmas song into one about his cat.

The message in this film is that treating others with kindness is a gift that gives back. The film captures the essence of Christmas by showing how gifts of kindness are more powerful than material gifts. The bond James creates with his cat and those in his community help give him the strength and encouragement he need. The only warning I have are the references to drugs that occur a few times in the film, plus some mild violence.

I give A Gift From Bob 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 17, plus adults. It opens in select theaters November 5 and On Demand, Digital and DVD November 9, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG (2021)
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG (2021) - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Jack Whitehall,Darby Camp,Tony Hale,Sienna Guillory,David Alan Grier,,John Cleese,
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Clifford the Big Red Dog is the kind of lightweight, zippy children's entertainment that keeps kids engaged and parents from eyeing the theater's exits. It doesn't stray away from what Clifford stands for, but it fundamentally misunderstands what has made Clifford's adventures iconic.

Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) is a pre-teen on a scholarship at her private school, picked on by her classmates for her comparative lack of wealth. She trudges home each day, worn down by her classmates' ridicule, but that changes when her mom has to leave town and her unruly Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) arrives. On the way to school, they come across a tent shrouded in mystery with an eccentric owner named Mr. Bridwell (John Cleese), and there they find a little red dog named Clifford. Casey lets his niece know she can't take the puppy home and, despite her sunken shoulders and the hanging head, she agrees. But little Clifford gets in her backpack and later she finds him. Emily wishes that she and the dog would grow big and strong so they could be protected from the world's cruelty. A tear tinged with magic runs down her face and brushes against Clifford's bright red fur and--just like that!--the next day, he's grown to his familiar grand size.

Emily and Clifford's serenity is short-lived, and you can't keep a 10-foot dog a secret for long; from there, Emily, the dog and her uncle, dash back and forth across New York City in search of a home for Clifford as a genetics company wants to harness Clifford's traits for their next product and tries to capture him.

Clifford the Big Red Dog gets lost in grounding their characters in the real world. The simplicity of the Clifford stories is part of what make these best-selling books so well-known and loved. As this story goes deeper into the corporate troubles of the genetics company, the fun of placing Clifford in the real world isn't developed, with the exception of Clifford chasing a giant inflatable ball across a park. Also, there is a bit of a message in this film that the minute you are made fun of, that you should put your aggressor through the same humiliation which did not sit right with me.

I give Clifford the Big Red Dog 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13 for some crude and rude humor as well as some cruelty toward a bully. Clifford the Big Red Dog paws its way into theaters and onto Paramount+ November 10, 2021.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Clifford the Big Red Dog is an action-packed film, filled with fun, adventures and non-stop-entertainment. It's based off the original show from the 2000s, but it's made more modern. If you are a fan of the original Clifford the Big Red Dog, then you will definitely enjoy this.

The storyline follows Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) who is an outcast at her new school and, while her mom is away, she is being taken care of by her Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) who is a bit irresponsible. On her way to school she comes across an animal petting tent and meets Clifford, a little red dog. One morning she wakes up and Clifford is ten feet tall. Emily needs to find a way to get Clifford small again before she gets into a whole lot of trouble.

My favorite aspect of the film is that this one keeps to the same concept as the original show. Although Clifford starts out as a small puppy, he grows bigger and bigger the more he feels loved by Emily Elizabeth. And the bigger he gets, the more noticeable he is to everyone. Clifford is obviously animated and you know he's not real. However, the animation makes him look pretty realistic and he's so cute. I also like the relationships Emily had with her family and friends. Even though the officials claim Clifford belongs to someone else, the people that are closest to Emily stick with her until the end. My favorite character is Uncle Casey because he is funny and fun to be around. He is hilarious when the time is right, and he also knows how to be serious, keep focused and get the job done when he needs to. The acting in this film is just really believable. With all the emotional and exciting scenes in this film, you'll find yourself entertained the whole time. You may even shed a tear while watching.

The message of Clifford The Big Red Dog is that it's okay to be different. Everybody is different and it's a normal thing. So we should just accept each other the way we are.

I rate Clifford The Big Red Dog 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters and on Paramount+ November 10, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Adventure has never been bigger than in Clifford the Big Red Dog, based on the beloved Scholastic book series. This movie really grows on you as quickly as Clifford grows from a small puppy to a big red dog.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is a story about Emily Elizabeth Howard (Darby Camp) who is gifted an adorable red puppy after she and her Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) discover a magical pet rescuer (John Cleese) on their way to school. The puppy grows overnight into a big red dog and Emily Elizabeth and her uncle have many adventures trying to adjust to Clifford's new size and the various problems that arise. An antagonist shows up to seize Clifford for his scientific experiments. Emily Elizabeth and her friends rescue Clifford and, in the end, it is Clifford that rescues Emily.

My favorite character is obviously Clifford, but I also enjoyed Jack Whitehall's (Uncle Casey) performance which is so humorous, especially the interesting situations as he tries to grow into his role as the supervising adult. Darby Camp (Emily Elizabeth) really shows a great deal of emotional depth as her special bond with Clifford grows along with his size. My favorite scene is the one where Clifford is playing fetch with a blow-up ball in New York City's Central Park. I really enjoyed all of the New York scenery and characters from the Big Apple which add to the story.

The message of this film is that love comes in many shapes and sizes. Being different doesn't exclude you from being loved, but rather expands love's possibilities. Clifford teaches Darby how love can bring new experiences and confidence when you allow it to grow.

I rate Clifford the Big Red Dog 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10, plus adults who will enjoy the humor as well. The film is available in theaters and on Paramount+ November 10, 2021. Don't miss this classic story as it come to life!

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, THE
REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, THE - SHOWTIME - LA
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - From the award-winning creative team behind Notes On Blindness and Listen To Me, Marlon comes a contemporary take on cinema's most iconic figure. In an innovative blend of newly-unearthed audio recordings, dramatic reconstructions and personal archive, the film traces Charlie Chaplin's meteoric rise from the slums of Victorian London to the heights of Hollywood superstardom, before his scandalous fall from grace. Refracting his life through a kaleidoscope of previously unheard voices and perspectives, the film sheds new light on the many sides of a groundbreaking, controversial and visionary artist. For decades he was the most famous man in the world but who was The Real Charlie Chaplin?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Real Charlie Chaplin is an earnest attempt to characterize the legendary silent film star Charlie Chaplin, showing more about the man behind the Little Tramp character, and explaining his significance. At times this documentary's somewhat bland narration and spotty coverage of Chaplin's life seem to undermine the actor and his legacy.

Almost everyone knows who Charlie Chaplin is, at least by his image: The bowler hat, scraggly coat, thin cane, and trademark mustache are well-known symbols of the first landmark actor of Western cinema. The Real Charlie Chaplin does its best to do the impossible -- capture the essence of Charlie Chaplin -- using archival footage and tape-recorded interviews. It's a compilation of perspectives and personal impressions, told in dramatic fashion, rather than a linear storyline. Really, The Real Charlie Chaplin is all about Chaplin's rise and fall to and from fame, his political opinions, and his contributions to film history (which have been surveyed in a slightly haphazard fashion, only grazing the surface of some of Chaplin's works).

The film draws on rarely-heard recordings made by Chaplin, his family, and Effie Wisdom, a childhood friend who grew up with him in London. It's surreal to hear all these voices talk about one of history's most-loved personalities. Directors Charles Middleton and James Spinney orchestrated reenactments of these recordings, with actors lip-synching and emoting precisely to the audio. It's an approach that works for some and may not for others, since it entails actors adding gestures or expressions that the original speakers weren't able to, and so feels a bit unnatural at times. Wisdom's recording is by far the clearest, and this reenactment method begins to fall apart when Chaplin's recording is introduced, as Chaplin's voice is grainy and the tape recorder makes him sound strained. Many scenes of Chaplin's films are dissected by narrator Pearl Mackie, as is his family life through a series of photographs accompanied by the aforementioned recordings. Her narration slows the pace of the film quite dramatically, and it may have been a better idea to have the recordings guide the film more, instead of the narration. In all other aspects, though, The Real Charlie Chaplin is a well-made film.

The Real Charlie Chaplin is all about individualism, perspective, and devoting yourself to your craft. There are some mature themes like domestic abuse and manipulation to watch out for.

I give The Real Charlie Chaplin 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The Real Charlie Chaplin begins its theatrical run at Cinema Village (New York) and Laemmle Santa Monica (Los Angeles) on Friday, November 19, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
END OF BLINDNESS, THE
END OF BLINDNESS, THE - PASSION RIVER FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - There is a crisis in Ethiopia. With over four million cases of visual impairment it has one of the highest rates of blindness on the continent. But one man is fighting to change that. Here, over a million people live without sight. In fact, it has one of the highest rates of blindness in Africa. The End of Blindness tells the incredible true story of Dr. Samuel Bora, the only ophthalmologist for over 3 million people in rural Ethiopia who provides free cataract surgery to the blind poor. Dedicating his life to serving the poor in his country, Dr. Samuel performs up to 60 surgeries a day for those who would otherwise be forgotten. Step inside the operating room and witness the powerful impact a single surgeon can have on the lives of thousands of people- from children with cataracts to a blind mother who has never seen her son.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The End of Blindness is a beautifully shot, moving real-life story drawing attention to an important current issue. It's not just a great watch, but a necessary watch in 2021.

Ethiopia is facing a crisis. With over four million cases of visual impairment it has one of the highest rates of blindness on the continent, but one man -- Mr. Samuel Bora -- is fighting to change that. Dr. Bora is the only ophthalmologist for over three million people in rural Ethiopia, providing free cataract surgery to the blind poor. Dr. Samuel performs up to 60 surgeries a day for those who would otherwise be forgotten. The End of Blindness takes you into the operating room and shows you the impact one can have on the lives of thousands of people, from children with cataracts due to trauma to a blind mother who has never seen her son.

Dr. Bora's passion for helping the poor is evident, as he has been touched by poverty. The film features many emotional scenes where he shares more about his journey from working in his village to being sponsored for a formal education by two Finnish missionaries. The care with which Dr. Bora does his work and the compelling way he speaks about his job and his life make a narrator almost unnecessary. The narrator only interjects once or twice to help move the story along or summarize, which works well. My favorite scene in the film is when Dr. Bora visits a patient whose eyesight has been restored; seeing the ecstasy on her and her husband's face really made my day, and I'm sure it made Dr. Bora's day, too. The cinematography is beautiful and it's evident that a professional team has taken on this effort. Panoramic shots of Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian countryside open the film and close-up shots of surgery provide a clear view of exactly how cataract surgery is performed (though many may be squeamish at the sight). Overall, it's an immaculately created film.

The End of Blindness promotes community service, using your talents for good and showing compassion, just like Dr. Samuel Bora does. There are some graphic scenes of surgery that those who are afraid of needles or blood will find difficult to watch.

I give The End of Blindness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The End of Blindness releases on demand on November 16, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The End Of Blindness is an inspiring and heartfelt documentary. With so many great stories it is sure to inform you about something you didn't know before and make you want to help.

This documentary is about Samuel Bora who is the only ophthalmologist for three million people in rural Ethiopia. It shares many stories about people who have eye problems or are blind and how Dr. Bora provides free or very cheap cataract surgery for the poor. We learn about Dr. Bora's incredible life story during this documentary.

One of the most amazing parts is seeing people take off their eye patch after their surgery. When they can see, after being in the dark for so long, you share their joy. There are lots of cool camera angles such as the shot from the ground when a jeep passes by. There are also some shots of African villages that show us how different these cities are from what we are accustomed to in the USA. There are so many remarkable stories that range from a blind 67-year-old to a blind 9-year-old. There is no age limit to blindness. Though most of the people's blindness is fixable, not all are, and it is sad when they are told nothing can be done. Something else I found out is that blind people sometimes have their children act as guides, which prevents the children from having a normal life. These surgeries not only give a blind person sight but their child gets a chance to be a kid again.

The message is that no matter what the situation, there is always something to be done, so go out and do it. I should warn you that there are scenes of cataract surgery which are very graphic and may be unpleasant to watch.

I give The End Of Blindness 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out On Demand November 16, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOUNDTRACK TO SIXTEEN
SOUNDTRACK TO SIXTEEN - EVOLUTIONARY FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Soundtrack to Sixteen is a coming-of-age film about two anxious teens growing up in London in the 2000s. Maisy is self-conscious and constantly overanalyzing. She is obsessed with having her first kiss this year, before she turns seventeen, but stalking the boy next door doesn't seem to be working. Meanwhile Ben, a boy from a nearby school, is happy being a nerd and thinking he's better than everyone else until his grades start plummeting. For the first time he must come face to face with the idea that he might, in fact, be average. When the two meet each other on the night bus things get even more confusing for them as they attempt to navigate their first potential romance under the stress of exams that will define their future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Soundtrack To Sixteen is a film every teen can relate to! Simple and easy to connect to watching these teens experience what it's like to fall in love and go against the status quo. You'll fall in love with these relatable characters.

The storyline follows teens Maisey (Scarlett Marshall) and Ben (Gino Wilson), two socially awkward teens navigating the world and trying to find their place in it, while falling in love with one another. The film is accompanied by rock music and voice overs provided by the main actors as their characters' thoughts.

This film accurately represents the lives of teens for whom finding their place in the world is difficult and they feel awkward and out of place. It's so refreshing to watch two characters go through their daily life experiences, and watching ourselves in them. The soundtrack is incredible. It's as if the songs represent the thoughts and emotions of the characters - all wild and crazy. The romance between Ben and Maisey is something very peaceful to watch, almost comforting. In society, it's rare to have a Romeo and Juliet romance. Watching these two characters have a calm relationship, get to know one another and still have insecurities is so beautiful because it's the relationship the majority of us experience. I really love the opening credits; they're a perfect way to open up the movie. It gives a wonderful introduction to the actors, and the unique sketches of the characters set the tone for the rest of the film. The perfect way to describe this movie is hilarious and definitely a feel-good flick.

The moral of the story is to love yourself and soon enough you'll find people who will love and relate to you. Maisey was always left out of her friend's group and, once she stopped worrying about trying to fit in, she meets Ben, who loves her for who she is. Ben, on the other hand, feels as though he needs to pretend to be someone he's not. His worries are quieted when he meets Maisey.

I give Soundtrack to Sixteen 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS - 101 STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Hal, a reclusive hermit, pays tribute to his mother's death by calling various "Questions and Comments" hot-line to capitalize on their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee until the country's biggest food and beverage conglomerate, KNACK, hits him with a lawsuit. Armed with nothing but free food samples and the less than mediocre legal aide of his eccentric next door neighbor Amelia, Hal must lead the battle against the corporate giants to retain his peaceful solitary existence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Questions and Comments is a great film about harsh realities. It has excellent characters and serves as a wonderful motivator to some viewers. It's easy to want to get up off your seat and change the world.

The storyline follows Hal (Danny Leonard), a reclusive young man who is facing a hard time coping with his mother's death. Hal decides to phone almost every Questions and Comments hotline to be able to receive free samples. When he gets discovered by the law and ordered to court, he's accompanied by his lawyer and friend Amelia (Nathalie Galde).

This film is as funny as it is relatable and tragic. Hal, wallowing in his sorrows, represents so many people around the globe dealing with their grief. He feels very alone and doesn't have anyone to turn to, which then leads to him falling off the deep end. Hal makes the audience sympathize with him as it's easy to see ourselves in his shoes. Amelia also represents many around the globe; a young woman not knowing how to get her foot in the door. She faces all odds and becomes a fan favorite for being a powerful lawyer and a good friend. The production is extremely solid and holds up well. It is clear the movie is an independent production, however they take complete advantage of their budget and provide adequate visuals, lighting and music. The music especially stands out, because it points directly to Hal's emotions, almost as if his feelings were translated to tunes.

The lesson Hal learns and teaches audiences is that there is always someone who loves you and will be there for you. Hal feels lonely and doesn't have anyone to comfort him, but he soon learns that help is always around the corner, in his case, literally. Amelia becomes a close friend, putting her career on the line for Hal.

I give Questions and Comments 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages for 15 to 18, plus adults. Playing in November 2021 at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S., age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STRAY STORY, THE: A DOGUMENTARY
STRAY STORY, THE: A DOGUMENTARY - 101 STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - In a consumerist society where everything, including man's best friend, is treated as disposable, everyday people aiding stray dogs remind us what being human(e) is all about. Through their experiences, successes, difficulties and dilemmas, the documentary exposes the problem and its solutions, while tackling the human condition in the western world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Stray Story: A Dogumentary will have you in tears. All audiences will have their heart strings pulled in every which way and, by the end of the film, you'll want to get up off your couch and advocate.

The Stray Story: A Dogumentary is a documentary pieced together by multiple advocates of stray dogs. They all spread their messages to aid abandoned dogs, and to limit the number of dogs on the street. Clips include protests and interviews of ambassadors for the cause.

This film is heart wrenching and motivational. The advocates make everyone aware that they have a voice and encourage us to help those that don't. Their compassion for this cause makes us want to help any way we can. The film is also incredibly educational. Title cards with statistics help those that are not as aware about abandoned animals learn the truth about these animals. The movie serves as a master class. At the end of the documentary, you have a huge load of knowledge that you probably didn't know before. It's the perfect package to encourage anyone who wants to stand up for strays, but doesn't know how to start. The movie provides problems - some major and some that go unnoticed - while including the solutions. They share the achievements and progress of these groups, while adding how they're still not done advocating.

The lesson audiences learn is an awareness of how large the stray population is, how to help out, and how to limit that population. We're taught how every voice matters and how to use it for good. The film serves as motivation for everyone to do their part, and help all the dogs we can.

I give The Stray Story: A Dogumentary 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18 plus adults. Playing at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival November, 2021.

By Heather S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN
THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN - AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - English artist Louis Wain rises to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings that seemed to reflect his declining sanity. After his father's death, Louis Wain tries to look after his five sisters and his mother as a freelance artist. He is fortunate that Sir William Ingram, editor of the Illustrated London News, offers him a job as an illustrator. His life takes another positive turn when Emily Richardson, the new governess of his sisters, steps into it. She becomes the love of his life, and soon they take in a stray kitten they call Peter. It is unusual in the Victorian era to keep a cat as a pet, and the cat pictures that Louis paints from then on are just as unusual.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like The Electrical Life of Louis Wain because I learned facts about electricity that I didn't know before. I learned to see electricity in a different way. What I like about this movie is that it is based on the life of the painter Louis Wain and it is filled with drama, comedy, romance and tragic events.

This extraordinary film is about the eccentric, British painter named Louis Wain portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film beings in 1880s London when Mr. Wain is a young boy, and his family depends on him economically. He loves painting animal portraits, rather than people and when his younger sisters need a teacher (Claire Foy) he accepts a better job in order to pay for the governess who he falls in love with and marries. Wain has a peculiar way of feeling and seeing electricity; seeing it as a feeling between people and animals, especially cats, which takes him to painting cats and making a huge profit from those paintings.

The scenes in this film are exquisite, showing Victorian style furniture, houses and beautiful landscapes of 1880s London. The costumes are also from the Victorian era. We see British traditions like drinking tea at midday, visiting the opera house to watch a film and gossiping between nosey neighbors. The instrumental music is very appealing as well. The movie is narrated by Olivia Coleman. I believe this film will be nominated for Best Picture of 2021 and I predict Benedict Cumberbatch will be nominated for Best Actor, because his performance as Louis Wain from each stage of his life is magnificent. Mr. Wain's world was full of eccentric and colorful imagination. His infatuation with cats made him one of the most acclaimed painters of his era. His last work was about cats wearing Victorian outfits and acting as humans. What if Mr. Wain was smart enough to see beyond what normal people can see?

The moral of this film is to understand that mental health, besides being an illness, can also be a gift, if treated. This film does contain some mature content and strong language.

I give The Electrical Life of Louis Wain 5 out of 5 stars and recommended to ages 12 to 18. plus adults. The movie will be released in theaters and on Amazon Prime November 5, 2021. And remember, if you or your loved ones suffer from mental health, don't hesitate to look for help. Mental health requires a great deal of attention and it needs to be faced and dealt with.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I really like The Electrical life of Louis Wain because it is intense and emotional, but still very attention grabbing. It really locks you in and reveals a shocking, but heartwarming story.

This storyline is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It follows Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he navigates his way through life. Louis is an aspiring artist, most known for his infamous cat paintings, and always looks at things from a different perspective. He goes through quite a bit of trauma, but learns from it and never gives up his loves and passions in life.

Something that I really enjoy about this film is the acting. Each of the actors brings a raw, genuine feeling to their character and each character has its own storyline. I was really drawn to Marie's (Hayley Squires) character, which is one of Louis' younger sisters. She is a very complex character with so many emotions. In addition, Claire Foy, who plays Emily, really intrigued me. Emily is Louis's wife and is a uniquely emotional character. All her lines have a very specific meaning, and Claire really brings them forward. Another thing I enjoyed is the time period; the film takes place in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a time period I particularly enjoy. The wardrobe from that time period is something I love, particularly the costumes of all the women wearing these extremely detailed dresses. Each of Louis' sisters has a personal that matches the times. Even Marie (Anya Mackenna), who is so young, wears outfits suited to the era. Plus, the house interiors show us so much about what life was like back then, including what kind of technology they used.

The message of this film is that, no matter how many obstacles life throws at you, if you strive for better days then they will come. This film does include some profanity.

I give The Electrical Life of Louis Wain 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain releases in theaters and on Amazon Prime November 5, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-17 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUSTANGS, THE: AMERICA'S WILD HORSES
MUSTANGS, THE: AMERICA'S WILD HORSES - VIRGIL FILMS & ENTERTIAINMENT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - "The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses" is a feature documentary that takes audiences on an odyssey throughout America to places few people have seen or know about. There are more than 80,000 wild horses on our public lands and 50,000 in government corrals. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Philipps says, "The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even for those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation. From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse -- popularly known as the mustang -- is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question." The film features songs by Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and an original song written by Diane Warren and performed by Blanco Brown. "America's wild horses are fighting their last stand," said Executive Producer Robert Redford. The Mustangs....the fight for freedom has begun!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses is a cinematic masterpiece that tells the story of one of America's most iconic animals: the mustang. The impeccable cinematography and emotionally-compelling narrative make up for times when the film feels a bit more like an advertisement than a documentary.

The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses follows an array of stories, including how an organization is helping veterans deal with their PTSD by matching them with horses. Another story follows a group that manages mustang population growth through a unique form of fertility control, and yet another narrative follows "Wild Horse Annie," who motivated kids to save wild horses 50 years ago. An additional storyline focuses on a sanctuary reuniting rounded-up wild horses.

Hearing perspectives from individuals like Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Philipps enhances the film's compelling mission, as does the breathtaking cinematography! The symbolism of the mustang, independence and freedom, is conveyed through panoramic shots of these majestic horses traveling across lush expanses of the American countryside, their manes billowing and hooves clip-clopping. Every individual interviewed for The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses brings a fresh take to the story, and the genuine passion and commitment each of them have for what they do is palpable. The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses is certainly a magnificently-produced documentary!

The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses promotes kindness to animals as well as preserving history. It takes a strong stance against animal cruelty and sheds light on an alternative therapy, matching veterans to horses.

I give The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses opens theatrically nationwide on October 15, 2021, and premieres on VOD on November 23, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ETERNALS
ETERNALS - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - Marvel Studios' Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind's most ancient enemy, the Deviants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like Eternals. It's an action filled blockbuster that teaches you about cultures from so many different centuries. Most importantly, it brings you into a whole new world of marvel.

This film centers on the life of the eight eternals that are the first of their kind and have immortal life. Each character has their own unique characteristics, and powers. Throughout the movie they work together to help create a better planet, and learn many things along the way.

Something that really stands out to me is the amount of surprises that are thrown along the way. This movie is extremely unpredictable, which creates a suspense that really grabs the viewer's attention. There are so many turns of events that I never expected! Another thing that I really enjoy is how many different locations are involved in the film. For instance, they talk about Mesopotamia and ancient times. We see so much about their cultures and how people back then lived their lives. The camera highlights how people used natural resources to survive. We also learn about their religion and life skills. This is especially interesting to me because I am currently learning about these places in my history class. Finally, I love how unique and diverse each character's costumes are. For example, Thena (Angelina Jolie) has a very classically elegant wardrobe, whereas Sersi (Gemma Chan) wears more armor and structured outfits. I love fashion, and enjoy when movies put a lot of attention into it and that is definitely the case here.

The message of this film is to never lose sight of who you are, no matter what unexpected surprises life throws at you. This film does include a slightly sexual scene, as well as violence with fire and open wounds.

I give Eternals 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Eternals in theaters starting November 5, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Eternals is the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a perfect film for all audiences! Its comedic timing is wonderful and the story is filled with lovable characters you can't get enough of. While the movie has wonderful aspects, it definitely has notable flaws as well.

Eternals follows ten mythical beings, Eternals, who were sent to protect Earth from deviants: dark, evolving and deadly creatures. They have protected the humans for 7,000 years, and once they think they've killed all the deviants, the monsters are back and the Eternals have to assemble the team again. The film takes place in the present day, but shows flashbacks to several time periods throughout thousands of years. Demonstrating diversity, the film includes characters of all ethnicities, representing so many groups of people. The actors, too, are of varying races, and the movie includes LGBTQ representation. The characters are well written and equally well-rounded. Each of them has their own individual problems, goals and ideas. During these flashbacks, action and fighting, ten new characters were introduced with equal significance to the plot, and the movie leaves audiences wanting more of each one. Two post-credits scenes also tease exciting new characters with a cameo, which hypes up the fans.

Separating the Eternals from all the other Marvel Studios' characters, this new team has beautiful gold-embellished powers, which are shown in swirls and circles of gold. For example, Thena (Angelina Jolie) has incredible CGI weapons, so carefully detailed. Watching Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) run extremely fast on - but separated from the background - makes her appear to be in 3D.

This film is brilliant; however it loses itself in its need to be even more grand than necessary. Introducing ten new characters, villains, and a higher power is a lot to do in one film and the result can be confusing. The movie shows Celestials, beings that can destroy and create life and universes. The introduction of these beings conflicts with ideas existing in previous Marvel movies, leaving audiences confused as to who has more power, and who created what, exactly. The deviants rebel against their creator and the Eternals, but the goal gets confusing. The ending of the movie is also left wide open. It's understandable that a franchise film needs to lead into the movies to come, but there are too many loose ends, nothing resolved.

The lesson to be learned is that if you love something you fight for it. This quote is repeated by several characters. The Eternals have loved the human race for 7,000 years, and they continue to protect us against their biggest battle yet.

I give Eternals 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18 plus adults. Eternals opens exclusively in theaters November 5, 2021.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 11-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm



NEW SEARCH

All content ©Copyright 1991-2022 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media

Database search interactivity by NET MAN