The KIDS FIRST! Endorsement category has 1941 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
BECOMING COUSTEAU - NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS ENTERTAINMENT - LA
Series: DOCUMENTARY, 10-18
Description - Adventurer, filmmaker, inventor, author, unlikely celebrity and conservationist: For over four decades, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his explorations under the ocean became synonymous with a love of science and the natural world. As he learned to protect the environment, he brought the whole world with him, sounding alarms more than 50 years ago about the warming seas and our planet's vulnerability. In BECOMING COUSTEAU, from National Geographic Documentary Films, two-time Academy Award�-nominated filmmaker LIZ GARBUS takes an inside look at Cousteau and his life, his iconic films and inventions, and the experiences that made him the 20th century's most unique and renowned environmental voice -- and the man who inspired generations to protect the Earth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The documentary Becoming Cousteau reveals the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his passion for all things under the sea. I loved learning more about this man, who was a dominate figure during my youth who brought fantastic underwater images into our living rooms.

This film shows Cousteau's love for the oceans, as it explores over four decades of his work and how he became a spokesperson for the environment more than 50 years ago.

I loved watching this film and learned more about Jacques Cousteau than I knew previously. It sort of filled in the blanks of the back story of the man who captured our hearts and imaginations years ago. The cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful, although I wondered why the archival shots at the beginning had not been digitally enhanced. I also found it interesting that even his first dives into the ocean, in 1937, were filmed. Of course, he says several times that he has always been a filmmaker, but still those shots surprised me. He also talks about how he was not a good husband or father and, indeed, six months after his wife died he remarried. Also, he sent his children off to boarding school so he and wife number one could spend their time on the boat pursuing various missions. He was a clever businessman too, which was necessary to keep the funding flowing and we learn how he too on an assignment from British Petroleum to research oil reserves under the ocean in order to finance other projects he and his crew pursued. I remember well his TV series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, which aired from 1968n to 1976 and featured Cousteau along with his two sons and grandson. His wife, who did not appear on screen, was sort of the glue that held things together with the crew during these expositions on their boat, the Calypso. The Cousteau Society still exists and continues to carry out explorations worldwide and helps people understand the fragility of life on Earth - the Water Planet. This beautifully produced documentary directed by Liz Barbus (The Farm: Angola, USAP truly is an ode to a remarkable man who changed the course of history by embracing life beneath the sea.

The message of this film is a reminder to take care of our planet and treasure the undersea world.

I give Becoming Cousteau 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by R. Levy, KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAT DADDIES
CAT DADDIES - 101 STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - David Giovanni is living on the streets of New York, determined to stay together with his beloved cat Lucky. When he's finally granted a spot in a transitional housing facility that accepts cats, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating medical diagnosis puts his future together with Lucky in doubt. David's journey is interspersed with portraits of other "cat dads" from all over the country and some who struggle to navigate the unprecedented events of 2020 with their little furry friends. They include a group of firefighters, a stunt man, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer. These men couldn't be more different, but they share an unconditional love of their beloved pets. Cat Daddies is a refreshing and timely exploration of modern masculinity and the unlikely bond between man and cat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the documentary Cat Daddies because it documents different cat adoptions or rescues, especially by men, and each one of their stories is a heartwarming story that touches you. I liked seeing each one of these men and their cats bond and their journey.

This documentary is about different men or "cat dads" rescuing or adopting kittens from the streets. The film takes place in different states including California, New York, South Carolina and Arizona. You will enjoy different stories of an actor who adopts four cats and becomes an influencer by posting about his cats on social media, a fireman who adopts a cat that now is part of their crew and more. This film also documents the journey of a homeless man named David who suffers from cancer, and his cat Lucky. David became so selfless that it takes him a lot of thinking to go take care of his cancer in order to not leave Lucky unattended. Cats, like dogs, are good companions and can be supportive animals as well. Cats can feel when you are sad and they express their love in different ways from dogs, but that doesn't mean the love they offer is less. We often see movies or stories of men and their dogs, but have you ever watched a heartwarming movie or film about men and their cats? Well, this is your chance! My favorite story is David's. His love for his cat, Lucky, is bigger than himself. Before David admits himself to the hospital to take care of his tumor, he makes sure Lucky is in good hands. He misses Lucky terribly while he's at the hospital. This film is a reminder that if you are looking to adopt a pet, remember there are plenty of adorable cats and dogs in shelters waiting for a warm, cozy and loving home. Why go to pet stores and buy a pet when you can rescue them? At the end of your journey you will ask yourself, "Who rescued whom?"

The message of this film is about how men express their masculinity as they melt with love and compassion over cats.

I give Cat Daddies 5 out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is playing now at select film festivals, so look for it. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SUPERMAN & LOIS: COMPLETE SEASON 1
SUPERMAN & LOIS: COMPLETE SEASON 1 - WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 10-18
Description - After years of facing supervillains, monsters, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world's most famous superhero (Tyler Hoechlin) and comic books' most famous journalist (Elizabeth Tulloch) come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever - dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today's society.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 is a unique take on Superman because it focuses on his life as both a husband and father. There are action sequences like we expect to see from a Superman show. Like a lot of other interpretations, the tone is very light and has a bright and hopeful nature, but it does have some high stakes, because it ventures into a new aspect of the superhero.

The story follows Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechilin) and famous journalist Lois Lane ( Bitsie Tulloch) facing a big challenge, which is dealing with the stress, pressures and complexities that come from being working parents in today's society. This is complicated by Superman's already daunting job of being a superhero and Lois knowing his big secret.

In Superman & Lois, Clark and Lois return to Smallville where Clark grew up. The first season is about the family dynamics of raising two very different twins, Jordan (Alex Garfin) and Jonathan (Jordan Elsass). Jordan is moody and temperamental; Jonathan is happy and popular. The family experiences another change when the boys discover their father's secretary identity and again, when one of the boys develops his own superpowers. This all happens as an ominous stranger comes to town. Superman & Lois incorporates everything you would expect from a Superman show. The main difference is adding marriage and kids - the family element. This allows Clark to become more human in a way because he struggles with family issues like we all experience. I can see a bit of my own family in their conflicts. This brings out more of Superman's human qualities; we see the man just as much as we see the superhero. The show's CGI is more improved compared to other Arrowverse shows. For example, Superman has an improved suit, which looks good against the CGI. Also, the dynamics between the characters seems true. There is a natural flow to their dialogue, making them believable and more relatable.

The message of the show is that, even though Superman may have all these superpowers, they can't help him with everything. Despite being Superman, Clark Kent still struggles with the being a "man" and balancing his family life with his superhero persona. Plus the fact that, no matter how different or how many issues a family may have, at the end of the day they still love and support each other.

Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 releases on DVD October, 19 2021.

By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 450 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LANGUAGE ARTS
LANGUAGE ARTS - KAIROS PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - A student project abruptly forces an emotionally stunted high school English teacher to confront his demons--past and present--taking him on a powerful journey of connection and redemption. Based on the novel, starring Ashley Zukerman, Sarah Shahi, Elliott Smith and Lincoln Lambert.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Language Arts is a powerful film about a difficult subject that draws you in as the characters develop and face challenges. It's emotional to see some of the challenges the characters face. It is even more difficult to see how children without challenges treat those with them.< p>The storyline follows a student that wants to do a project on how people with limited or no language skills are able to tell their own stories. Her English teacher, who grew up in a flawed family, has an autistic child. During this powerful movie he relives his life, the good and the bad, on a path that will bring him to a much better place.

We are introduced to people who have dementia, are autistic and those who have other challenges. The characters are full and rich. I don't believe the nun, with dementia, would have just been lead to a new room and quickly left there alone. The actor who plays Dana, who went to school with the teacher, delivers a great performance. However, I don't believe he would ever have been left unattended, given how challenged he is. The teacher and Charlie's child, Cody both give believable performances. Although the actors portray the characters well, I don't believe they would be as easily handled as the movie shows. The end of the film pulls everything together very well, particularly for Cody's divorced parents.

Much of the movie is very "beige." The scene where Charlie and his wife visit a doctor is the perfect example. Not only is the office beige, but Charlie and his wife's clothing match the colors of the wall. Cody's room is very "beige." Even the kitchen, where the nuns bake bread, have little color. The end of the film is the only place, for the most part, where there is color that pops. Given how heavy the material is, a little color may help. The way they tie the Palmer method of writing throughout the film is amazing! The costumes are accurate for the time, but again, adding some color might help. The only scene, besides the ending that has color is when Charlie is bartending and his wife is with him in a colorful outfit. How the characters act makes for great visual effects, from the nun making a collage of Cody's work with crunchy noodles and paper. What the characters do very much impacts how you see each one and makes them very believable.

Mrs. Braxton (Jane Ryan) plays a teacher of that time to perfection. The Charles (Elliot Smith) character is incredibly well developed from his dysfunctional and traumatic childhood, due to trauma suffered over the assault of Dana (Lincoln Lambert) and Charles' (Ashley Zukerman mother (not credited) not telling him that Dana survived. Dana gives a stellar performance and we discover he lived and had a rich life, and wrote his mother many letters, which leads right back to the Palmer method of writing.

There is also a point when Charles' mother-in-law sums her daughter up so succinctly it is a true gem of a line, "My daughter, let's hope out lasts the truth, otherwise known as denial. There are some real gems throughout the movie.

The director's skill shows throughout the film. The background music fits in well and is wonderful. The costumes needed some help, as they were very bland. My favorite scene is where Charlie's wife's parents visit to talk about home renovations. It meant a lot to see Charlie visit Dana's mother and finally learn the truth. The movie is well done and ventures into areas few have dared to go. For those who have not been in contact with people with these kinds of challenges, it important they see the full spectrum of humanity. The characters are rich and developed. It is a powerful movie with a great message. Although depressing in many ways, it is an excellent film with a positive message at the end.

The message is that everyone has a voice, although they may show it in different ways!< p>I give Language Arts 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 through 18, plus adults. This is a film that offers many viewers a whole new perspective.

By Evie K., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An emotionally compelling film, with impeccable performances and superb cinematography, Language Arts provides viewers with a glimpse into the lives of parents of children with disabilities as well as the children themselves.

Language Arts follows a man on his life journey. As a student, he befriends Dana, an autistic boy who is part of a program at his school. Dana is bullied by other students every day and, after an especially horrid incident involving a pen and a pantsing, Dana's life is in danger. The film fast-forwards and the young man is now an English teacher with an autistic son named Cody and a strained marriage. Over the duration of the film, life comes full circle for him as he reconnects with his past and comes to terms with the struggles he faces through his student's photography project.

The film's director, Cornelia "Corrie" Dury�e, is part of the disabled community herself, as she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia and severe multiple chemical sensitivity. Her youngest son, who makes a cameo in the film, has ASD. Four actors in the film also have ASD, including Mickey Rowe , who is an incredible actor with great depth of emotion and, evidently, personal experience that fuels his conviction to the role. Lincoln Lambert plays Dana, and his portrayal of an autistic student is very compelling. The cinematography accents the turmoil faced by the characters, with many crisp and evocative close-ups, and music accents every poignant moment. Some of the cuts between years and ages of characters make the film tough to understand at the start, but the story unrolls as it develops in a magnificent fashion.

Language Arts promotes accepting each other for who they are; making friends with those that are different from you; and working together, which can help people overcome what may seem like an insuperable hurdle. The film does contain some profanity, portrayals of fights, and various instances of ableism. There are also some graphic scenes where Dana is violently bullied.

I give Language Arts 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The film will resonate with parents of disabled children. It is available now on VOD.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Kid Reporter, age 15

Language Arts is an emotional film that covers a wide variety of heavy, yet entertaining topics. This film has talented actors, great sets, relatable storylines, strong characters and fabulous cinematography. The creativity of this film is so cool, although it is sometimes a little bit confusing.

The storyline follows Charles Marlow (Ashley Zukerman) as he deals with family issues and connects with differently abled people throughout his life. As some young autistic patients start sparking memories of his childhood, we travel back to those times with him. As we visit his past, we see young Charles Marlow (Elliott Smith) and Dana McGucken (Lincoln Lambert) in elementary school, meeting and marrying Allison Forche-Marlow (Sarah Shahi) and then dealing with his disabled son, Cody Marlow (Kieran Walton). We get even more backstory about young Charles as kid and observe his life with his constantly arguing parents.

Language Arts has many fantastic elements; one of them being the incredibly well-chosen actors. The emotional story leads to deeply developed characters, which requires talented actors to pull off. Each actor portrays their character very well. Some of the best performances are from Elliott Smith as young Charles Marlow and Sarah Shahi as Allison Forche-Marlow. Young Charles Marlow deals with many challenging situations, including distant parents and bullying. Elliott Smith captures his character so well that I believe he is Charles. Sarah Shahi clearly connects with her character, Allison. She shines a light on Allison's real desires and personality, despite her actions telling a different story. Most importantly, the storyline is relatable and written strong enough to give actors the opportunity to shine. Each character has its own subplot so that every character is important. Learning about the secondary characters' backgrounds and deepest desires through the subplots adds to the film. The sets are another standout part. I particularly liked the set in the art studio which features beautiful artwork. The camerawork is also outstanding, using a variety of angles to draw you into the scenes. I love the creativity of the film jumping back and forth in time, allowing us to see the characters when they were younger, which helps us understand their current point of view. Yet that gets confusing at times. Sometimes it's difficult to know if I'm watching something from the past, present or future and that makes the storyline hard to follow. However, once you get accustomed to those time changes, which includes change of wardrobe and period-specific sets, the film is easier to follow.

The message of this film is to treat people with disabilities with the same respect as anyone else. There are other important themes that are shown such as being kind and living life to its fullest. Language Arts does address heavy topics, contains some profanity and is a sad story in many ways.

I give Language Arts 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Language Arts now on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Vudu.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Eddie Brock struggles to adjust to his new life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, which grants him super-human abilities in order to be a lethal vigilante. Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Venom: Let There Be Carnage because it is based on one of my favorite Marvel characters, Venom. I like that Carnage is a product of Venom, so watching these monsters clashing with each other is phenomenal.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is about a journalist named Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who has a dark black, Spiderman looking devil named Venom that lives inside his body. Most of the movie shows Eddie and Venom not getting along, because Eddie is sick and tired of having Venom inside his body and Venom wants to be free to eat people. Venom is very clumsy and destructive and Eddie is frustrated because his apartment is a mess. An assassin named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) knows Eddie and asks to speak to him before his death sentence is carried out. Eddie visits Cletus in prison, but Cletus antagonizes Eddie with his past and Venom comes out of Eddie's body to choke Cletus. Cletus bites Eddie's hand and tastes Venom's blood. So guess what happens? You have to watch the film to find out.

This film has amazing CGI graphics. The graphics look so real and the buildings falling apart when Venom climbs between them look real as well. The fighting scenes between these two titans are so incredible that it makes you want to see more. I expected there to be more encounters between Venom and Carnage and was disappointed that there weren't more. The movie has a good combination of comedy and action. The music is appealing in every scene. My favorite part is, of course, the battle between Venom and Carnage in the church. Carnage is huge compared to Venom and looks more powerful than him because Carnage has multiple extremities which Venom does not have.

The moral of this film is to never underestimate yourself no matter your size or strength. You do not know if you can win the war if you don't go to battle.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres Friday, October 1, 2021. Remember, like all Marvel movies, you have to wait until after the credits. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

There are several things in this film that fall short for me. Its lack of development of Kasady and the way it seems quite biased towards Venom. It's important to note that I haven't seen the original Venom, but I had a pretty easy time understanding the characters and the important plot details. As far as I can tell, the first movie didn't have much of an impact on the story of this film.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to Venom (2018) and it continues the story of Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote Venom (Tom Hardy). In an attempt to restore his journalism career, Eddie interviews the serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) right before he receives the death penalty. However, Kasady ends up becoming the host of a new symbiote, named Carnage and escapes. Now Eddie and Venom must stop Kasady and Carnage.

My biggest issue with this film is its pacing. The film is 90 minutes long, and it feels like it ends before the climax really starts. If I could make a suggestion, I would have preferred that they spent more time developing Kasady, as well as his childhood love interest, Shriek (Naomie Harris). We see small glimpses of their history with each other, but we never really learn why they're so attached. Considering that Kasady's main motive is to be with Shriek, she definitely should have been more developed; she doesn't really feel like a character her, she feels more like a plot device. Another thing that bothered me about this movie is the way it treats Eddie and Venom. Venom is an interesting character, because he starts as a villain and morphs into an antihero over time, and the movie hints at this duality. However, the movie seems very biased towards Venom. When Eddie calls out Venom for causing problems for the both of them, Eddie later has to apologize to Venom. Meanwhile, Venom is never held accountable for the fact that he does cause a lot of problems. Eddie was completely in the right in that situation. The film wants us to believe Venom is super funny and edgy, but he acts like a spoiled child for most of the film and I felt bad for Eddie the entire time.

The message of this film is that it's important for people to work together and communicate, so they can come to an understanding. I also would like to warn people that it is quite a violent and loud movie with a lot of action scenes.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It releases in theaters October 1, 2021. By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Time to sink our teeth into the new wild ride of Venom: Let There Be Carnage! This film differs little from the first film, but still delivers entertaining action with its stellar CGI. A complex plot is crucial for a blockbuster action film of this caliber, and unfortunately this sequel spirals out of control and ends up a large mess. Most of the dialogue between Venom and Eddie is extremely hard to understand because of the depth and pace of Venom's voice; so watching with subtitles on is ideal. Venom: Let There Be Carnage begins with the iconic duo of Venom and Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) as they both learn to live with each other and solve their own problems. When Eddie continues to interview serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), he ends up solving a murder case tied to Celetus's name. This seals Cletus's fate as he is now sentenced to death. Allowing his seemingly "final words" with Eddie, he gains the offspring of Venom, giving Celetus the ability to team up with the psychotic beast Carnage! Venom and Carnage go toe to toe for the battle of a lifetime.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage has a plethora of carnage, just not in the way we want to see. The sequel is borderline pleasurable, however has no remarkable improvements or differences from its predecessor. Carnage, in his original comics, is brutal. He is an insane symbiote who doesn't kill because he needs to; it's because he wants to. Before the release of the film, there was early debate whether a PG-13 rating could handle him, or truly embrace him by having an R rating. Comic book fans will notice how significantly diluted the character is, making him feel out of place and simply inaccurate. Another consistent problem is the humor and dialogue. The first film had a known struggle of embarrassing dialogue and the sequel tries to overcorrect that issue, but results in numerous jokes not landing, with no audience reaction.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is as PG-13 a film could be without being rated R. As you can expect with these characters, there is plenty of graphic and intense violence with multiple instances of cursing. Multiple scenes are extremely vigorous and can not be handled by younger viewers. Beneath the mayhem lies themes of friendship, family, and love. One of the main morals is that, despite all obstacles, teamwork always prevails.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. You can find Venom: Let There Be Carnage at your local theater now.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADDAMS FAMILY 2, THE
ADDAMS FAMILY 2, THE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6 - 18
Description - The Addams Family Everyone's favorite spooky family is back in the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2. In this all new movie we find Morticia and Gomez distraught that their children are growing up, skipping family dinners, and totally consumed with "scream time." To reclaim their bond they decide to cram Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and the crew into their haunted camper and hit the road for one last miserable family vacation. Their adventure across America takes them out of their element and into hilarious run-ins with their iconic cousin, It, as well as many new kooky characters. What could possibly go wrong?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's time to take a road trip with our favorite creepy family just in time for Halloween! In the follow up to the 2019 film, the Addams family brings the same amazing family values and fun in The Addams Family 2, which takes us on a new spooktacular adventure, complete with explosions, practical jokes, sibling rivalries and fun. This film is just as entertaining as the first one.

The Addams Family 2 focuses on Wednesday Addams (Chloe Grace Moretz), who is feeling misplaced and not very "Addamsy," so she is slowly pulling away from her family. To get his family closer, her father, Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) takes everyone on a road trip in a haunted RV. At the same time, the family is being followed by a creepy man, Mr. Mustela (Wallace Shawn), who is threatening to break up the family after it is discovered that Wednesday may not be an Addams. Gomez and Morticia Addams (Charlize Theron) have to find different ways to protect the family, which initiates a series of wacky adventures on this road trip.

The movie follows Wednesday as she learns about who she is, however, the main character is the entire Addams family: Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley (Javon "Wanna" Walton), Uncle Fester, (Nick Kroll), Cousin It (Snoop Dogg) and Grandma (Bette Milder). I love how the storyline focuses on family and how the Addams family will fight tooth and nail together to stay a family. The audience will not have a problem connecting with the characters as they all have a strong presence in this sequel and are well-developed. The audience will be spooked by the protective, yet, funny role, played by the family's butler, Lurch (Director, Conrad Vernon). This film is hilarious. My favorite part is when Wednesday uses a voodoo doll to help Pugsley impress a group of girls by dancing and then tosses him into the Niagara Falls in true Addams' fashion. The music keeps the film energetic and. of course, wouldn't be complete without a concert performance by Cousin It.

The message of The Addams Family 2 is to love and accept each other and it reminds us that family goes beyond genetics. Throughout the film, different characters try to force others to change qualities they dislike about them instead of accepting them as they are, and perhaps just working on themselves.

The Addams Family gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. The Addams Family 2 creeps into theatres and On Demand October 1, 2021.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DEAR EVAN HANSEN
DEAR EVAN HANSEN - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - The breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film musical Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky, is phenomenal and breathtaking. I really enjoyed watching this, because it is a true original, outstanding musical that speaks directly to the heart. Dear Evan Hansen is something extraordinary; it is not like any musical I have watched before and it has a really powerful message as it engages with the real world in ways that most musicals don't.

Evan Hansen is an anxious, isolated high-school student who's aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age. He soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery when a letter he wrote for his therapy writing exercise falls into the hands of a grieving couple whose son took his own life. Evan is tossed in the tumult of a fractured, grieving family. Connor's parents believe Evan was his best friend. But the reality is far different. Evan plays along with the charade, gaining the fame, adulation and love that he's always dreamed of - all at the expense of Connor's memory.

My favourite actor is Evan's mother Heidi (Julianne Moore). Heidi is a single mom, working late-night nursing shifts to afford college for Evan. She desperately wants the best for him, even when he doesn't notice her efforts. The film's best scenes revolve around her; the first occurring when Cynthia and Larry offer to cover Evan's tuition. She's proud. And you can see the gears shifting inside of Heidi's head before she declines. The film offers sympathy to all its characters by offering them the chance to sing their feelings out and make a case as to why they matter.

The message of this film applies to teens trying to overcome social anxieties, reminding them that it's okay to be anxious and depressed, and that being medicated for those things, if necessary, is normal and healthy. However, don't change yourself just to fit into society; stand up for yourself. If something happens and you are caught up in the situation, be confident in yourself, no matter what. A note of caution: this film does address suicide, has some strong language and some suggestive references.

I give Dear Evan Hansen 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theatres now.

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

Dear Evan Hanson is one of the most relatable films released this year. It paints the perfect picture of how many people have felt about emerging from the pandemic and how they have coped with it.

The storyline follows a high school senior named Evan Hanson (Ben Platt) and his transition between a traumatic summer to his last year of high school. He starts the year with an odd series of events that affect the rest of his year and his life.

Ben Platt has always been one of my favorite actors to watch. He plays such a vulnerable, emotional and relatable character that many young adults can relate to. He gives a raw performance showing what social anxiety and depression may look like in a high school setting. This film is adapted from the Tony Award-winning musical by the same name, but the musical numbers don't show up a lot. There is more dialogue, which I enjoyed. I cried more than three times during this film, which shows you how much the film's message affected me. Like Ben Platt we see other emotional performances from Colton Ryan (Connor Murphy) and Cynthia Murphy (Amy Adams). Larry Murphy (Danny Pino) represents society in the way that many are ignorant to the signs and severity of mental health issues of those around us. The opening scene's musical number Waving Through a Window is the best introduction to a main character I have seen. Through lyrics and non-verbal cues the actors send a message that made me think of my own health and question the society that young adults are dealing with today.

The message of this film is that it is okay to know that you are not okay. Anyone, at any point in time, may be going through a tough time; take care of yourself, and maybe even write a letter to yourself like Evan does in this film. You should be aware that the film does mention suicide and other mental health issues that may be an issue for some viewers.

I give Dear Evan Hanson 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theatres now.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CROODS, THE: FAMILY TREE
CROODS, THE: FAMILY TREE - HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, 6-14
Description - It continues the evolving story of the Croods and Bettermans as they learn to live together on the most idle farm in prehistory.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - DreamWorks Animation's The Croods: Family Tree is an amazing and hilarious show. With all the characters from the newest movie, this show is sure to get you laughing.

This show is about the prehistoric Croods living with the Bettermans. While the kids get along, the adults have their fair share of mishaps as they learn how to live together on a farm. In one episode they try to capture the punch monkeys; in another they get Dawns Grr back.

This show is so fun to watch because of its humor. No matter how many mishaps the make, they are always back for more and that makes this show engaging. It has an amazing group of voice actors. Tran reprises her role as Dawn; A.J. Locascio reprises his role as Thunk from Dawn of the Croods. The new voice cast features Amy Landecker as Ugga, Kiff VandenHeuvel as Grug, Ally Dixon as Eep, Artemis Pebdani as Gran, Darin Brooks as Guy, Matthew Waterson as Phil, and Amy Rosoff as Hope. All the voice talent excels at making the Croods sound prehistoric and the Bettermans sound "evolved," as Hope would put it. Another great thing is the design of the farm they live on. It looks so amazing, like something you would want to live in, but if you look closer it is made out of things that were found in prehistoric times. The wall, the house and "The System" are made from bamboo and vines. The house is in a tree; so they live in a tree house. It also credits them with making a lot of things like windows, which are similar to TV and showers.

The message of this show is anyone can get along, no matter how different they are.

I give The Croods: Family Tree 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults can watch it with their kids on movie night. This is available on September 23th, 2021 on Hulu and Peacock.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Criticv, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 6-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: A NEW GENERATION
MY LITTLE PONY: A NEW GENERATION - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-14
Description - The unimaginable has happened... Equestria has lost its magic! Earth Ponies, Unicorns, and Pegasi are no longer friends and now live separated by species. But idealistic Earth Pony Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) is determined to find a way to bring enchantment and unity back to their world. Teaming up with open-hearted Unicorn Izzy (Kimiko Glenn), the pair travel to faraway lands where they encounter the likes of charismatic and brave Pegasi Pipp (Sofia Carson) and Zipp (Liza Koshy) and the ever-responsible fellow Earth Pony Hitch (James Marsden). Their mission is full of misadventures, but these new best friends each possess their own unique and special gifts that may be just what this ponyverse needs to restore magic and prove that even little ponies can make a big difference.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony: A New Generation is a continuation of the My Little Pony series. It will remind you of the original, but it's more modern. It is very entertaining and interesting. If you have watched the My Little Pony series before, you will enjoy this.

The storyline follows Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) who is an Earth pony and she meets a unicorn named Izzy (Kimiko Glenn). Unicorns, Earth ponies and Pegasi aren't friends anymore and it is unlikely to see them together. Sunny and Izzy realize that all the ponies don't have any magic and they need to find out why. They travel all through Equestria to find out how to get magic back for everyone.

The songs in this film are very catchy and creative. My favorite song is "Glowin' Up'' performed by Sofia Carson, because it is upbeat, sets the mood and is a good song all around. The storyline is fun and shows us how the times are much more different than it was with the original ponies. My favorite character is Sunny, because she doesn't believe what others want her to believe and she never gives up. She grew up with people always telling her that the other ponies were bad, but she knows how to see the good in them, so she thinks differently. Also, when times get tough Sunny never gives up.

The message of My Little Pony: A New Generation is friendship is magic. If you have been a My Little Pony fan since earlier shows, this message will pop right into your head. This is a great film to watch with the family. is an awesome film to watch.

I rate My Little Pony: A New Generation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. You can watch this film on Netflix starting September 24, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

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

My Little Pony: A New Generation is a new upbeat, vibrant and adventure-filled movie. If you've seen previous My Little Pony shows or movies, you will be pleasantly surprised with this new one. With all different types of ponies coming together, and saving the day with the power of friendship, you will be entertained the whole time.

My Little Pony: A New Generation is about a young Earth pony named Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) who is set on bringing back the friendship, magic and unity between the Earth ponies, the unicorns, and the Pegasi. Teaming up with a unicorn named Izzy (Kimiko Glenn), which is frowned upon by Sunny's best friend and sheriff Hitch (James Marsden), Sunny goes on a quest to get the divided crystals that would bring Equestria back to the way it used to be. Along the way she makes new friends, and faces new challenges.

My favorite thing about this movie is the music. Beautiful harmony is one of my favorite things, and every song in this movie has that element. My favorite song is "Fit Right In" performed by Vanessa Hudgens, Kimiko Glenn, James Marsden, Liza Koshy and Sofia Carson. The different parts that everyone sings and the visuals that accompany it make it a stand-out scene that audiences will remember. The whole vibe of this song matches the tone of the movie extremely well. My Little Pony: A New Generation is a movie targeted towards younger audiences, so naturally they aren't going to explicitly refer to the more mature morals. However, within the plot of the film, it's evident that one of the messages is that it doesn't matter who you are, where you're from or what you look like, you shouldn't be judged by someone before they get to know you. Everyone should be included, and treated with kindness. The Earth ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi were taught to be afraid of each other. But, once they meet and hear the other sides of their stories, they become friends and realize that it doesn't matter what anyone else says, they make their own decisions about the others. My favorite characters in this show are Sunny and Hitch. They're definitely an example of a dynamic duo. Even though they are different, with Hitch being professional and overprotective and Sunny being adventurous and a risk-taker, they make a great team.

The message of My Little Pony: A New Generation is something that all of the ponies can agree on no matter where they're from - friendship is magic. No matter what they are told about each other, they will always come together for friendship.

I rate My Little Pony: A New Generation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. No matter how different the ponies look, you will feel the nostalgia from the relationships between them. My Little Pony: A New Generation comes out on Netflix September 24, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 6-11 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALPINIST, THE
ALPINIST, THE - ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Marc-Andr� Leclerc climbs alone, far from the limelight. The free-spirited 23-year-old makes some of the boldest solo ascents in history. With no cameras and no margin for error, Leclerc's approach is the essence of solo adventure.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Alpinist is a fascinating documentary that shows rare footage of beautiful landscapes and will either inspire you to chase your dreams or make you afraid of heights. Whichever way you take it, the movie is well worth the watch.

The Alpinist follows the 23-year-old mountain climber, Marc-Andre Leclerc, who is a pioneer of solo climbing and has broken countless records. In the documentary, you see all his astonishing climbs and travels around the world and meet the meaningful people who are in Marc-Andre's life.

There are many remarkable factors about the movie. The first thing to mention is the cinematography which is mind blowing! The angles and the positions of the camera capture the climbing so perfectly that you feel as if you are climbing right along with Marc-Andre. You feel so connected to Marc-Andre that you feel like you've known him forever. Kudos to directors Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen and their crew. The way they captured this incredible footage is remarkable, because as you watch the film, you learn how elusive Marc-Andre Leclerc can be.

The messages of this film are to follow your passions and to have courage, while also understanding the risks of what you are doing. There is some profanity, some wounds are shown, and the use of drugs. If you are afraid of heights, I would definitely not recommend this.

I give The Alpinist 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters September 10, 2021. Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, THE
EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, THE - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn't long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I liked the film The Eyes of Tammy Faye because it is a heartwarming story that opened me up to a whole other world that I was unaware of. It taught me about others' way of life and how their beliefs can make them the person that they are.

This movie follows the lives of Tammy Faye (Jessica Chastain) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield). They both dedicated their lives to Christianity and made a living from it. They found each other young and grew together. However, as their work continued to evolve Jim began to forget why this all started. Whereas Tammy made plenty of mistakes, but always remembers who she is.

Something that I enjoyed about this film is how honest and real it is. It shows the reality of the lives of these two people and doesn't sugar coat anything. Another thing that stands out is the acting. Jessica Chastain makes her character extremely believable. Additionally, this film takes place in a completely different time period, and she really taps into that. Furthermore, the characters' ages are constantly changing as the decades go by. Tammy always looks and acts exactly as she was supposed to be during each time period. Lastly, the sets and costume designs are executed extremely well. Everything matches the time period perfectly, and made me believe I was actually living during that time.

The message of this film is to always stay true to yourself and your beliefs. This film does contain some romantic content.

I give The Eyes of Tammy Faye 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. The Eyes of Tammy Faye releases in theaters September 17, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLAYING WITH SHARKS: THE VALERIE TAYLOR STORY
PLAYING WITH SHARKS: THE VALERIE TAYLOR STORY - DISNEY+
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Pioneering scuba diver Valerie Taylor, who has dedicated her life to exposing the myth surrounding our fear of sharks.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many of us are completely mesmerized by Earth's oceans and find the species inhabiting these bodies of water very fascinating. What lies beneath the ocean's surface is both exciting and frightening at the same time. Species ranging from small macro-molecules to gigantic creatures that lurk within these waters offer us fear of the unknown. Valerie Taylor, a famed underwater filmmaker and shark researcher, has made a life for herself stepping into that unknown. Valerie's life story as a pioneer of close-up encounters with the most frightening of all ocean creatures has been made into a riveting new documentary film, Playing with Sharks. Within this film Taylor gives proof to the world that there is no need to fear some of our oceans most misunderstood creatures - sharks.

Playing with Sharks is a fascinating tribute to Australia's Valerie Taylor, who has spent more than 70 years diving into oceans around the world capturing footage of a variety of shark species, including that of the Great White. As part of National Geographic's 9th Annual Shark Fest, this documentary chronicles the life of a woman who has gone from champion spearfisher to shark protector. Valerie's early days as a marine hunter was halted following a personal revelation that depletion of massive numbers of marine animals will undoubtedly change the habitats she loves most. Realizing that there are only 10% of sharks left in the world, it was an easy decision for Taylor to retire her spear and shoot these apex predators using only her camera. In what seemed to be the highlight of Valerie's career when her shark footage was used in the making of Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller, Jaws, but it actually brought unintended consequences for these marine creatures. The movie Jaws unexpectedly triggered a heightened fear and complete dislike for sharks. In a race to quickly fix the tarnished perception of sharks, Valerie Taylor became a powerful voice for their protection.

Sally Aitkins, Emmy-nominated director and writer of Playing with Sharks, has moved mountains with this documentary! Through remastered footage of Valerie Taylor's life journey, Aitkins shines a bright light on this living legend. The flashbacks to Taylor's earlier professional years is a great touch to the film and allows viewers to experience just how passionate Valerie is about marine life and her determination to protect it. The many marine professionals who share their experiences with Valerie also add a great deal to this film. The footage shared in this documentary serves as the evidence needed to move us from fear to respect for these amazing creatures who call the ocean their home.

Playing with Sharks has many messages, but the most important one is the need for mutual respect for all forms of life with which we share our world. We live in a world driven by greed and disrespect for other living things and, because of this, not everyone understands that we all depend on each other for survival. When removing one link to a chain, the chain falls apart. We must find a way to better understand nature in order to appreciate it. In her lifelong commitment to conservation, Valerie Taylor has done just that - she has exposed the truth about sharks and has created an audience of believers that these creatures have for years been misunderstood.

I give Playing with Sharks 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults would especially enjoy this documentary. Playing With Sharks begins streaming on Disney+ July 23, 2021. This is a must see film for all marine lovers.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DO, RE &MI
DO, RE &MI - AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-8
Description - Join birdie friends Do, Re and Mi in the musical world of Beebopsburgh, an island where instruments grow in the Falsetto Forest and a giant Music Mountain towers above all their adventures. Discover the sounds and melodies, move to the beat and see how music helps solve any problem. Featuring an original song each episode.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do, Re & Mi is a fun and educational show with many fun characters that make it so enlightening. With so much fun it's hard not to get into a show like this.

This show follows three little birdies, Do (Luke Youngblood), Re (Jackie Tohn) and Mi (Kristen Bell). They go on lots of adventures together such as trying out for a singing job or getting a new guitar and getting lost. With lots of fun messages and characters this show will appeal to a variety of kids. Each episode is about 23 minutes long and split into two stories.

This web series has lots of fun things to point out, starting with the theme song introducing all the main characters and introducing some inspirational messages. It will have your preschooler repeating the song around the house all day. There are also lots of other songs, hence the title Do, Re & Mi. Each episode has at least two, if not more songs and two different problems that the three birdies try to solve. There is a cool little animation that happens every episode. The animation is clear and sharp and is really fun since it's based on birds. Lots of bird terms are toyed with, such as humamazing, absohootly and high wing which make for a fun addition, since the whole show is about birds. We also learn some music terms such as tempo (speed of the song) and dynamics (volume of the song).

The message of the show is about being yourself and never stop singing.

I give Do, Re & Mi 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, plus adults who will enjoy watching it with their little kids and can join them in singing along. This launches on Amazon Prime Video September 17, 2021. Be sure to check it out.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 2-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NIGHTBOOKS
NIGHTBOOKS - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - A young boy named Alex becomes the prisoner of a witch to avoid certain death, he convinces her to let him tell her a scary story every night. Upon meeting the witch's servant, Yazmin, the two must use their wits to escape her apartment, a magical labyrinth filled with various dangers, before the witch kills them both.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nightbooks is very entertaining, but has some slow moments. It's perfect for people who love a scary movie, but may regret watching it at night (like me!). It has the just right amount of scary moments to give you a thrill, but also doesn't keep you up at night.

Nightbooks follows the story of a boy named Alex (Winslow Fegley) who loves to write scary stories. While trying to find the boiler room in his apartment complex, he is lured into a witch's (Krysten Ritter) house, who steals children. He meets Yasmin, who is also stuck there. Can they make it out before they face certain doom? Watch the movie to find out.

This film is based on the book by the same title, so fans of the book should love the movie. The set has so much attention to detail and the costume design, especially for Natacha the witch, is immaculate because all of her outfits perfectly express her personality. The special effects, specifically for the monsters, are so realistic that it gave me chills. My favorite character is Lenore the "sometimes" invisible cat because she has such a mind of her own.

The message is to never lose hope and always be yourself. Just because people think you are different doesn't mean that you are bad. There is some bad language and some scary parts that young kids find scary.

I give Nightbooks 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases September 15, 2021 on Netflix.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STAR FOREST
STAR FOREST - SILVER COMMET STUDIOS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - The band is virtual. The music is real. Created by two parents during a pandemic -an Emmy award winning children's producer and writer and a rock-n-roll composer and engineer, this musical collaboration is a love letter to their children who that couldn't agree on music that was enjoyable for the whole family. Discover Star Forest's first album - enchanting, radical songs that tug on your heart and ignite your imagination. A mix of rich bodied melodies, dreamy ballads, toe tappers, and pirate rappers, Star Forest is something the whole family can vibe with. It's road trip music. It's fanciful. It's inspiring. It's kind. It's cinematic. It's something for everyone.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The CD Star Forest is a pandemic-produced fairy tale and it shows what amazing things you can do when you have time on your hands. Nicely produced tracks and vocal performances help the process along. However, the story and overall direction is a bit muddy, without a clear understanding of its intended audience and keeping their attention with tried and true tricks of the children's music trade. Hopefully we won't have to wait for another pandemic for another album. It's a reminder to fully commit to your target audience!

The music in Star Forest is well-produced and covers a variety of styles. However, it feels a little too hip for the room for their intended age range. I don't think the lyrics are engaging enough for the youngsters to follow. The structure of the individual songs is good, but the continuity from song to song is not cohesive and the style is overthought; not flowing. Some of the songs, with a little tweaking, could play for adult audiences in an esoteric sort of way, but they are not all encompassing for a children's audience. They are a little all over the map. I got lost as to where the story was going while wearing my child-audience hat. This would not work with a live audience. It is just a bit too unfocused for its intended age group. There are some really good performances throughout the album - the kids, ensemble, backgrounds are all good.

I don't believe kids walk away from listening to Star Forrest looking to change the world.

I give Star Forest 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Outstanding! I love it! Definitely will listen to it again and/or share with my friends. I like Star Forest simply because I like the music. It's not a genre of music that anyone would find too loud or too boring. I can imagine listening to this music around a campfire - eating s'mores and singing and dancing to it. This album has a wide range of styles that can really fit any purpose or any person. That's really what I find most appealing about it.

I like that there are backup voices. These voices create a beautiful echo that makes the music sound richer and more beautiful. These sounds can vary between barely noticeable and quite noticeable; both ways are very pretty and add to the music.

Since the band is virtual, I don't really have comments about the musicians. I will say that there are times when the quality of the singing isn't spectacular, but I still really liked it. The songs are very well constructed instrumentally. The backup singers stand out for me. When a voice or an instrument repeats a string of words, it came across quite beautifully. I really liked it. There are no bad words; the vocabulary is certainly kid-friendly. I didn't find myself singing along afterward, however there is one line from the third song of the album, "Wildewood" that stuck in my head, "When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, we're gonna dance the night away." I really loved the instrumental parts - the instruments sound great in all the songs. I can't comment on the recording quality because I don't know much about that. What I do know is that I love this album and that's what counts!

I give Star Forest 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 12.

By Alma Kliper, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I really enjoyed Star Forest. The singers have great pitch and rhythm, which pairs very well with the music. The lyrics of each song, as well as the album as a whole, are creative and appealing. Sometimes the lyrics form a story; other times they are more just an addition to the wonderful music.

The variety of the different rhythms, tunes and genres are well chosen so that there is something that will be enjoyed by every listener! The musicians are very engaging. They make understanding the story in the songs easy. The singer that stands out the most has an incredible run in a high register. It is the most impressive embellishment any musician adds to this album. Kids will be awestruck and possibly inspired to mirror it themselves! The music is very easy for kids to understand. The vocabulary is basic and most kids will be able to easily listen and follow along with the story. Even if the lyrics are a bit challenging for some, the music is still worth listening to. After listening to the album, I noticed that the songs are repeating themselves in my head, because of their catchy and creative elements.

I give Star Forest 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10.

By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 47 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 11 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHAT IF?
WHAT IF? - DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Think about every decision or choice you've ever made and now, wonder, "what if I did that differently?" Marvel Studio answers these mind-boggling questions with its new hit animated series, What If... ? Every major plot line that occurred throughout the history of the MCU is twisted and turned to show different outcomes of various realities. Every Marvel film has a similar, typical way of story-telling, yet What If... ? has a new authentic narrator-type style that is extremely refreshing to longtime fans. However, the episodes fall a bit short recreating the nostalgic feeling from each film, resulting in many jokes feeling out of place and simply not landing.

After the events of Loki, we are not dealing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore. We are dealing with the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse! The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) is our all-seeing tour guide, showing us various different realities in which time and events play out extremely differently from what we know. Each episode explores stories generated from the simplest of choices. These subtle choices could result in a new superhero being born, a foe becoming a friend or even a murder.

DC Comics has been the leader in superhero animation for a while now, but with What If... ? that title might be in jeopardy. The animation in this new series is extremely unique. The broad color scheme is very eye pleasing and ties into the 3D art extremely well, providing a tranquil flow. Witnessing characters written by different writers from previous films can be very noticeable at times. With new content added to stories we already know and love, certain characters feel out of place because of the writers recreating their personalities.

Marvel content over recent years has been very intense. Unlike its predecessors, What If... ? is more lighthearted and not driven by a serious tone. Throughout the series, action and mild cursing frequently occur. Each episode is radically different from other episodes due to the lack of continuity of the story. As a result, there are new morals and lessons included in every episode. A prominent moral lesson throughout the show is that you can be whatever you want, despite the obstacles. The show explores themes such as perseverance, trust and family.

Marvel Studio's What If... ? is a major hit across the multiverse with its narrator-type journey, yet fails at multiple attempts to recreate the authenticity of previous Marvel films. I give What If... ? 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. A new episode of What If... ? streams every Wednesday starting August 11, 2021 on Disney+. Make sure to check it out!

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST LEONARDO, THE
LOST LEONARDO, THE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - The Lost Leonardo is the inside story behind the Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting ever sold at $450 million. From the moment the painting is bought for $1175 at a shady New Orleans auction house, and the restorer discovers masterful Renaissance brushstrokes under the heavy varnish of its cheap restoration, the Salvator Mundi's fate is determined by an insatiable quest for fame, money and power. As its price soars, so do the questions about its authenticity: is this painting really by Leonardo da Vinci? Unravelling the hidden agendas of the richest men and the most powerful art institutions in the world, The Lost Leonardo reveals how vested interests in the Salvator Mundi are of such tremendous power that truth becomes secondary.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Lost Leonardo is an interesting documentary about a lost Leonardo DaVinci painting of Christ. Based on the title I expected to watch a story about a lost and found painting and where it is today. Instead, I discovered a documentary that taught me about the strength of one's beliefs, art restoration practices, economics, politics and possible fraud.

The Lost Leonardo begins with an art sleeper hunter (an art speculator who scours the market for undervalued art), Ben Lewis, finding a painting in New Orleans. Ben reaches out to his art world contacts, which eventually leads him to Dianne Mundi. Dianne Mundi is married to a well known art conservator and Dianne is known for her art restoration. Dianne restores the painting, and she begins to believe it is a lost original Leonardo DaVinci. A group of art experts meet at the National Museum and agree that the painting is authentic. What follows next is a convoluted story about the true nature of the painting and how people's beliefs about the painting allow it to be capitalized on and possibly politicalized more than once.

The film is filled with art experts, journalists and even federal agencies. The film catches your attention because it has multiple layers. For example, just when you think viewing the painting as either authentic or a good copy is problematic, other reasons for thinking one way or the other are shared. Because of the prestige of the individuals calling the painting a true DaVinci, it commands a high selling price. The film gives a lesson in how prices of items can be inflated. Also, how easy it is to hide one's money in art since the laws aren't as restrictive with art purchases as they are with other things. Last, it explores what a piece of lost art can mean to a person or a group of people, and possibly to a country and the cost they will pay to have it.

The message of the film is that people can convince themselves of anything, even if those beliefs come at a high cost. Throughout history various beliefs have kept people together and apart.

I give The Lost Leonardo 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The dialogue and themes are a bit much for younger kids to follow, but a teen might enjoy it with the company of adults that can explain certain terms used in the film. The film is available in select theaters now.

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

The Lost Leonardo recounts one of the most expansive and expensive stories the art world has ever seen. This documentary has a knack of looking at this painting's recent history from a different angle every 20 minutes or so, revealing a whole different facet of the fervor surrounding this single piece of art and how the conversation around it became about so much more than the painting itself.

This odyssey of art and commerce begins in a warehouse, where a painting called the Salvator Mundi from one of the masters of the field, Leonardo Da Vinci, was thought to have been lost to time and languishes before being discovered by two art dealers who look for paintings that are worth more than they seem. Little did they know, they just stumbled upon their greatest find in that respect. They purchased the painting for 10,000 dollars and had it restored, in hopes that the work was that of Da Vinci's. The restorer's work supported that conclusion and, with that, a whole new journey with it begins. It ends up selling for hundreds of millions of dollars after it travels the world and comes into contact with everyone from the general public, to art critics, to experts, to Russian billionaires, to wily art dealers and world leaders.

Director Andreas Koefoed seems to understand the potential of what he has at his fingertips here - betrayal, treachery, power, greed - it's a winning concoction. For all the goodwill it earns in the riveting way it unfolds, The Lost Leonardo lacks a stylistic backbone to hold the whole thing together. It relies heavily on one-on-one interviews with experts, critics, and those that played in Salvator Mundi's discovery, restoration and sale. Those interviews bear no intimacy to them, which works in giving objectivity to the events documented, but their implementation grows tiresome. Koefoed has little else up his sleeve to tell this story and, for one about art and one of the most prolific pieces in a long time the world over, that's more than disappointing. This film about Salvator Mundi lacks imagination and creativity and is quite staid, which distracts from the gold mine Keofoed has here. Mundi's story certainly is anything but boring; so it's unfortunate that it is told that way.

I give The Lost Leonardo 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Nothing in the movie is objectionable, beyond some nudity shown in the artwork. If you've got an interest in the business of art or the work of Da Vinci, this one's for you. But more than that, the directions this story takes are so unpredictable that I think it makes this documentary easy to recommend to anybody. The Lost Leonardo comes out in theaters August 27, 2021.< p> By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REMINISCENCE
REMINISCENCE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae's disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy, and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Reminiscence is an overly long film with a lot of loose ends. The movie strives to be a romance and yet the love story is weak. While the film has some strong points, they're simply not strong enough to hold the film afloat.

The storyline follows Nick (Hugh Jackman), a man desperately in love with Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). After she vanishes, Nick uses technology known as the Reminiscence, which lets users revisit memories that they've forgotten. Nick uses the memory technology to locate where and why Mae has left. Slowly the truth unravels only to reveal dirty secrets.

The movie definitely has its upsides. One of the film's strongest points is the friendship between Nick and officer Watts. The two go way back, and it's even confirmed by Watts that she's in love with Nick. Watts does everything possible to prevent Nick from burning a memory in his brain from using Reminiscence too often. However, they have a falling out and their argument is never really resolved, ending in an uncompleted arc. The whole world is flooded; it is unclear as to why. It appears as though there has been a war - one in which both Nick and Watts are veterans of. The war is only mentioned; it's never really addressed in depth, which leaves many loose ends. The war is the reason for the international flood and sinking of London, but there's no description or overview of the war. Throughout the film, there are glimpses of memories of Mae and Nick together. These memories end up being repeated over and over, which can't help but feel repetitive. Nick's love for Mae is supposed to feel unending, but it feels limited by these few memories.

The lesson Nick learns is to believe in love. He goes the distance to learn the truth about Mae, refusing to believe that their relationship was one-sided. He goes against his closest friend and hardcore evidence to find the truth, even subjecting himself to the Reminiscence forever.

I give Reminiscence 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18 plus adults. It is available on HBO Max August 20, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FREE GUY
FREE GUY - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When a bank teller discovers he's actually a background player in an open-world video game, he decides to become the hero of his own story -- one that he can rewrite himself. In a world where there's no limits, he's determined to save the day his way before it's too late, and maybe find a little romance with the coder who conceived him. Free Guy is a 2021 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn and a story by Lieberman. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller who discovers he is actually a non-player character in an open-world video game and decides to become the hero of the story and save his friends from getting deleted by the game's creator (Taika Waititi); Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Joe Keery also star.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The hilarious film, Free Guy, written by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, might fool you into thinking it is a comedy, but in the end, has a touching moral behind all of the laughs. What makes us human? Our physical bodies or the way we learn and love? By the end of the film, we all come to the same conclusion. In the meantime, the story will keep you at the edge of your seat and sometimes bent over with laughter.

Free Guy follows a protagonist named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), an optimist and great friend who brings cheer to Free City. When Guy meets Molotov Girl (Jodie Corner) his whole world changes and he begins to question his daily routines and expectations. He realizes that he can be so much more. At the same time, the world is about to get in Guy's way. Outside of Free City, there is a battle ongoing between the company Soonami and game designers MIllie (Jodie Corner) and Keys (Joe Keery) to win back their game. What will Guy do when he realizes there is a threat to Free City? Will he take charge?

This film is full of star power. Ryan Reynolds plays Guy with the perfect mix of hilarity and emotions. He is easy to root for. Jodie Comer who plays both Molotov Girl and Millie and Joe Keerey as Keys make the perfect team to battle against Antoine (Taika Waititi). They are smart and creative and beautifully emotive. The special effects and CGI in this film are incredible. They are absolutely essential to the storytelling and are executed flawlessly by a massive team of artists. Each costume is unique and elevates every character. All of the bad guys/sunglass people have colorful and intricate skins that make them look strong and scary. The visuals and story are tied together with music that ranges from energizing to emotional, at times even creating intense suspense. There is a mix of well-known rap/hip-hop songs and newly composed music. During the big finale, the booming high intensity music makes my heart race.

The message of this film is that our life is defined by our relationships and the small moments that we spend creating them. We choose our path in life and no one can decide what it is except for us. As Guy's best friend Buddy says, "Even if I am not real, this moment is real." By choosing to be connected to those around us, we are living. The film does have a lot of violence including robberies, guns, bombs and explosions, but it's in a video game style. There is some mild profanity. It is not likely that kids would imitate the violent behavior due to the gaming quality of the behavior.

I give Free Guy 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a moving and hilarious film. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This is a great movie with families with older children. This film opens in theaters August 13, 2021.

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

Free Guy is a movie with a very interesting concept and actors that execute it perfectly. The movie is humorous and had me and the people I was with, laughing the entire time. But, once you get to the bottom of it, you'll realize there's a lot more to Free Guy than the humor.

Free Guy is about a video game character named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who discovers that he's just a background player in a game called Free City. When he finds a pair of sunglasses that changes his status in the game, he becomes all anyone can talk about. Even Millie (Jolie Comer), also known as Molotov Girl in Free City, is starting to fall for him. With all the fuss about Guy, Keys (Joe Keery) and Millie realize they can use him to their advantage to expose Antoine (Taika Waititi). However, since their secret is hidden within the game, they are going to need a little help.

Free Guy has a lot of star power, which is one factor that will attract a lot of people. Many celebrities with very big fan bases make cameo appearances in this film. Towards the end of the film, Free Guy takes another opportunity to appeal to different audiences. For example, in the final battle scene, Guy uses different weapons that crossover with franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars. The characters in Free Guy are likeable and some are also relatable. My favorite character is Antoine. He is a lot funnier than most antagonists and he is the character that actually lightens the mood of the film. The way he banters with people and bosses everyone around makes him a character you want more from. The special effects in Free Guy are also a prominent component of the film. Free City is a game that was redesigned by Antoine to be repetitive, with a lot of damage taking place in everyday life. Every day there is another car being blown up, or a bank being robbed. Most of the time, it's both. So, major props to everyone in special effects, because it must have taken a lot of effort and time to make it look so realistic.

The message of Free Guy is that you need to make sure you enjoy the simple things in life. For a regular person, life can be pretty repetitive if you let it. So when you do something out of the ordinary, make sure you recognize and appreciate it. Free Guy executes the double meaning subtly through the characters and their actions, which is very clever. This movie does include heavy use of profanity, which sometimes can be gratuitous, so parents should be aware of that.

Free Guy is a unique film that will appeal to a lot of people, especially gamers. I rate Free Guy 4 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Free Guy releases in theatres August 13, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

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

Be the main character of your story and head to your local theater to see the new hit action-comedy of the year, Free Guy! Free Guy flies in with a boatload of action and hilarious surprises that will leave you speechless. The film makes the plot understandable to a wide variety of ages, because typically, the world of video games is mainly understood by teenagers. Although the film is live-action, a mix of video game graphic design is integrated to really bring the concept of the story to life.

Free Guy takes place in a video game called Free City. Within Free City, players can do practically whatever they want. Similar to real life, nobody ever thinks about the background characters. This is where the audience is introduced to our main character Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy is an NPC (non-player character) with the same routine and mannerisms every single day. One day, he decides to step out of the background to be his own person. When he learns his world is coming to an end, he must fight in desperation of love to save the reality he knows.

Ryan Reynolds is historically known for bringing various silly characters to life with his iconic comedic energy - a snail that wants to be fast, a caveman who wants to be revolutionary, or even a plain superhero that loves chimichangas. Ryan does it once again with his role in Free Guy. His childlike wonder soars in the film not only making you laugh hysterically, but keeping you intrigued the entire ride. In a film that takes place mainly in a video game, of course you need to make it look realistic. The visual effects department delivers a polished CGI that correctly captures the essence of modern day video games. Free Guy is no doubt one of the greatest films to correctly capture the world of digital gaming. Ryan Reynolds is the perfect lead to not only make you cry with laughter, but also immerse the audience in a world that you can't get enough of.

Free Guy has an extremely straightforward message that applies to everyone - be the main character of your story. Step out of the background, don't let anyone control you, because this isn't their story, it's yours. Since we are dealing with a video game where you can do anything you want, you can definitely guess that violence and cursing frequently occur during the movie. The film also includes themes of friendship, love and courage.

I give Free Guy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. You can find Free Guy at your local theater on August 13, 2021. Make sure to check it out!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE
PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - When the PAW Patrol's biggest rival, Mayor Humdinger, becomes Mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone's favorite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head-on. While one of the pups must face his past in Adventure City, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Together, armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City and stop Mayor Humdinger from destroying the bustling metropolis.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Suited up and ready for an all-new adventure, your favorite group of heroic pups, led by a boy named Ryder, are back in Paw Patrol: The Movie! This film has all the same things you've come to love about the PAW Patrol TV series with a new action-packed adventure and new-found friends. This family fun film is sure to capture the hearts of new and original PAW Patrol fans.

The film follows the PAW Patrol as they head to Adventure City to save its citizens from Mayor Humdinger's (Ron Pardo) dangerous plans and what he calls adding "adventure" back to the city. During their trip to Adventure City, the team goes on a series of high-risk adventures that becomes one of their biggest challenges yet and really tests the pups as they learn what it means to be true heroes. We even get to learn about Chase's (Ian Armitage) backstory and how he met Ryder (Will Brisbin), which really ties in well with the new storyline.

The main characters Mayor Humdinger, Chase, Ryder and new-comer Liberty (Marsai Martin) are joined by the rest of the PAW Patrol team. My favorite character is Liberty because she's an adventurous, brave and smart pup that is always willing to help. Plus, I love how she stands up for herself and even "roasts" a mean pup that was disrespecting her. Each of the team members has special skills, gadgets and vehicles that help them on their missions. My favorite vehicle is Zuma's, because it can be used as a boat, submarine or even a raft. The team receives upgrades to some of their gadgets including a new pup treat dispenser that I would definitely love to fill with snacks.

The message of this film is that being a hero doesn't always mean being the strongest or the bravest. It's okay to rely on others sometimes to help you get the job done. Chase learns this when he goes through different moments where he does not feel like a hero or worries that people will think he is a scared little puppy and not a hero, because he is nervous about returning to Adventure City. He eventually has to trust himself and his friends along the way.

This is a "PAWsome" film. I give Paw Patrol: The Movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Paw Patrol: The Movie unleashes in theaters and on Paramount+ August 20, 2021.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUNGLE CRUISE
JUNGLE CRUISE - DISNEY+
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank's questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila--his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities--possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate--and mankind's--hangs in the balance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Take a trip to the Amazon Rainforest in Disney's new, beautifully produced film Jungle Cruise. Starring such talented actors as Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, the film is inspired by the famous theme park ride and liberally incorporates details from it as well, like the boat captain's terrible puns and a reference to the "back side of water." It's a great family film!

Set in 1916, Jungle Cruise opens in London, during a meeting of scientists. McGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) is presenting to the crowd as his sister, Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), goes about her mission to collect a precious artifact from the archives. She ropes her brother, a rare gay character in the Disney universe, into the adventure she's been chasing since her childhood, determined to journey into the Amazon to an area called L�grimas de Cristal and find a magical healing tree called the Tears of the Moon. Lily hates the rough-around-the-edges, scam artist Frank (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) as soon as she sees him, but she grudgingly agrees to employ him as their skipper down the Amazon, with the conniving German aristocrat Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) nipping at their heels. Many adventures follow and the characters, as different as they may seem, grow close as a chosen family. There's also a pretty unusual supernatural backstory.

As with any Disney film, the production quality of Jungle Cruise is incredibly high; each and every small detail in regards to the graphics and overall look of the film has been addressed thoroughly. This film's previously-mentioned punchy one-liners delivered by Dwayne Johnson allude to this film's origins in the theme park ride. The Rock undoubtedly, unquestionably puts on the best performance of the film, and his chemistry with Emily Blunt's character is what truly carries the film through some slow moments when the script seems to lose purpose. Viewers begin to forget the overall goal of the mission as plots and relationships mix. However, this problem only shows up in the last third of the film. Another major star in the film is Jack Whitehall. His character is especially significant given that it's one of the few instances where you can see an LGBTQ+ character on screen, and his struggles coming out in a rigid, heteronormative society are beautifully represented in a heart-to-heart with Frank. In summary, the cast and production quality take this film to a new level, while the script tends to bog it down.

Jungle Cruise promotes teamwork, grit, the victory of good over evil, and, my favorite message, that no matter how different we are, there's always something we can unite over. We're always stronger together.

I give Jungle Cruise 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Jungle Cruise premieres on July 30, 2021, in US theaters and for a fee on Disney+.

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

I love how the Jungle Cruise makes the magic of the riverboat attraction from Disneyworld come alive. The humor and adventurous nature of the movie held my attention throughout the film. Movies with bold and funny female leads have always been my favorite.

In the Jungle Cruise, Lilly Houghton (Emily Blunt) searches for an Amazon legend called the Moon's Tears. Her goal is to find the legend in order to advance modern medicine. Lilly's fearlessness takes her to the Amazon River, where she meets and hires the comical skipper, Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), to take her on her quest. They soon realize that they are not alone in their pursuit of the Tears. Together they face the dangers of the Amazon River and encounter the supernatural.

The academic world did not support Lilly's pursuit of the Moon's Tears and she could not find funding or support. Her perseverance leads her on an adventure that she never envisioned. Although her strong willpower may be challenging to handle, MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) and Frank accept her for whom she is. We also learn that Lilly's brother rejected the calling of many females because he had other interests, and Lilly was the only person who embraced him for being himself. I applaud director Jaume Collet-Serra for creating a high-energy, action-adventure film with a fun twist. The talented cast with Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson and Jack Whitehall are all superb. The music by James Newton Howard helps brings accentuate the action of the film. The Amazon River scenes and supernatural characters are very realistic looking, thanks to the camera work by Flavio Martinez Labiano and art direction by David Lazan.

The messages of this film are about determination and acceptance.

I give Jungle Cruise 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Jungle Cruise premieres in theaters and on Disney+ July 30, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS
SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - An ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage welcomes tenacious loner Snake Eyes after he saves the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach him the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing him something he's been longing for: a home. However, when secrets from Snake Eyes' past are revealed, his honor and allegiance get tested -- even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Snake Eyes: G. I. Origins is the thrilling adventure of a lifetime and the perfect origin story to such a beloved character. With motorcycles, swords and a mystical gem - you will be a part of an incredible mission.

The movie is a spin-off around the character of Snake Eyes (Henry Golding). Holding onto the trauma of his father being murdered, Snake Eyes is on the hunt for his father's killer. He trains with the Arashikage clan to become a top ninja. Meanwhile, he makes a deal with some unlikely allies to find his dad's murderer.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is an action-packed movie and is not to be missed. The fight scenes are incredibly filmed, using long one-take shots to capture the film's actors fighting with swords. The cinematography is iconic, with some night scenes shot with bright neon lights and others with a calming, peaceful, bright light. It's so cool to watch modern-day ninjas on motorcycles fighting one another on the streets. This film is perfect for fans all around the world that enjoy amazing battle sequences, especially for G.I. Joe fans. Familiar faces are shown like the Baroness and Kenta. We also see a teaser for Snake Eyes' most popular villain, which leaves the movie open for a very exciting sequel. The film is a wonderful origin story, telling the tale of Snake Eyes, showing just how he became affiliated with the Joes and where he's off to next, while sprinkling in some major plot twists.

The moral of the story is to trust yourself and always do the right thing. Many times Snake Eyes is tempted to kill his father's killer and throughout the film he learns the meaning of honor - to others and yourself - and makes a surprising choice. He also learns how to find inner peace with many of the things he's done and moves on to the next chapter of his life.

I give Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 plus adults. It is available only in theaters July 23, 2021.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I like Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins because it has a lot of action. I enjoy watching extreme martial art fight scenes. I like the cool Snake Eyes armor and helmet.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is an origin story for the classic animated series, G.I. Joe. Snake Eyes (Henry Golden) is one of the agents that worked for G.I. Joe, otherwise known as Government Issued Joe. He is known for having the arch nemesis Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji). Throughout the movie we see why these two iconic characters have a sworn hatred for each other. Snake Eyes travels to Japan to join a clan that teaches him how to be a ninja warrior. This Japanese clan provides him a home and a family - two things Snake Eyes was longing for. After he learns the Japanese clan's past and his loyalty is tested, is when the fun and extreme action begins.

My favorite part is when Snake Eyes does the second challenge, because of the special effects. The graphics and digital effects are very good. The snakes look so real. The CGI effects of Snake Eyes' outfit are amazing. The costumes are very accurate in terms of showing where the characters are from. The character's outfits are very traditional Japanese clothing, but nothing can top the infamous Snake Eyes costume. The film incorporates subtitles whenever characters speak in Japanese. The subtitles are made to seem like words from a comic book, which is a clever callback to the animated series. The music is really upbeat when there is a lot of action and works for those scenes exceptionally well. Some very talented actors appear in this film, such as one of my favorite actresses from Money Heist, Ursula Corbero who plays Baroness and Samara Weaving who plays Scarlett, also Haruka Abe as Akiko, Tahehiro Hira as Kenta and Iko Uwais as Hard Master.

The moral of this movie is to have a pure heart. Snake Eyes struggles with opening his heart to people. However when he becomes an honest man and pours his heart out, it actually saves his life. Being loyal and having honor is what makes you pure of heart. You should know that there is a lot of violence and strong language, however there isn't any gore, blood or seeing the characters getting injured.

I give Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins opens in theatres July 23, 2021.

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

When you're looking for an action movie, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is the one. It's another good, typical Marvel superhero-action film that doesn't fail to impress you with its intensity and execution.

Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) wants nothing more than to take revenge on the man that killed his father. After a desperate search to find him, he eventually gives up and ends up taking his anger out on others in fistfights. One day, Snake Eyes is met with a man named Kenta (Takehiro Hira) who claims he has the location of his father's killer. They make a deal - the killer's location for a jewel that holds the power of the sun.

Out of all aspects, the graphics exceeded my expectations the most. In one scene, multiple cobra-type gigantic snakes are circling. I wonder if I am the only one that finds this ironic. Honestly, I nearly screamed when the first snake came out with a bang. I thought it was coming at me and was glad this film isn't in 3D! The vivid and exceptional graphics are a major plus for this film. As to the acting, while Henry Golding delivers a strong performance when it comes to action, but it lacks emotion for someone avenging his father's death. Snake Eyes is a very complex character - experiencing desperation, disappointment, hope and many other emotions. However, the character development was a bit confusing at a few points. While there is a scene explaining exactly what happened to him on the night of his father's death, there are bits of background information not shown, leading to a bit of uncertainty in a few places. There are a few sudden changes of events which are unexplained and leave the audience wondering why or how they happened. Because this is primarily an action movie, those aspects do not play a huge part in the viewer's experience and most audiences will see this film for its excitement and thrill.

The message I took away from this is the portrayal of bravery and perseverance. Though the film keeps its profanity and violence under the bar to keep it PG-13, there is one fight scene at the beginning that is pretty brutal and may be uncomfortable for younger kids. There is also some mild profanity that parents should be aware of.

I give Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters July 23, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY
SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - When LeBron James and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.'s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you've never seen them before. It's Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron's bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Space Jam: A New Legacy, the cartoon sequel, brings the whole Looney Tunes gang back to the court, only this time with the reigning king of basketball, Lebron James. This comedy combines live action with animation and is filled with life lessons, funny catch phrases, loads of glitzy digital effects and a glimpse of Warner Bros. cinematic library.

When LeBron James and his son, Dom (Cedric Joe) get mysteriously sucked into the Warner Bros. digital world by a rogue AI super villain (Don Cheadle), nonsense and chaos ensue. Dom is kidnapped and LeBron is challenged to a high-stakes basketball game by the evil AI. Lebron must form the most winning team to get his son back and, a loss could leave him and all those he loves, stuck in the server-verse forever. Lebron and his Looney Tunes pal Bugs Bunny meet up for a wild adventure through the server-verse. Will he win, or be trapped there forever? Watch to find out.

The writing is clever. It is comedic and zany at some points; at others, it is very wholesome and realistic. The animation is outstanding! The movie combines traditional animation with three-dimensional computer graphics and live action. LeBron's cartoon character is spot on. The tour through the server-verse is so enjoyable. Seeing iconic characters like Yogi Bear, Pennywise, Iron Giant and King Kong is every movie junkie's dream! Eric Bauza plays a very important role in this movie as he voices Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian and Porky Pig. Jeff Bergman is also instrumental in this film as he voices Bugs Bunny, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam. Both Eric and Jeff voice their characters so well that it's like listening to the original cartoons! Space Jam: New Legacy also features Don Cheadle, who is the rogue AI AL. G. Rhythm. His villainous role features a wide range of emotion and I give him two thumbs up for his outstanding performance. My favorite character is Granny because she is a good-natured, protective, spunky old woman that has some epic moves.

The messages of this movie are that family is everything and there is power in chasing your dreams. Sometimes, we need some loony things in our life to make it better. There is mild language and a lot of action.

I give Space Jam: A New Legacy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. It's a great family movie. Fans of the original will love this, too. This movie releases July 16, 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max.

Space Jam: A New Legacy has everything that a big summer blockbuster should have and more! This revamped version of the original 1996 Space Jam starring Michael Jordan, is the perfect blend of old-school characters from favorite cartoons of the past, seamlessly mixed with updated characters, premier digital animation, trendy music, a modern plotline and current big name stars. This feature film packs in so much good stuff that I almost don't even know where to begin with my review!

The starting line-up includes LeBron James, his son Dom James (Cedric Joe) and Bugs Bunny. The two main characters, Lebron and Bugs, must work together to solve a big problem for the all-star athlete. They need to get Lebron's son Dom back from a diabolical computer-generated villain named Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) and the only way to do it is for LeBron and Bugs to work together to win the most important basketball game of their lives.

The basketball moves on the court are like nothing anyone has ever seen before. One team's players are all Looney Tunes characters from classic Warner Bros cartoons and they play against a squad of elite players from the real world that have been leveled-up by the evil Al-G Rhythm. As expected, Space Jam: A New Legacy is action packed and moves at a quick pace which kept my attention. The music throughout the movie adds energy and tone; the CGI blends animation effortlessly with live action characters and real world settings. The special effects all look so believable and pristine that it is easy for the viewer to get lost inside this cool new world.

In the end, the movie really is just a sweet story about a dad and his son bonding and working through their relationship, which happens at a certain age. It is a touching family film with lessons about the importance of family as well as being true to yourself.

I give Space Jam: A New Legacy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Kids will love the sports and modern look as well as the music. Adults will appreciate the references to the original film and nostalgic cartoon characters from their own childhood. It's the perfect family film. Space Jam: A New Legacy has lots of extras, like new WB merchandise and even its own Xbox video game. It releases in theaters and on HBO Max July 16, 2021

By Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Space Jam: A New Legacy is an entertaining and funny movie starring LeBron James. It is the sequel to the first Space Jam movie which starred Michael Jordan. This is a creative film with a mix of animation and live action.

The storyline is a fictional one about basketball player, LeBron James and his son Dom (Cedric Joe). LeBron wants his son to play basketball, but his son wants to do different things like creating video games. Dom gets taken by a computer program into the Warner Brothers' animated world. LeBron then has to beat the computer program in a basketball game to get his son back. LeBron assembles a basketball team with Bugs Bunny and a group of Loony Tunes characters.

The plot is unusual and very creative. They use a ton of Warner Bros' Loony Tunes characters throughout the film including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Lola Bunny and more. I loved seeing all my favorite classic Looney Tunes characters! Other Warner Bros' characters make guest appearances, including King Kong, Harry Potter, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. The effects used in this film are absolutely amazing as they flip between live action, to animation, then back to live action. It is so fun to watch. There are parts where I literally laughed out loud such as a funny moment with Bugs Bunny. The acting is funny, dramatic and very realistic. The special effects are great. The imaginary locations are creative. For example, there are scenes with the characters inside a computer. At other times the setting is inside other Warner Bros' movies, like Batman or The Matrix.

The message of this film is that parents and their kids should do activities together and share with each other cool things they've done or made, like a project.

I give Space Jam: A New Legacy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters and on HBO Max July 16, 2021.

By Conrad W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I like Space Jam: A New Legacy because it has a lot of funny scenes. Plus, I love some of the big actors in this film and the roles they play.

This movie is about Lebron James coaching his son Dom (Cedric Joe) to be a good basketball player. His son would rather play video games, so Lebron tries telling him that he needs to start focusing on the basketball game more. Then, a bad AI named AL G. Rhythm (Don Cheadle) traps them into his digital space and makes them play a game of basketball. They are split up and Lebron James is sent to the tune world where he soon finds Bugs Bunny and asks for help.

My favorite part is how this film brings back so many old characters such as Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Tweety, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn and more. The Looney Tunes remember their first basketball game from the first Space Jam movie and get real excited when one of them finds Michael Jordan from the stands but their excitement goes away quickly in a really funny way. The graphics and digital effects are amazing. I loved how they made cartoon characters real and Lebron into a cartoon character. This is the first time I seen Lebron act in a movie. He looks like he was born to act. The music is very catchy and appealing to each scene, getting better as the scene gets better.

The moral of this movie is not to give up because Lebron and Team Tunes never give up! Another reminder is to have fun. Lebron learns that he was taking basketball too seriously and learns to have fun again.

I give Space Jam: A New Legacy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters and HBO Max July 16, 2021!

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CENTAURWORLD
CENTAURWORLD - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 7-18
Description - Centaurworld follows a war horse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. Desperate to return home, she befriends a group of these magical creatures and embarks on a journey that will test her more than any battle she's ever faced before.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - CentaurWorld is a humorous, animated show geared to older kids and young teens. The plot is definitely its strongest point because each episode has unique storylines episodes despite being an ongoing story. Along with that, the acting, impressive characters and music combine to make an unusual, yet intriguing show.

This ten-episode series follows Horse (Kimiko Glenn), her name representing her appearance. She touches a magical artifact that transports her to a new world, called CentaurWorld, where magic and singing are encouraged. Along the way, they meet many challenges, including facing comedy competitions, a trial that could result in being stuck in jail forever and plants that grant tricky wishes. Can Horse find all parts of the key along the rainbow road to make her way home to Rider (Jessie Mueller)?

CentaurWorld has an incredible storyline. The concept is new and unique. Each episode has an individual story that's carefully written to not be the same as others. The voiceover acting is also magnificent. Josh Radnor, as Durpleton, and Parvesh Cheen, as Zulius, deliver amazing performances. The characters are well developed so the acting and writing make an excellent combination. My favorite part is probably the music, although the other fabulous aspects are great. The songs drew my attention every time; the melodies and lyrics create an emotional environment, shifting with the moods, which always left me in awe. Then there are the impressive singers with their enjoyable resonance and beautiful solos. Their harmonies are perfectly executed and make the songs more enjoyable. The music truly takes the show to the next level.

The message of CentaurWorld is about bravery. Horse and her centaur friends need to find all of the pieces to the key and this journey isn't easy. Oftentimes, Horse encourages her friends to 'be bold,' like when the rainbow road leads them to a hole, going down one side and up the other. Horse shows bravery by jumping down, realizing this is the only way to not give up on their journey. Parents should note that there is some violence and some mildly inappropriate dialogue.

I give CentaurWorld 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. CentaurWorld begins streaming on Netflix July 30, 2021.

Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Centaurworld is a creative kids' show with colorful, memorable and funny characters. The show is different from other shows for children, because most of its characters are animals with human attributes. The simple dialogue and colorful characters serve to keep kids' attention.

Centaurworld is about a hardened war horse, named Horse (Kimiko Glenn) that gets separated from her rider (Jessica Mueller). Horse ends up in Centaurland, a land filled with silly, singing unique creatures with both animal and human features. Horse is quickly heralded as their new friend and inspires Wammawink (Meagan Hilty), Zulius (Parvesh Cheena), Durpleton (Josh Radnor), Glendale (Megan Nicole Dong) and Ched (Chris Diamantopoulos) to follow her and explore the area as they try to help Horse get home.

Centaurworld has some fun comedic moments with simple jokes that kids can follow and are age appropriate. In terms of the animation, the series makes good use of its characters and they are quite different from other animated shows. For example, viewers can't help but focus on the big human-looking eyes and human faces of the colorful characters. Another positive is that the show has the unexpected twist of making a horse the main character. This further serves to engage younger audiences. What kid wouldn't be intrigued by a horse that talks and has other talking human/animal hybrid friends? One thing kids may not notice, but adults will, is that, besides being able to speak, Horse doesn't have any other human features. Still, the inhabitants of Centaurland are accepting of her. This is a good lesson on acceptance.

The message of this film is that the world is not always full of war and conflict. It's also filled with friends and memories. Also, it's ok to have some silliness and fun in your life. Plus, don't limit yourself to what you think you know or what you become used to.

I give Centaurworld 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults can enjoy this with their kids. Centaurworld
Juror Recommended Age: 7-13 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FUDGE FATALE: THE MARVELOUS ADVENTURES OF ANNA BELLE
FUDGE FATALE: THE MARVELOUS ADVENTURES OF ANNA BELLE - NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: EBOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Once you open the door to Anna Belle's bakery, you know that you have entered some place very special. The smell of freshly baked bread; the taste of double chocolate chip cookies; the vision of colorfully decorated birthday cakes and the sound of? Wait! Pastry doesn't have a sound. After you meet Anna Belle, you also know you have met someone quite marvelous. She is creative, full of energy and probably the best detective in town. Join Anna Belle and her feline assistant, Jocko, as they reveal the true identity of the culprit who has been robbing neighbors and end her light finger lifting of precious jewels in Fudge Fatale. https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/fudge-fatale-d-g-stern/1139825376
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most appealing aspect of Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventure of Anna Belle is the mystery. The story is comprised of two story lines and sometimes the two intersect, which heightens the overall mystery. The only thing that was unappealing for me is the repetitiveness. Often, chapters repeat the same information. I understand that this is may be intentional so children can grasp the plot easily, but I question whether it is necessary. I believe children will enjoy this e-book because it is easy to envision the characters, and each one is very well developed. For example, Doris, Anna Belle's assistant at the bakery, is zany and eccentric. Her personality compliments Anna Belle's seriousness. Of course the mystery and the funny outcome will also keep children engaged throughout.

Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventure of Anna Belle is a delightful mystery story intertwined with a fun-filled bake-a-thon. Anna Belle doubles as Pine Meadows' best baker and an investigator trying to solve the community's issue with stolen pearls. The most appealing aspect is the mystery.

The story flows well. The exposition at the beginning is clear and it will definitely be easy for children to comprehend. The middle is also clear when Anna Belle and her friends finally figure out how to prep for the bake-a-thon, and find out that more pearls are being stolen in the community. The end is the resolution of Clyde winning the bake-a-thon, having all their hard word pay off, and discovering that a monkey has stolen the pearls. Although there are some challenging words such as intrepid, crestfallen, modicum and incorrigible, these words are paired with context clues and are balanced with over-explaining other aspects of the plot. There are definitely positive modeling behaviors shown, such as respect. Throughout the story, everyone has a chance to speak and be listened to. It is important for children to recognize at a young age that their opinions are relevant. There are some negative connotations about gender stereotypes. For example, one of the men assumes that no men will participate in the baking competition. At another point, he says something along the lines of "send the pretty bakers to me." Although these are both small, and Anna Belle corrects him both times, I ask whether they are necessary? A strong point is how it teaches children to question everything and, since this story is all about investigation and inquiry, that's critical. Sometimes, one needs to think outside of the realm of possibilities to reach the possibility. This book encourages children to take action on their own aspirations. If they want to be involved in their community, or run events, or be successful in general Anna Belle is a great example to follow. One of the key benefits of the story is that Anna Belle does not put on a fa�ade for the reporters that are getting coverage for the bake-a-thon. She says, "I am going to be who I always am." This is significant for children to learn because it teaches them to never change themselves for others.

This story has multiple little lessons woven into the overall message including how to successfully bake a cake, why people shouldn't eat raw eggs, and that both men and women can participate in baking competitions. The overall message is that Anna Belle does not put on a fa�ade for the reporters when speaking about the bake-a-thon. Seeing Anna Belle, her friends and family all working together to create a fun, successful community event can inspire children to do something similar.

I give rate Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventure of Anna Belle 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, perhaps older. It gives children the confidence to always question everything and promotes the idea of staying true to oneself.

Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A light yet engaging read, Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventure of Anna Belle will delight young readers with its lifelike dialogue, vivid details and easy-to-follow storyline.

The book by D.G. Stern follows Anna Belle's story. A talented baker, her sweet treats are to die for. Creative, full of energy and probably the best detective in town, Anna Belle is not to be trifled with. In this installment of The Marvelous Adventures of Anna Belle, she teams up with her charismatic Uncle Clyde, a police officer, to find the culprit who has been robbing neighbors of their possessions. It's a thrilling story which many will enjoy.

Each of the characters in the book has its own distinct personality. Anna Belle is kind and gentle. Doris is good-natured and a bit eccentric. Uncle Clyde is intelligent and helps keep everyone's spirits up. Sometimes the lines are blurred between the roles of each character. For example, Whiskers (Anna Belle's assistant) seems to have a smaller role than Doris, the store clerk, but is mentioned more at the start of the story. Next, the mystery angle of the story is well-thought-out, but it feels somewhat weakened by the interspersed descriptions of Anna Belle's work at her bakery. Still, he plot is gripping and the 90 page length is perfect for young readers. Finally, there are some extremely long sentences that are a bit confusing. However, they are far and few between.

Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventure of Anna Belle promotes teamwork, such as when Anna Belle enlists the help of her friends to prepare for the bake-a-thon in three days, having a good work ethic and being curious (the main theme of the book), while discouraging stealing. It's a positive book that will leave you feeling as warm and fuzzy inside as Anna Belle's chocolate chip cookies.

I give Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventure of Anna Belle 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. It is available as an ebook August 15, 2021 so look for it.

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

Baker by day; Secret Undercover Detective by night! Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventures of Anna Belle is a chapter book that makes a perfect read for young people looking for a simple and exciting adventure.

The storyline follows a small-town baker, Anna Belle, who has a secret identity as the town's undercover detective. Her initial attempt to solve a mystery of disappearing items turns into a thrilling adventure filled with action and sweet treats.

Mystery books are my favorite genre of books to read along with young adult books. If this is the case for you as well, you will definitely enjoy this! The author D.G. Stern is very specific to the point that some of the information is a bit over-the-top. Still sometimes there is very little background context, which is a result of it being part of a series. The names of the characters such as Anna Belle and her feline assistant Whiskers are common names that help give the reader a sort of familiarity. The best part is that the plot twists are absolutely phenomenal. Just following Anna Belle throughout this mystery is exhilarating to read. You won't want to place this book down. While there are very few illustrations, they really help guide your imagination in picturing the events as they unfold. I especially love what a strong female voice the author gives Anna Belle.

This book promotes positive social behavior and encourages young people to think critically and to believe they can accomplish a goal, no matter how big it may seem.

I give Fudge Fatale: The Marvelous Adventures of Anna Belle 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. It is available as an ebook August 15, 2021 so look for it.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 10.99 Media: Book ISBN # 173245518X


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHO ARE YOU, CHARLIE BROWN
WHO ARE YOU, CHARLIE BROWN - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, 9-18
Description - Follows interviews with friends, family and more of the iconic comic strip to create a portrait of the late Peanuts creator.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A deeper look into an integral part of American childhood, Who Are You, Charlie Brown? provides viewers with a blast from the past and some intriguing background information about the creation and nuances of the Peanuts comic universe.< p>Packaged in documentary format, the show centers on Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, and his life. Using animated vignettes from Charlie Brown, the viewer learns how Schulz's childhood and many parts of his own life plus the lives of those near and dear to him influenced several prominent characters and motifs in the award-winning Peanuts series. Some examples include the Little Red-Haired Girl, Franklin Armstrong, Lucy and Pig-Pen. Interviews with Schulz's widow, his close acquaintances, famous viewers and the people who brought Charlie Brown to life on-screen help paint an enthralling picture of the pensive and talented Schulz, as well as the context and subtext behind his legendary series.

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? is exactly what a biopic should be. Its length of about 50 minutes is perfect; its storytelling seamless; its animation immaculate. The interviews with people such as Drew Barrymore, a longtime Peanuts lover, and the archival footage and voiceovers of Mr. Schulz himself add great depth and emotion to the film. The sequence with Mr. Schulz, in his last days whilst battling cancer, describes his reaction to the overwhelming love he received for the Charlie Brown cartoons and will certainly make you tear up a bit.

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? has a clear mission - to answer the question posed in its title. This it does with efficiency, thoroughness and liveliness. However, a deeper message is posed in the framing of Schulz as a man who takes inspiration from both high points and low points in his life when creating art. For artists and non-artists, channeling elements of your life, whether happy or sad, positive or negative, to add poignant emotions to your work is an immensely powerful tool.

I give Who Are You, Charlie Brown? 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Who Are You, Charlie Brown? debuts globally Friday, June 25 on Apple TV+. Check it out!

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 9-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: ANIMATED SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - It's a dark time in Gotham City. Held hostage by the powerful Falcone crime family, the city is rife with crime and corruption. Adding to the chaos is the mysterious Holiday killer, who has been targeting the underworld and leaving a trail of terror... and body bags. Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent race against the calendar as it advances toward the next ill-fated holiday. Based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins a twisted chain of events that will forever change the Dark Knight.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One offers a decent take on Batman's early years before Batman evolved into the great detective he is now. Like the other Batman films, Gotham does not appear to be the best place to live. This film stands apart from other animated Batman films because it shows Batman as a novice detective.

The story begins with a brutal murder on Halloween, which prompts Batman (Jensen Ackles) to team up with the two uncorrupt lawmen Police Captain James Gordon (Billy Burke) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel). They team up to take down Roman, the head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. As the team works together, something unexpected occurs. There is a string of deaths that occurs on holidays; then the three realize that they are dealing with a holiday killer. After some investigation, with Batman following the clues, he thinks he knows who the holiday killer is, but he discovers the high cost of being wrong.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One incorporates settings that are typical in a Batman film. Since the film takes a look at Batman in his earlier years, it helps viewers to understand why he feels compelled to over analyze things. The film's lack of transition between holidays, which is integral to the plot, is a little confusing; the story moves swiftly from one holiday to the next and only when something occurs related to the holiday do we know when it is taking place. The animation is reminiscent of Batman the Animated series - nothing too exciting, but workable. The images have lots of straight lines, which gives a different look to the characters, but not so much that it distracts from the plot. Batman is still my favorite character and I like seeing his evolution in the film; as the seasons come and go, he grows.

The message of this film is that sometimes you have to rely on others to help you overcome big problems. Another reminder is to not be afraid to question the evidence before assuming someone is guilty.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One gets 3 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This is available now on DVD and on demand.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMORROW WAR, THE
TOMORROW WAR, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - In the thrilling science-fiction action adventure The Tomorrow War, the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant military scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Tomorrow War is here kicking alien butt, and kicking off the summer movie season with two hours of straight action, complete with a beautifully composed soundtrack. This is a solid sci-fi action film with a fantastic soundtrack. It possesses generic family origins that can be seen in practically any other film and has plenty of gory moments with mild cursing.

The Tomorrow War follows an aspiring scientist/father, Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) as his life changes forever. Dan, along with the entire world, learns of a war being fought 30 years in the future. When more people are needed for this future war, a worldwide draft is put in place to send recruits 30 years into the future to fight. Dan is drafted into the war, and must fight to save not only his own life, but the lives of the ones he loves the most.

Chris Pratt continues to prove himself worthy of a wide variety of roles, yet is driven by clich� themes seen in countless other films. The nonstop action is interspersed throughout the film with certain comedic moments to lighten the mood from the major intensity this film brings. Some CGI and effects are mind-blowing initially, but the film reuses them over and over again to the point where it becomes repetitive and the details lose their importance. The soundtrack in The Tomorrow War is exquisite. It embodies the dark and gritty tone of the film perfectly, adding an intense layer pleasing to the ears. The film uses a lot of repetitive techniques that are extremely noticeable. Specifically, slow motion. It's used in tons of unnecessary scenes, really disrupting the proper flow of the film; making it seem bulky in some parts.

The film teaches the moral that relationships can be repaired, and family is forever. The Tomorrow War is rated PG-13 for good reasons. Over the course of the film, many instances of disturbing action are shown along with mild cursing. The action at times can be very gory, which may be a sensitive issue to younger viewers. Sensitive, mature topics present themselves throughout the film, such as family abandonment. At the same time, larger themes like love and kin are shown.

I give The Tomorrow War 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The Tomorrow War streaming on Amazon Prime Video beginning July 2, 2021.

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Tomorrow War is a sci-fi action film with a substantial storyline, as much of the movie takes place 30 years in the future. Films like this that give more backstory about the main character and their life - including family, friends and work always catch my attention. They make me feel as if I really know the character and what motivated them to overcome the obstacles thrown at them.

The Tomorrow War is about a veteran and now biology teacher, Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Dan, along with others, gets drafted to fight aliens. We quickly learn the war takes place 30 years in the future. The fate of humanity relies on Dan's ability to confront his past and face his present, while fighting in a future war. With the help of his wife, Lilly Gamble (Betty Gilpin) and his daughter Muri (Yvonne Strahovski) and his dad Slade (J.K. Simmons), Dan has a chance to save millions of lives by stopping the future attack from happening.

The Tomorrow War has some strong character development, letting us learn more about Dan by looking at his relationship with his mother, his father, his wife and his daughter. We see how this fuels other important relationships for him. Dan and his daughter's relationship is similar to that of Dan's with his dad. We can see why he tries so hard to be a good dad, especially in his willingness to be weird and silly with her. Unlike some films where spouses have a supporting role, but don't really help with the plot, Dan's wife is smart and integral in figuring out something huge regarding the aliens. Even though much of the film is serious, Chris Pratt's ability to be sarcastically humorous provides some comic relief. There is also some superior level CGI when bringing the aliens to life. That, together with the strong action sequences makes for a good sci-fi, action movie.

The message of the film is about fighting for the people you love. Also, there is the reminder to not forget to let them know you do love them and don't be too proud to explain the reasons for your actions. There's always a second chance and that chance is always worth fighting for.

The Tomorrow War gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It releases on July 2, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.

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

The Tomorrow War is an action-packed film with everything you can possibly want! Set in the future, with fight sequences, aliens and the world at risk, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat. Get ready for the ride of your life.

This tale begins when beings travel to the present from 28 years in the future and chaos erupts. They are fighting a war against aliens and are losing terribly, so they decide to recruit humans from 2022. Family man Dan (Chris Pratt) is drafted and heads to the year 2050 for the fight of his life. Dan works with scientist Vicki (Yvonne Strahovski) and his father Slade (J.K. Simmons) to save the world.

It is impossible to ignore the chemistry between the actors and their characters. Watching Chris bond with Yvonne is like watching a real father and daughter who are together and yet worlds apart. Vicki's heart wrenching monologue serves as the perfect motivator for Dan. We see his priorities shift from saving the world to saving his daughter, being sure to prevent the war from ever happening when he gets back to his present time. However, The Tomorrow War misses out on a huge opportunity - weaponry. It's hard not to notice the lack of creativity in the weapons used. In 28 years, there have been no upgrades in guns, armament or modes of military transportation; the same 2021 style shotguns and AKs are used in 2050?!. How fun it would have been to see Chris Pratt with futuristic swords or armor. Another missed opportunity is the aliens' appearance. They vaguely remind any Stranger Things viewer of the infamous Demogorgon, with its Venus Fly Trap face. I was hoping to see terrifying beasts that can't be found anywhere else.

The moral of this film is to never take anything for granted. As Dan returns home, he realizes just how important family is and the need to enjoy his time with them, instead of being so caught up in getting a job. He notices how his future self has failed his wife and daughter and vows to never make the same mistakes.

I give The Tomorrow War 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It begins streaming on Amazon Prime July 2, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIGHTY ONES, THE: SEASON 2
MIGHTY ONES, THE: SEASON 2 - HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-12
Description - The adventures of a gang of tiny creatures -- a pebble, a strawberry, a twig and a leaf -- who are best friends and live in a terribly unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans. This band of diminutive heroes calls themselves the Mighty Ones, and while they may be the smallest things in the yard, they're determined to live big lives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Our favorite mighty tiny creatures - Very Berry, Leaf, Twig and Rocksy - are back for a new round of adventures in The Mighty Ones Season 2. This animated series is fun and colorful, with a nice mix of hidden educational messages. Each episode presents an obstacle for the Mighty Ones crew, which they usually create themselves, but they always find a way to get out of it. This series is very bubbly and enjoyable!

The Mighty Ones is about a group of four friends: Very Berry (Alex Cazares), Twig (Josh Brener), Leaf (Jimmy Tatro) and Rocksy (Jessica McKenna). They live in a messy backyard of humans that they call giants or gods. The messiness makes for great new adventures on every path. While they are the smallest things in the yard, there is no obstacle they can't overcome because they always work together and have each other's backs.

The main characters are Very Berry, a fun and adventurous strawberry; Leaf, a laid-back and cool leaf; Twig, a smart and nervous stick; and Rocksy, a considerate pebble, who is also the group leader. I love how each character has huge goals and its own personality. My favorite scene is from the "Home Touchers" episode when Rocksy is trapped in the humans' house. Kensington (Janina Gavankar), one of the "giants," is listening to a podcast about murderous ghosts. The show describes the signs of a ghost being in the house and, each time Twig and Berry make that exact noise to capture Rocky's attention, it scares Kensington.

The message of The Mighty Ones is to trust your friends because they have your best interest at heart and you can do more together than alone. There is also a hidden message throughout the series about how humans affect the lives of other living things. The "Mighty Ones" are affected by all the things the humans keep in their backyard, which correlates to how humans affect climate change and the lives of other species.

I give The Mighty Ones 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 12. You can find Season 2 streaming on Peacock and Hulu beginning July 1, 2021.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OCTONAUTS: SEASON 4
OCTONAUTS: SEASON 4 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-10
Description - The Octonauts are a team of adventurers who explore the world's oceans, rescue aquatic creatures and protect their habitats - from the bustling eco-system along the Amazon River to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Octonauts is educational, adventurous and appealing to younger audiences due to its fun characters and missions. Additionally, the musical score that accompany the action are terrific and help heighten tension when necessary. The educational aspects are hidden well within the adventurous missions. So, while children may think they are watching a fun adventure, they are actually learning. All the episodes are colorful and vibrant, which children will also enjoy. Octonauts is a great series for children that love adventures and helping animals.

The Octonauts are a group of animals that help protect creatures in the ocean or other bodies of water. Their adventures begin with reading or seeing the creatures, and then, if the creatures need help, the whole group of Octonauts assembles to create a plan. They go on adventures all over the world to save creatures.

The structure of the show makes sense and flows well. Each episode begins with Captain Barnacles and other members reading or seeing something associated with the creature they are going to save. Then, the Octonauts assemble and venture off to see that creature and help them resolve their problems. The episodes drew me in since the action occurs fairly quickly. I felt empathy towards the creatures that need help, but also the Octonauts when they struggle during their mission.

The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audiences. Even if the concept may be challenging to grasp, the Octonauts explain multiple times in different ways exactly what they are doing. For example, they explain what a tidal wave is with graphics on their TV and then other Octonauts join in and explain to one another what a tidal wave is. Repetition is excellent for learning, as is incorporating different learning styles. Visually, the show is vibrant and colorful. The images are definitely easy to identify; the animation is very crisp and clear. The DVD cover design is appropriate and matches with the episodic adventures within.

The viewer can click on individual episodes to watch specific ones, or play them all. Also, it keeps your place and remembers where you left off so you can pick up from there. It is also subtitled in English, which makes it useful for those wanting to learn to read or speak better English. After each episode, Captain Barnacles talks about Creature Reports, which you can find in the main menu. The Creature Reports are adorable; they give a little update on the creatures the Octonauts saved.

One big value to the show is that it involves the viewer in problem-solving. Since all the episodes are based around problem solving and devising plans to help creatures, it definitely encourages children to do the same in their own lives. It also teaches the viewer about different environments. Lastly, is the emphasis to work as a team, which helps you gain insight on problem-solving from another viewpoint.

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 3 to 9, perhaps older. Children may find this appealing because the educational aspects are hidden well within the adventurous missions. Not only will this appeal to the younger audience, but Octonauts will also appeal to the parents/guardians that are viewing it as well. Even adults can learn something new about aquatic creatures in each episode. Octonauts is appropriate for ages 3 to 9. The concepts and vocabulary are suitable for younger viewers; even if some concepts or terms may be difficult to comprehend, the team explains them thoroughly.

By Tor R., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The DVD Octonauts: Season 4 is collection of episodes from the colorful, animated series with unique storylines and cleverly imbedded educational information. I would watch a cute scene, go back over it in my head, and realize that I just learned something!

This show, in Season 4, follows Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) as he teaches some young Octonauts to get their badges, which are earned by completing certain tasks. Some of the episodes revolve around these missions, while others are based on specific characters or events introduced solely for that episode.

Octonauts: Season 4 is similar in quality to previous seasons. It mostly keeps the themes, educational values and entertainment from the past seasons alive. The animation is colorful and bright, which makes the screen an interesting sight and compels you to keep watching. Although the animation and acting may not be quite the level of other animated TV shows, the bright colors, educational aspects and themes are important for young kids and make for an interesting show. One shortcoming is the unrealistic way the characters' mouths move when they talk, with mouths moving differently than the words they are speaking. Some of the more suspenseful parts are less intense because their speech doesn't quite seem real. Besides that, important educational impressions are seamlessly imbedded in the entertaining storylines. In one episode, I learned some interesting facts about sea creatures and their young pups. Whether it is facts about animals, environments, habits or anything else, education is the best part about this show.

The message of Octonauts: Season 4 varies, depending on the theme of each episode. However, the overall themes are about teamwork and kindness.

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 3 to 6. It is available on DVD now, so go look for it!

Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Octonauts: Season 4 is a very fun and educational show to watch. It allows viewers to have entertainment while learning learn more about animals and become more educated.

This DVD centers around Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen), Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) and Peso (Paul Pattington), as well as other Octonauts in the series. They go on various adventures exploring the animal kingdom such as saving baby walruses and sea turtles.

Octonauts: Season 4 has a lot of cool things to talk about. First, this show is educational, especially about the animal kingdom. You learn things throughout the show and, at the end; there is a creature report where they teach you more. Second, the creature report. The creature report is a fun part of the show where they sing out facts about an animal and, at the end; they show pictures of that animal in real life to show you what they look like since they don't always look the same when they are animated. Third, the theme songs are another really fun part of the show; there is a theme song playing in the background at the beginning when we first see the Octonauts. There is also a theme song to accompany the Octo Alert. Fourth, the show shows kids how to be kind and caring and help others. In the DVD the Octonauts often help other animals do lots of things; they help them find their moms or get to the ocean safely. This can teach kids how to help each other and how to be kind to others and how to care for the environment.

The message of this show is to always help others when they need it. If you can help, do it and make the world a better place.

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 2 to 10. Adults will also enjoy watching it with their little ones. Octonauts: Season 4 is available now on DVD.

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

The beloved children's show, Octonauts is back for its fourth season, now on DVD. This collection of episodes has new creatures, new lessons and new adventures. If you watched this show when you were younger, the nostalgia will come to you immediately. However, if you are a new fan of Octonauts, you're sure to be entertained because Octonauts Season Four is both educational and engaging.

The DVD Octonauts: Season Four follows Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) and his crew of sailors who live in an Octopod in the ocean. This team's purpose is to find and save ocean animals in need. Each member of the team has a different and unique duty to ensure that everything is in place for their rescue missions and their working together makes each mission successful.

Something that stands out in this show is the approach taken towards its educational aspect. Young children don't want to sit down and watch a show that just states facts about animals. Octonauts Season Four uses a predictable format for each episode that keeps young viewers entertained, while learning new things. For example, "Creature Report" is an upbeat and fun song that plays at the end of each episode and summarizes the events of that rescue mission. During the song, viewers get to see a realistic picture of the animal the storyline is written about. Kids will be learning about these marine animals without even realizing it. This show also has a lot of diversity with the animals on the team, as well as the roles they play. For example, the three leading animals on the team are Captain Barnacles, who is a bear; Kwazzi, who is a kitten; and Peso, who is a penguin. With these characters alone, kids are introduced to three different animals. Additionally, the creators and writers of the show give each of the characters different positions for the missions. Barnacles is the leader; Kwazii is the daredevil who always goes on the quests; Peso is the medic; Dashi is the photographer and overseer at headquarters; Shellington is the scientist; Tweak is the engineer; Inkling is the oceanographer; and Tunip (along with many other Vegimals) is the helper in the Octopod. This showcases the idea that, even in real life, we have different roles to play as we learn to live and work together.

The message of Octonauts Season Four is stated in their motto - explore, rescue, protect. The Octonauts work together, committing their lives to exploring the sea and different environments so that they can help all of the other creatures. This might inspire kids to get creative, stay curious and explore.

I give Octonauts Season Four 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Octonauts Season Four is the perfect DVD for parents to watch along with their kids. Even I enjoyed watching the team go on new quests. Octonauts Season Four is available on now on DVD so look for it. Make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
F9: THE FAST SAGA
F9: THE FAST SAGA - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Cipher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom's younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After waiting for four years, the adventurous Fast and Furious series continues in the nail-biting thriller, F9: The Fast Saga. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this entire film, and held my attention to the end. Full of action, charge and intensity, this is a movie you do not want to miss.

Starting where the series left off, F9: The Fast Saga starts with a scene showing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) living a quiet life with their son. However, this does not last for long. The villain they last encountered in The Fate of the Fast and Furious, Cipher (Charlize Theron), is still out there, and now seemingly helping Dominic's younger brother Jakub (John Cena) who shares the Toretto name, but not the same morals. Jakub is out to gain what he never had: a life where he isn't in someone's shadow. The crew sets out to stop him and do what they do best - save the world. This movie creates a new standard on what it truly means to have courage and be a hero.

F9: The Fast Saga pulses with action from the very start. We only get about ten minutes before the pace picks up, and Dominic is off to start another mission. Even though the action is entertaining, it definitely is not realistic. There are multiple scenes where characters should have died, or at least been seriously injured and aren't. One example is the scene where Dominic and Letty are flying around the edge of a cliff with just a skinny cable keeping them from falling. I understand that the point of action movies is to push the limits of reality, but as Roman (Tyrese Gibson) points out in the movie - none of the crew ever dies or even gets hurt, even after multiple shots have been fired at them. Other than that, I enjoyed this movie. I love the friendships between the characters, especially between Roman and Tej (Ludacris) who have a hilarious, almost brotherly, friendship. They make fun of each other and deliver most of the one liners throughout the film.

The message of this film is to have trust in your friends and family, because even when things are hard, they will have your back. It's always good to have people to lean on, especially when you're saving the world.

I give F9: The Fast Saga 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 17 plus adults. It releases in theatres June 25, 2021.

By Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like F9: The Fast Saga because it has a lot of action, explosions and fantastic scenes.

In this installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his friends go up against his biggest adversary, his own brother Jacob (John Cena) in order to stop a plot to control the world. We get a look into the two brothers' past together and learn a little bit about their history racing cars.

This movie has tons of action sequences with racing stunts never before seen. The characters do things with their cars that are out of this world, like for example, flying a car to space. How crazy is that? This film is packed with so many good actors such as Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Ludacris, Helen Mirren, Michael Rooker and special guests, Cardie B, Bad Bunny and Bow Wow. My favorite is Tyrese Gibson who adds so many comical scenes to this movie. The graphics are amazing. The cars are super expensive sports cars and supercharged muscle cars. The film takes place in different places all over the world.

The moral of F9: The Fast Saga is that family is everything. Siblings can become rivals, but blood is thicker than water. Be warned that this film contains harsh language and violence.

I'd give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 13 to 18 plus adults. It opens in theaters June 25, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LLAMA LLAMA: FAMILY VACATION - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-6
Description - Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they explore their friendly hometown and make childhood memories. It's a vacation of many firsts for Llama Llama.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I find this DVD appealing as an adult because vacationing, traveling and spending time with friends or family are activities that people of all ages can enjoy. Children may enjoy Llama Llama: Llama Family Vacation because it can prepare younger viewers for the ins and outs of traveling, if they are slightly nervous. Other episodes consist of fun adventures with Llama Llama and his friends in their neighborhood where the children use their problem-solving skills to help with issues that arise, so this can inspire to children to do the same.

The episodes follow Llama Llama and his family taking a vacation to Sandy Island. Llama Llama creates new memories with his family and experiences a number of "firsts" such as meeting his cousins, flying on a plane and riding on a boat. Llama Llama learns about life in different towns and how similar or different they are from his life at his home. The remaining episodes in the DVD follow a standard day in the life of Llama Llama and friends.

The episodes follow the same structure beginning with Llama Llama having fun playing with his friends or family and an adult explains the adventure that is going to happen. There is typically an obstacle that Llama Llama needs to conquer, usually with the help of his friends and or family. Llama Llama and the others around him learn a lesson at the end of each episode. Since the DVD is filled with episodes surrounding children and their adventures, the adventures and problems they face are age appropriate and easy concepts to comprehend and utilize suitable vocabulary. For example, some of the episodes include figuring out how to have fun as a child on a family vacation; how to calm down a sibling; or how talk to new neighbors. Nothing detrimental happens in any of the episodes. This is super small, but I want to point out that, if a viewer has an extreme fear of flying, this may make them uncomfortable. Not that the flying scene is shown in a way that is scary or harmful. The animation is clear and the images are vibrant. The music matches the action of each episode. For example, when Llama Llama and his family are riding on the boat, the music has sort of a beach or tiki theme. There is lots of music in each episode, especially when the characters are walking, eating or just hanging out. The DVD cover design is appropriate and appealing to the intended audience. It shows Llama Llama and his family on Sandy Island. The main menu allows the user to choose which episode you want to watch and it remembers where you left off. There are subtitles available, but only in English. The show offers young viewers the opportunity to follow along with him and his friends as they experience problem-solving and working as a team to overcome the obstacles. The show does not touch on looking further into a situation, such as the historical or cultural background, since the episodes show simple day-to-day activities and problems.

There are multiple messages of the program including: Traveling is great because you can create new memories and learn about other places. Capture memories and savor each moment that happens in life. Even if someone is scared about experiencing something for the first time, if they have support given by people that care for them, the experience won't be as scary. The first try is simply a way to learn better for the second, or multiple other tries. The main theme throughout is - You can learn how to get through obstacles that life places in the way by believing in yourself and allow your loved ones to help you when its needed, plus perseverance.

I give Llama Llama: Llama Family Vacation 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, plus parents who can enjoy watching it with their youngsters.

By Tor F., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Llama Llama: Family Vacation is a fun new DVD for the little ones. With animated, talking animals and a special new location, these episodes are sure to excite your toddler for hours as they experience the silly and thrilling life of Llama Llama along with his friends and family.

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV series where Llama Llama is back at having exciting adventures and new friends! He's exploring new things like babysitting Baby Newman, flying on a plane for the first time, and befriending the new kid in the neighborhood, Audrey. With more whimsical music and shenanigans, Llama Llama and his friends are having tons of fun.

The voice acting in this show is exquisite, particularly Jennifer Garner as the voice of Mama Llama. All the other voice actors are equally terrific, such as Islie Hirvonen as Nelly Gnu and Shayle Simons as the voice of Llama Llama. I love the playful music in all the scenes and how it fits the lively plots of this cheerful show. Parents can take a break while their child watches this DVD. Kids can learn about including other people and helping out their friends. Llama Llama is such an inspiration for kids everywhere as he helps out around town, creates Thanks-For-Giving Day and is kind to others. This show has excellent and original plots which make the show all the more exciting! I love the music because it always seems to fit exactly what the scene is about, using light and upbeat music during an adventure or a slower and lower-pitched music for defeat. My favorite part is when Llama Llama learns about how much people around the town do to make the community a better place because he realizes that he can help out too.

This show demonstrates friendship and teamwork. As Llama Llama makes new friends and explores new places, he learns how important these things age.

I give Llama Llama: Family Vacation 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Llama Llama: Family Vacation is a DVD filled with fun experiences as you watch Llama Llama and his friends make childhood memories. They do new things that lead to new adventures. If you enjoy the Llama Llama books, then you should definitely check this out.

In each episode of Llama Llama: Family Vacation, the storyline follows Llama Llama, Mama Llama, and their friends as they go on different quests and try new things along the way. For example, Llama Llama goes on his first airplane ride to visit Sandy Island with Mama Llama and Gram. There he meets his extended family and his cousins for the first time. Llama Llama makes new friends and meets new people, which makes the storylines more enjoyable.

I really like how this DVD introduces more characters in each episode and we get to meet more of Llama Llama and Mama Llama's family. My favorite episode is "Llama Llama Family Vacation" because they add new members of Llama Llama's to the storyline and it shows Mama Llama helping Llama Llama get on the plane for the first time. "New Neighbors" is another episode I enjoyed because they introduce a new character that becomes Llama Llama's new friend, which makes the episode's plot more interesting. The storyline is easy to follow and shows the audience how to handle trying new things and might help them get over their fears. My favorite character is Mama Llama because she teaches Llama Llama and his friends that trying new things helps you learn better and grow. Also, the theme song of the show is fun and upbeat and it helps make this a fun and exciting kids show.

The message of Llama Llama: Family Vacation is: if you try new things you might surprise yourself. This DVD is very kid and family-friendly.

I rate Llama Llama: Family Vacation 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 6. This DVD was released June 15, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

Review by Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Llama Llama: Llama Family Vacation is an educational and entertaining show with lots of good messages and fun stories.

This DVD is about Llama Llama (Shayle Simons), his friends and family who go on fun adventures where they learn and help each other. There are many positive messages in the show. Some of their adventures include going on vacations and helping their mom by being persistent in getting the baby to calm down.

There is some fun stuff to talk about in this DVD. First, the show has many positive messages and teaches kids to not fear new things and be inclusive. Second, is about the music; there are some cool ways they use music here. When it is a calm moment the music is calm; when it's lively, so is the music. They set the theme of each vignette with background music used in that scene. Of course, then there is the theme song. At the beginning of every episode a theme song that summarizes what the show is about is played; it's a fun and catchy song that kids will be singing afterwards. Let's talk about the characters. There are many fun characters in this series that help make the story what it is. There is lots of inclusion when new characters are introduced that send a positive message about being inclusive. Last, I have to talk about the animation, which is clear, attractive and a highlight of the show.

Each episode has a different message, but the overall messages of the show are to be yourself, be inclusive and be kind to everyone and everything.

I give Llama Llama, Llama Family Vacation 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10, plus adults will find it fun to watch with younger kids. This DVD is available now so look for it.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 100 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATHERHOOD
FATHERHOOD - NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Fatherhood is an upcoming American comedy-drama film directed by Paul Weitz from a screenplay by Weitz and Dana Stevens, based on the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin. The film stars Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Frankie R. Faison, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Anthony Carrigan, Melody Hurd, and Paul Reiser, and follows a new father who struggles to raise his daughter after the sudden death of his wife.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Expect the unexpected with Kevin Hart's new drama film, Fatherhood! The comedian takes his acting to another level and shows us a more serious side, still with a little humor, while delivering a heartwarming, tear-jerking family film. Fatherhood is based off the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matt Logelin and highlights the challenges and triumphs of being a single parent.

In Fatherhood, Matt Logelin (Kevin Hart) and his wife, Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) welcome a baby girl named Maddy (Melody Hurd) into the world. A day after giving birth, Liz passes away from complications, leaving Matt as a single parent raising his daughter. He has no idea where to start, but, with the help of his family and friends along the way, he has to figure out a way to raise her.

The main characters in this film are Matt, Liz, Maddy, Lizzie "Swan" (DeWanda Wise) and Marian (Alfre Woodard). My overall favorite part in this film is how Matt and Maddy's relationship grows as they go along. Usually, the parents are the ones teaching the lessons in life, but it was nice to see Maddy also be able to teach her father. Maddy is actually my favorite character for this reason. I enjoyed seeing her help Matt become a better father throughout the film. Even though this film is a drama, the director, Paul Weitz, uses creative ways to add humor. For example, there is a scene where baby Maddy looks back and forth between two "crazy" people talking and the camera pans back and forth showing us the scene from her perspective.

The message of this film is that you should not be afraid to ask for help when you need it, especially from your family and friends. Matt refuses help because he thinks he can handle everything by himself, even though he has no idea what he is doing. But eventually realizes maybe he does need some help to get him on the right track. Parents need to be aware of adults drinking and mild profanity and themes about death.

Fatherhood is a very uplifting film that will tap into your emotions. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. Fatherhood comes out June 18, 2021 on Netflix.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Who doesn't love a good drama film? I know that I definitely do. Fatherhood is such a great one. It has family comedy, portrays a realistic way of life, and the acting is stellar.

The storyline follows a dad, Matthew Logelin (Kevin Hart), who recently lost his wife Liz (Deborah Ayolinde). He must now raise his daughter (Melody Hurd) by himself, even though no one believes he can.

The best parts of this movie are the acting, the comedy and the drama. Kevin Hart really brings every emotion to life - when his wife dies, his crying shows us his grief. The comedy in this movie is subtle and it is frequent enough to make you laugh. I really enjoyed the comedy as it reflects funny family moments that we all go through. And the dramatic parts really show how a single parent, especially a father, might act upon losing his wife. Though the story is a bit slow at times, many may be able to relate to it and find it compelling. Fatherhood is based on a true story of a man who was forced to raise his child on his own following his wife's death.

The message is that there's nothing that a child needs more than family. Be aware that there is quite a lot of profanity used and there are many references to intimacy that makes it inappropriate for younger kids.

I give Fatherhood 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Fatherhood premieres on Netflix on June 18, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PAPER TIGERS, THE
PAPER TIGERS, THE - WELL GO USA INC.
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Description - Three Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men, now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and old grudges to avenge his death.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Paper Tigers is such an engaging film with impeccable stunts, feisty characters and plot twists that grab your attention. You'll feel like you've just witnessed these events happening in real life.

The Paper Tigers is about three childhood friends named Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) who, as adults, reunite after their sifu (teacher) dies. As kids, they shared the love of Kung Fu, but after all these years they have moved on to not such bigger or better things. When they hear speculation from an old enemy that their sifu was actually murdered, they try to find the culprit to avenge him.

The Paper Tigers is a movie centered on the martial art of Kung Fu, which means the stunts need to be executed just right for the action scenes to be believable. I found the stunts top notch; the stunt coordinators made the characters look like they are actually fighting. In fact, the entire crew working on this movie clearly put a lot of effort into making it realistic. In the film, Danny, Hing and Jim run into their old nemesis, Carter, and end up making a bet and getting into a brawl to get information about sifu. The guys are not in the best shape and haven't fought a match in years so naturally, they have a tough time defending themselves. When they get hit, you can see blood coming from their faces, which looks scarily real. Kudos to the make-up team for creating such realism. Something else that makes The Paper Tigers unique is its comedic relief. Although the film has a very serious plot and the majority of the scenes are full of tension, the screenwriters added scenes where you can laugh, despite the violence. One of my favorite moments is when the three young disciple impersonators come to sifu's funeral acting foolish. Being embarrassed, Hing says, "Let's take these K-Pop rejects." This sense of humor definitely makes Hing a more likeable character and lightens the mood.

The message of The Paper Tigers is that when you give someone your word, you need to honor it. Even though Danny, Hing and Jim left their master and got separated from each other, when it came down to it, they kept their promise. They gathered the courage to get justice for sifu and be true disciples. Parents should be aware that this film has some adult language and some martial arts violence.

I give The Paper Tigers 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to18 plus adults. Anyone that loves Kung Fu and action will enjoy this film. The Paper Tigers is available in theatres and on digital now, and on Blu-Ray and DVD on June 22, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOME BEFORE DARK (SEASON TWO)
HOME BEFORE DARK (SEASON TWO) - APPLE TV
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 14-18
Description - Home Before Dark is a dramatic mystery series inspired by the reporting of a young investigative journalist, Hilde Lysiak. Directed and executive produced by Jon M. Chu, the series follows a young girl named Hilde (Brooklynn Prince) who moves from the city of Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury. In season two, when a mysterious explosion hits a local farm, reporter Hilde Lisko begins an investigation that will lead her to fight a powerful and influential corporation - with the health of her family and Erie Harbor in the balance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Calling all aspiring journalists, and father-daughter duos! This new series Home Before Dark has everything you could possibly want in a show, including a special father-daughter relationship, mystery, action, suspense and even romance.

The second season of Home Before Dark starts off the summer after journalist Hilde Lysko (Brooklyn Prince) uncovers a huge break in the Richie Fife case. Hilde, still haunted by the year before, continues to move forward and continues searching, and you won't believe what she finds.

Hilde Lysko and Matt Lysko (Jim Sturgess) are very special to watch because their father-daughter relationship is very realistic and relatable. As are many other aspects of this show, including the discussion of important topics such as racism. The town of Erie Harbor is seeing new faces, new settings and newly developed characters, which makes the small town a little bigger. Costume designer Kelli Dunsmore creates an entire story in itself with Hilde's wardrobe. My favorite part about Home Before Dark is when both Hilde and Matt have epiphanies about a story they are reporting on. It makes me hold my breath in suspense as I wait for the pieces to unfold and the story to fall into place.

The message of Home Before Dark is, "We are young, but we are not stupid, and we are paying attention." The youth of today are seeing a lot wrong with our current society that we deem needs to be fixed. Do what Hilde Lysko would do and seek the truth. This television series contains some bad language, kidnapping, and other mature themes.

I give Home Before Dark 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 14 to 18 plus adults. You can watch Home Before Dark releases June 11, 2021 on Apple TV+.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Home Before Dark is an intriguing series that is filled with twists and unexpected turns. I love that there are multiple storylines following different characters. The characters themselves each have distinct personalities which creates an interesting dynamic that is entertaining to watch.

The storyline is based around a smart, young girl in a small town, named Hilde, who is determined to solve a cold case. She has made major breakthroughs on the case in the past, and published her writing. Hilde's work was awarded and widely praised. Although she had received these rewards, she was not satisfied with the way the case ended. Her parents discourage her from continuing research on the case because of the repeated nightmares Hilde experienced.

Brooklyn Prince fits the role of Hilde Lisko perfectly. She portrays herself in a sophisticated manner and she is very well spoken. She is also able to convey her emotions to the audience through her facial expressions which pulls the audience's attention into each scene. The casting director did well in choosing the characters for the Lisko family, which includes actors Kylie Rogers, Jim Sturgess, Mila Morgan and Pauline Egan. The sisters have some similar features, but still stand out from each other, an analogy for their personalities.

The camerawork in this series is a major factor in establishing the mood of each scene. The camerawork, at times, is breathtaking and beautiful when highlighting the landscape of the town. These nature shots are well executed and create the feeling of peace. Other times, the camera angles add suspense to the scenes. In one scene, I was sitting on the edge of my seat as the camera angle peered down into a dark basement hallway. This frame was left to linger for a couple seconds to give the impression that there was something ominous down there. Overall, I loved the camerawork in this series because of how strategic it is and how effective it is in each scene.

My favorite character of the series is Hilde's sister, Izzy Lisko (Kylie Rogers). Izzy is older than Hilde and was struggling with gaining friendships in school. She is shy and often overthinks about the situations she gets into. Although she has many insecurities, she is such a supportive sister towards Hilde. While Izzy supports and cares for Hilde, Hilde also cares for Izzy. Hilde is constantly helping Izzy find logical solutions to her problems and talking through Izzy's thoughts, simplifying them. They are the perfect duo and I admire their good hearts.

The message I took away from the series is to be resourceful and determined. The series gives the viewers a sense of accomplishment through Hilde, and inspires them to be like her. She works so hard and never gives up on her goals. Hilde is an admirable character that the viewers look up to. My only concern with this is that some of the actions Hilde performs are dangerous for her age, such as visiting abandoned areas and sneaking out of class. As long as children who are around Hilde's age don't imitate her then it is safe.

This series is the perfect mystery, drama show to watch with your family and friends. The plot twists will keep you glued to the screen and excited for the next episode. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the ages of 13 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this. Season 2 debuts on June 11, 2021 on Apple TV+ so be sure to go check it out!

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

Home Before Dark Season 2 has a storyline filled with many unexpected twists and mysterious happenings this season that will capture viewers' attention. We follow alongside Hilde Lisko (Brooklyn Prince) and her family and friends as they try to discover the secrets of the past. This alluring series will have you mesmerized with surprises you won't see coming.

In season two, the story continues in the town of Erie Harbor where young reporter Hilde Lisko encounters some unexplainable occurrences. Determined to figure out what's going on, she and her friends investigate. With the help of her friends and family, Hilde finds new clues and uncovers dangerous, hidden secrets. Her sister, Izzy (Kylie Rogers) deals with finding new friends while helping her sister in her quest for the truth about what's causing the unexplainable sickness sweeping across the town. They come to discover that searching for the truth could have deadly consequences.

My favorite scene is when Hilde and her friends, along with her dad, Matt (Jim Sturgess), and Lt. Briggs (Michael Weston) venture onto a nearby island to look for more clues. While waiting for Hilde's dad and Lt. Briggs, they decide to use a drone to explore. The drone crashes, and they go into the forest and look for it before the adults come back. It's very eerie and suspenseful because we don't know what or who lurks in those woods. The choices of settings fit well with the scenes, such as the island and the harbor that show life in a small town near the water. The clothing for the characters is modern and goes well with their personalities. Hilde has a more sophisticated look then most kids her age, which goes with her character. It is also nice to see a family that works together and supports each other. Overall, the series is remarkably interesting and entertaining--it is fascinating to see the story unravel in each episode.

The message of Home Before Dark is to never give up, even in times of doubt or uncertainty when you think it's impossible. If you give up there's no chance of succeeding. Stay strong and continue past the roadblocks. Home Before Dark also teaches us about courage. Doing the right thing in the face of danger takes bravery. Warnings include scary scenes that may require parental guidance.

I give Home Before Dark 5 out of 5 stars! I recommend it for ages 14 to 17. Adults will also enjoy it. Season 2 releases June 11, 2021 on Apple TV+.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CENSOR
CENSOR - MAGNET RELEASING
Series: FEATURE, AGES 15 - 18
Description - After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister's disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Censor is a unique movie that raises a lot of questions about censorship, the effect that fiction has on people and violence in the media. I really appreciate it for its subtlety; however I feel like the message is a little unclear.

The story follows Enid, a film censor. Her job consists of viewing graphic horror films and deciding what to cut and what to leave in. However, after a particular film reminds her of a traumatic childhood memory, she becomes convinced that there is some connection between her work and the disappearance of her sister.

First off, I want to take a moment to appreciate the atmosphere of this film. The lighting and sound design combine to create an extremely bleak and dreary mood, as if the entire film takes place on an unpleasant foggy day. It fits the constant sense of unease this movie gives off, especially when combined with the uncomfortable subject matter.

Censor has an interesting insight on fiction's effect on reality. I'm very invested in this topic, as someone who loves video games and has constantly heard discussions about how the medium causes violence. Though the film doesn't outright say it, there's an underlying message about how society sometimes draws conclusions that aren't true. At one point, a murder gets connected to a film that Enid allowed to be released. However we later find out the killer didn't even watch the aforementioned film. This leaves you wondering what the truth of the case is. This murder case is never brought up again and, ultimately, is not that important to the plot.

Censor's themes surrounding the idea of censorship, and the way they connect to Enid's past, are genuinely really engaging. Enid claims she does her job to "protect" people, and this perfectly ties into Enid's trauma. A common thing that happens to trauma survivors is that their brain will block out the memories of the event. As such, Enid can't remember the exact details of her trauma. Her brain is essentially censoring itself to protect her. But what exactly is it protecting her from? What is the truth of her past? This connection is so fascinating.

I must warn audiences, though, if you don't like gore or discussions of gore, this movie is not for you. There's a montage at the beginning showing all kinds of graphic violence, and there is more gore later in the film.

I give Censor 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 16 to 18. Censor releases on June 11, 2021.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - Disney Channel's out-of-this-world live-action comedy series "Gabby Duran & the Unsittables" has return for a second season on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW. The series stars multitalented actress and musician Kylie Cantrall as Gabby Duran, a teenaged girl who inadvertently lands a job babysitting an unruly group of VIP extraterrestrial children disguised as everyday kids. In season two, a resourceful and courageous Gabby faces even bigger challenges as she continues to protect her alien charges while also navigating the everyday emotional rollercoaster of middle school. The season picks up immediately after a cliffhanger with Gabby's mom, Dina, on the verge of learning Gabby's secret, which the intrepid teen will have to stop in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes. Other adventures this season will include a robot replica Gabby-bot running amok, an alien friend who turns into a "Predator" when she becomes emotional, and a quest to recover Principal Swift's home after it's shrunken down to the size of a dollhouse by an extraterrestrial prankster.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love Gabby Duran and the Unsittables so much because it has an effect that keeps you connected with the show the whole time. It has so many cliff hangers; you're always wondering what will happen next; your always on the edge of your seat. I like that there are so many mysteries in each episode and that something new happens in every episode.

The storyline is about a young girl named Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who gets picked by Principal Swift (Nathan Lovejoy) who is an alien and wants Gabby to babysit aliens. This job is so important and, if anyone finds out aliens are real, then that would destroy the earth. Principle Swift needs Gabby to keep this a secret from everyone; she can't tell anyone about aliens or her baby sitting job. Keeping that big of a secret might be a little hard for Gabby.

This show is filled with lots of animated characters and other things that aren't there in real life. They use the characters so well, and have amazing ways to incorporate them into the show. It's cool how some aliens that Gabby is babysitting like Jeremy (Callen Farris), Kail (Mia Bella) and Sky (Elle McKinnon) have different powers. This isn't a great sentence. First, avoid using the term "is amazing" as it doesn't tell us anything. I was impressed by how the actors portrayed aliens that are uncertain about how to behave as human impersonators. Considering how young the cast is makes it doubly impressive.

I enjoyed all of the other cast members, especially Coco Christo who plays Olivia Duran, because she's so young and plays her part as Gabby's sister so well. My favorite episode has to be the one with Cry Baby Duran, because it really shows the part of her and her friends being in middle school. The drama really starts to show and gets inside Gabby's head and she is determined to find out who started the rumor. The other thing I found really interesting is how different directors (Joe Nussbaum and Leslie Kolins Small) direct different episodes, which gives the show great variety. For example, Joe Nussbaum directs 9 episodes and it is interesting because it must have been hard to for Kylie Cnatrall to adjust to the different directing styles. Then, Leslie Kolins Small directs 6 episodes and it captured my interest because all the episodes really turned out the same even though they all have different styles of directing, Kylie Cantrall and the directors worked together to make a great show.

The message of this series is that lying isn't a good thing, but when there are lives on the line, you have to do your best to help everyone. Lying can turn into a big mess, so don't let that fool you. This series shows that some people are not worth the risk and people don't always love the idea secrets. Tell them before they find out for themselves.

I give Gabby Duran and the Unsittables 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. The new season comes out on Disney + on June 6, 2021.

By Makena P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIRIT UNTAMED
SPIRIT UNTAMED - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 5-15
Description - After moving to a sleepy little town, young Lucky Prescott befriends a wild mustang named Spirit, who shares her rebellious spirit. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her new friends embark on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse that forever changed her life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Adventure awaits in Spirit Untamed, the next chapter in the beloved animated Spirit franchise which is sure to capture a new audience of followers. Spirit Untamed is the story of connection between a girl named Lucky (Isabela Merced) and a wild mustang stallion she names Spirit. Lucky is a spirited girl and has difficulty fitting into the traditional life that her family plans for her. Her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) takes her away from social pressure for the summer to the frontier town of Miradero to live with her estranged father Jim Prescott (Jake Gyllenhaal). On the train to Miradero she encounters Spirit and his wild herd. The story evolves as both Lucky and Spirit adapt to new circumstances and learn to embrace change as well as rely on the friendship and support of others.

Lucky is fortunate to find two steadfast friends in Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace) and Pru Granger (Marsai Martin) who emulate the connection between a girl and her horse that Lucky desires with Spirit. Both girls teach her about equestrian and human connections. I love the fun-loving and spunky character, Abigail, who brings so much humor to the movie which is offset by the sarcasm of Pru. Together these three girls are unstoppable in their efforts to rescue Spirit and his herd from a group of wranglers that threaten their freedom.

Spirit Untamed is from DreamWorks Animation so you know the characters and scenery are going to be depicted flawlessly. I love how this film keeps the feel from the original movie but adds another layer of lush detail under the guidance of Director Elaine Bogan who has a personal connection with horses. My favorite scene is what I call "the tango" between Lucky and Spirit when she is trying to coax him to accept her. The pull of their relationship shows and is enhanced perfectly by the light and playful music composed by Amie Doherty. I really like how the movie incorporates the actors singing with their roles--I love to hear Isabela Merced's beautiful voice and even Jake Gyllenhall trying to sing badly.

The one segment that bothers me is when Lucky first mounts Spirit. The riding is unbelievable for a girl who is just learning and is more akin to a trained circus or stunt rider. Horses are powerful animals, and I hope young viewers will understand that they need guidance around horses and to respect them. I did love the personality that was given to all the horses in Spirit Untamed--each horse had its own lovable character and expressions. Everyone will, of course, love the cuteness overload of the brave baby foal.

What really stands out to me among this film's many underlying messages is the theme of letting go and how hard that can be. I don't want to elaborate further, as it would be a spoiler, but there is one great "letting go" scene with Lucky doing the right thing. Friendship and loyalty are also important themes in Spirit Untamed, as Lucky searches for a place where she belongs.

I rate Spirit Untamed 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. This movie will be in theaters June 4, 2021, so don't miss this heartwarming story and adventure!

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Spirit Untamed is a fun-filled animated movie that will have you on the edge of your seat with its rollercoaster of emotions. It is full of suspense, humorous moments and scenes showcasing beautiful relationships. Spirit Untamed is one of the most captivating animated films I've seen, with humorous scenes and a great message. Watching this movie on the big screen brings a special kind of magic that draws you in and makes you feel every emotion the characters are feeling. Whether it is a sense of elation, anger, determination or love; I felt it all.

The storyline follows a mischievous girl named Lucky (Isabela Merced) who goes to live with her grandfather after her mother passes away. After pulling too many stunts, her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) decides to take her to spend the summer with her father Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal). Lucky wasn't expecting to have any fun or make a connection with anyone there and then she meets a beautiful wild mustang that she names Spirit. When she discovers that a horse wrangler named Hendricks (Walton Goggins) is trying to steal Spirit and his family, she teams up with her new friends Abigail (Mckenna Grace) and Pru (Marsai Martin) to save them.

Although Spirit Untamed is an animated film, it is filled with suspense. Lucky loves to take risks, and that means she is willing to do anything and everything she feels is right. For instance, while Lucky, Abigail and Pru ride their horses through Heck Mountain and over the Ridge of Regret, they are incredibly close to falling off the edge. The way these scenes are designed, and how the events unfold, had me genuinely nervous for the girls. The relationships in the film are well developed. Lucky and Jim's relationship starts out shaky, but gradually grows throughout the movie. By the end of the movie, the father/daughter relationship is made whole. The friendship between Lucky, Pru and Abigail grows throughout the movie as well, which makes the film much more enjoyable. Something else that stands out is the music. The background music adds greatly adds to the suspense and propels the action. The songs highlight the stunning vocals of the talented performers Becky G. who sings "You Belong." Its tempo builds as the excitement in the film builds. This sets the perfect tone for the movie, giving it a sense of hope. The cast is very diverse and featuring people from different backgrounds, which I appreciate as well. Spirit Untamed has it all!

The message of Spirit Untamed is: if you see something that's wrong, speak up and do everything you can to put an end to it. Lucky is aware that it is wrong for Hendricks and his gang to take Spirit and his herd away. No matter what anyone tells her, she doesn't rest until she finds a way to make everything right.

I rate Spirit Untamed 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults Spirit Untamed is available in theatres June 4, 2021. You better hurry; you don't want to miss this!

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

Spirit Untamed is a thrilling and exciting animated film that keeps you entertained throughout the whole movie. It showcases the friendship between humans and horses, has great messages and holds your interest until the end.

The story follows a girl named Lucky Prescott (Isabella Merced) who returned to live with her dad (Jake Gyllenhaal) for the summer. On the way, she meets a wild horse named Spirit that is adventurous and daring, just like her. Since Spirit is wild, he doesn't trust Lucky at first. It takes him some time, but eventually he and Lucky become friends. Lucky comes across horse wranglers that are trying to capture Spirit and his herd. She is determined to do whatever it takes to save Spirit and his family.

Something that really impresses me about this film is the lip-syncing of the animated characters. Their mouths match exactly what they are saying. The background music sets the mood such as when scenes are intense, the music intensifies, which helps the audience connect with the mood of the scene. My favorite character is Lucky because she is adventurous, curious and fun. The moment she arrives at her father's home, she sets off to explore and which leads her to an adventure right away. Her dad, Jim's character develops the most during the movie. In the beginning, he is afraid something bad is going to happen to Lucky if she gets close to the horses, so he forbids her from being near them. Over time he realizes he can't keep her from everything and learns to let her follow her heart.

The message of Spirit Untamed is "when you trust someone they will learn to trust you." The only warning I have for this film is that in some scenes, ropes are wrapped around the horse's necks.

Spirit Untamed is an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, plus adults. You can watch Spirit Untamed opens in theaters June 4, 2021. Go check it out!

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HUMAN FACTOR, THE
HUMAN FACTOR, THE - SONY CLASSICAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - With unprecedented access to the foremost American negotiators, THE HUMAN FACTOR is the behind-the-scenes story from the last 25 years, of how the United States came within reach of pulling off the impossible - securing peace between Israel and its neighbors. Today, the need to learn from past mistakes couldn't be more urgent.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Human Factor documentary is very informative and will be loved by those that are curious about the negotiators of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict during the Clinton Administration, and their efforts to bring compromise and peace. The one-on-one interview setting makes it easier to understand and grasp basic questions of this foreign political situation. And while the film does provide some context in the beginning, you may want to do a little research on the conflict before watching.

I had an unexpectedly emotional reaction to this documentary. Director Dror Moreh cleverly sets a specific tone that grabs the viewer, and then reveals history in a brilliant way. My favorite parts are with the negotiators and their dialogue about their personal firsthand experience being a part of this crucial stage in history. While it is a foreign conflict, we are shown it from the United States' perspective.

I love the music throughout this film, thanks to composer Eugene Levitas. While a lot of scenes were usually serious due to the political dialogue, some scenes added unusually whimsical music to set a certain mood.

The message of this film is really important to understand, especially in the current political climate of the United States. "People just like to demonize the other side. All that is out is the human side, the animosity for each other. And unless (we) are planning on accepting the other side, there is zero hope for a solution." The challenge of any political conflict is building bridges and crushing barriers, and this conflict is no exception. The Human Factor does contain violence, gore, and scenes that depict warfare.

I give The Human Factor 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. You can watch The Human Factor in theatres nationwide on May 7, 2021.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAUNCHPAD
LAUNCHPAD - DISNEY+
Series: TV SERIES, 8-18
Description - A collection of 6 short films. Six filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds were selected and provided with the opportunity to share their perspectives and creative visions that will show audiences what it means to be seen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Launchpad is an emotional and uplifting collection of Disney short films that are great for teens and adults. Every one of the six movies features excellent acting, impressive cinematography, great special effects and storylines with meaningful themes.

Launchpad includes six different shorts, each with its own unique plot. American Eid and The Last of the Chupacabras are both centered around religion; American Eid is about a young girl finding out she has to go to school on the Muslim holiday, Eid. The Last of the Chupacabras is about a lone Mexican-American trying to keep her culture alive. Growing Fangs is a fantasy about a half-human/half-vampire trying to hide her identity from both worlds. Let's Be Tigers is about a young girl, Avalon (Otmara Marrero) trying to process the loss of her mother while she is babysitting for a 4-year-old. Dinner Is Served follows a Chinese student trying out for the top position at a fancy restaurant. The Little Prince(ss) is a story about a young boy who loves ballet and whose best friend's dad comes to talk to his parents about his "girlish behavior."

With emotional and deep storylines, these short films need great acting to convey the strong messages of the films. These actors deliver. Every character is portrayed by a passionate actor that deeply understands their character and performs with passion. Even for films with no dialogue, you can understand what they are thinking and feeling. Otmara Marrero who plays Avalon in Let's Be Tigers, delivers an unforgettable performance as such a sorrowful character. The change as she plays with Noah (Dash McCloud) is visible as the film develops. In American Eid, Jenna Qureshi, who plays Ameena's older sister, Zainab, also delivers a stunning performance, making her teenage, trying-to-be-cool character relatable in every way. The cinematography is equally excellent. The special effects in the fantasy films are wonderful, particularly in Growing Fangs with its vampire effects. Magic is the main component in this one, but there are other effects as well. The stories are all well-written. Some of the shorts are heart-breaking and emotional, while others are more uplifting and creative. There's a variety of wonderful ideas spread throughout.

These shorts have many themes, some overlapping others. A central point for all of them, is to recognize other people for what they are, not for how they appear.>p>I give Launchpad 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Launchpad can be viewed on Disney Plus beginning May 28, 2021.

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

I appreciate the sophistication involved in the themes and making of Launchpad, A Short Film Collection. I found these lacking in action and the messages are pretty heavy. They are all a good length and cover a wide range of topics (such as). Some are a little repetitive and unclear.

This is a collection of short films, ten to 20 minutes in length, Growing Fangs, American Eid, Let's Be Tigers, Dinner is Served, The Little Prince(ss) and The Last of the Chupacabras. They address issues such as racism and gender stereotyping, and we learn a lot about many different cultures, religions and lifestyles. The films are a good mix of seriousness and funny ways of interpreting problems.

These short films are not typical Disney movies, yet they are really interesting. Many of them have dialogue at least partially in non-English languages and, although they are subtitled, I sometimes felt a bit lost or uninterested because I didn't know the language. There are many young actors in these films that deliver excellent performances. My favorite film is American Eid, which highlights a young Muslim girl who lives in the United States and goes to a school that doesn't give days off for Eid, which is the Muslim holiday following one month of fasting, Ramadan. I like the protagonist's sister, because she realizes by the end that appreciating her family and her culture is more important than being cool, and either way she manages to do both. Growing Fangs is a thrilling story about a girl who is half human and half vampire; she faces the problems of belonging to more than one community and finding acceptance. Let's Be Tigers is about a kid who helps his babysitter get through a rough time. The messages in Dinner is Served are deeper and a bit harder to understand; it covers a Chinese student who tries to follow his dream and goes through a process of realization about his dream. The Little Prince(ss) focuses on gender stereotypes, following a young boy who does ballet and likes the color pink. In The Last of the Chupacabras an elderly woman has a magical adventure with a mythical creature.

The message in these films is about accepting people for who they are. This applies to their religion, culture, gender and age. The only shortcoming is that the messages are sometimes a bit forced and some parts are unrealistic, which I didn't like that much.

I give Launchpad, A Short Film Collection 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to18 and adults and will be premiering on May 28, 2021 on Disney+.

Reviewed by Rosemary K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR
P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR - AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 11-18
Description - This documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at P!NK as she balances family and life on the road, leading up to her first Wembley Stadium performance on 2019's "Beautiful Trauma" world tour. The film follows P!nk as she balances being a performer with her role as a mother, wife and boss. It mixes footage from the road, behind the scenes interviews, and personal material. On the tour, P!nk played 156 shows in 18 countries. The film is produced by Michael Gracey and Isabella Parish, with Luminaries, Silent House and Lefty Paw Print.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I was intrigued by P!nk: All I Know So Far and enjoyed each and every second of it, from its realistic aspect to the behind-the-scenes showing them working on the performances. We see that P!nk loves her family just as much as she loves performing and how she makes time for both. Each and every part of this documentary is amazing.

This documentary gives the audience an inside peek into the life of P!nk as a performer and a mom, while counting down to one of the biggest moments in her life - her 2019 Wembley Stadium performance. This film gives you a taste of all the hard work that P!nk and her team put into every performance. Plus, it shows how she balances her profession with being a mother of two and being absolutely great at both.

The beginning of P!nk: All I Know So Far pulled me in immediately as it gave me the feeling that I was about to see something incredible. And, I was one hundred percent right; I love everything about this documentary. I loved seeing the honest and hardworking P!nk on screen. She conveys how hard being the boss can be, especially as a woman in this industry. In P!nk's case, her team respects her and is committed to perfecting their performance as they practice dance moves and rework blocking to make things easier on P!nk. This film shows you that Pink is just as human as the rest of us. She may be a singer with many hits, but at the end of the day, she is back with her family doing what most people do. She wants to be a great mom and that's the main reason she brings her kids on tour with her. Seeing how much P!nk loves her family brings a calm and heartwarming aspect to the film. I learned a lot about P!nk that I didn't know before and that helped me understand her better. I love seeing P!nk give advice to her younger self as well as to her kids. I found myself learning some things to use in my own life. My favorite thing was, "Lead by example, work hard." She does both as she participates in this beautiful but overwhelming business, while absolutely killing it. You might find yourself learning new things about the pop-star P!nk and you will be inspired by what is on screen.

This film really shows audiences how much hard work P!nk puts into her art. We usually only see the final product of P!nk being on stage. This shows the ups and downs she goes through as a performer and how she deals with everything thrown at her.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. P!nk: All I Know So Far can be streamed on Amazon Prime now.

Reviewed by Hazel A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

P!nk: All I Know So Far, a new Amazon concert documentary on the singer, by Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) highlights the daily struggles and fortunate moments through the eyes of Pink, showcasing how she balances being a wife, woman, Grammy-award winning singer and above all, a mother.

The documentary shows Pink during the summer of 2019 as she travels throughout Europe on her "Beautiful Trauma" world visit with her kids and spouse, Carey Hart, a previously proficient motocross competitor. The opening minutes effectively compare two sides of the artist - the brave entertainer swinging on a chandelier-like structure over a swarmed stadium in a dark sparkle leotard and the active mother taking her family from one city to the next.

Beginning in Amsterdam, Pink talks about the road bumps of life on the road and the new struggles with being a mother of two children. She is not only hoping for a wonderful experience on tour for her fans, but also for the moment of a lifetime for her kids. "The only way I can justify dragging my family all over the world is that we are making memories together," she says. It's truly wonderful to see how passionate and dedicated she is in bringing out her best with every performance. However, it's sad to see how much pressure she is put under and how tough she is on herself.

P!nk: All I Know So Far reveals show rehearsals, bike rides through different cities and unplanned moments. These scenes highlight her family's dynamics, showing her open communication with her kids, and showing Pink's parenting style. Pink works hard to foster an inclusive nurturing environment; she wants her children to stay quirky and fun, and she encourages them to be nothing but themselves. P!nk: All I Know So Far doesn't ever get as raw as promised. The film spends far more time telling rather than showing, and uses lots of explanatory narration. I found that a bit distracting and it didn't hold my interest as much as when we actually got to peek behind the scenes of her life. After all, this is a film, not a short story or novel. My favorite parts are the moments when Pink is hanging out with all her background dancers and seeing their connection with Pink's oldest daughter, Willow and her youngest son, Jameson. Of course, getting to see her practice all her stunts and almost flying through the air is exhilarating. She has so much love for everyone she associates herself with and who supports her. One moment that is extremely heartfelt, is when Pink reads messages from her fans. One woman that shared her story and battles told how Pink's music and 'I don't care' attitude has influenced her and ultimately saved her.

This film shows the true meaning of kindness. What I took away from watching it is: you are perfectly perfect just the way you are. You may appear "weird" and "not normal" to others, but do not let them define who you truly are.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It's available now on Amazon Prime Video.
Juror Recommended Age: 11-18 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 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 Friday, June 4, 2021. Save the date!
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOLLYWOOD.CON
HOLLYWOOD.CON - REVERIE ONE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - An actor steals the identity of a producer, and is hurled into Hollywood's next Mayan film. In the jungle of Mexico she is mistaken as a member of a cartel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Hollywood.con because it is a comedic film that is very informative about Guatemalan culture. It contains a lot of funny scenes and is very entertaining.

This film starts off profiling a struggling actress living in Los Angeles. However, after an unexpected turn of events, the protagonist Mika (Mika Boorem) finds herself in Guatemala, working on her first ever producer job. Throughout her time there she experiences many ups and downs, and eventually finds herself. While in Guatemala, Mika and her team encounter some competition in making their film. They must work together to stay competitive, while learning how to respect the values of other cultures.

Something that I really like about this movie is how they include a mix of genres in one film. Not only is it comedic, but it is also mysterious. I love mysterious films and, including humor, makes it that much better. Another thing that I enjoyed are the fun little special effects that are included every so often. They have the right amount to create a fun dynamic, without making it become a live action film.

The message of this film is to always stay true to yourself, even during competitive times. This film does include some profanity.

I give Hollywood.con 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Hollywood.con is available now on Amazon Prime!
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LA MUSICA
LA MUSICA - WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Pack your bags--we're going on a musical adventure! Join Mar�a and a playful group of peers as they embark on a fun-filled journey from Spain to Latin America, singing, dancing, and learning Spanish along the way!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - La Musica promotes interactive engagement between the audience and the lessons on screen. This DVD utilizes the concept of language immersion, which means that, instead of simply using words to teach children a new language, it uses visuals and songs to ingrain Spanish words and phrases. The use of animation, and the overall structure of the DVD creates an easy to understand and enjoyable flow.

I find this immersive concept appealing and engaging. When I learned a new language the teacher just wrote the words on the board in English and then in French. Nothing clicked! This DVD is so much more fun, vibrant and personable. I did not know very much Spanish before watching this and now I have learned some new words over the course of 35 minutes.

I think children will enjoy this DVD because of the songs. They have a good beat and, honestly, are very catchy. The way the main instructor, Maria, speaks to the audience makes it extremely personable and it seems as if children will engage with the welcoming environment she creates.

The DVD flows very well. The structure is that Maria talks to the children who are on-camera with her, but also to the audience, about what they are going to discuss. Maria explains it a little bit more and then invites one of her friends to sing a song about it. After each song, she reflects a bit about it and then the process repeats. There is not much connection with the characters, yet it is still enjoyable to watch them sing in Spanish. The material is suitable for the intended age group. There are times when Maria repeats a phrase or word a couple of times in a row to reinforce the Spanish words, but I believe that is important for 4 to 10-year-olds.

This is all shot using either a green screen or animation. The green screen allows the production freedom to travel virtually to Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. Sometimes it is a bit style-less, but I do not think children will notice. The actor that plays Maria is great. The cover of the DVD is very appealing with its border of a rainbow, and showing Maria dressed in her flamenco outfit. This DVD teaches children not only fundamental Spanish words, but also about the Spanish culture. During one song, Ileana sings about where she is from and gives examples of other countries where Spanish is spoken. There is a map behind her showing native animals of these Spanish speaking countries also. There is not much problem-solving, but there is definitely cultural lessons woven throughout the language lessons.

The message of this DVD is about getting children excited to learn about Spanish culture and the language through interactive engagement, song and dance with the guidance of native speakers.

I give La Musica 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 10, plus adults. Reviewed by Tor F., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the DVD La Musica because it is very entertaining and makes it easy to learn Spanish. I like how children can interact with this DVD while learning Spanish and having fun at the same time.

This DVD has lively Spanish melodies and it includes both Spanish and English subtitles to make it easier for the audience to follow and learn the language. It includes ten Spanish songs and is approximately 35 minutes filled with fun and learning experiences. The graphics and backgrounds are vibrant and colorful as are the characters. The main character, Maria, takes the audience on a Spanish sing-along adventure around the world with the help of Fritzi the mouse and the rest of the playful cast as they journey from Spain to South America. This DVD includes a lot of singing, dancing, stomping, clapping, solving riddles, helping Maria find Fritzi and figuring out what the next dance will be as you learn the language. The music is very appealing and catchy.

Whistlefritz is creator of this language learning DVD. Their Spanish for Kids DVDs, CDs and lesson plans have received more than 100 national honors and awards from most respected organizations in children's media. My favorite part of La Musica is that it incorporates some songs from the Spanish CD, Buenos D�as! Learning Songs which I had the pleasure to review in 2020. This DVD takes some of the songs from Buenos D�as! And turned them into scenes. My favorite scene is "Se Habla Espa�ol."

La Musica is the latest DVD release in the award-winning Spanish for Kids series. It is an excellent tool for non-Spanish speakers or for young children to learn Spanish as a second language.

I give La Musica 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 3 to 18, plus adults. La Musica DVD is available now in stores and digital download. You can visit the Whistlefritz website at www.whistlefritz.com to keep updated about their DVDs, CDs and other programs.

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

Whistlefritz has done it again with their newest Spanish language DVD, La Musica. La Musica is an exciting journey through the world of music with easy to learn Spanish songs that make you want to get up and dance along! With a fun and diverse cast this DVD is a great next step for kids hoping to become more conversational in Spanish.

Maria (Sara Jerez) and her friends put on an outstanding show as they travel around the world on a Spanish adventure. With catchy songs, a fun cast, native speakers, and fun animated characters, this DVD will keep you watching until the end. All elements of La Musica come together to create a great musical experience along with teaching fundamental Spanish that can be used by teachers, parents and kids themselves. There are English subtitles for those that are just beginning to learn Spanish.

This DVD has a fun and colorful feeling that is sure to keep your children entertained. The colorful background and award-winning music all contribute to a great educational film. With just the right amount of education and amusement, it offers a perfect way to help teach your child conversational Spanish. I love La Musica because its light and exciting theme it is perfect for all ages, not just the younger children. My favorite part is when Maria dances a traditional Flamenco dance, because it is so interesting and fun to watch.

The message of La Musica is that education doesn't need to be boring. This DVD shows that you can lighten it up with songs and dance! Even though it may be difficult to learn a new language, anybody can do it, even children!

I give La Musica 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 5 to 10. You can buy this DVD online now.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

La Musica is a short language learning course for kids in a series by Whistlefritz. Presented entirely in Spanish, La Musica is filled with dancing, singing and more. This educational DVD keeps you moving and humming to its catchy tunes. Kids learn how to say numbers, days of the week and many other words in Spanish thanks to the English subtitles. It's a fun way to learn the language.

This 35 minute conversational course features a cast of kids, teens and a host, Maria, who takes viewers on an entertaining adventure while teaching Spanish words and dances. In one scene Maria flamenco dances and wears a traditional Spanish dress which helps kids learn more about Latin culture. La Musica (The Music) also incorporates animated characters, including Rito the fox and Fritzi the mouse, that help viewers navigate the language. My favorite part is when Rito goes shopping at the grocery store. That scene teaches Spanish words for orange, peach, cookie and other tasty foods.

The excitement is at high levels throughout the lessons, which keep the viewer's attention focused on learning Spanish. The teaching method encourages kids to repeat different words, which are easy to note and understand, based on how they are presented. English subtitles are shown throughout so you can translate while the characters speak. As a beginning Spanish learner, I found that this made it a lot easier for me to understand and found this DVD very newcomer-friendly.

I recommend La Musica for ages 5 to 10, but older kids may find it useful as a fast review or study tool. This course is sure to capture your attention and you too will soon be speaking Espanol. This is available from Whistlefritz at www.whistlefritz.com and online wherever DVDs are sold.

By Ava H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 35 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR
P!NK: ALL I KNOW SO FAR - AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - A behind-the-scenes look at P!NK as she balances family and life on the road, leading up to her first Wembley Stadium performance on 2019's "Beautiful Trauma" world tour.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I was intrigued by P!nk: All I Know So Far and enjoyed each and every second of it, from its realistic aspect to the behind-the-scenes showing them working on the performances. We see that P!nk loves her family just as much as she loves performing and how she makes time for both. Each and every part of this documentary is amazing.

This documentary gives the audience an inside peek into the life of P!nk as a performer and a mom, while counting down to one of the biggest moments in her life - her 2019 Wembley Stadium performance. This film gives you a taste of all the hard work that P!nk and her team put into every performance. Plus, it shows how she balances her profession with being a mother of two and being absolutely great at both.

The beginning of P!nk: All I Know So Far pulled me in immediately as it gave me the feeling that I was about to see something incredible. And, I was one hundred percent right; I love everything about this documentary. I loved seeing the honest and hardworking P!nk on screen. She conveys how hard being the boss can be, especially as a woman in this industry. In P!nk's case, her team respects her and is committed to perfecting their performance as they practice dance moves and rework blocking to make things easier on P!nk. This film shows you that Pink is just as human as the rest of us. She may be a singer with many hits, but at the end of the day, she is back with her family doing what most people do. She wants to be a great mom and that's the main reason she brings her kids on tour with her. Seeing how much P!nk loves her family brings a calm and heartwarming aspect to the film. I learned a lot about P!nk that I didn't know before and that helped me understand her better. I love seeing P!nk give advice to her younger self as well as to her kids. I found myself learning some things to use in my own life. My favorite thing was, "Lead by example, work hard." She does both as she participates in this beautiful but overwhelming business, while absolutely killing it. You might find yourself learning new things about the pop-star P!nk and you will be inspired by what is on screen.

This film really shows audiences how much hard work P!nk puts into her art. We usually only see the final product of P!nk being on stage. This shows the ups and downs she goes through as a performer and how she deals with everything thrown at her.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. P!nk: All I Know So Far can be streamed on Amazon Prime now.

Reviewed by Hazel A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

P!nk: All I Know So Far, a new Amazon concert documentary on the singer, by Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) highlights the daily struggles and fortunate moments through the eyes of Pink, showcasing how she balances being a wife, woman, Grammy-award winning singer and above all, a mother.

The documentary shows Pink during the summer of 2019 as she travels throughout Europe on her "Beautiful Trauma" world visit with her kids and spouse, Carey Hart, a previously proficient motocross competitor. The opening minutes effectively compare two sides of the artist - the brave entertainer swinging on a chandelier-like structure over a swarmed stadium in a dark sparkle leotard and the active mother taking her family from one city to the next.

Beginning in Amsterdam, Pink talks about the road bumps of life on the road and the new struggles with being a mother of two children. She is not only hoping for a wonderful experience on tour for her fans, but also for the moment of a lifetime for her kids. "The only way I can justify dragging my family all over the world is that we are making memories together," she says. It's truly wonderful to see how passionate and dedicated she is in bringing out her best with every performance. However, it's sad to see how much pressure she is put under and how tough she is on herself.

P!nk: All I Know So Far reveals show rehearsals, bike rides through different cities and unplanned moments. These scenes highlight her family's dynamics, showing her open communication with her kids, and showing Pink's parenting style. Pink works hard to foster an inclusive nurturing environment; she wants her children to stay quirky and fun, and she encourages them to be nothing but themselves. P!nk: All I Know So Far doesn't ever get as raw as promised. The film spends far more time telling rather than showing, and uses lots of explanatory narration. I found that a bit distracting and it didn't hold my interest as much as when we actually got to peek behind the scenes of her life. After all, this is a film, not a short story or novel. My favorite parts are the moments when Pink is hanging out with all her background dancers and seeing their connection with Pink's oldest daughter, Willow and her youngest son, Jameson. Of course, getting to see her practice all her stunts and almost flying through the air is exhilarating. She has so much love for everyone she associates herself with and who supports her. One moment that is extremely heartfelt, is when Pink reads messages from her fans. One woman that shared her story and battles told how Pink's music and 'I don't care' attitude has influenced her and ultimately saved her.

This film shows the true meaning of kindness. What I took away from watching it is: you are perfectly perfect just the way you are. You may appear "weird" and "not normal" to others, but do not let them define who you truly are.

I give P!nk: All I Know So Far 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It's available now on Amazon Prime Video.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HERE TODAY
HERE TODAY - STAGE 6 FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - When veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz meets New York street singer Emma Payge, they form an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of love and trust.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Here Today is different from any film I have ever watched before, with lots of humor and scenes more suited for older kids and adults.

When veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz (Billy Crystal) meets New York street singer Emma Payge (Tiffany Haddish) and they form a different and hilarious friendship that is carried throughout the film. It proves that different ages can't stop friendship and makes us believe in love and trust.

There are quite a few amazing things in this film. At the very beginning there is a scene where Charlie is walking all the way to his work. This scene is important because Charlie has Dementia and can't always remember things, so he needs a route with familiar markers so he knows where he is going. This comes into play later when there is a scene where he is told to take a detour and he doesn't know how to get to work that day because he is told to take a different route. There is a church scene with lots of people, which was impressive. The amount of extras needed to make that scene would be tremendous. There are also flashbacks and scenes where we see the past when Charlie is writing. I love the location near the end when they are in a forest. These scenes look like a dream, and their clarity impressed me. One of my favorite scenes is when the company Charlie works for is making a news report and Charlie comes in and says the guy hosting the show is saying all the words wrong and Charlie makes an unintentional comedic remark.

The message of this film is that friendship and love can topple all. Parents should know that there are some inappropriate scenes such as a scene where they stick an EpiPen in and do it wrong and Emma has an allergic reaction she looks kind of creepy which might scare some kids and some profanity.

I give Here Today 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film opens in theaters Friday, May 7, 2021. Check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
1971: THE YEAR THAT MUISIC CHANGED EVERYTHING
1971: THE YEAR THAT MUISIC CHANGED EVERYTHING - APPLE TV
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - In a tumultuous era, 1971 would be a year of musical innovation and rebirth. Fueled by the political and cultural upheaval of the time, fresh talent exploded onto the scene, stars reached new heights, and boundaries expanded like never before. Watch 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, now on Apple TV+. This eight-part docuseries will take you back to the birth of the most original artists and songs that we still listen to 50 years later, including never-before-seen footage of The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is a beautiful docuseries capturing the reality of a year that Baby Boomers and members of Generation X lived through. In this series, the blooming of unique soundtracks in a turbulent time is captured gracefully, using archival footage and interviews plus voiceovers from influential and iconic figures of the '70s.

The eight-part docuseries focuses on the musicians and soundtracks that shaped the culture and politics of 1971; featured artists include The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed... and even Ravi Shankar. 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything goes to great depth (each episode lasts from 40 to 60 minutes) to illustrate how these musical icons were influenced by the changing tides of history, including the Vietnam War, and how they used their work to inspire hope and change in their not-always-beautiful world. From politically-tinted songs to dreams of unity, the show runs the gamut of songs and emotions. It's truly a beautifully-executed series, though it tends to drag about three quarters of the way into each episode.

The series comes from a filmmaking team that includes figures from documentaries like the Academy Award-winning 'Amy,' and so you know it's going to be an awesome piece of work. Asif Kapadia is the show's series director and serves as executive producer along with James Gay-Rees, David Joseph, and Universal Music Group's Adam Barker. And this undertaking truly is a team effort; the production team has meticulously picked snippets of interviews, radio broadcasts, film from the recording booth and performances, and more, all from 1971, and pieced them together to tell a beautiful, intricate story. As you watch more and more of the show, you begin to get sucked into the world that is being portrayed on screen, a surefire sign that the minds behind 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything did lots of things right! Despite the show dragging a bit here and there, your eyes will surely be glued to the screen whenever you watch the series.

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is about resilience and inspiration, or rather inspiration through resilience. As these incredible musicians weathered the tempest that was the titular year, they funneled their energy toward releasing uplifting and rousing music that would echo with the general populace; they truly seized the opportunity. And I feel that it's a great parallel to 2020 and now 2021; certainly, music has played a major part in getting us through the pandemic, and who knows? Maybe 40 years down the road, we'll see a film about 2020: The Year That Music Changed Everything... Again.

I give 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything 4.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything releases May 21, 2021, on Apple TV+!

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 14-19 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUSTICE SOCIETY: WORLD WAR 11
JUSTICE SOCIETY: WORLD WAR 11 - WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11 - 18
Description - The Justice Society of America , a group of heroes aiding the allies in World War 2, acquire an ally from the future who sends them on an adventure that changes history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What could possibly go above and beyond the Scarlet Speedster himself? Justice Society: WWII! This new action-packed, animated feature film packs much more than a super-sonic punch; showing crazy character development and fascinating emotional exploration. The film relives a classic art style that will not only make you feel nostalgic, but continuously make you feel like you are on the edge of your seat, dying to find out what will happen next. The movie extinguishes any sense of repetitive stories; providing new never seen before action.

Justice Society: WWII follows everyone's favorite speedster, the Flash (Matt Bomer), as he accidentally uses his speed to travel to WWII, finding himself in a cluster of situations. When he meets Wonder Woman (Stana Katic) and proves his loyalty, the Flash must fight his way next to the Justice Society to defeat the Nazis and find his way home. Every character exceeds expectations, yet Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru) and Hawkman (Omid Abtahi) are truly the "scene stealers," demonstrating remarkable chemistry that you will never forget.

Justice Society: WWII pushes the boundaries for modern day 2D animation. The action scenes really display the power of animation and how real it can seem. At times you forget you are even watching a movie because the animation is so immersive and hypnotizing. Another exquisite subtle detail about the movie is the writing. Jeremy Adams and Meghan Fitzmartin wrote a story exploring new angles of these classic characters that we have never seen before. Although the writing is extremely on point; the time period falls short. Throughout the film the WWII time period feels a little sugar-coated and doesn't really demonstrate the impact of the violence during that time. Justice Society: WWII soars faster than Jay Garrick does, checking all the boxes with extravagant character development and extraordinary animation you will never get tired of.

The film has themes of friendship, and the idea that you can do anything you want if you work as a team. It is rated PG-13 for violence and some bloody images. The WWII time period brings with it many sensitive topics, animated violence and some mild curse words. The film can be intense at times, really targeting its viewership to older DC fans.

Justice Society: WWII is clearly one of the best DC animated films, therefore I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can find Justice Society: WWII on Blu-Ray or your nearest digital retailer, so make sure to check it out!

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Justice Society: World War II is a good film because it mixes the superhero genre with real life. The film features some classic heroes like Wonder Woman (Stana Katic), Superman (Darren Criss) and Flash (Matt Bomer) and has them in a real life time period. The animation is a little different from what I expected with Flash appearing older than Superman and Wonder Woman's face not as soft, her voice deeper and her mannerisms more robotic.

The story follows a group called the Justice Society of America aiding the allies during World War II. While on the mission they meet a hero from the future, Flash, from and team up with him in order to end the war and help him return home. As they work to assist the allies and rescue innocent citizens, another unexpected war erupts. This all happens as Steve Trevor keeps proposing to Wonder Woman and she keeps saying no because it is not the right time.

This film has a great idea and introduces some retro characters with an updated plot line to a new generation of DC fans. All of the film's voice over actors are terrific. In addition to Stana Katic, Matt Bomer and Darren Criss, we get Omid Abtahi as Hawkman, Elysia Rotaru as Black Canary, Matthew Mercer as Hourman and Chris Diamantopoulos as Steve Trevor. It helps with continuity of these films when some of the same voice actors are used as they are here, especially when other characters are introduced and those characters mirror ones that we already know. In this film, Flash is my favorite character. It was good to see him in a more serious role, even though he still has some classic Flash silliness. Stana's take on a more "take-charge" Wonder Woman is the star of this film. Since this version of Wonder Woman hasn't been around humans as much, she is a bit more aggressive in her tactics.

The message of this film is to not wait to live your life even when other things are going on in the world. Tomorrow is not promised so don't be afraid to do things that make you happy. You can fight for good causes and live your life at the same time.

Justice Society: World War II gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults who love superheroes can watch this as well. Justice Society: World War 11 is available now on digital platforms and Blu-ray/DVD.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CEREBRUM
CEREBRUM - SP DISTRIBUTION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - An artist agrees to help his estranged father work on a memory-transfer technology that would help Alzheimer's patients. However, when his dad dies under mysterious circumstances, he sets out to unravel the truth and further his research.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The new movie Cerebrum is a sci-fi film that gives viewers a sense of what a path to insanity looks like. With an interesting concept, deception and lies, and the pursuit to uncover the truth, Cerebrum will keep your eyes glued to the screen until the end. For thought-provoking, mind-altering entertainment, this is the movie to watch.

Cerebrum is about a man named Tom (Christian James) who returns to his father's home despite their tough, unfavorable relationship. Not long after arriving, Tom finds that his father Kirk (James Russo) is working on creating digital brains so that Alzheimer's patients would never lose their memory. Enticed by a monetary payoff, Tom gives in to his father, agrees to become a guinea pig for this secret, untested procedure, and ends up committing a crime that he can't remember. Working with Chloe (Alexxis Lemire), he has to uncover the truth before it's too late.

This movie has a well-executed tone. The story is chaotic and dangerous, and is complemented by darkness and dusky colors. The setting for most of Cerebrum takes place in a dark and messy lab. This creates tension and gives the movie an eerie feel. Along with the settings, the characters' wardrobe also matches the film's tone. Tom always wears dark colors that match his character's personality and the film's plot. The background music, arranged by Edward Antonio, enhances the sense of conflict. For instance, in one scene where Tom and Andy (Anirudh Pisharody) are fighting outside, the music keeps building and building until the end of their fight. It emphasizes what is going on, which makes the scene more memorable. Although Cerebrum intends to highlight the process of sharing memories between people, the parts of the storyline where people actually exchange minds is somewhat confusing. Even if you are paying close attention, if you miss one thing, you could be thrown off entirely. Despite this, the film kept me interested until the end.

The message of Cerebrum is that the truth will always come out. Even though many people accuse Tom of committing the crime, he still perseveres to uncover what really happened and eventually, others learned the truth as well. There is some profanity, so a parent should be aware of that.

Cerebrum is a captivating film, especially for fans of science fiction. It's definitely unlike anything I've ever seen before. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Cerebrum releases to VOD May 4, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CRAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
CRAPPY MOTHER'S DAY - UNCORK'D ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Three generations of women come together on Mother's Day. Things don't go as planned.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Crappy Mother's Day is sure to get some laughs out of you and it comes out just in time for Mother's Day.

If you think your family is crazy, think again. When three generations of women, Sarah (Kristen Krak), Totie (Jackie Debatin) and Grandma (Vivien Landau) attempt to celebrate Mother's Day, things go from bad to worse - immediately. From a senile grandmother to whacky uncles to a grandpa who is buried in the backyard, keeping the family together for a single day proves a difficult task, especially when Sarah brings her fianc� into the mix. You don't need to be a master chef to figure out that this is a recipe for a really "Crappy Mother's Day."

Director Dan Karlok lets go of the reins and allows slap stick comedy to insert itself at every turn of the movie. Though the comedy is hilarious, some of the scenes are a bit longer than needed and a bit random. The acting is wonderful, making this family look absolutely wacky and wild. None of the relationships seem normal. Kristen Krak, as Sarah, really appears to be the only normal person in the family. Addison Anderson, as James, plays a very fun character that breaks out of his shell as the movie develops. Bill Rutkoski, the crazed fianc� of Totie, is very believable. I certainly wouldn't want him for a stepdad. Vivien Landau plays the perfect mean, old grandma. John Rutkoski and Mike Rutkoski, as Uncle Lenny and Uncle Donny respectively, nail the Planet of the Apes-obsessed uncles. My favorite characters are Grandma and Aunt Sonny (Marie Lenzie) because they are the most entertaining. They are always arguing and fighting in humorous ways, like two old, senile bats that love tormenting each other.

The message that is your family is the only family you have and, as crazy as you think they might be, they love you. Also, when getting married, be prepared for your newly expanded family and find something in common, even if it's just Planet of the Apes boxers. There is profanity, some mature topics and heavy drinking.

I give Crappy Mother's Day 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film releases on VOD May 4, 2021

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



NEW SEARCH

All content ©Copyright 1991-2021 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media

Database search interactivity by NET MAN