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Movie Review: Honk * Honk Should Be Required Watching For Those Who Are Losing Faith In The Goodness Of Humanity And The Beauty Of Companionship

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Movie Review: Honk * Honk Should Be Required Watching For Those Who Are Losing Faith In The Goodness Of Humanity And The Beauty Of Companionship

The power of love shines in this heartwarming tale of friendship and inspiration between an unlikely duo. Cheryl inadvertently befriends a mourning goose, Honk, while recycling in the local park. As the budding friendship blossoms and Cheryl seeks Honk a new home, he becomes a viral sensation capturing the hearts and minds of millions.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Honk is a heartwarming tale of a young goose and his journey through an unpredictable and dangerous time. The amazing Cheryl Alison truly brings the film to life, narrating with emotion and editing in news articles and interviews to help tell the story of the beloved Honk.” Eshaan M. adds, “Honk should be required watching for those who feel like they’re losing faith in the goodness of humanity and the beauty of companionship. Beautiful, raw emotion is captured in a mix of videos that were either collected from social media or filmed by the camera team, but beyond the technical bits of the film, the plot is what shines through.” Tiana S. adds, “Stop what you are doing and check out Honk, a powerful, heartwarming story about a loving friendship that developed between an unlikely duo! It’s a story about friendship, understanding and inspiration. Honk will make you see the world around you differently.” See their full reviews below.

Honk By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Honk is a heartwarming tale of a young goose and his journey through an unpredictable and dangerous time. The amazing Cheryl Alison truly brings the film to life, narrating with emotion and editing in news articles and interviews to help tell the story of the beloved Honk. This documentary will make everyone’s day and empower people to make the right decisions.

This film tells the story of Cheryl Allison’s caretaking of the young Honk through the COVID-19 pandemic. Cheryl portrays herself as a humble, average person who just needed somewhere to go, to escape quarantine’s limits. Along her journey, she discovers the adorable and energetic “Honk The Goose.” Honk forms an attachment to her, and she feels responsible for his well-being. Cheryl and Honk become internet famous, but face many obstacles throughout their time together.

Honk is one of the highest-quality documentaries I’ve seen. Not only is it entertaining and adorable, but it’s also educational. I’ve learned so much about how important each small decision can be. The balance between entertainment and education is excellent, never boring, and always provides the information necessary to understand the events of the documentary. Interviews with experts, shots of Honk and Cheryl’s friendship, and images of news articles help move Honk along. One of my favorite things about this documentary is how Cheryl is using the proceeds of everything she’s doing to raise awareness of geese like Honk and to support places that are making a difference. Honk and Cheryl’s story was, and still is, an inspiration to many. Honk’s Instagram account has over 77,000 followers. Through social media, and through this film, Cheryl hopes to support ducks, geese and other birds. By viewing Honk, you are supporting the Roger Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which is where Cheryl relocated Honk.

The message of Honk is to realize the consequences of your actions. Leaving a bit of fishing line at a shore, or dropping a plastic bottle, is potentially the difference between life and death for geese, ducks or any other animals. Honk educates people about the difference each person can make in their community and demonstrates the importance of learning about different species and how they live. Friendship and finding ways to bounce back from tough times are displayed throughout the film. This sets a bright mood for the majority of Honk, despite there being some serious and sometimes sad moments. Honk is a perfect family film. In addition, animal lovers, particularly bird lovers, will enjoy this film.

I give Honk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Honk on major streaming platforms and DVD beginning November 15, 2022. Remember, every view counts!

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

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

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

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

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

I give Honk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Honk releases November 15, 2022 on digital and DVD.

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

HONK! HONK! Stop what you are doing and check out Honk, a powerful, heartwarming story about a loving friendship that developed between an unlikely duo! It’s a story about friendship, understanding and inspiration. Honk will make you see the world around you differently.

Honk tells the story of Cheryl Allison, who was cleaning up a park during COVID restrictions in 2020, and encountered a friendly, but lonely goose suffering from a great loss, who started following her around. She realized she couldn’t leave him alone there, so she started visiting daily and eventually they became best friends. The goose loved to make loud noises that sounded like honking, so Cheryl named him “Honk.” Their encounters were so unique and such a breath of fresh air, that Honk became a famous internet sensation once Cheryl posted their videos on social media.

Honk highlights how we should be treating other species in our world today. I enjoyed how this documentary is told through real-life experiences, live streams, Zoom calls and TV broadcasts. It helps give a full picture of Cheryl and Honk’s journey. One unexpected concept in the film is how pollution affects animals and their environments. There is one emotional scene where, after Cheryl finds a fishing line around Honk’s foot, she immediately cleans up the park and Honk’s surroundings to protect him. People don’t consider what happens to litter and how it can affect animals. You will experience different emotions while enjoying this film. It is funny watching Cheryl honking at Honk when she is looking for him. Their bond is so charming that Honk became one of the world’s most famous geese. There should be more “Cheryls” and “Honks” in the world.

Honk starts off being just about the loving bond and companionship between Cheryl and Honk. However, it has so many hidden messages — animal cruelty, pollution, friendship and, of course, kindness. We all have to play a part in taking care of our animals, which includes proper treatment when we can longer take care of them and just taking care of the earth, which then helps protect animals. The film forces you to sit back and think, not just about your day-to-day relationships, but also how you treat the planet.

I Honk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Honk on major streaming and cable platforms, plus DVD, starting November 8, 2022.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Movie Review: A Family Matters Christmas * The “Switch-Mas” Spirit Is In The Air With The New Fun Family Film That Makes You Rethink The True Meaning Of Christmas

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Movie Review: A Family Matters Christmas * The “Switch-Mas” Spirit Is In The Air With The New Fun Family Film That Makes You Rethink The True Meaning Of Christmas

Christmas is anything but ordinary when three bickering siblings from a newly blended household cannot see eye to eye. The youngest one, while completing his annual science project, accidentally calls upon the spirit of Christmas. They wake up to find themselves having switched bodies, unable to change back until they learn to spend the holidays together as a loving family.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “The “switch-mas” spirit is in the air with the new film, A Family Matters Christmas! It’s a fun family film that forces you to think about the true meaning of Christmas and shows just how important it is for family to come together and get along.” Mikella G. adds, “This film is truly an enjoyable viewing experience…I really enjoyed the plot; the concept of the characters swapping bodies is really cute, and definitely creates a fun twist for a Christmas movie.” Kendall B. adds, “The message of A Family Matters Christmas is that family is important, whether you are related by blood or not. Throughout the film, Brandon has a hard time learning to love his new siblings, but the body switch really helps him realize what family means.” SaniyaRain F. wraps it up with, “A Family Matters Christmas is a family-friendly, comedic, lesson-learning film that includes a bit of romance. The film is also great to watch if you are, like me, a fan of Christmas miracle stories.” See their full reviews below.

A Family Matters Christmas By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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

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

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

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

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

A Family Matters Christmas By Mikella G, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 16

A Family Matters Christmas is a fun, enjoyable film that really puts you in the Christmas spirit. It teaches an important lesson, while delivering a cute and interesting storyline.

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

This film is truly an enjoyable viewing experience. The cinematographic quality of this film really stands out — the camera work is very clear, and the colors jump. I really enjoyed the plot; the concept of the characters swapping bodies is really cute, and definitely creates a fun twist for a Christmas movie. It’s really interesting to see how they all work things out in the end. Plus, all three actors portray multiple personas in different bodies exceptionally well, as they show us how their switched character might react to a particular situation.

Additionally, the message of the film is really strong. It really emphasizes the importance of family, particularly around Christmas time, and reminds viewers how valuable our families are. This is an important highlight, especially for younger audiences, because it’s something that can sometimes be forgotten.

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

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

A Family Matters Christmas By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

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

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

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

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

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

A Family Matters Christmas By SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

A Family Matters Christmas is a family-friendly, comedic, lesson-learning film that includes a bit of romance. The film is also great to watch if you are, like me, a fan of Christmas miracle stories. The film digs deep into the story of Alternis (Stephen Fischer), The Christmas Spirit who teaches lessons to all the kids who need them. Aiden (Randy Vince), a ten- year- old kid who is a science wizard, just wants his new family to be close for the New Year and the upcoming year. His older siblings, Emily (Cheyenne Cummings) and stepbrother Brandon (Chase Drewery) are not on the same page about anything and it makes everything worse, so as Aiden keeps experimenting with potions he gives up on the idea of making everything right but Alternis does not sit back and allow this to happen.

This movie has funny scenes and you never know what happens next; whenever Alternis makes an entrance, you always wonder where he is going to come from next. An important theme of the film is that family does matter and will always be there for you. At the very beginning you see the family’s drama and how most of them don’t connect with one another. It makes them depressed and, in the end, all the characters change as they connect with one another. Most of the CGI is not too impressive, although one nifty thing the editors use is a book image to segue between scenes. The music matches each scene very well especially during the dance scene.

The message of A Family Matters Christmas is to never lose sight of who your family is and always know they matter and will be there for you. There will be times when you don’t get along with them, but in the end they are the people who you can always count on to be there. We are also reminded to put ourselves into someone else’s shoes and see the situation from their point of view.

I give A Family Matters Christmas 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can find it on VOD and DVD beginning November 8, 2022.

Movie Review: Gratitude Revealed * A Thought-Provoking Piece With Gorgeous Footage, But Falters To Keep Viewers Engaged

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Movie Review: Gratitude Revealed * A Thought-Provoking Piece With Gorgeous Footage, But Falters To Keep Viewers Engaged

An epic journey forty years in the making, Gratitude Revealed from acclaimed filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg, the director of cult hit Fantastic Fungi, takes us on a transformational, cinematic Experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude through his intimate conversations with everyday people, thought leaders, and personalities revealing gratitude is a proven pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives; disconnection from ourselves, our planet, and each other.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “A thought-provoking piece, Gratitude Revealed shows promise in its concept and features gorgeous footage, but falters to keep viewers engaged in the film past the midway mark.” See his full review below.

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

A thought-provoking piece, Gratitude Revealed shows promise in its concept and features gorgeous footage, but falters to keep viewers engaged in the film past the midway mark.

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

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

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

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

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Movie Review: The School for Good and Evil * Explores The Boundaries Of Good And Evil With Fast-Paced Action, Constant Comedy And Incredible Visuals

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Movie Review: The School for Good and Evil * Explores The Boundaries Of Good And Evil With Fast-Paced Action, Constant Comedy And Incredible Visuals

Best friends Sophie and Agatha find themselves on opposing sides of an epic battle when they’re swept away into an enchanted school where aspiring heroes and villains are trained to protect the balance between Good and Evil.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “I’m a huge fan of the series, so I was extremely excited when I saw the first trailer for the film. The School for Good and Evil lives up to my every expectation. The casting is spot on; the appearances and personalities of all the characters match the book’s descriptions. In addition, the ideas of what people often think of as “good” are contrasted throughout the film.” See her full review below.

The School for Good and Evil Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

What is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’? Or is there no real difference? The School for Good and Evil explores these boundaries amid fast-paced action, constant comedy and incredible visuals. It is an amazing adaptation of a truly incredible book.

Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie) are best friends, despite having completely different personalities. Sophie loves dresses and flowers and has the style of a princess. Agatha is friendly but prefers darker color clothing and has a less sunny personality. When the two of them hear the supposed myth of The School for Good and Evil, Agatha laughs but Sophie sees an opportunity to change her life and fulfill her dead mother’s wishes. They are taken to the school, but when they’re placed in the wrong schools, Agatha in The School for Good and Sophie in the School for Evil, they’re thrown into a world of surprises.

This film is an adaptation of the first book in The School for Good and Evil series, written by Soman Chainani. I’m a huge fan of the series, so I was extremely excited when I saw the first trailer for the film. The School for Good and Evil lives up to my every expectation. The casting is spot on; the appearances and personalities of all the characters match the book’s descriptions. In addition, the ideas of what people often think of as “good” are contrasted throughout the film. Every detail, however small, perfectly matches the school. At the School for Good the students wear dresses or armor to represent princesses and princes. Its environment is bright, colorful and happy and its classes teach make-up and wish-granting. In contrast, the School for Evil’s environment is dark, gloomy and suspenseful and its classes include uglification and possession of powers. This contrast is important for plot elements later in the film and also creates an interesting environment for the social aspects of the story. There is comedy throughout The School for Good and Evil that helps maintain an intriguing social storyline. The actors play a big part in executing the script’s comedy. Sofia Wylie uses Agatha’s personality to pull off her character’s funny moments. Another element worth mentioning is the beautiful sets and locations. The School for Good and Evil is a magnificent building with spectacular landscapes in the background including a moat, mountains and rivers. The sets of the indoor halls and classrooms match the exterior, providing a perfect background for the story.

The message of The School for Good and Evil is that every person has good and evil in them, and it is up to you to decide how you want yourself to be represented. By the end of the film, certain characters begin to realize that “good” or “evil” doesn’t have to define them. Friendship is emphasized by the film’s two protagonists, who ride an emotional rollercoaster throughout the film. There is one scene in which minor inappropriate language is used. There are also scary and intense moments.

I give The School for Good and Evil 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The School for Good and Evil on Netflix beginning October 19, 2022.

Movie Review: Black Adam * Action-Packed Movie With Insane Fight Scenes, Unexpected Plot Twists And Just The Right Amount Of Humor

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Movie Review: Black Adam * Action-Packed Movie With Insane Fight Scenes, Unexpected Plot Twists And Just The Right Amount Of Humor

Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods–and imprisoned just as quickly–Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Black Adam is an action-packed movie filled with insane fight scenes and unexpected plot twists. The CGI looks virtually flawless, and the world-building is so detailed.” Ethan P. adds, “Black Adam includes outstanding performances from Dwayne Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, Joseph Gatt, Jennifer Holland, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Shahi, and Aldis Hodge. There is just the right amount of humor throughout the movie without taking away from the seriousness of the threat of the evil that is present.” Kendall B. wraps it up with, “If you love action-packed superhero movies then Black Adam is the film for you. It has all of that and much more.” See their full reviews and Zoe’s interview below.

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

Black Adam is an action-packed movie filled with insane fight scenes and unexpected plot twists. The CGI looks virtually flawless, and the world-building is so detailed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Movie Review: Catherine Called Birdy * Tackles Gender Norms In The Middle Ages With Tact And Humor, Making It A Great Introduction To Medieval Comedy

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Movie Review: Catherine Called Birdy * Tackles Gender Norms In The Middle Ages With Tact And Humor, Making It A Great Introduction To Medieval Comedy

A 14 year old girl in medieval England navigates through life and avoiding potential suitors her father has in mind.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Lena Dunham’s newest film Catherine Called Birdy tackles gender norms in the Middle Ages with tact and humor…” Heather S. adds, “Catherine Called Birdy is absolutely hilarious! The film is light hearted and funny, with a star-studded cast.”Tiana S. contributes, “Set in England’s medieval era, this movie takes you through a year in the life of teenager who has to use her wits to get out of tough and almost impossible situations.” Selene W. wraps it up with, “Boredom is for the dull-witted”– and the heroine in Catherine Called Birdy is anything but dull-witted! Catherine Called Birdy is relatable to modern audiences and kept me guessing while entertained.” See their full reviews below.

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

ANDREW SCOTT and BELLA RAMSEY star in CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY Photo: ALEX BAILEY © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

Lena Dunham’s newest film Catherine Called Birdy tackles gender norms in the Middle Ages with tact and humor, making it a great introduction to medieval comedy for those of appropriate age to handle the gore and thematic elements.

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

BELLA RAMSEY stars in CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY Photo: ALEX BAILEY © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

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

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

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

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

JOE ALWYN and BELLA RAMSEY star in CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY Photo: ALEX BAILEY © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

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

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

This film is as hilarious as it is sweet. Catherine and her family are witty and messy. Catherine is a strong young girl, ready to make the best out of her situation. She loves her family and her friends, which makes audiences love her. Meanwhile, her father, Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott), is the funniest man in England. He’s funny and crude, his comedic timing is on point. Each character has their own kind of humor, which adds to their dynamic.

BELLA RAMSEY, LENA DUNHAM, and ISIS HAINSWORTH on the set of CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY Photo: ALEX BAILEY © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

The best scenes are when the entire family is together and each one tries to lie through their teeth and diffuse the problems that Catherine has created. The costumes and wardrobe are another factor that makes this film a success. Each dress and accessory is elaborate and glamorous, effortlessly beautiful. Every Lord and Lady, members of nobility, has robes and layered dresses, showing their status as the elite rich. The wedding outfits are exquisite. The soundtrack is extremely creative. Modern songs are included with genres ranging from pop to rock. These tunes aren’t overused and fit perfectly into the story and add more emotion.

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

I give Catherine Called Birdy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Catherine Called Birdy releases globally on Prime Video October 7, 2022.

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

BELLA RAMSEY stars in CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY Photo: ALEX BAILEY © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Movie Review: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile * Funny; Contagious Music; The Love And Care For One Another Is Beautiful

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Movie Review: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile * Funny; Contagious Music; The Love And Care For One Another Is Beautiful

Based on the best-selling book series by Bernard Waber, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, starring Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem, Constance Wu and Shawn Mendes, is a live-action/CGI musical comedy that brings this beloved character to a new, global audience. When the Primm family (Wu, Scoot McNairy, Winslow Fegley) moves to New York City, their young son Josh struggles to adapt to his new school and new friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle – a singing crocodile (Mendes) who loves baths, caviar and great music-living in the attic of his new home. The two become fast friends, but when Lyle’s existence is threatened by evil neighbor Mr. Grumps (Brett Gelman), the Primms must band together with Lyle’s charismatic owner, Hector P. Valenti (Bardem), to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places and there’s nothing wrong with a big singing crocodile with an even bigger personality.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is an outrageous musical movie that the whole family will adore, especially those who have read the Lyle the Crocodile books.” Keila V. adds, “This movie is funny; the music is contagious; and the love and care of one another is beautiful. The special effects and scenes of the film are incredible! What I love about the film is how Lyle the Crocodile (Shawn Mendes), with his special talent changes the lives of the main characters in the film.” Sariah R. wraps it up with, “! What makes this film so funny is that Lyle is a crocodile that can literally dance, cook and sing. Lyle, as baby, reminds me of my dog when he was a tiny puppy! Lyle as a grown-up has unexpected qualities; we didn’t expect him to be that shy, knowing he’s a beautiful singer.” See their full reviews below.

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

(l to r) Mrs. Primm (Constance Wu), Josh Primm (Winslow Fegley), Lyle (Lyle the Crocodile) and Hector (Javier Bardem) slurp up an ice cream sundae in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE. Photo by: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is an outrageous musical movie that the whole family will adore, especially those who have read the Lyle the Crocodile books.

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

(l to r) Lyle (Lyle the Crocodile), Mrs. Primm (Constance Wu), Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem) and Josh Primm (Winslow Fegley) ride a pedal bike in New York in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE. Photo by: Sarah Shatz

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

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

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

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile By Sariah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Lyle takes a trip through New York in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE. Photo by: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, based on the beloved children’s book by Bernard Wabar, is an absolutely funny, and amazing film! What makes this film so funny is that Lyle is a crocodile that can literally dance, cook and sing. Lyle, as baby, reminds me of my dog when he was a tiny puppy! Lyle as a grown-up has unexpected qualities; we didn’t expect him to be that shy, knowing he’s a beautiful singer.

The storyline follows magic man Hector (Javier Bardem) trying to get his magic show produced. He is inspired to find something different, something amazing, so he goes to a pet store to find an exotic animal. Suddenly he hears beats and beautiful singing coming from the back room. Imagine his surprise when he finds a moving, grooving crocodile, Lyle (Shawn Mendez)!

Lyle the crocodile in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE.

This film kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! The storyline is super fun and bubbly. I admire how Lyle is able to bring Josh’s mom (Constance Wu), Dad (Scoot McNairy) and Josh (Winslow Fegley) closer together as a family. Even though Lyle is made by CGI he looks so real. What stands out to me most is the super fun and outgoing soundtrack. The songs and the music make me want to sing out loud throughout the whole movie. My favorite part of the film is the ending when Josh and Lyle go up on stage in front of a big audience, at a Broadway theater and they accomplished something very magnificent together. It is so inspiring. I love how, even though Lyle is a crocodile, Josh still thinks of Lyle as his best friend.

The message of the film is to never discriminate, and remember that anything or anyone can be your friend, no matter what they look like, or how big they are. It just depends where their heart is.

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

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile By Keila V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Lyle looks at Mr. Primm’s wrestling uniform in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE.

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

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

Javier Bardem stars as Hector P. Valenti in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE. Photo by: Fernando Decillis

This movie is funny; the music is contagious; and the love and care of one another is beautiful. The special effects and scenes of the film are incredible! What I love about the film is how Lyle the Crocodile (Shawn Mendes), with his special talent changes the lives of the main characters in the film. It starts with Hector (Javier Barden), a struggling showman who never gives up on Lyle’s talent or his own and, after some bumps, learns the importance of friendship and family. Josh and Lyle become friends in a very awkward way and from then on never want to be separated from each other. Josh’s Mom (Constance Wu) and Dad (Scoot McNairy) can’t believe their eyes when they see Lyle for the first time, and their hearts open wide for the big creature.

Mrs. Primm (Constance Wu) paints a portrait of Lyle in Columbia Pictures LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE. Photo by: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

My favorite scene is when Josh and Lyle sing, without any fear, to the whole city. The trust between them is honest and cute. As in almost every film, a bad guy (and his pet) are around. In this case, Mr. Grumps (Brett Gelman) – a very not fun and unhappy neighbor and his cat, Loretta, who almost destroy the show of a lifetime and a beautiful family. You must see it!

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

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

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Movie Review: Monster High: The Movie * Transports Viewers Into A Fantasy Adventure World, Capturing The Essence Of A Typical High School, But Way More Exciting

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Movie Review: Monster High: The Movie * Transports Viewers Into A Fantasy Adventure World, Capturing The Essence Of A Typical High School, But Way More Exciting

Follows a half human and half werewolf, as she finally finds a place where she fits, but, when a devious plan to destroy Monster High threatens to reveal her identity, she must learn to embrace her true monster heart and save the day.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Hanadie K. comments, “Monster High: The Movie transports viewers into a fantasy adventure world. This film captures the essence of a typical high school, but is way more exciting. You cannot watch this movie without secretly wishing you could enroll as a student.” See her full review and interviews below.

Monster High: The Movie By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Musicals are always a hit or miss for me — they either invoke an uncontrollable cringe response, or completely engulf me in magical melodies. Monster High: The Movie is the latter. Imagine a colossal witch caldron filled with teen drama, hidden secrets, a monster with a vendetta, and true friendship. This film brews a mystical potion, enchanting the audience from beginning to end.

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

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

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

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

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Review: Blue’s Clues & You! Rainbow Puppy Adventures * Great Show For Young Children. The Music Is A Key Factor That Keeps You Entertained

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Review: Blue’s Clues & You! Rainbow Puppy Adventures * Great Show For Young Children. The Music Is A Key Factor That Keeps You Entertained

Rainbow Puppy is a charismatic and confident puppy that literally sparkles rainbow! While she grew up in our Blue’s Clues world, she’s made it Broadway BIG in New York City! With a vibrant personality to match her colorful fur, she has a song in her heart and is always singing and dancing, and is positively bubbling with talent! She can be found performing in musicals, skipping down red carpets and even appearing in music videos! Rainbow Puppy has a flair for drama and fun, exudes passion and positivity, and breaks into song ALL. THE. TIME. With a melody in her heart and a dance in her step, she spreads music and laughter wherever she goes!

Giana N. comments, “The Nickelodeon kids show Blue’s Clues & You is back for yet another adventure with Rainbow Puppy. This DVD is full of captivating and fun episodes for younger children. Rainbow Puppy had such a positive attitude that it makes every episode so enjoyable to watch.” See her full review and interview below.

Blue’s Clues & You: Rainbow Puppy Adventures Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

The Nickelodeon kids show Blue’s Clues & You is back for yet another adventure with Rainbow Puppy. This DVD is full of captivating and fun episodes for younger children. Rainbow Puppy had such a positive attitude that it makes every episode so enjoyable to watch. If you are a Blue’s Clue’s fan or just a person ready for some adventure, you should check this out.

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

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

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

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

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Movie Review: Boonie Bears: Monster Plan * A Mad Scientist, Crazed Hamster & A Forest Full Of Animal Friends In A Lighthearted, Animated Comedy

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Movie Review: Boonie Bears: Monster Plan * A Mad Scientist, Crazed Hamster & A Forest Full Of Animal Friends In A Lighthearted, Animated Comedy

The crazy scientist, Doctor Rex Vector, and his hamster assistant, Mister Pete, return to Pine Tree Mountain with Vector’s new, evil invention: a robo-monster complete with animal abilities. But first, Vector needs to collect these skills. He comes up with a power absorbing gadget, which he often disguises, in order to trap and steal abilities from the innocent animals. Vick, Briar and Bramble, along with other animal friends, must stand up against this “monster plan” of Vector’s. It’s going to be a fierce fight between wild animals and poaching villains.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Entertaining, kid-friendly, and adventurous are just the words to describe the animated film, Boonie Bears: Monster Plan 3! From adorable characters to an amazing animation style, young kids are sure to love watching.” Hanadie K. adds, “What do you get when you combine a mad scientist, a crazed hamster sidekick, a pack of brave bears, and a forest full of animal friends? You get a lighthearted, adorable, funny animated comedy. Boonie Bears: Monster Plan is quirky and fun to watch.” Selene W. wraps it up with, “The animation in Boonie Bears: Monster Plan is really superb. I love the detail and the movement of all the various characters, as well as the beautiful forest backgrounds. There is so much detail and movement in all of the character’s facial expressions.” See their full reviews below.

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Entertaining, kid-friendly, and adventurous are just the words to describe the animated film, Boonie Bears: Monster Plan! From adorable characters to an amazing animation style, young kids are sure to love watching.

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

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

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

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

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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

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

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

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

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

Boonie Bears: Monster Plan By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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

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

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

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

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

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/730539471/e6afae9ccc

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