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Movie Review: Jungle Cruise * Filled With Humor And Adventure; Inspired By The Famous Theme Park

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Movie Review: Jungle Cruise * Filled With Humor And Adventure; Inspired By The Famous Theme Park

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! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “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!” Calee N. adds, “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.” See their full reviews below.

Jungle Cruise

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

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 Lágrimas 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+.

Jungle Cruise

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

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.

Keywords: movie reviews, by kids for kids ,jungle Cruise, Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, dwayne the rock johnson, jungle cruise, jungle cruise movie,disney,2021,the rock, jungle cruise disney, adventure, disneyland resort, walt disney world,entertainment,new movies 2021,the magic kingdom

Penguin Town * You Will Laugh And Cry As You Discover Just How Human-Like Penguins Are

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Movie Reviews
Penguin Town * You Will Laugh And Cry As You Discover Just How Human-Like Penguins Are

You’ve never met penguins like these before. Forget ice and snow, this rowdy colony of African penguins are hitting the sun-drenched beaches and breaking all the rules. Every summer, these tuxedoed birds vie for prime real estate on the sandy shores of Simon’s Town, south of Cape Town, and stir things up. While humans apply sun block and wax their surfboards, these endangered little guys, who have adapted to heat and can travel long distances, are causing traffic jams in the streets and bringing mayhem to this tropical paradise. Their mission: find a mate, make babies and not go extinct! Filled with boisterous shenanigans and loads of adorable penguins — from the troublemaking “Car Park Gang” to the sweet and cuddly newlyweds Mr. & Mrs. C. — this eight-part series about the real lives of African penguins brings flipper-flapping fun and drama. Join the ride … this town is going to get painted black and white!

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S., comments, “I love Penguin Town! It has great narration, interesting stories and is educational. You will laugh and you will cry in this eight-episode docu-series. The messages here are: 1. protect and conserve wildlife, and 2. with the power of family, you can do anything. Tiana S. adds, “Penguin Town is far beyond just another penguin docu-series! It’s hilarious as well as being educational. After all, it is narrated by comedian Patton Oswalt. This film shows just how human-like penguins’ lives are when it comes to survival, searching for food and protecting their children. The only difference is that they are in a more hazardous environment.” See their full reviews and interview with the producer and director below.

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Penguin Town

Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

https://youtu.be/jA2qZy_HBtE

I love Penguin Town! It has great narration, interesting stories and is educational. You will laugh and you will cry in this eight-episode docu-series. This show follows the rowdy colony of endangered South African Penguins in the beautiful beach town, Simon’s Town, who forget the snow and flock to the sun. We follow the lives of newborns as they grow and then raise families of their own.

There are eight episodes in this show, each running about 25 minutes. Penguin Town is narrated by Patton Oswald, an excellent narrator who is goofy at some points and serious at others. The writing is very comedic, relatable and personifies the penguins. There are cliff-hangers at the end of episode, so you can’t wait to watch the next one. All the penguins have very clever names, based on where they live such as Car Park Gang, the Courtyards and the Wheelbarrows. My favorite penguin family is the Bougainvilleas because they would do anything for their kids.

The messages here are: 1. protect and conserve wildlife, and 2. with the power of family, you can do anything. Of course, having kids is a LOT of work. There is some on-screen mating, sad parts and intense fights and deaths, so sensitive people may not like this.

I give Penguin Town 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8-18, plus adults. This show will be available on Netflix beginning June 16, 2021.

Penguin Town

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

https://youtu.be/61m0aMhAqlI

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Penguin Town is far beyond just another penguin docu-series! It’s hilarious as well as being educational. After all, it is narrated by comedian Patton Oswalt. This film shows just how human-like penguins’ lives are when it comes to survival, searching for food and protecting their children. The only difference is that they are in a more hazardous environment.

Penguin Town is an 8-part documentary about the African Penguins, which are an endangered species of penguins that live in Africa. Each part of the series shows the experience of one of the penguin families named: The Bougainvilleas, The Courtyards, The Culverts and even Junior the “misfit” penguin. You get a close up view of how the penguins live, love, learn and grow.

This series is very heart-warming but can also be heartbreaking due to some of the events in the penguins’ lives. My favorite thing about Penguin Town is how the filmmakers named the families based on their homes. For example, the Wheelbarrows live under a wheelbarrow; the Car Park Gang is a group of penguins who are loners, pick on other penguins and actually live in a car park. The camerawork in this film is astonishing. There are mind-blowing close-ups of the penguins, underwater scenes and lots of really cool shots of the penguins in their natural habitats. They truly incorporate plenty of human-like scenes, such as when a group of penguins walk into frame to some hip music as if they are a crew of cool penguins or when a female penguin shakes her head as if she is swinging her hair.

The message of Penguin Town is to not to give up; even if you fail the first time or are nervous, it’s okay! In the series, the penguins might fail at trying to swim the first time, but they keep trying and eventually succeed! A hidden message is how climate change and human activities such as fishing endanger the lives of the African Penguins. Parents should be aware of mild profanity and some intense fighting scenes.

I rate Penguin Town 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, plus adults. If you are someone that loves penguins and want to know more about how they live, this is for you! Penguin Town premieres on Netflix, June 16, 2021.

Gabby Duran & The Unsittables * On The Edge Of Your Seat With So Many Mysteries In Every Episode

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Movie Reviews
Gabby Duran & The Unsittables * On The Edge Of Your Seat With So Many Mysteries In Every Episode

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 Disney NOW. 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! Film Critic Makena P. comments, “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.” See her full review below.

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Makena Parel, Age 12

https://youtu.be/cYDV7Eimiec

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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.

https://youtu.be/tJxKd-g8XYc

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.

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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.

Rainbow Rangers: Rangers to the Rescue! * Shows the Importance of Teamwork

Posted by presspass on
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Movie Reviews
Rainbow Rangers: Rangers to the Rescue! * Shows the Importance of Teamwork

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Seven girls live a rainbow ride away and whenever there’s trouble, the Rangers zoom into action across the sky to save the day! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Bailey Rae F. comments, “Epic! I recommend the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue! because it shows how important is to help others and work as a team. What I like best is how all the girls are adventurous, have different powers and work together to solve problems.” Alexis J. adds, “I love Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! so much!! It made me smile and laugh the whole time. I kept on watching until there were no more episodes left and watched it again. I am sure this DVD will become every little girl’s favorite one!!” Ethan P. wraps it up with, “Each episode’s storyline promotes the idea of “team work makes the dream work.” All seven Rangers help those who are in need. Each one has their own powers, but when work together they are stronger and their job is made much easier.” See their full reviews below.

Rainbow Rangers: Rangers to the Rescue
By Bailey Rae F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Epic! I recommend the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue! because it shows how important is to help others and work as a team. What I like best is how all the girls are adventurous, have different powers and work together to solve problems.

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV show Rainbow Rangers. It follows the Rainbow Rangers who live in Kaleidoscopia. They protect nature and the land. Each of the eight girls has different powers. Their home is full of unicorns, trolls and other creatures that they value greatly. The Rainbow Rangers show up to help wherever they are needed. They are strong, kind, thought and smart leaders. The show is full of unexpected circumstances that the Rainbow Rangers are ready to assist and get things back on track.

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Mandy Orange is my favorite Ranger because she always finds a way to keep things positive. I love how the girls solve problems. Rainbow Rangers is full of girl power. The cinematography and special effects are extraordinary. The production uses vibrant colors and engaging attributes in the characters, down to their costuming. What makes this show stand out is how it empowers girls with very different appearances. I like that the show is inclusive of all types of girls and characters.  My favorite part is when the girls fly off to an adventure to protect the creatures, people and the land of Kaleidoscopia.

The message of the show is to always be considerate and help others. I give the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue!
By Alexis J. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 10

I love Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! so much!! It made me smile and laugh the whole time. I kept on watching until there were no more episodes left and watched it again. I am sure this DVD will become every little girl’s favorite one!!

This DVD is about a group of girls and little cute boy unicorn saving the world!! There are seven main characters, each with different strengths. And there are seven episodes. These girls face challenge issues in each episode and have to use their power to make each other stronger to solve problems.

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The characters include Rosie Redd, Mandarin Orange, Anna Banana and there are many more. They are as adorable as much as their names. My favorite character is Fluff, the magical unicorn. He can magically present yummy treats and share them with his friends. In addition, his hair is awesome like a rainbow. The director Rob Minkoff and the writer Shane Morris have created a unique story as ell as characters. The bright and vivid colors keep your eye on the story every second. And their costumes are just so cute. The main song perfectly matches the characters and stories. It is hard to let it go after hearing a few times.

The message is of this film is to be kind to others, then others will be kind to you. The Rangers all help each other, make each other more powerful and always care about others. I give Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. It is available now on DVD so look for it.

Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue!
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like the Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! DVD because it is an educational and fun animation show, for mostly a girl audience, but boys can enjoy it too.

This DVD is about seven girls who are named Rainbow Rangers. They have colorful hair and space type outfits. Each one of these girls is unique. They each have their own personalities and powers. They live in a place named Kaleidoscopia. The Rangers have wristbands that ring when they are needed. Whenever there is trouble for people or animals on Earth, the Rangers ride a rainbow in their space-type scooters and go to their rescue. They have a unicorn named Floof as a pet that helps them too. This DVD includes eight very exciting episodes filled with adventures. Each episode is approximately eleven minutes long.
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My favorite episode is “Bee Safe,” because it is about a mama elephant and her two baby elephants crashing into a farm, looking for food to feed her babies. The Rangers come to rescue their friend’s, Milika, farm. One of the Rangers finds out the mama elephant is afraid of bees so the Rangers use their powers to protect the farm by constructing small bee houses and placing them in front of Milika’s farm. They tie them all together so the mama elephant will trip on them and all the bees will come out and scare the elephants away. Also, the Rangers find a food source for the elephants so Milika’s farm will be safe from the elephants. This show’s animation is digital, which makes it very neat. The graphics are colorful and bright. The theme song is appealing and very catchy. The voiceovers for each character are great.

Each episode’s storyline promotes the idea of “team work makes the dream work.” All seven Rangers help those who are in need. Each one has their own powers, but when work together they are stronger and their job is made much easier.

I give Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18 plus adults. Even though this animation show is mostly for girls, boys will enjoy it as well.  This DVD is available now so look for it.

Meet Olivier Lelardoux, Director of Award-Winning Series Gigantosaurus

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Interviews
Meet Olivier Lelardoux, Director of Award-Winning Series Gigantosaurus

OlivierLelardoux.Headshot.jpg

Enjoy Zoe C.’s interview with Olivier Lelardoux, Head of Animation / Director at Cyber Group Animation. Lelardoux is the director of the award-winning series Gigantosaurus, Zorro the Chronicles, Zou, Mia, The Legends of Tatonka, Ozieboo Protect the Planet and more.

 

https://youtu.be/DEeM3u3qQBA

 

 

Cyber Group Studios is a Paris-based developer, producer and distributor of animated television series and movies for children in France and internationally. The company produces 3D and 2D animation products for television series and movies, web series, and news and documentaries. It also licenses its own and third-party characters.

 

Olivier Lelardoux has 18+ years of experience in the production of youth programs as director, designer and production designer. Since 2005, he has been at Cyber Group Studios, a company he co-founded, co-owns and co- manages as Head of the studio and Director of the company’s series. Olivier also oversees the external studios in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Kuala Lumpur and Tunis that work on Cyber Group Studios series and spearheads the company’s technology group. Series directed by Olivier have won multiple awards and nominations including:

 

* Awarded series number one on CCTV China

  • 2D3D Film Festival (Italy) 2020 – Gigantosaurus for Best Voice Acting Award
  • Pulcinella Awards 2019 – Best upper-preschool series, Gigantosaurus” Season 1
  • Common Sense Media Seal Honoree 2019 – Gigantosaurus
  • Cynopsis Kids Award 2014 – ZOU Winner new Preschool Series
  • Chicago Animation Festival 2012 – ZOU, 1st Prize, Animated Television Program
  • International Emmy Award 2013 nomination, ZOU
  • TVFI Prix Export 2013 Nomination, Gold Panda (China ) 2013 – Tatonka
  • AET Canada 2010 – Manon – Best Canadian TV Animation Series
  • TVFI Prix Export 2008
  • Shanghai TV Festival – Magnolia Award

 

Previously, Lelardoux worked at Esteban Production (2002 to 2005) as director of TV ads, music videos, motion graphics, TV shows and VFX supervisor. Esteban production is specialized in live action shows for kids. He also worked at BillyWeb (2000 to 2002) as web designer. Olivier was also in charge of creating kids CGI characters for web sites. Olivier’s production expertise spans across production main steps (design, projects development, directing, producing, studio management, budgets and planning). Olivier received a Master degree from the Movie and Animation school ESRA Paris.

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