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Puppy Star Christmas: Touching Delivery of a Very Special Message About The Meaning of Christmas

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Movie Reviews
A song-filled new Air Bud ‘Pup Star’ movie that introduces four new pups to the family, who stow away on
Santa’s sleigh and find themselves trapped at the North Pole, trying to save the world’s Christmas spirit.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “The movie Puppy Star Christmas is a fun and
entertaining holiday family film. It is full of upbeat music, dancing, humor and has a wonderful timeless
message. I absolutely loved every second of this movie and would have stayed to watch it a second time
right then and there!” Nathalia J. adds, “This film delivers a very special message. It’s not about the gifts;
it is about being with family. The pups show that meaning in this film. This touching movie will have you
singing Christmas songs on your way to school, work and perhaps your Christmas recital.” Jolleen M.
adds, “This is a perfect film for everyone in the family. It not only has a good message, but it also is
hilarious and will put you right into the Christmas spirit.” Damon F. wraps it up with, “I am not usually a fan
of musicals, but this movie is better than some that I’ve seen. I really like how the dogs are animated in
this movie. It really looks as if they are actually talking and dancing. That makes the movie as entertaining
as it is.” See their full reviews and cast interviews below
Puppy Star Christmas Official Trailer.mp4.00_00_11_22.Still001.jpg.
Puppy Star Christmas
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
The movie Puppy Star Christmas is a fun and entertaining holiday family film. It is full of upbeat music,
dancing, humor and has a wonderful timeless message. I absolutely loved every second of this movie and
would have stayed to watch it a second time right then and there!
This Pup Star story picks up when Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher) and P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) get married and have
a very adorable litter of puppies that includes Brody, Rosie, Charlie and Cindy. These four pups are
always getting into trouble. Thinking they are on Santa Claus’ “naughty list” for eating the family’s turkey
and pumpkin pie, they head to the North pole with the hope of talking to Santa to get back onto his “nice”
list. While there, they uncover Bark, Kano, Roland and Julio’s scheme to sabotage Pup Star and control
the Christmas spirit. There is a wonderful heartfelt twist at the end with some of the characters that I won’t
give away.
My favorite scene is when P.U.P., played by the extremely talented singer, Mackenzie Sol, and Lou’s dad
Steven, played by David DeLuise, are awaiting the birth of P.U.P.’s four adorable puppies. They are both
so nervous. Steven paces back and forth while giving P.U.P. a “pup” talk. Another one of my favorite
scenes is at the North Pole when the elves and reindeer dance to the uplifting musical number, “This is
the Best Christmas Ever.”
My favorite character is the ever funny Roland, played by Jed Rees, who is always getting into trouble.
Throughout the movie he continually becomes more and more addicted to candy canes. After kidnapping
Santa he also begins to look like Santa Claus
The music, songs and singing voices of Kaitlyn Maher and Mackenzie Sol are pup-tastic and will melt
your heart. Listening to the music made me feel as if I wanted to jump up from my seat, start dancing and
sing along. The special effects include talking animals and dancing reindeers that look amazingly real.
The heartfelt message of this Christmas story is about the importance of spending time with family, being
grateful not greedy and second chances. This joyous fun family film is perfect for ages 3 to 18, as well as
adults because of its universal and timeless messages. It will definitely put us all in the holiday spirit and I
give it 5 out of 5 Puppy Stars. It’s available on Netflix November 20, 2018 so look for it.
PuppyChristmasC.jpg
Puppy Star Christmas
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
“It is Christmas in the heart, that puts Christmas in the air!” once said W.T Ellis. Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way. Yup, it’s Christmas time – presents, cookies, family and vacation time. This astonishing,
touching, intriguing, heart-warming, well-intentioned and adorable movie is directed by Robert Vince and
written by Pier Rae and Robert Vince.
This film follows Tiny and P.U.P whose four new pups take a trip into the dark night sky with a special
guest named Santa Claus. Trouble comes with they find themselves with the evil dog Bark and trapped at
the North Pole. The pups get saved, but you’ll have to see the movie to know how. This song-filled new
Air Bud “Pup Star” movie will have you enjoying the Christmas spirit.
The lead characters in this film are Tiny (voiced by Kaitlyn Maher), P.U.P (voiced by Mackenzie Sol), Lou
(Mackenzie Moss), Santa Claus (Richard Riehle), Rosie (voiced by Vivienne Rutherford) and
complemented by many more
My absolute favorite part of this film, without giving anything away, is when the Christmas spirit is saved. I
love how the four pups set on a quest to find Santa Claus and recover the true meaning of Christmas with
the help of their family. I think this part of the film will charm many because of the huge heart the little
pups have!
This film delivers a very special message. It’s not about the gifts; it is about being with family. The pups
show that meaning in this film. This touching movie will have you singing Christmas songs on your way to
school, work and perhaps your Christmas recital.
I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, as well as adults. This film will release
exclusively on NETFLIX on November 20, 2018. Make sure to check it out!
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Puppy Star Christmas
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This is a perfect film for everyone in the family. It not only has a good message, but it also is hilarious and

will put you right into the Christmas spirit.
In the film, Tiny and P.U.P. get married and shortly after, they have four pups named Charlie, Rosie,
Cindy and Brody. Tiny and P.U.P are busy and aren’t able to spend much time with their new pups. The
pups become a little rebellious and decide it is a good idea to sneak onto Santa’s sleigh when he visits
their parents’ show. This causes them to get stuck at the North Pole and leaves everyone worried.
Meanwhile, they don’t know that the real Santa has been captured and replaced by their old enemy who
wants to destroy Christmas.
Kaitlyn Maher, Mackenzie Moss and Mackenzie Sol are back again for Pup Star’s fourth film! They excel
in showing the pups’ emotions with their voice acting, as always. We also have some new voice actors for
the puppies – Dillon Fontana, Vivienne Rutherford, Chloe Coleman and Oakley Bull. They all sound sassy
and super adorable! They have the perfect voices for the cute pups.
Since Tiny, P.U.P. and the pups have to go on stage a lot, they wear many different outfits. All of their
outfits are very stylish and unique! I wish they sold costumes like those so I could get them for my dog. I
love how the costumes match each puppy’s unique characteristics. Even though they all look very similar,
it helps to have them in different outfits so you know who is who. The animation of the dogs is amazing. It
matches well with the voice of the actors. There are also scenes where the dogs are animated to dance.
That is hilarious. They have a lot of talent.
My favorite scene was the one after Tiny and P.U.P. said their vows. The people and the dogs got up and
started dancing. The dogs go crazy with their moves. I was really impressed.
The message of this film is all about the meaning of the true Christmas spirit. Some people believe that
Christmas is only about getting gifts. People become greedy and only like Christmas for the presents.
This film teaches that Christmas is a time of giving, sharing and getting along with others. It is about
spending time and reconnecting with your family. Even though this is message is promoted in other
Christmas films, it is still an important moral that some people don’t seem to understand.
This is the fourth film in the Pup Stars series and definitely lives up to the other ones. I give this film 4 out
of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. If you haven’t checked out the first three films, be sure to
check those out as well as this one! Puppy Star Christmas comes out on Netflix on November 20, 2018.
Look for it!
Puppy Star Christmas
Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
PuppyChristmasB.jpg
I am not usually a fan of musicals, but this movie is better than some that I’ve seen. I really like how the
dogs are animated in this movie. It really looks as if they are actually talking and dancing. That makes the
movie as entertaining as it is.

Puppy Star Christmas is a Christmas themed sequel to Pup Star 2 that follows the Pup Star company makin

a Christmas special right after Tiny has puppies. The movie follows the pup’s parents getting
ready for Christmas. It also focuses on the pups as they carry out some crazy ideas and plans that
sometimes get them into trouble. For example, the pups decide to go to the North Pole to meet Santa, but
while trying to do that, some evil dogs are trying to take over Christmas! Tiny and the Pup Star staff are
working on the Christmas special while searching for the missing pups.
The four new members to the Pup Star family are Brody (Dillon Fontana), an adventurous little pup that
thinks of something fun to do and his sisters usually follow. Rosie (Vivienne Rutherford) is the pup who
always thinks of herself as the star of everything. Cindy (Oakley Bull) is the pup who knows when
something will go wrong, but none of her siblings ever listen to her. Last is Charlie (Chloe Coleman), the
sarcastic one, who has some of the best lines.
My favorite scene in this movie is when the elves sing “The Worst Christmas Ever,” while the villains think
they are singing the same thing as they are – “The Best Christmas Ever.” Another good scene is when the
reindeers bring Roland to the Pup Star stage. The reindeers are doing loop the loops, while going as fast
as they can, just to be mean to Roland. My favorite character is Brody, because he is adventurous and he
loves to eat, just like me. He also comes up with a bunch of crazy ideas that get him in trouble, but I don’t
think he will ever learn. For example, in the beginning of the film Brody tries to eat both the turkey and the
pumpkin pie. That really gets him into trouble.
The message of this movie is that Christmas isn’t just about the gifts; it is about being with family. The
pups show that throughout the entire film. I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to
18, because it is an amusing movie that shows the meaning of Christmas in a great way. I think adults will
enjoy watching this film with their children. This movie will be available exclusively on Netflix on
November 20, 2018 so look for it!
Photos ©Air Bud Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

Little Wolf’s Book of Badness – Unique and Unexpected with a Spiral of Surprises!

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Movie Reviews
LittleWolf.jpg
All Little Wolf wants to do is stay at home with Mum, Dad and his brother, Smellybreff. However, Mum
and Dad are worried that their precious son, Little Wolf, is not as bad as a small wolf should be. So they
decide to send him off to Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his
Uncle Bigbad. Uncle Bigbad is a hopeless teacher, but armed with determination and native wit, Little
Wolf thinks things out for himself. Sent out by his Uncle to round up a troop of boy scouts to eat for
supper, Little Wolf discovers that the scouts have many useful skills that Little Wolf can learn from them.
In the end, Little Wolf decides not to follow outdated rules of proper wolf behavior but to be true to himself.
As a result, he inherits his Uncle’s fortune and becomes master of Cunning College. Based on a world-
famous series of best-selling Little Wolf story books, this one-off is a treat for the whole family! KIDS
FIRST! Film Critic Sahiba K. comments, “With its spiral of surprises, I never could predict what would
happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and
Little Red Riding Hood.” Dariana A. adds, “Little Wolf’s Book of Badness is a very odd type of film. It’s not
your typical Dora the Explorer type of kids’ show, which is good because there are too many of those
types of shows out there.” Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer wraps it up with, “! I love the fact
that this is a little story where we actively see a child decide who they want to be and being so
proud of themselves. This is the kind of feel good story that every child needs to watch.” See
their full reviews below.
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
https://youtu.be/1Dc0BM4oa8E
Little Wolf and Uncle Bigbad do charming.jpg
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness, directed by Karsten Kiilerich, is unique and unexpected! With its spiral of
surprises, I never could predict what would happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on
common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.
The story follows Little Wolf (Alexander Pownall), who is not bad enough for his family. So his Mum (Lucy
Whybrow) and Dad (Richard Hope) send him on a journey to Cunning College to learn from his Uncle
Bigbad how to be a true bad wolf. On his quest, he learns the ‘Nine Rules of Badness.’
Alexander Pownall, the voice actor for Little Wolf, creates personality through his voice. His voice is high,
making it sound like that of a young child. As Little Wolf ventures through the woods to reach Cunning
College, I heard the fear in his voice and sympathized with him. When he writes letters back to his family
and reads them, I heard the unwillingness to be where he was and the sense of defeat just through his
voice. Michael Gambon, voice actor for Uncle Bigbad, has terror in his voice that gave me goose bumps.
For example, when he is first introduced and he speaks, I knew Little Wolf was going to have a tough time
in Cunning College.
The animation is dark but appealing. It sets the tone of the movie as it reflects Little Wolf’s feelings. For
example, when Little Wolf feels that his trip was a waste of time and nothing good will come out of his
journey, the scenery is dark, it is raining and there are shadowy clouds looming above him. The costume
designs add to the personalities of each character. For example, Little Wolf has simple clothes that are
similar to a schoolboy’s outfit, reflecting what his purpose is in the movie. Uncle Bigbad wears a grey suit,
with a yellow shirt and blue tie which reflects his personality as an evil wolf but also one who has the
potential to have color or goodness in his life.
My favorite part of this show is the animation. The type of animation that is used made me feel as if I was
watching my own imagination. The message here is that goodness will always outshine darkness. I give
this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. This is available on DVD now so check it
out.
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness
By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11
https://youtu.be/0_pw7X1cwzE
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness is a very odd type of film. It’s not your typical Dora the Explorer type of kids’
show, which is good because there are too many of those types of shows out there. This is a story and a
good story at that. It teaches kids through a wolf who is supposed to be bad, but wants to be good.
The storyline is about Little Wolf who just wants to stay at home with his family, but his parents don’t think
he’s bad enough to live up to the Wolf family name. So, they send Little Wolf to Cunning College to learn
the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Big Bad. But it turns out Uncle Big Bad isn’t such an amazing
teacher after all.
As I said, the show is pretty great. The animation is wiggles a bit, even when they are standing still. This
is probably intended, but it is kind of distracting. One of the things I really like about this show is its plot
and the simple way it shows the lessons they are trying to teach without even saying so. This is what
makes it a different type of kids’ film. It is also very slow paced. There isn’t very much action. One thing I
wondered about the whole time is why Little Wolf always sneezes when he’s around Mr. Twister. Is he
allergic? Michael Gambon, the voice talent for Big Bad is really cool. David Thewlis voices Mr. Twister,
which is pretty awesome. I know and like both Gamgon and Thewlis from the Harry Potter films. Another
thing I really enjoyed about this film is how scary they make Big Bad. I really was kind of scared when the
character Big Bad came on and yelled at Little Wolf. That is probably my favorite scene because it really
shows who Big Bad truly is.
The message this film teaches is that, even if you’re bad or scary, that doesn’t mean that you are happy. I
rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because it has a cool, different way of teaching kids. I recommend this film
for ages 2 to 6. This film is available now on DVD so, go check it out.
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness
By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
https://youtu.be/UDLz4ikWTy4
Little Wolf.jpg
This is one of the absolutely cutest stories I have ever seen. I have read several of the short
stories that spawned this movie and loved all of them. In this Little Wolf Adventure, his family is
concerned that perhaps Little Wolf isn’t as big, bad and tough as he should be. Their reaction to
this is shipping him off to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle
Bigbad, whom is voiced perfectly by Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter film
series). During his time at the college he continuously struggles with the ideas of being such a
bad wolf, but at the same time he just wants to make his family proud. At one point his uncle
gives him the terrible task of fetching some unsuspecting boy scouts to gobble up. Little Wolf
sees all of these things that the scouts do and decides he wants to learn to do all of these
amazing things himself. He may not be a bad wolf, but he sure is a big wolf now! I love the fact
that this is a little story where we actively see a child decide who they want to be and being so
proud of themselves. This is the kind of feel good story that every child needs to watch. This is
great for ages 7 to 11 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being so cutely inspirational. Reviewed by
Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Octonauts: Season Two – Whether You Love The Ocean Or Not, This Is Filled With Information In A Fun Way!

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Movie Reviews
Octonauts: Season Two – Whether You Love The Ocean Or Not, This Is Filled With Information In A Fun Way!
Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain
Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they
explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats – above
and below the waves!
Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines
immersive visuals and ‘submersive’ humor to transport young children into a world that is both
real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner.<p>In this
season set, encounter all types of creatures from the Great White Shark to Lionfish and more!
The adventures don’t end there! Embark on an Amazon adventure with the Octonauts as they
travel down the Amazon River in search of a lost city and Kwazii’s long-lost grandfather, Calico
Jack! So come aboard the Octopod for 24 exciting missions! Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age
10 comments, “The show is based on American-Canadian children’s books by Meomi Design
Inc., which make it ideal for young kids! The series is very entertaining and educational. It
contains lots of information and if you love the ocean, I definitely recommend this series.” Denise
B., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer adds, “. One of my favorite things is how, at the end of each
show, they give facts about sea animals such as the Great White Shark and Sea Snakes.” See
their full reviews below.
Octonauts.S2.V2.jpg
Octonauts: Season Two
By Zoe Canella, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
https://youtu.be/9vMffAai96A
OCT_HarbourSeal_14.jpg
Octonauts: Season Two is a very cute children’s television series animated in Ireland and voiced
by British actors. The show is based on American-Canadian children’s books by Meomi Design
Inc., which make it ideal for young kids! The series is very entertaining and educational. It
contains lots of information and if you love the ocean, I definitely recommend this series.
You don’t need to watch Season One to understand Season Two. From the very first episode,
you are immersed in a colorful underworld, discovering the adventures of the very likable
characters. The intrepid Octonauts travel in nautical space ships and the Octopod and will remind
parents of Star Trek and the expeditions of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. I like that
they work as a team and how they respect each other. Each character brings something different;
they have different specialties and each one is unique.
My favorite characters are Peso, the penguin and Barnabas the polar bear captain which I found
very classy. But, all six adventurers are fun to watch – Kawazii (the cat), Inkling (the Dumbo
octopus), Shellington (the sea otter), Tweak (the rabbit), Dash (the dog) and Tunip (half animal,
half vegetable). They are not only adorable, but it is easy to relate to them. They all have different
accents and, by the sound of their voices, they are different ages too.<p>Everything is very
interesting in this show. Each episode follows a different mission where you learn fascinating
information about the ocean and marine life in a very fun manner. Each episode is based on one
particular sea creature or animal and the Octonauts not only explore the ocean but also protect
their habitat. The technology in the series is imaginary, but the creatures are based on real ones.
The show’s color palette is beautiful with lots of light blues and greens. It’s quite refreshing and
calms you down, which I think is ideal for little ones. I really like the animation, especially the
graphic transitions at the end of each episode as it gives a recap (Creature Reports) to the
episode and additional information about each animal. Each episode is also focused on a
particular conflict or problem, but you can enjoy them individually since there’s no sequence
between them.
Season Two comes with two discs, with 12 episodes each and 12 Creature Reports, which are
music videos about the animals featured in that episode. This gives a nice recap on that segment.
The message series is “explore, rescue, protect.” There’s a whole ocean out there to discover,
but we have to care and preserve our nature for future generations and ourselves. <p>I give this
DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, but parents watching with their little ones
will enjoy as well. It’s available on DVD now, so look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST!
Film Critic, age 10
OCT_SpermWhale_16.jpg
Octonauts, Season 2
By Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
https://youtu.be/Q7FIc355A4k
ll, they actually do more than just rescue, but I really enjoyed
the rescue. They also explore and protect and I can add another one – they educate young
children. The characters are extremely likable and engaging. There are so many different
adventures in this season’s collection. I especially enjoyed the one about the Great White Shark
which the group needed to rescue and at the same time had to be very careful so they didn’t end
up as the Great White Shark’s lunch! The underwater scenes are fun to watch. The dialogue is
creative. I highly recommend this for ages 3 through 7. One of my favorite things is how, at the
end of each show, they give facts about sea animals such as the Great White Shark and Sea
Snakes. I give this 4 stars out of 5 stars for its entertainment and educational aspects. Reviewed
by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juro

Guess How Much I Love You Christmas To The Moon And Back – Captures The Christmas Spirit

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Movie Reviews
Guess How Much I Love You Christmas To The Moon And Back – Captures The Christmas Spirit
On a snow-covered Christmas Eve, Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends stumble across
a little Brown Bear who is lost. Determined to return their young friend back to his
mother in time for Christmas, the friends venture bravely into the unknown woods.
Through this epic journey, we are reminded that the greatest gift of Christmas is being
with the ones you love. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “I really love
this film because it captures the Christmas spirit by showing us all the characters telling
us what they think about Christmas. They show us that Christmas really means family.”
Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “The production values are outstanding, from
the animation to the voice over talent to the background music. The images look like
watercolors brought to life. I love them!” See their full reviews below.
Guess How Much I Love You Christmas To The Moon And Back
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
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This film is based on the British book series written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by
Anita Jeram, published in 1994 in the UK and in 1995 in the US. The book was a ALA
Notable Children’s book and sold over 28 million copies worldwide!
Now, I have an adorable special guest who helped review the film with me, Little Field
Mouse. I really love this film because it captures the Christmas spirit by showing us all
the characters telling us what they think about Christmas. They show us that Christmas
really means family. It’s really about spending time with your family, not about giving
gifts or any of that stuff. It’s spending time with your Mom and Dad and anyone else you
love. That’s what I really respect about the film.
I really do cherish the story and also the animation in this film which is true to the
original illustrations in the book. It really captures the adventures of Little Nutbrown
Hare and his adventures. The show is produced by SLR Productions Australia (Suzanne
Ryan) and Scrawl Studios and stars the voice of Ky Baldwin. They really capture all the
original pictures from the book which look just like watercolors. I love them. It looks like
a beautiful story that was drawn by a little kid. I really love that! The animation is
something that everyone will truly enjoy.
I really love the characters in the story, especially my friend Little Field Mouse. Of
course Little Nutbrown Hare is my favorite character. He’s absolutely adorable and at the
same time, kind and thoughtful. Just his love for everything around him makes me love
him more. He’s kind of fun and silly, but really he is just adorable.
The film is really suitable for preschoolers but also older kids, up to age 8 will enjoy this
because of all the fun and silly stories. I even think tween and teens will like this show.
Of course, adults can enjoy this as well and it makes a great show for families to enjoy
during the holiday season. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 Magnificent Stars. It is
available now on DVD so, look for it!
GHMILY_302_STILL_100.jpg
Guess How Much I Love You: Christmas To the Moon and Back
Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
I thoroughly enjoyed this short film and highly recommend it for kids and families. This
is a heartwarming tale about Little Nutbrown Hare who wanders outside one night when
he can’t sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all
white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades
Little Nutbrown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and
able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field
mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Nutbrown Hare and they interact
with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Nutbrown Hare when no one
believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally
see her and believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The morale of this story is about love. The
love between Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the
love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over
time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Nutbrown Hare
by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend’s honor in doing so.
The educational and social elements that make this film valuable emphasize the various
ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they
love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to. The production
values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background
music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them! I recommend this
for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little
children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are
developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and charming. If
you have a festival for preschool and early elementary kids, this will fit right in.
GHMILY_302_STILL_106.jpg
Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
I thoroughly enjoyed this short film and highly recommend it for kids and families. This
is a heartwarming tale about Little Nutbrown Hare who wanders outside one night when
he can’t sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all
white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades
Little Nutbrown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and
able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field
mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Nutbrown Hare and they interact
with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Nutbrown Hare when no one
believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally
see her and believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The morale of this story is about love. The
love between Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the
love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over
time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Nutbrown Hare
by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend’s honor in doing so.
The educational and social elements that make this film valuable emphasize the various
ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they
love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to. The production
values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background
music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them! I recommend this
for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little
children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are
developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and charming. If
you have a festival for preschool and early elementary kids, this will fit right in.
Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juro

Floogals: Project Birthday Cake: What a Fun Way to Learn How Things Work on Earth!

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Floogals: Project Birthday Cake: What a Fun Way to Learn How Things Work on Earth!

Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day’s research “project” and triggering an exciting adventure! In Floogals: Project Birthday Cake, Boomer’s built a little fizzerific food finder attachment for his Fizzer controls. It’s supposed to be able to sniff out food – a subject close to Boomer’s heart. Flying by a massive birthday cake the food finder goes out of control and Boomer crashes. The Floogals have to work out how to re-make the frosting and in the process find out what a birthday cake and decorations are for. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “These educational episodes are great for younger kids to learn practical things. It is also interesting to look at the human household and human items, from their smaller point of view.” Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “Think of this as a family sit-com. The Floogal characters are done in Claymation. They take interest in particular objects located upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, the bathroom, kitchen and elsewhere. I like the originality of having the real-life backgrounds juxtaposing with the animated characters.” See their full reviews below.

Floogals: Project Birthday Cake

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Link to Video Review https://youtu.be/16lJgbEwf90

These educational episodes are great for younger kids to learn practical things. The animation is colorful and detailed. The characters, besides the “hoomans” (humans) are unique looking creatures. It is also interesting to look at the human household and human items, from their smaller point of view.

In these episodes, there are three main alien-like characters. Their names are Captain Fleeker, Junior Boomer and First Officer Flo. They live hidden inside the hooman’s house. Fleeker, Boomer and Flo explore around house and try to learn more about the hooman ways. They encounter a birthday cake, some ice, a mirror, a banana, a toothbrush, sand, roller skates, a record player and a jewelry box.

Jules de Jongh voices Flo with authority and wisdom. Even though Flo isn’t the Captain, you can tell that she knows what she is talking about and that she is more mature than the other two boys. Junior Boomer is the complete opposite of Flo. His name fits him as he has a lot more to learn than Flo and Fleeker. Hugo Harold-Harrison aptly portrays, through his voice, that Junior Boomer is a lot younger and more immature.

They use a mix of animation and live camera shots for these episodes. This brings the Floogals to life as they venture outside their ship. It is interesting to look at the world we know so familiarly from a completely different point of view. To Fleeker, Boomer and Flo everything looks weird and abnormally large. It’s like entering a modern giant’s house.

My favorite scene is when they first discover the birthday cake. Their facial expressions are so in awe of this great smelling piece of art in front of them. The birthday cake is based on outer space and looks very delicious and colorful. This is my favorite scene because it really is where the Floogals come to life.

There isn’t a moral or message in these episodes. Their main purpose is to educate younger viewers about the properties of everyday items and how to use them. For example, in the episode “Project Ice,” the Floogals teach viewers that ice can be used to keep things cool, but when it gets hot, it melts back into water.

This DVD offers great learning tools for younger viewers. I recommend it for ages 3 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for the effort put into it. It is available on DVD now, so check it out!

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Floogals: Project Birthday Cake

By Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

https://youtu.be/CPUmb4wAtmg

Small alien life forms, the Floogals, explore life in an everyday home setting with a particular family, where they discover certain human objects such as birthday cake, ice (for beverages), roller skates and a record player. The most fascinating and unusual part of this series is the background setup – the house is life action as well as the family members (mother, father, and kids). Think of this as a family sit-com. The Floogal characters are done in Claymation. They take interest in particular objects located upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, the bathroom, kitchen and elsewhere.

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I like the originality of having the real-life backgrounds juxtaposing with the animated characters. The episode with the record player is particularly funny, since it is an older generational way of listening to music. Young children might be as clueless as the Floogals with regards to this “strange object,” moreso than any other object they explore. This DVD consists of approximately nine, 8 minute episodes. I recommend this for ages 3 to 6 who will find it really fascinating for expanding their imagination (with every room the Floogals explore) and keep their attention with the pastel-type colors. Curious slightly older kids might tune in for the same reasons.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars.

 

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – A Wondrous, Visual Experience

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – A Wondrous, Visual Experience

All Clara wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key-which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger, to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N., comments, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a wondrous, visual experience that is somewhat light on substance. Apt acting and sensational ballet dancing excel and make this something more memorable than the premise might suggest. Any Disney fans will want to check this out. Zoe C. comments, “This live action film is absolutely stunning! The sets are rich and make you enter a fascinating world of four different, colorful realms. It is so beautiful, I did not want to leave the movie theater.” Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer adds, “Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has brought the magic of Disney back to the big screen. From the beginning of the film, your senses will be ALIVE! Every set looks edible with color and life. Truly, this live-action Disney film is a breath of fresh air.” See their full reviews below.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
https://youtu.be/Sitjm_4RoY0

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a wondrous, visual experience that is somewhat light on substance. Apt acting and sensational ballet dancing excel and make this something more memorable than the premise might suggest. Any Disney fans will want to check this out.

The story follows young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) as she recovers from her mother’s death. However, a spark of hope lightens Clara after seeing her late mother’s parting gift of a box with a hidden key. This key belongs to a parallel world, unlike anything, to which Clara must travel to obtain the key. With the help of budding soldier Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Clara learns of all obstacles that await, especially in the form of the menacing Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), leader of the Fourth Realm. Most importantly is a looming war that could preside over the three Realms that are at peace – Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets and are threatened by the Fourth Realm. In the three Realms resides Sugar Plum (Kiera Knightley) who is on same page as Clara and braves her up for the Fourth Realm as the fate of the Realms and her mother’s dying wish relies on it.

Mackenzie Foy, as Clara, well presents her character’s central struggle to find her inner place amidst all the tragedy, while also being hopeful and cheerful. The end result of this character development is a joy to watch and most definitely the movie’s best subplot, amongst all the other slumberous ones. Kiera Knightley, as Sugar Plum Fairy, regales with well-written comedic relief, but the timing of her intervention seems quite random and very over-the-top at times. Regardless, children, most of all, will find enjoyment with all the youthful energy. Jayden Fowora-Knight, as Philip, is my favorite character, despite this being only the second film he has appeared in. His charm and braveness add a relentless vigor to the character that never gets old. Helen Mirren, as Mother Ginger, likewise shines, despite her character suffering from a lack of screen time and character development. With what she is given, she shines with the menacing undertones that could mean good under the entire demeanor. Also, Misty Copeland’s cameo is full of entertainment with her ballet proficiency bringing a certain something to the stage without feeling like a forced addition. Instead, it feels more like a celebration of the Nutcracker’s roots and remains my favorite scene.Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston expertly direct the visual flair with clear attention to every nook and cranny of the special effects and sound design. Despite this, the movie has flaws coming from the lack of a compelling story line, aside from Clara’s inner struggles.  Everything feels introduced way too quickly and without clear meaning. This leaves the movie feeling rather inconsequential and just an excuse to put the Nutcracker on the live screen. Still, the movie delivers an amazing awe to each scene’s production.

 

The message of the movie is to never lose yourself in sorrow and always connect with your family and friends during times of grief. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on November 2, 2018 so check it out.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

https://youtu.be/olU1Fxg_FaU

This live action film is absolutely stunning! The sets are rich and make you enter a fascinating world of four different, colorful realms. It is so beautiful, I did not want to leave the movie theater. I want to see it again. The film is inspired by the original story from German author E.T.A Hoffman, written in 1816 and the ballet by Tchaikovsky (1892).The story is simple, but powerful in concept. This is the journey of Clara (Mackenzie Foy) who is  dealing with the loss of her mother, trying to reconnect with the world and with her family, especially her father. On Christmas Eve, she receives a special gilt from her mother – a mysterious box. But, she is missing the key. With the help of Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman), her godfather, she enters a world of mysteries with characters that will help her find the key. When she first enters, a cute mouse has the key, but is impossible to catch. She meets a Nutcracker soldier, Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) who tells her about the realm of Flowers, the realm of Sweets and the realm of Snowflakes, but warns her about the dangerous fourth realm and Mother Ginger. But, Clara is determined to find the key and will do what it takes to find it.

 

This film has the power of captivating you. There are moments I was really afraid and others I was delighted and amused, depending on the characters in the scene. It has the power to be frightening, like in the fourth realm, with all kinds of circus characters. All the performances are amazing. Mackenzie Foy conveys innocence and courage at the same time and is just perfect for this role. She has an ethereal look and is a brave actress who did as many of her own stunts as can could. I love that she is a princess and a hero at the same time. Morgan Freeman adds gravitas to his role and a sense of wisdom. Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez is so flamboyant and adds a nice touch to the cast. Keira Knightly is the perfect fairy. She has a special tone in her voice. Helen Mirren is also absolutely believable as Mother Ginger. There’s a mystery about her character and, despite her bad reputation, you want to know more about her. Actually, the only thing that bothered me in this film is that we don’t know her back story and why she is a villain when we first meet her.I love the ballet and the fact that the filmmakers decided to incorporate dance into the story. Misty Copeland’s dancing is flawless. She is the first African American woman promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theater. Although the story is simple, all the visual and camera work put you in a fascinating world you are exited to be part of. The costumes are beautiful and the art direction and production design deserve an Oscar nomination.

 

The message of this movie is about embracing your own courage and discovering yourself. I think this is very important for kids to learn and understand the answer to so many questions. So many times we underestimate the power we have to make the world a better place. I give this film 5 of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 16. Unlock the mystery!

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

https://youtu.be/BXfxLIuNJvw

Do you remember The Nutcracker ballet? What about Cinderella? As I screened this film, both childhood memories came to mind. Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has brought the magic of Disney back to the big screen. From the beginning of the film, your senses will be ALIVE! Every set looks edible with color and life. Truly, this live-action Disney film is a breath of fresh air.

 

While you may know the story of The Nutcracker, your senses will be awakened by the colors, costumes, and scenery in this film. As with most Disney films, there is a theme of loss, yet it is also so alive!

 

Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is an amazing young protagonist. I found myself drawn to her curious nature and determination to live up to her mother’s curious nature. As a young girl, she plays a curious and adventurous spirit, who is also very mechanically inclined. She amazed me by her desire to succeed, and her courage.  She walks into dark spaces knowing she is enough, and encounters creatures who challenge her along a path of discovery. She encounters toy soldiers and magical mice – some of whom are not kind! Clara’s quick mind and wonderful, kind skills help her get through a lot of sticky situations!

 

Without giving too much away, the gist of the story is about a gift, presented by her Father, but left to her by her mother at Christmas. Her second gift is from her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) at his annual holiday party, which leads her to a coveted key – which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. From one world to the next, Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets, Clara and a soldier she meets named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key.

 

The Sugar Plum Fairy Sugar (Keira Knightley), we learn, is not to be trusted and at times, gets annoying with her over the top antics. But in the end, this film has all the feels (and reminds me of so many things) of a Victorian English Christmas, the beloved Russian ballet, lively forest creatures from Disney and the bond of family. Misty Copeland makes a magnificent addition to the film, showcasing her balletic perfection.

 

Hats off to the costumers and make-up artists! I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, as well as adults. You should know this film deals with the death of a parent. It opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it! You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

The Grinch (2018) : Funny, Cute, Reminds Us of the Real Spirit of Christmas

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Movie Reviews
The Grinch (2018) : Funny, Cute, Reminds Us of the Real Spirit of Christmas

For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming, and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism. Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch … KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Damon F. comments, “The Grinch is a cute and funny movie that reminds us of the real spirit of Christmas. This film is based on the famous Dr. Seuss book about the Grinch who hates Christmas so much.” Nathalia J. adds, “Get ready to enjoy this perky piece of family entertainment, just in time for the holidays. It is filled with memorable and touching moments that catch you off guard.” See their full reviews below.

The Grinch

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

https://youtu.be/ZgOKRG1LE9o

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The Grinch is a cute and funny movie that reminds us of the real spirit of Christmas. This film is based on the famous Dr. Seuss book about the Grinch who hates Christmas so much. He tries to spoil it for everyone in the very Christmassy town he lives in, Whoville. Meanwhile, a small Who child tries to catch Santa, so she can talk to him about something very important that she wants for Christmas. The Grinch is an orphan and never had a family Christmas. He used to sit at his window watching all the Whos playing and celebrating outside. This made him hate Christmas. Years later, he decides to try to stop it. The Whos are a species that are always incredibly jolly around Christmas, so it will be hard to take it away from them.

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

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

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

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

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

https://youtu.be/7Ee2-X4RWpY

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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