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Gumby: The Movie

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Movie Reviews
Gumby: The Movie


By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This is the youngest of the Gumby series and is far from the best. However, even though there are some moments that could be improved on, Gumby: The Movie still delivers the timeless entertaining charm that the earlier decades of the Gumby series are so famous for.

This film follows the trend of the show by concentrating on Gumby’s adventures. There are some light action scenes to keep these adventures exciting as well as a few jokes that the whole family can enjoy.

Gumby: The Movie’s plot is about Gumby and his friends attempting to stage a concert. During the concert, two investors in the audience accidentally find out that Gumby’s dog (Lowbelly) cries pearls when he listens to their music. They come up with a scheme to steal the dog and make thousands of dollars, but get discovered and Gumby and his friends have to save Lowbelly in one epic and complex adventure.

For the most part, this film really has a lot of great perks. The detail in the stop-motion clay animation really looks spectacular and mostly natural. The plot has lots of fun twists as well as quite a few references (i.e. one fighting scene contains light sabers in a ship that looks like it belongs in Star Wars) to other series that allows for a good laugh. The background soundtrack by Jerry Gerber fits the tune of the quirky cartoon well and adds a little spice to the movie as a whole. There are a few technical hiccups that can be improved on to make this film perfect. One example is the visible and obvious wires holding up some of the characters. Even though this film was made in 1995, wire removal editing tools have existed since the late 80s. At times, the animation lags quite a bit and could be sped up to make more fluid motions. Nevertheless, none of these little things ruin the watching experience, as Gumby: The Movie still is a great film to watch with the family.

There are some filler scenes that don’t do much to further the plot nor add any reoccurring elements to the story. Even though they sound bad, they are enjoyable and make it feel like several separate episodes, each with a unique adventure. My favorite scene takes place towards the beginning of the runtime when Pokey looks for Gumby everywhere. On his way, he passes by a slide. At the same time, two of Pokey’s friends come out of the slide and run into him. The three turn into a big clay ball and need to go to the hospital to get un-separated. The scene has quite a few made up procedures that are both funny and realistic looking, which adds to the humor. Even though this has no purpose to the story, it still provides a few good laughs and, in general, is a fun mini-story.

Gumby: The Movie can be a family movie but its main purpose is being a kid’s movie. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I give Gumby: The Movie 4.5 out of 5 stars because it has a few technical faults here and there, but still really provides a good quality Gumby feature film.

“The Book Thief” Gives a Youth’s Perspective of Surviving the Holocaust

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“The Book Thief” Gives a Youth’s Perspective of Surviving the Holocaust


Based on the beloved bestselling book, “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak, tells the story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany. I read this book early in the year and could not put it down. The story is so well crafted and the humanity of the key characters so extraordinary, it completely draws you in. As you can see below, our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics were equally drawn in. Canela R. found “the idea of having the narrator be Death really grabbed my attention and held my attention to this unbelievable story to the very end.” Gerry O recommends “that everyone watch this film and think about what happened in the past. We all have responsibility to make sure that this history doesn’t repeat itself.” See their full reviews below. “The Book Thief” opens in NYC and LA November 8 and nationwide November 15.

The Book Thief

Reviewed by Canela R., age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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I bet you have seen many movies that have narration but I bet you haven’t seen one like this. In this movie, the narrator is Death.

The Book Thief is about a young girl whose brother dies and her mother abandons her – all at the age of 11. She’s adopted by an older couple in Nazi Germany. Her foster father teaches her how to read which lights a fire inside of her to read and read and read. Again, since this is Nazi Germany, books are very hard to find. The only way she can get more books is to “borrow” them. Also, her family agrees to hide a young Jewish man in their basement which puts the young girl’s family at great risk. But, the young girl and the young man become very good friends, helping each other through hard times. During this time, there are many people dying so Death is very nearby and has a lot to say. The Book Thief is all told from Death’s perspective.

The lead characters are the young girl, Liesel Meminger played by up-and-coming actress Sophie Nelisse and her foster father and mother played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. These characters try to live a normal life while fighting for it.

One of my favorite scenes is when a friend of Liesel’s, Rudy, goes to the running track and covers himself in mud so he can look like Olympic Track Star Jessie Owens. I like this scene because it shows how Rudy didn’t believe what Hitler was saying and supported Liesel and her family.

The look and sound of this film helps convey the emotional story of Liesel and her friends and family. The sets and costumes are all beautiful and really portray 1940s Germany. The music is sad but also, hopeful. The cinematography is beautiful and also lets us see the harshness of their lives.

The message of this movie is “to stand up for what you believe and don’t let a group of people tell you otherwise.”

I recommend this movie to ages 9 and up. Although this is a sweet passionate film it does take place in Nazi Germany which includes violence and death.

I give this movie five out of five stars because the idea of having the narrator be Death really grabbed my attention and held my attention to this unbelievable story to the very end.

“The Book Thief”

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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See the Cast interviews available Below: 

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Out of all the movies I’ve ever seen, this one is the saddest. “The Book Thief” is a fantastic film that would make everyone who sees it cry, laugh, enjoy and be at the edge of their seats.

This movie has so much to watch – a tiny bit of comedy, sadness, history, suspense, thrilling scenes, intense, a bit of violence and, of course, theft.

The story begins when a young girl is on her way with her sick brother to live with a new family. Sadly, the brother dies along the way. The girl is left alone with a new mother, a new father and stuck in Germany during World War II. Her family does a lot of scary things and it’s a very sad story as well.

The movie has so much history. I am Jewish so I cried quite a lot when I watched it. The facts are very accurate and very well done. The actors are stupendous. They are sad, happy, scared, brave and a lot more. The special affects and the thrilling way this film is done is amazing. This film is one of those films that made me cry. I wanted to go back in time so I could change Hitler’s childhood to convince him to be nicer, kinder and not kill people. This movie is definitely big, intense and memorable.

My favorite scene is a happy one. The family is hiding a Jew in their basement. The father (Geoffrey Rush) is a bit of a goof so he gets a lot of snow and they start a snow fight in the basement. For once, the mother plays along, and the girl builds a snow man. There they are huddled against each other, listening to the father play an accordion and feeling happy despite what is happening in the outside world.

Because the movie is so intense, I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend that everyone watch this film and think about what happened in the past. We all have responsibility to make sure that this history doesn’t repeat itself.

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – Read more at Dear Dumb Diary Movie Review By Kids First! Coming Attractions.

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