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Floogals: Season 1, Volume 1 – Wonderful Series Introducing Kids to How the World Works

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Kids
Floogals: Season 1, Volume 1 – Wonderful Series Introducing Kids to How the World Works

Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny hoomans who live there!  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.  Includes 26 Super Adventures! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Will C. comments, “Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is a lot of fun for little kids! This DVD has 26 11-minute episodes filled with humorous scientific exploration for preschoolers. It combines live-action with 3-D cartoon animation to create a show parents can enjoy along with their young children.” Katherine S. adds, “Floogals Season 1 Volume 1 has so many episodes to enjoy. The Floogals are tiny happy aliens that zoom in from outer space and end up in a child’s toy bin.  And from Project Ice to Project Piano, the Floogals are always finding everyday items to explore. “ See their full reviews below.

Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1
By Will Chuhta, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is a lot of fun for little kids! This DVD has 26 11-minute episodes filled with humorous scientific exploration for preschoolers. It combines live-action with 3-D cartoon animation to create a show parents can enjoy along with their young children. At 9, I’m well out of the target age range for this series, but there are still some parts I found really funny, and I could see myself watching it with my little cousins.

The main characters are three alien explorers who come to earth to observe “hooman” behavior with often amusing results. Since the Floogals are aliens, they haven’t encountered common things like dogs, babies, mirrors, and beds. The preschool audience this show is aimed at will be delighted that they know more than the Floogals do! But the show seems to be less about teaching kids about the actual objects the Floogals discover and more about showing the aliens working together to use the scientific process.

The voice actors for Flo, Fleeker, and Boomer make it believable that they don’t understand what all these common objects are. The animation is convincing especially when the animated characters move objects in the real world, like when they hide inside a real teapot or bowl of fruit. My favorite part is when they run away from a balloon that they think is a monster!

This series has a lot of positive messages about teamwork and the joy of discovery. Even when things go wrong, the Floogals are always ready to encourage and support their teammates.

They don’t always get to the right answer on their first try, but they’re always learning, just like real scientists!

I give this series 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5, but parents won’t mind watching along with their kids as well. Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is available on DVD May 7, 2019.

Floogals: Season 1, Volume 1
By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This DVD is very good for a young audience. It entertains kids by showing them how to find, question, and explore everywhere they go. There are 26 different adventures and each is filled with the cute animated Floogal characters – covering over four hours of fun.

Floogals Season 1 Volume 1 has so many episodes to enjoy. The Floogals are tiny happy aliens that zoom in from outer space and end up in a child’s toy bin.  And from Project Ice to Project Piano, the Floogals are always finding everyday items to explore.

This DVD is for a younger audience because the skills that the Floogals are learning are geared towards children pre-K through first grade. The characters are fun to watch as they have adorable faces and wear vibrantly colored space suits. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is funny, slightly clumsy, and always hungry.

Throughout this DVD there are a lot of positive messages, which include the fun in being curious, the benefit of learning and of course, teamwork. This DVD has no bad language and no bad behavior. There is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do.

I give this DVD a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend buying this for your young kids.

Molang: Season 2 – Funny Animated Shorts Following the Adventures of a Chubby Bunny and a Tiny Chick

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Reviews
Molang: Season 2 – Funny Animated Shorts Following the Adventures of a Chubby Bunny and a Tiny Chick

 

Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Will C. comments, “Molang: Season 2 is 52 episodes of animated fun for kids. I enjoyed these funny cartoon shorts, each only about 3 to 4 minutes long, following the friendship between a chubby bunny and a tiny little chick. Together they have little adventures, both ordinary and extraordinary.” Sahiba K. comments, “The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive.” Selene W. adds, “Molang is an adorable and funny series that’s great for kids! My favorite episode is Chickenpox; when cute Piu Piu, the little chick, gets chickenpox all over his face.” See their full reviews below.

Molang: Season 2
By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Molang: Season 2 is 52 episodes of animated fun for kids. I enjoyed these funny cartoon shorts, each only about 3 to 4 minutes long, following the friendship between a chubby bunny and a tiny little chick. Together they have little adventures, both ordinary and extraordinary. They go on safari, plant a vegetable garden, act in a movie, and dance in the rain.

 

There’s no real dialogue in these short animations, because the characters speak their own made-up language. The only words they use consistently are their names- Molang, the bouncy, happy rabbit, and Piu Piu, the shy and timid chick. This must be a fun challenge for the animators and voice actors because they have to use body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice to help the audience understand what’s going on. When there’s a more complex idea that needs to be communicated, a speech bubble with a picture appears above the character to show that they’re thinking about doing the dishes or riding on a mechanical bull.

The art direction uses soft, beautiful pastel colors to create a peaceful, friendly world that preschoolers will enjoy. The characters are drawn in such a simple way that they look like icons, which makes sense if you’ve ever noticed them as stickers in apps like Facebook Messenger or on merchandise from night lights to face cream. The music is bright and cheerful, and creates a positive atmosphere that really suits the characters and action.

 

This series has some positive messages about friendship, working together, and problem-solving in difficult situations. My favorite part is when Piu Piu and Molang grow a prizewinning watermelon so big they have trouble moving it to the competition. They don’t give up, though, and eventually they find that a helicopter with a plunger is the solution!

I give this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, but older kids and parents will also be amused, especially since these episodes are so short. Molang: Season 2 is available on DVD now.

Molang: Season 2
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive. The directors are skilled in easily conveying the plot, jokes and emotion without the use of dialogue.

These stories take Molang and Piu Piu on adventures near and far, as they help others and bring joy to the lives of everyone they touch. They often run into a friend or neighbor who could use a helping hand or a mood boost. Molang and Piu Piu find unique solutions to everyday experiences and make many friends along the way.

The lexicon of Molang and Piu Piu is incomprehensible, so the animation, sound effects and music work together to transcend words. The animation uses simple images to convey the characters’ ideas and concepts. For example, when Piu Piu or Molang have a solution to a complication, a thought bubble pops up to show it in a quick image. The sound effects are either bright or dark, based on the mood of the scene. For example, when Piu Piu gets stressed, which is quite often, he screeches in distress. Furthermore the music, composed by Nicholas Varley, is very adventurous and upbeat, especially during the traveling scenes. It is lively and adds all the more to the jovial ambience.

The art of the animation is pure and simple, yet gives a relaxed and easy going aura. The colors are soft, not too bright or too dark, making the visuals sweet and appealing. Many of the objects such as the houses, characters, trees, vehicles and hills are all rounded creating the huggable, lovable world of Molang.

For me, the most appealing part is the happiness that surrounds each and every episode. Piu Piu and Molang are inseparable and their friendship is beautifully strong. This foundation sets the mood of each episode and their kindness reaches out to my heart.

The message of Molang Season 2 is to brighten the days of those around you and to help those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out.

Molang:  Season Two
By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Molang is an adorable and funny series that’s great for kids! My favorite episode is Chickenpox; when cute Piu Piu, the little chick, gets chickenpox all over his face.  I also love the other episodes, but that one is my favorite. There are so many good episodes in this series including The Side Car, The Aquarium, At the Circus  and The Competition to name a few. Each episode is overrun with happiness, which makes me smile nonstop.

Molang is a round, fluffy and happy rabbit who has adventures with his friend Piu Piu.  Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship, filled with laughter and giggles. They have amazing experiences such as finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day.  Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun?

The music for this series, by Nicholas Varley, is upbeat and really adds another dimension to the various scenes. The music is playful and fun for kids to dance or move to and will hold their attention. I love the animation of the imaginative and pastel world created for Molang and thank the many artists that contributed to the production.

 

The message of this series is to enjoy life and value friendship. In all of the 52 episodes, Molang and Piu Piu find every good thing in each bad or sad moment and they always stick together, no matter what.  Friendship is important and the two of them find ways to have fun together.

I rate this DVD 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7.  The DVD is available now so look for it.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet – Fun Songs and Parodies for Each Letter of the Alphabet

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Kids
Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet – Fun Songs and Parodies for Each Letter of the Alphabet
it’s time for A to Z with Sesame! Little ones will love to learn their ABCs with classics such as
“The Beetles Perform Letter B” and “C is for Cookie” plus animation, parodies, and the best from
recent seasons covering all 26 letters. Celebrating the alphabet alongside their furry friends are
Norah Jones duetting with the letter Y, Tori Kelly trying a little kindness, and Pharrell Williams
belting it out for the letter B. Maya Angelou stops by to talk hugs, Sheryl Crow helps “I” soak up
some sun, and Ricky Gervais attempts a lullaby. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments,
“Every single scene of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet is lovable. This DVD has the funniest
songs and parodies for each letter of the alphabet. Each part has so many cute characters and
great lessons for the whole family.” Ethan P. adds, “This DVD is about learning the
alphabet. Mostly all of the characters from Sesame Street sing the alphabet and encourage the
kids to sing along. There are about three scenes or songs for each letter so that you can
understand how to use each one. There are also very different types of scenes and songs, each
of them really cool and fun, so it keeps you entertained.” Ivey H. chimes in with, “All of my favorite
characters make an appearance such as Big Bird, Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch and
many more. The music, songs and lyrics are fun to sing along with and are education as well. I
love how everything in the video relates to the topic of learning your ABC’s.” Will C. wraps it up
with, “There’s even a bonus feature, Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race and ABC-themed printable
activities. Since it’s a compilation of segments from over the years, there’s a wide range of styles
representing older and newer segments.” See their full reviews below.
ss.aac.d.jpg
Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet
By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
https://youtu.be/1hpRLTob1DI
Every single scene of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet is lovable. This DVD has the funniest
songs and parodies for each letter of the alphabet. Each part has so many cute characters and
great lessons for the whole family. Your children will love to learn their ABC’s with all of their
favorite characters.
Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet has two hours of fun for everyone! It spends approximately
five minutes on each letter. We see a wide range of themes from Tori Kelly singing about
kindness to Chance the Rapper in a play with Cookie Monster. In all cases, we are learning about
the alphabet with so many talented artists. It’s a mix of old and new Sesame Street episodes
such as Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus singing a song together to Sia singing about how she
loves songs.
The DVD includes many of our favorite Sesame Street characters including Elmo, Big Bird and
Cookie Monster as well as some of our favorite people in real life including Maya Angelou and
Pharrell Williams. I love the songs because it makes you want to sing along. Also, some of the
songs are parodies, which I very much enjoy. My favorite part is when Elmo can’t sleep so Ricky
Gervais comes in and sings a “celebrity lullaby”.
Throughout this DVD, there are a lot of positive messages. My favorites are learning is fun and
using your voice in a fun way.
I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. Adults will also like all of the
parodies of the songs. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend buying this for your young
kids.
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Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection
By Ethan Persten, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 10
https://youtu.be/TlKKzSl9TSU
I enjoyed the Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection on DVD because it is funny, even for
me, and I’m 10. It is made for small children, but I still could not stop laughing and enjoying the
music.
This DVD is about learning the alphabet. Mostly all of the characters from Sesame Street sing the
alphabet and encourage the kids to sing along. There are about three scenes or songs for each
letter so that you can understand how to use each one. There are also very different types of
scenes and songs, each of them really cool and fun, so it keeps you entertained.
The songs are very catchy, and the scenes are really funny and cute. I like how they use
celebrities like Chance the Rapper. I think kids will enjoy seeing these celebrities because they
know them. My favorite part is when Sia sings for the letter “S”, and it shows her face, because
she has not shown her face before on TV. One funny scene is when two detectives confuse the
“W” for an “M” when trying to find the criminal W.
The message or point of this DVD is to teach kids how to use the letters of the alphabet and how
they sound — the scenes are put together from all of Sesame Street’s “Letter of the Day” specials.
This DVD makes it fun for kids to learn the alphabet. I believe these songs can make the process
of learning the alphabet simple and fun, and that students will like the characters. I can see it
might be particularly helpful for kids with special needs or learning disabilities.
I give Sesame Street Awesome: Alphabet Collection 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2
to 5. This DVD is available now so look for it.
Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection
By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
https://youtu.be/Kw1WDrLAXKc
The Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection DVD is just that – awesome! It really brought
back amazing childhood memories of watching the show.
This particular collection teaches kids the alphabet. Not only is it educational, but provides a
source of entertainment which will keep kids interested while learning. All of my favorite
characters make an appearance such as Big Bird, Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch and
many more. The music, songs and lyrics are fun to sing along with and are education as well. I
love how everything in the video relates to the topic of learning your ABC’s. There is lot of
repetition, which is a great technique for learning. Something else that caught my eye is how they
use different types of animation, such as clay and paper. I really enjoy the mix of puppetry, real
people, animals and insects. Some episodes even have celebrities singing along. Look out for
Norah Jones, Tori Kelly, Cheryl Crow and many others.
All the Muppet characters are so cute and adorable. My favorite is Cookie Monster (Frank Oz,
David Rudman), because he brings laughter to this collection. My favorite skit is when Cookie
Monster sings about the letter “C” and how cookies are good enough for me. Ryan Dillon plays
the role of everyone’s favorite loveable character – red, fluffy Elmo. Carol Spinney plays another
fan favorite – Big Bird. They use many real life animals to help you associate with the words that
are being taught. This video is very bright, colorful and cheery. You will enjoy every minute.
I recommend this for ages 2 to 7, depending on the maturity level of the child. It’s always a good
refresher for anyone who is having trouble with their letters or spelling to review the basics. The
star rating I give this is 4 out of 5 stars.
Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection
By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
https://youtu.be/OsVy6tcnjQw
Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is a fun introduction to the alphabet for
preschoolers. This is a two-hour compilation of animation, pop-culture parodies and favorite
segments for each letter of the alphabet. The all-star lineup of celebrity guests is enough to hold
the interest of parents too.
Sia, Pharrell Williams, Maya Angelou, Tori Kelly, Chance the Rapper and others introduce Elmo
and his friends to each letter of the alphabet. There’s even a bonus feature, Elmo’s Amazing
Alphabet Race and ABC-themed printable activities. Since it’s a compilation of segments from
over the years, there’s a wide range of styles representing older and newer segments.
Even though I’m not in this film’s target audience, I still found it entertaining to see various
celebrities on the same screen, with puppets, helping kids learn the alphabet. My favorite
segment is Ricky Gervais singing Elmo a lullaby for the letter “N”, that’s anything but relaxing!
I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 2 to 5. Sesame Street:
Awesome Alphabet Collection is available now on DVD and digital download from Shout! Kids
and Sesame Workshop. Look for it

Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew – Adorable Characters, Wonderful Animation

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Kids
Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew – Adorable Characters, Wonderful Animation

Ain’t no mountain high enough, river wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart! Our brave, curious monkey and big-hearted elephant live together in the jungle, as children imagine it: a playground with vines to swing on, trampoline mushrooms to bounce on, and a crew of jungle buddies to share endless adventures. Munki and Trunk explore their world together, facing fears, having fun and helping friends in a comedy adventure that’s brim-full of heart, and built on a bedrock of friendship. Includes 8 tree-crashing, rock-smashing, water-splashing, fruit-mashing episodes! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “The characters are so adorable and hilarious. This is such a fun DVD to watch as it teaches the importance of friendship and teamwork. There is no dialogue, so the story can be understood universally.” Sahiba K. adds, “Although simplistic, the plots never fail to surprise me with the direction that they take, making me laugh, gasp and empathize with the characters. I fell in love with main characters again and again as every episode elaborate on their relationship.” See their full reviews below.

Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew
By Jolleen M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The characters are so adorable and hilarious. This is such a fun DVD to watch as it teaches the importance of friendship and teamwork. There is no dialogue, so the story can be understood universally.

The only characters that are named are Munki (the monkey) and Trunk (the elephant). They are best friends and the main characters. The other characters include a giraffe, an ostrich, a baby ostrich, a chameleon, a rhino, a porcupine and a frog.

The animals communicate with each other through sighs and grunts. Brent Dawes, voice of Munki, and Alison Lambole, voice of Trunk, really bring their characters to life. Somehow they make it possible for us to understand their emotions or motives through small yelps and wails.

In terms of the animation, this is one of my favorite animated films. I love how realistic it looks with so much detail and additional adorable elements. The animators add great details to the patterns on the vegetation and the hairs on the animals. The animals closely resemble actual animals with the only difference being giving them bigger eyes.

My favorite parts of this DVD are whenever Munki and Trunk interact. They have such an amusing friendship. Since Trunk is an elephant and much bigger than Munki who is a monkey, Trunk throws Munki around or sometimes she catches him. Munki often jumps on Trunk’s back like a trampoline.

The moral of this show is centered on friendship and working together. Throughout all the conflicts and problems they work together. Although the pair is not the brightest in coming up with solutions, they succeed in the end. This message of friendship and teamwork is always a good message to be taught to children over and over again.

I enjoyed watching this hilarious DVD and it made me laugh. Munki and Trunk’s interaction is entertaining and I love the cute animation. I recommend this for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Munki and Trunk: Meet The Jungle Crew!is available on DVD now so check it out!

Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew!
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew! is a simple delight! Although simplistic, the plots never fail to surprise me with the direction that they take, making me laugh, gasp and empathize with the characters. I fell in love with main characters again and again as every episode elaborate on their relationship.

The story follows best friends Munki and Trunk who run into troubles as their playfulness unexpectedly backfires. These bumps in the road strengthen their love for each other. Several episodes also explore the beauty and differences between the two characters, a concept that teaches the importance of being unique.

The series is devoid of any dialogue, an aspect that is for the best. It makes the relationships of the jungle crew more authentic as the emotions surpass the language barrier between the different animals. Despite having no dialogue, the series masters individuality by giving side characters personality through glimpses of their lives. For example, a porcupine named Humph is always found in a bad mood, either disapproving Munki and Trunk’s antics or mowing his lawn. From these few scenes, one can determine that Humph is like the grumpy old man of the jungle who has his soft spots. Additionally, when one of the animals re-enters the plot like Humph, I became excited, because they are all humorous in their own way and different from each other.

The animation has its strengths, but also some weaknesses. There are several strong cinematography moments that create humor, shock and curiosity. For example, in one scene, it  cuts to a first person perspective with someone running, but is unclear where they are running to or why. The excitement of the moment glued me to my seat. The only criticism I have is with the brightly colored scenery in certain scenes. For instance, one scene involves Munki running through the prairie’s tall bright yellow grass. It is so bright that becomes blurred against Munki’s darker brown fur. Otherwise, the simple animation adds to the overall effect and specialty of the series.

The message is that friendship can lift you up in difficult times and bring out the best in you. I give Munki and Trunk: Meet the Jungle Crew! 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. It is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Tito and the Birds – Deserves To Be Seen By Anyone Who Appreciates The Medium Of Animation

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Kids
Tito and the Birds – Deserves To Be Seen By Anyone Who Appreciates The Medium Of Animation

Tito is a shy 10-year-old boy who lives with his mother. When an unusual epidemic starts to spread, making people sick whenever they get scared, Tito quickly discovers that the cure is somehow related to his missing father’s research on bird song. He embarks on a journey with his friends to find the antidote. Tito’s search becomes a quest to find his missing father and save the world from the epidemic. “One of the most memorable films for 2018” – Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Izzy C. comments, “From the moment I saw the artwork on the cover of the packaging for the Brazilian animated film, Tito and The Birds, I knew I had to see it! The animation style is beautiful! I love the look of it.” SaniyaRain F. adds, “Tito and the Birds is about real life problems that people face. Even though it is an animation film, it is serious. Sometimes movies teach kids about real life and that is what Tito and the Birds does.” Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer  wraps it up with, “The BIG selling point of this film is its sensational art!  It is an interesting mesh between digital animation and what appears to be layers of living oil paintings.  It’s hard to accurately describe the visuals in a way that gives credit in which it richly deserves.  I assure you, this film deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates the medium of animation.” See their full reviews below.

Tito and The Birds
By Izzy Cruz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

From the moment I saw the artwork on the cover of the packaging for the Brazilian animated film, Tito and The Birds, I knew I had to see it! The animation style is beautiful! I love the look of it. Its Brazilian directors Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and Andre Catoto have made something that looks like a moving painting.

The story is based on a boy named Tito (Pedro Henrique) and his friends working to stop an epidemic from spreading through their town.  It gets pretty intense! Luckily, they have the help of Tito’s dad Rufus (Matheus Nachtergaele), a very smart scientist.  Hopefully this will be enough to save the town.

The supporting characters, besides Tito’s father, include Tito’s mother Rosa (Denise Fraga) and his friends: Sarah (Marina Seritiello), his brave female friend who gives him hope; Buiú (Vinicius Garcia), his best friend, who becomes sick and is the main reason they want to find a cure.  And then there is Téo (Enrico Cardoso), his rival. I relate mostly to the character of Tito because he is brave and wants to help.  He cares about people. The musical score by Ruben Feffer and Gustavo Kurlat brings a lot of emotions to the movie. The music helps tell the story as much as the dialogue does.

Even though this story is from Brazil I think people from everywhere can relate to it, because it is a story  about love and love is universal. There is a good lesson wrapped inside the story of Tito and The Birds: never be afraid, and help when it’s needed. Also, another lesson is to be yourself, and let no one tell you to be anyone else.

I give Tito and The Birds 5 out of 5 stars ! I love it! The animation is amazing! The storyline is told beautifully. I love the voice actors’ performances.

This film is perfect for ages 10 to 18, because the epidemic and sickness storyline could be a bit scary for younger audiences. I also think adults will enjoy this movie, too.  Go and check it out! I recommend it!

Remember you can get Tito and The Birds digitally or anywhere that your favorite DVD’s are sold.

Tito and the Birds
By SaniyaRain Fowler, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Tito and the Birds is about real life problems that people face. Even though it is an animation film, it is serious. Sometimes movies teach kids about real life and that is what Tito and the Birds does. It is a little scary because it is so real.

The first thing I noticed, besides it being a dark film, is the relationship Tito has with his dad. Tito and his dad work together to help their community overcome fear of a disease that is spreading.  Everyone is getting the disease and they do not know why. Everyone is scared to catch this disease because it makes people turn into rocks. The fear that everyone has in the community is so strong that people can’t live their lives. They are panicking and the news makes it worse.

Tito’s friends are awesome because they stick by his side and believe in him. He even makes friends with a boy who wants to beat Tito in a contest. Tito has some good friends, and we all need good friends when we are having a hard time in life. The friends show that they are real friends, not fake.

Tito learns a lot in the movie. He learns not to give up and to believe in himself. He also understands that sometimes things are hard and that everything is not going to be easy in life. He keeps trying to make his dad proud and build the machine right. Tito also learns that even a kid can make a difference.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 14. It is too scary for little kids  I give this movie  2 out of 5 stars, because it is so frightening.  However, we all can learn about being brave and being different, so check it out if you find this intriguing.

Tito and the Birds
By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

Tito and the Birds is an oddly dark tale that is highlighted by its remarkably original art style.  By dark, I don’t mean gritty or vulgar. It is heavier in tone than many young adult films, but anyone that has seen Corpse Bride or Coraline won’t be addled in the slightest by this story about a fear pandemic.  The BIG selling point of this film is its sensational art!  It is an interesting mesh between digital animation and what appears to be layers of living oil paintings.  It’s hard to accurately describe the visuals in a way that gives credit in which it richly deserves.  I assure you, this film deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates the medium of animation. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, however, younger and older viewers may enjoy it as well. I certainly did. I give it 5 out if 5 stars because it is so stunning.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu – Funny With Lots of Twists To Keep You Guessing

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Movie Reviews
Pokémon Detective Pikachu – Funny With Lots of Twists To Keep You Guessing

The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wisecracking, adorable super-sleuth who is puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City–a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world–they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I love this movie so much. I couldn’t stop laughing and crying with tears of joy.  Even the adults in the movie theatre laughed and enjoyed this movie.” Damon F. adds, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a movie that takes place in a world where people live with Pokémon and catch them in poke balls and battle them. I enjoyed this movie because the storyline is a mystery with a lot of twists that keeps you guessing.” See their full reviews below.

 

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 10

https://youtu.be/5nsEHwRlj94

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I love this movie so much. I couldn’t stop laughing and crying with tears of joy.  Even the adults in the movie theatre laughed and enjoyed this movie.Pokémon Detective Pikachu is about a city named Ryme City where people are living with Pokémon.  A young man named Tim Goodman travels to Ryme City to find out the reason for the mysterious disappearance of his father, Harry Goodman.  In the process, Tim finds a strange, purple substance or gas that makes all the Pokémon act weird. Tim also finds his father’s Pokémon Pikachu. For some reason, Tim can understand Pikachu.  Yes, Pikachu can talk in this movie!

 

The movie is hilarious because of Ryan Reynolds, even though there are some jokes not suitable for children.  Also, Justice Smith, who plays Tim Goodman, is so good. He is pretty funny, and he makes the audience feel emotional when he has sad moments.  The visual effects are incredible, which make this movie different and better than other Pokémon movies or Pokémon TV shows.The moral of this film is not to give up. Tim wants to give up on his mission. Instead, he teams up with Pikachu, and together they make a great team. Pikachu saves Tim from going home.  The end has a very twisted mystery that leaves everyone in the audience with their mouths wide open.  If you want to find out why, you’ll need to watch this awesome film before your friends spoil it for you.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, but adults over 18 can enjoy it, too You can watch Pokémon Detective Pikachu in any theater near you starting Friday, May 10, 2019.

 

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

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

 

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a movie that takes place in a world where people live with Pokémon and catch them in poke balls and battle them. I enjoyed this movie because the storyline is a mystery with a lot of twists that keeps you guessing.This story is about a boy named Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) whose father, Harry Goodman (Ryan Reynolds) dies in a car crash. Tim goes to Ryme City and meets a Pikachu with a detective hat who says that he is Harry’s Pokémon, and a brilliant detective. Tim and Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) must find out who killed Tim’s father and why.

 

This movie is great, all the Pokémon in the movie look realistic and lifelike. I found it very fun to search the movie and spot all the different Pokémon that they have in the movie such as Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, Lickitung, Charmander and many more.There is also a video game version of the movie called Detective Pikachu where you play in the Pokémon world and join Detective Pikachu in Ryme City to solve mysteries and crimes that Pokémon cause. It has a similar plot to the movie, so it is fun to get to play what you see in the film.

 

My favorite scene in this movie is one where Pikachu is very sad and starts singing some short pieces of the Pokémon theme song as he walks away from Tim, acting depressed. I like this scene because the way that Pikachu sings it is hilarious. Another good scene is when Tim, Detective Pikachu, Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) a journalist, and her Psyduck are running away from some Greninjas and Psyduck gets a headache. This is very dangerous because his head could explode. I like this scene because it is full of action and the way Pikachu gives Psyduck a headache is hilarious. My favorite character in this movie is Detective Pikachu because he makes a lot of great jokes about other Pokémon and his obsession with coffee. His humor is sarcastic and dry, but he is also cute and fluffy. This contrast is very amusing.

The message of this movie is that you should stay loyal to your friends and trust them. There is also a strong storyline about the relationships between father and son.

 

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to18 because younger children may not understand the storyline. It opens in theaters May 10, 2019 so look for it.

 

 

 

 

Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom! – Educational and Amusing. Great Characters!

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Movie Reviews
Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom! – Educational and Amusing. Great Characters!

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It’s a Sonic you haven’t seen before – an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he’s up against, Sonic is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. The series is set in a wide-open world, where most of the characters live in and around an unnamed village. Just over the horizon is a vast landscape filled with beaches, jungles, mountains, undersea civilizations, cloud cities, frozen lakes, and more! Includes 8 Action-Packed Episodes! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “My favorite part about this series is that they always find a way to make it humorous and add some plot twists. Every episode is different and that makes the audience want to watch the whole series all at once.” Damon F. adds, “I like this show because it has lots of characters from the classic Sonic Video games and TV shows. It shows their personality and fighting techniques. This is a good introduction to the characters to anyone that wants to play the Sonic games.” Rachel V. wraps it up with, “Although it’s based on the Sonic franchise, there is not a lot of on-screen action to keep little one’s eyes trained on the screen. That said, I believe that any young kid who is a fan of the game will be very excited to see Sonic on screen.” See their full reviews below.

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Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom!

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

https://youtu.be/0m8Lt0ueZCE

This action packed series is very educating. The morals taught in the episodes are valuable for the target audience. I love how they are able to teach important lessons in a very entertaining way. The show follows the characters Sonic, his friends and Dr. Eggman. Sonic and his friends always have some conflict with Dr. Eggman. The different schemes that Dr. Eggman comes up with are amusing and I watched till the end to see if Sonic and his friends were be able to solve the problem.Mike Pollock voices Dr. Eggman in a very interesting way. Pollock can sound like a villain in one scene and in another he could be your grandfather. Dr. Eggman is a character with two personalities and it is great that Pollock voices both of them.

The characters in this series are unique in their appearance. Sonic and his friends are animals, but they only have a few features that are recognizable as animals. I like that they vary their appearances from other films and series. It keeps the audience interested and intrigued.My favorite part about this series is that they always find a way to make it humorous and add some plot twists. Every episode is different and that makes the audience want to watch the whole series all at once.

There are many underlying messages in each episode. The ones that stand out are to find the goodness in people and to work together. Sonic and Dr. Eggman will forever be rivals, but they do enjoy each other’s company. Sonic realizes that Dr. Eggman is desperate for attention and uses that to his advantage to be able to get to the good side of Dr. Eggman. This is how Sonic is always able to calm Dr. Eggman down and stop him from continuing his crazy, sometimes evil, ideas – for a while. Sonic and his team of superhero friends have to work together to come up with a plan to stop Dr. Eggman. Sometimes, when Sonic leaves, they fight over what to do and who should be the leader. In the end, they resolve their problems and learn the right thing to do for the next time a similar situation arises.

 

I loved how this DVD teaches valuable lessons that are usually overlooked in other children’s shows. I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 9. Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom is out now on DVDs so check it out!

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Sonic Boom – Here Comes the Boom

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

https://youtu.be/BhVNUZRcdjE

 

I like this show because it has lots of characters from the classic Sonic Video games and TV shows. It shows their personality and fighting techniques. This is a good introduction to the characters to anyone that wants to play the Sonic games. If you want to try Sonic games, but you don’t know any of the characters just watch this show.Sonic Boom – Here Comes the Boom is about Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) and his friends facing challenges usually involving Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock), where they must work together to either escape a temple or destroy a robot. Sonic can’t fight off Dr. Eggman by himself, so he gets help from his friends and sticks the completely wild badger that uses a boomerang as her weapon of choice. Amy Rose is a pink hedgehog who fights with her hammer and keeps everyone at peace. Rounding out the team are Knuckles the echidna with a love of fighting and Tails Sonic’s tech-loving fox sidekick that can use his two tails to help him fly around.

 

My favorite episode in this DVD is “Just a Guy.” In this episode, Sonic accidently calls someone “just a guy” and everyone gets angry at him. I like this episode because it is funny and has a good message. That message is “don’t stereotype people.” Another good episode is “CowBot,” which is about when Dr. Eggman sends a robot that looks like a cow after Sonic. After a bit of fighting, Sonic gets the CowBot to go after Dr. Eggman. He goes to save him, but the CowBot is incredibly slow so they do loads of funny stuff while they wait. This episode is hilarious in how they solve the problem in the end.My favorite character is CuBot because, whenever his partner OrBot says something smart about something he just says the real meaning without knowing what OrBot wants. For example, in the episode “The Meteor.” OrBot says, “Perhaps it is time we bid our foes “adieu.” CuBot doesn’t know what that means so he just says, “No time, we have to leave,” which means the same thing. I find these parts funny.

 

The main message of most of the episodes is, you must work together to complete a challenge. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7 because it has good messages in every episode that younger kids will like.

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Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom

By Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

https://youtu.be/M5QuMYz0oe8

 

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from Sonic Boom, an animated (CGI) kids’ show based around the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Let me frank, I have seen better kids’ shows.  That’s not to say that it is not a good show, it just isn’t as great as the video game that it originates from.  Aesthetically, it is a fairly good looking show, certainly above average your standard kiddie show in that regard. The voice acting is pretty good, but I have other concerns. The dialogue seems as if it is intended for preteens or adolescents, but it is not nearly clever or funny enough for that audience.  Although it’s based on the Sonic franchise, there is not a lot of on-screen action to keep little one’s eyes trained on the screen. That said, I believe that any young kid who is a fan of the game will be very excited to see Sonic on screen. I recommend this for ages 7 to 11 and give it  4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

 

 

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Season 2, Volume 2 – Martin Short Rocks As The Cat In The Hat In This Collection

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Kids
The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Season 2, Volume 2 – Martin Short Rocks As The Cat In The Hat In This Collection

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The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat.  Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! Enjoy the second volume of the second season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! In this volume set, kids will learn the answers to questions like what is the Earth’s atmosphere, why do we need bones, and how is paper made. The discoveries don’t end there! We learn how polar bears survive the arctic winter, how our ears work and so much more! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sev’n F. comments, “. Not only is this a fun Dr. Seuss cartoon for all, but it is also educational. Have fun while learning about the earth’s atmosphere, the human skeleton, how paper is made and much more!” Katherine S. adds, “I love this DVD because it is bursting with awesomeness.  You find stories with snappy songs, wildly creative graphics and colorful animation.” Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror wraps it up with, “This DVD does not disappoint! It has 20 episodes! Directed by Tony Collingwood, the Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) definitely shows us that he knows a lot about many things from names and locations of the planets in our solar system to how animals walk with more than two legs.” See their full reviews below.

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Season 2, Volume 2
By Sev’n F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

https://youtu.be/Pcwaf8UbtAE

Calling all Dr. Seuss fans! Here’s two discs, 20 episodes, fully loaded of extraordinary voyages of two best friends. Not only is this a fun Dr. Seuss cartoon for all, but it is also educational. Have fun while learning about the earth’s atmosphere, the human skeleton, how paper is made and much more! So, let’s jump into our imaginary Thinga-ma-jigger and go go go on an adventure with Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.In each episode, I learned something I never knew before. In each of the 20 episodes, a lesson is taught through the journey of two best friends. It had me saying “wow, how interesting !” In one episode, I learned how paper is made. Who would have thought a tree, that I see every day in my young life, is chopped down to make paper? I use paper everyday. This is what I liked about this DVD. I learned something new in each episode.What is less appealing about this show are the settings and colors. It felt like this film was created back in the 80s. I thought it needed to be modernized to capture the attention of today’s young viewers.

My favorite characters are Sally and Nick. They are six years old and best friends. I like the bond they share in each episode. They communicate and work well with each other – team players, if you ask me. They have tons of fun and experience their journeystogether. It truly shows the true meaning of best friends. I have a best friend and she and I love to take pretend voyages together.

Each episode has a different message, but the one thing they have in common are the lessons that are being taught through Nick and Sally’s voyages. In each show, you learn scientific knowledge. This is a neat way to gather your children together to sing along while taking an amazing educational journey. Knowledge is key and there’s no better way to learn but through a cool Dr. Seuss show.I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It is very educational and fun. The music had me bopping my head along with it. I would like it even better if it was more modernized. I recommend it for ages 3 to 14. My baby brother is three and he sung along with Nick and Sally. My mom is 39-years-old and she learned something about the human skeleton, that she never knew about before. This DVD is available now so, look for it.

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That: S2, V2 – Bursting with Creativity!

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That: Season 2, Volume 2
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
https://youtu.be/3vz-6zhUYRg

Here we go, go, go, go on an adventure! I love this DVD because it is bursting with awesomeness.  You find stories with snappy songs, wildly creative graphics and colorful animation.  The voices of all of the characters work in perfect harmony, which makes each episode very engaging.

In The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That: Season 2, Volume 2, the two, adorable 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick set out on many quests for knowledge. Nick and Sally learn a lot about why tummies grumble and how to walk on more than three legs. They also learn to name the planets in a splendid trip to space (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). In another adventure they learn how cloth is made. The DVD has 20 different stories averaging a little more than 10 minutes each.

Martin Short is the voice of the Cat who does a remarkable job! The creativity in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That is so very clever, including the names of the Cat’s friends, the places that Sally, Nick and the Cat go, and of course, all of the things that the thinga-ma-jigger can do. My favorite character is The Cat in The Hat because he has loads of fabulous and brilliant friends from all over the world.  They are always happy to educate and teach Sally and Nick all they know.  And something I also really like is that The Cat in The Hat’s friends seem to always have wild and wacky hairstyles. They are really funny. My favorite part is when Sally, Nick, and the Cat go to space and how the thinga-ma-jigger transforms into a space thinga-ma-jigger.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to want to learn, be curious, and the value of friendship. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that children might try to imitate. It promotes positive behavior and they treat everyone appropriately.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars.  I recommend this DVD for ages 3-8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids.  The DVD is currently available.

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! Season 2, Volume 2
Reviewed by Denise A. B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

https://youtu.be/Os8rsUtGNAg

I’m a big fat of The Cat in the Hat! I have been since I was a little girl. Now, as an adult, I’m still a big fan! This DVD does not disappoint! It has 20 episodes! Directed by Tony Collingwood, the Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) definitely shows us that he knows a lot about many things from names and locations of the planets in our solar system to how animals walk with more than two legs. It is entertaining, engaging and great for preschool and school aged children, as well as their parents. Children will enjoy watching the Cat in the Hat and his friends Sally & Nick as they go on adventures to learn new things. One of my favorite episodes is about the solar system as the Cat in the Hat teaches Sally & Nick the order of the planets and their names. Martin Short as the voice of Cat in the Hat is perfect! I just love him. I also enjoyed the theme song. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars, because I think it is a perennial hit. It’s engaging, entertaining and educational What more could you want! I recommend it for ages 3 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

Shazam! – Soars Far Above Other Superhero Movies Buoyed By Unique Direction And Story

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Movie Reviews
Shazam! – Soars Far Above Other Superhero Movies Buoyed By Unique Direction And Story

We all have a superhero inside of us — it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In 14-year-old Billy Batson’s case, all he needs to do is shout out one word to transform into the adult superhero Shazam. Still a kid at heart, Shazam revels in the new version of himself by doing what any other teen would do — have fun while testing out his newfound powers. But he’ll need to master them quickly before the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana can get his hands on Shazam’s magical abilities. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Shazam! keeps up the strong footing of solo DC movies within the Extended Universe. It soars far above other superhero movies buoyed by a unique direction and story.” Zoe C. adds, “Shazam! is absolutely amazing. It’s entertaining, funny, action packed and engaging. This is maybe the best DC Extended Universe movie so far.” Benjamin P. wraps it with, “Shazam! is a refreshing, rollicking good time with some hilarious comedy and great performances. Shazam! has tons of superhero fun, but also has a warm emotional center.” See their  reviews and interviews below.

 

Shazam!
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

https://youtu.be/ebhx3aeYnSY

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Shazam! keeps up the strong footing of solo DC movies within the Extended Universe. It soars far above other superhero movies buoyed by a unique direction and story. This is a must watch for all.

The story follows street-smart foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who turns into an adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) by yelling “Shazam!” Courtesy of an ancient wizard, Billy revels this adult version of himself alongside foster pal Freddy (Jack Dylan Gratzer). Can he fly? Can he buy beer? Does he have X-Ray vision? Better yet, can he talk to fish? These scenarios are tested to their limits, but seriousness strikes as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) seeks to defeat Shazam and steal his powers. Billy realizes there’s more to this than jokes, but also a test to prove what makes a hero.

First, Zachary Levi owns it as Shazam with his natural comedic talent and physical prowess. He looks the part with his Godlike figure, while nailing the childishness with believability. The same goes for Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson with the similar youthfulness, but nails his quieter heroic actions. The transformation is so seamless that you can truly believe the two are playing off each other. But, the cast’s standout comes in Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy who proved his talents in IT, but here he is even better. His conversations with Billy/Shazam are so improvisational and random and they just work. Every line of his lands. The rest of the foster family, played by Faithe Herman (Darla), Ian Chen (Eugene), Jovan Armand (Pedro) and Grace Fulton (Mary) are all incredible with each member having their own unique characteristics. I especially love Darla’s innocent goodness and happiness to have Billy around. Mark Strong, as Thaddeus Sivana, is a formidable foe with an apt back story. Still, I would have loved to see Strong saved for a bigger endgame.shazam.a.jpg

David F. Sanberg’s direction is superb, especially for his first action movie after a variety of successful horror movies. He even flexes his horror muscles with some truly terrifying designs for Sivana’s powers. My favorite scenes are Freddy’s training montages as those are a true testament to the film’s sense of humor. Scenes like these are so unique in comparison to most superhero films. I also love many of the heartfelt moments within Billy’s quest to find family. I wish the film had a bigger budget to make up for its action scenes, which could be far-between and underwhelming. But, in a way that adds to the movie’s freshness, giving small scale looks at big fights.

The message of this film is that family is found from loving and genuine experiences, not in a word. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to intense action sequences, brief suggestive content and language. The movie opens in theaters April 5,  2019, so check it out.

Shazam!
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic  age 10
https://youtu.be/lyMDIRWGOBg

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Shazam! is absolutely amazing. It’s entertaining, funny, action packed and engaging. This is maybe the best DC Extended Universe movie so far.14-year old Billy Batson discovers, with the help of an ancient wizard, that he can turn into a Superhero just by saying the word: “Shazam!” But Billy is not just dressed in a superhero outfit, he also looks older and big!Converted into Shazam, Billy, who lives with adopted parents, goes home and tells his friend (or brother?) Freddy that he is Billy. Freddy loves super heroes and knows everything about them. Together they test Shazam’s capabilities and surprise: he is indeed a real superhero. As Shazam, Billy uses his super powers for good but also for fun.

 

I think Shazam! makes the cinematic world a better place. It is not just a hilarious comedy: it is about finding a family, making true friends and combating bullying.

The acting in Shazam! is amazing. Zachary Levi is the perfect Shazam. He has the charisma and humor to make this big kid an adorable hero. Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer also make this movie very engaging: they are not just funny but also kind hearted. These actors totally carry the film.  I think all the actors in this film make it more relatable for younger audiences and new generations. I definitely think that this movie is a unique superhero film, because usually that genre is more serious with only a couple jokes. But this one kept me laughing. There’s action and emotional moments as well. I feel the amount of comedy is perfect and what makes this movie special.

 

The director David F. Sandberg surprised audiences as he is most known for his horror films, but this one turned out to be an incredible and enthusiastic production.The story works perfectly for the whole family, so I recommend it for ages 5 to18. I am a huge fan of this film: it made me laugh and kept me entertained the entire time, and the visual effects are very good. I give Shazam! five out of five stars.The message of the film is that we can all be heroes: it only takes a pure heart to have the power and strength to do good deeds, help people and beat the bad guys. Shazam! opens in theaters on April 5, 2019 so make sure to say the word and catch it in your favorite theater!

Shazam!
Benjamin P., Kids First! Film Critic, Age 13
https://youtu.be/yrqntOZrZys

 

 

Shazam! is a refreshing, rollicking good time with some hilarious comedy and great performances. Shazam! has tons of superhero fun, but also has a warm emotional center.The story line follows Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid, who moves in with a new family. Billy gains powers from a wizard who chooses him to be his champion against the forces of evil. He can transform into a powerful superhero just by saying the word “shazam.” He and his foster brother Freddy test Billy’s abilities to figure out the extent of his powers. Billy navigates the ups and downs of being a sudden superhero, while also clashing with Dr. Sivana, who is determined to take Batson’s powers to rule the world.

 

I really like the performances in this film. Jack Dylan Grazer is good as Freddy. Grazer takes a comedic best friend and makes him much more than a one-note sidekick. Zachary Levi is great as the super-powered version of Billy Batson. Levi channels the personality of a teenager very believably. His performance is natural and I don’t feel like I’m watching an adult try to play a teen. Mark Strong hams it up as Dr. Sivana, but he’s still quite frightening and a real threat to the characters.I love the tone of this film. It’s never self-serious and, rather than making the hero dark and brooding, Shazam! captures its heroes and their powers with a childlike wonder. This film understands that superheroes are people who we can look up to because, even though they are flawed, they always aspire to do the right thing. I love the stakes of this film. It does not rely on apocalyptic proportions to make you care about its characters.

 

Shazam! starts as an origin story, but ends up doing more than that. Billy has always pushed the idea of family away and is more scared of accepting family than his powers. He has to embrace the idea of family to grow as a person and a hero. He realizes he can’t beat Sivana alone and what you gain from having people support and appreciate you. I think this arc is heartwarming and a great direction for this film.

I recommend Shazam! For ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although this film sometimes veers into predictable and clichéd territory, I came out of Shazam! with a smile on my face and excited to see what comes next from these characters. I highly recommend you check out this film when it comes out in theaters April 5, 2019

Photos © 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

 

 

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family – Learn About The Importance Of Family

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Kids
Sesame Street: Celebrate Family – Learn About The Importance Of Family

Celebrate your family with this fun-fest of five family stories from Sesame Street! First, Abby’s family has dinner at Elmo’s house, where Abby learns that different families can have fun working together to make a meal. Then, Cookie Monster realizes he’s forgotten a gift for his mommy for Mother’s Day what should he do? For Father’s Day, Rosita wants to make a video for her dad, but she needs some help from her friends. Next we meet Rudy, Abby’s new stepbrother! And finally, Hooper’s Store is throwing a special party for kids and their grandparents. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Each episode has an abundance of vibrant energy and many great lessons for families.  This DVD is a great place to learn about the importance of family.” Nancy F. adds, “!  It is absolutely amazing to watch with its focus on positive messages that teach kids about family values. It also shares terrific lessons about kindness and many other uplifting messages.” Ella L. wraps it up with, “Even as a teenager, I felt the happiness that radiates through the screen. This movie is musical, creative, filled with positive messages and very importantly, is representative of real life relationships.” See their full reviews below.

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Sesame Street: Celebrate Family

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

https://youtu.be/sZlS9p49Mn0

 

I absolutely love each episode of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family, because the characters are so colorful and cute. Each episode has an abundance of vibrant energy and many great lessons for families.  This DVD is a great place to learn about the importance of family.Sesame Street: Celebrate Family has five parts covering different topics with all of the different Sesame Street characters. The stories include Abby and her stepfamily visiting Elmo for a fun “father/kids’ night” learning about the different things families do together. We get to see the challenges that Cookie Monster has trying to make something for his mom on Mother’s Day. He just likes to gobble everything up because it reminds him of cookies (surprise!).  For Father’s Day, Rosita makes something special for her dad since he’s away from home. We also get to see a grandparent’s party and learn about different grandparents such as Baby Bear’s grandpa.

 

The main characters are, of course, Elmo, Abby, Rudy (Abby’s step brother) and Rosita. The puppeteers are fabulous with all their actions and different voices. The songs are so stinking cute, catchy and easy to follow along with. My favorite part is when Cookie Monster eats the locket he planned to give to his mom because the picture reminded him of how they eat cookies together. You probably guessed that my favorite character is Cookie Monster. If so, you guessed right.There are several positive messages throughout the DVD.  My favorite is that family is so very important, and you should take time to celebrate with them. Family is important no matter what you do or how different yours is. These episodes also touch on ways to have self-control, acknowledge your differences and give love to your family and friends. They also show that it is okay to be nervous about meeting new people, and that you can still celebrate even if your special person isn’t there. Each episode makes me want to celebrate family even more.

 

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is very kid friendly. It promotes positive social behavior and treating one another appropriately. There is no bad language and nothing risky or dangerous that children might imitate. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 11. Adults will also enjoy this show. This DVD is available now, so look for it. I recommend it.

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Sesame Street: Celebrate Family

By Nancy Fifita, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

 

https://youtu.be/91zW7fL5epk

 

 

 

The DVD Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is incredibly adorable!  It is absolutely amazing to watch with its focus on positive messages that teach kids about family values. It also shares terrific lessons about kindness and many other uplifting messages. What I really love and appreciate is how each character highlights a different point of view that all relate back to friendship and family. This film is filled with catchy music, comedy, valuable lessons, and features funny and adorable characters.The DVD is centered on five family stories from Sesame Street!  The first adventure is about Abby and her families’ dinner with Elmo’s family. She discovers that not all families are the same; each has their own way of doing things. The second story involves Cookie Monster and Mother’s Day. He is great at creating gifts, but always ends up devouring them. He finally is able to restrain himself from eating the cookies he gives his mom as a gift for Mother’s Day. The next story is about Father’s Day and how Rosita wants to make a special video for her father. In order to complete the video she needs help from her friends. Then there’s a story about Abby and her new stepbrother Rudy! The last adventure shows happiness through a special celebration held for grandparents at Hopper’s store.

 

The characters we see here include Elmo (Kevin Clash), Abby (Leslie Cadabby), Rudy, Rosita, Cookie Monster (David Rudman), Oscar (Caroll Spinney), Slimy, Prairie Dawn (Fran Brill), Elmo’s Father (Bill Barretta) and Abby’s Father. I love all the messages that are taught in the different episodes. Each gives cute and warm fuzzy feelings as it focuses and draws attention to the importance of family relationships, family support and having family right by your side.My favorite moment on this DVD is when Elmo Face Times his grandparents. It is a simple gesture and form of communication, but their reaction of joy and happiness is priceless. It teaches us an important lesson that, even if distance separates us from family, there is always a way to keep in touch, especially in the world of modern technology.

I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11 and adults as well. This DVD is so adorable, with meaningful lessons and teachable moments. I’m sure that anyone that watches it will truly enjoy it!  It is available now so look for it!

 

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family

by Ella Ladd, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/tAYakbazzVg

 

 

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is a fun and entertaining DVD that both kids and parents will be able to enjoy. Even as a teenager, I felt the happiness that radiates through the screen. This movie is musical, creative, filled with positive messages and very importantly, is representative of real life relationships. I assume that the purpose of this show is to entertain children, while teaching them about the variety of families that exist. Sesame Street: Celebrate Family follows Elmo and all his friends as they navigate through different relationships and figure out what the word family really means. Throughout the series, topics such as siblings, step-siblings, parents and grandparents are discussed. Different songs about different members of one’s family showcase the love and admiration Elmo and his friends feel towards their family. The film is very well written, with loads of content and humor that kids will absorb and enjoy thoroughly. The cheerfulness of Elmo and the Sesame Street community ought to make your kids want to laugh, play and sing along with them. Their positivity is absolutely contagious.

The aspect of the show that stands most are the positive messages. Elmo even says that “families come in all different shapes and sizes.” I am impressed by the progressive way that families are depicted in this show. All the families are different; none are a cookie-cutter mother-father-kid experience. Elmo and his friends also teach kids to love their families and treat their parents with love and respect. This DVD shows that family isn’t necessarily what you are born into. It’s the connections, relationships and bonds that you build with the people around you, regardless of age, color or any other hereditary aspect. Family is thicker than blood and that message is well portrayed here.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10, as well as adults. This is an awesome show that helps kids develop their own personal values and character. Sesame Street: Celebrate Family does indeed celebrate families. The DVD is available now so, look for it!

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Sesame Street: Celebrate Family

By Kimberly M, KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

https://youtu.be/Hzmq1Vmqg_Y

This delightful DVD carries the Sesame Street legacy of learning and fun, mixed with new characters, updated theme song elements and scenery. The various segments included here celebrate family, including Mother’s and Father’s Day and introduces one of the main character’s new stepbrother.The storylines have meaning and there is nothing threatening about them. One can rely on Sesame Street for great live action cinematography, great characters and thoughtful stories. I always enjoy the uniqueness of the Muppet costumes along with the Sesame Street set. The characters bright colors stand out and help hold the attention of younger viewers.

As to the characters in this show, I like seeing the older characters along with some new ones. We see Oscar, Elmo, and Abby meeting and learning about new human fraternal twin siblings.Another favorite part for me is the segments where they sing about different types of families. In one segment, the human twin siblings argue over music until they find common ground with jazz. That’s fun!

Sesame Street excels at presenting humor in their sketches, effectively making kids and older viewers laugh along. I enjoy that this DVD celebrates all different aspects of family. It is geared primarily for young children and they will benefit by learning about sibling rivalry and other aspects of family that may be unfamiliar to them.There are no unsavory aspects to this show. Sesame Street has a long-standing reputation, since 1969 of creating conscientious programming for preschoolers and this DVD is reliably thoughtful, educational and fun. The DVD is 140 minutes in length and can easily be enjoyed by watching it in segments. I truly enjoyed it and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 2 to 5, as well as adults. It is available now on DVD, so look for it.

 

 

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