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The Call of the Wild * An Amazing Film, Based on Jack London’s Book, Some Disturbing Images

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Reviews
The Call of the Wild * An Amazing Film, Based on Jack London’s Book, Some Disturbing Images

Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon in the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail-delivery dog sled team, Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime as he ultimately finds his true place in the world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ruby A. comments, “My feelings about this movie are quite mixed. On one side, the use of CGI helps to portray the strong emotions of the dogs. On the other hand, there are many scenes containing brutal animal abuse that many audiences will find disturbing and unsettling.” Jolleen M. adds, “The Call of the Wild has such wonderful sets, cinematography and CGI. Although the film is pleasing to watch, the plotline itself is predictable and redundant. There are so many films out there about a man’s best friend and there is nothing in The Call of the Wild that sets it apart from them.” Damon F. wraps it up with, “The Call of the Wild is an amazing film based on a book with the same name by Jack London that follows the story of a massive, clumsy dog named Buck, who gets taken away from his master, is forced into slavery and struggles trying to discover his true destiny.” See their full reviews below.

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The Call of the Wild

By Ruby A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

https://youtu.be/U0HKgLi5w-Q

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My feelings about The Call of the Wild are quite mixed.  Mainly because of how effective the CGI is in portraying the strong emotions of the dogs—that is fine except when the dogs are abused, and that could be disturbing and unsettling for some audiences. However, overall the storyline of the movie is incredibly well-structured and detailed.The Call of the Wild is about Buck, a fearless, strong dog who has been through so much in his life. After being shut out on the porch of his California home, Buck’s name is called and he finds himself in the hands of a dog seller, who locks him inside of a box for transport. A while later, he is recruited to pull a dogsled that delivers mail in Alaska. After a journey full of twists and turns, Buck discovers a whole new world with someone he loves and trusts by his side.

 

Some of the lead characters include John Thornton (Harrison Ford) Perrault (Omar Sy) and, of course, Buck. What really stands out is the CGI that is essential to express the emotions of the animals. It is really effective—the dogs look almost human! With such emotion in their eyes, and their actions, there is barely anything that humans can’t relate to. (Except for the furriness!) The difference the CGI makes is in the emotional impact and how it helps the audience feel attached to the characters, and love for them, too. It improves the quality and aesthetic of the film, which makes the viewing experience vivid.The Call of the Wild strongly conveys a message of how perseverance can make anyone a stronger, more intelligent person who can take on more difficult challenges than ever before. The film is successful in signifying this empowering lesson through symbolism and emotion. Audiences should beware of some aggressive behavior toward animals, and between other characters. Several weapons are used, such as a whip, a bat, and guns. Minimal amounts of blood are shown. There really isn’t any bad language, however.

 

I give The Call of the Wild 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can find The Call of the Wild in theaters on February 21, 2020.

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The Call of the Wild

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

 

https://youtu.be/9ZROezidVXs

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The Call of the Wild has such wonderful sets, cinematography and CGI. Although the film is pleasing to watch, the plotline itself is predictable and redundant. There are so many films out there about a man’s best friend and there is nothing in The Call of the Wild that sets it apart from them.Based on the novel by Jack London, the storyline follows a dog named Buck who is stolen from his home on a ranch. He is sold to become a sled dog to deliver mail. Buck has many encounters with a man named John Thornton who eventually becomes Buck’s owner. They become very close and John takes him on a trip to the other side of the mountain in honor of his late son, because it is a trip that he would have loved. Unfortunately, another man named Hal, whose judgment is clouded by greed, believes that John is taking this trip because he knows where the gold is. Hal follows him with ill intentions. Because of this whole journey Buck, in the end, finds where he belongs.

 

Harrison Ford, who plays John Thornton, embodies his role and shows the audience the bond that Thornton develops with Buck. It’s almost as if he sees Buck as his own son. The dog that plays Buck is named Buckley. He was a stray dog in Kansas and director Chris Sanders and his wife adopted him because he was the same breed as the dog in the novel. Buckley went from being on the streets to starring in a movie where he gives an amazing performance.The story is set in Alaska where the scenery is quite beautiful. They capture the majesty of the frozen mountains and even the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. The CGI for the dogs is photorealistic. It is super cute how they show the dogs’ emotions by their facial expressions.

 

My favorite parts of this film are the various shots of the scenery. It really looks so beautiful in both the daytime and nighttime shots. I loved seeing it and it makes me want to visit those places.The message of this film is about realizing that life is a journey and will be full of challenges, but through these challenges you will find your place. If Buck wasn’t kidnapped from his home on the ranch he never would have truly been happy. Without the challenges that he faced, he would have never gotten his freedom in the wild. Everything happened for a reason, from being tortured to meeting John Thornton.

 

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Even adults might enjoy this film. The Call of the Wild comes out in theaters on February 21, 2020, so check it out!

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The Call of the Wild
Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

 

https://youtu.be/cSmkIgEsX7o

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The Call of the Wild is an amazing film based on a book with the same name by Jack London that follows the story of a massive, clumsy dog named Buck, who gets taken away from his master, is forced into slavery and struggles trying to discover his true destiny.When the movie begins, Buck is taken away from his home and must adapt to his new environment in the wilderness. I really like the way the movie shows him changing to fit in. They use a giant, black, shadow of a wolf with glowing, yellow eyes. Every time Buck needs to make an important decision, the wolf is there leading him to the best path.

 

The animation and CGI in this movie are great; all the dogs look incredibly realistic. There is a dog fight between Buck and another dog that is very intense and the dogs act just like normal dogs act when fighting each other. The cinematography, with the visual effects, is really outstanding. Each different landscape has thousands of small details that showcase the amazing power of Mother Nature, which is exactly what the movie wants to show to us.My favorite character is Buck the dog; he is playful, kind, funny and all-around relatable character. Buck is the main character in the movie, even though he doesn’t talk. My favorite scene is when John Thornton, Buck’s final owner, is trying to drink his bottle of whiskey and Buck keeps knocking his glass out of his hand. Eventually, Buck steals the bottle and buries it in the yard. This scene was hilarious and it made me think that Buck was saying, “no drinking.”

 

There are two different messages that this movie offers. One is, “you don’t need to hurt people to be a leader; be kind and you will get your best team.” The second is, “Mother Nature is powerful, don’t try to take too much from it, only take what you need so the world can stay as beautiful as it is today.”I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to18 because some jokes most kids won’t understand. This film comes out in theaters February 21, 2020. Look for it.

 

 

 

 

Emma * A Cheerful Adaptation of Jane Austen’s Beloved Novel

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Reviews
Emma * A Cheerful Adaptation of Jane Austen’s Beloved Novel

Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is re-imagined in this film. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Emma is a cheerful adaption of Jane Austen’s beloved novel. Readers of Jane Austen can rejoice as her characters come to screen.” See his full review below.

Emma
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Emma is a cheerful adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel. Readers of Jane Austen can rejoice as her characters come to screen. Others might not find this to be their cup of tea.
In this adaptation the “handsome, clever and rich” matchmaker Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor Joy) pursues her adventures through matches and romanticism to find love.
Anya Taylor Joy, as Emma, gives the best performance. Anya has grown from a being newcomer and this demanding performance proves that, allowing for eloquent speaking and characterization. Her conversations with other characters are straight out of the classic Victorian tale; keeping in mind, she is American. Her love interests are Johnny Flynn as Mr. Knightley, a dashingly critical friend, and Callum Turner as Frank Churchill, a rich gentleman. I also enjoyed Mia Goth as Harriet, as she helps Emma find her match.
Director Autumn de Wilde is artistic, but the pacing could be tighter. This is a slow movie as several scenes are long, drawn-out conversations. I feel this aspect is best achieved in books, though some movies can capture the audience’s attention like that. This movie really must be your forte for it to be enjoyable. The character’s parlance is always olden English, and there is a loss of stakes. The score by Isobel Waller-Bridge is authentically Georgian capturing the grounded roots of genteel women living in England.
The message of this film is to not rush love, as Emma and Harriet let time prove its worth after hasty pursuits. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, due to brief nudity, even though younger kids might not be interested in watching this. The movie releases in theaters on February 21, 2020, so check it out.

Sonic the Hedgehog * Based On A Favorite Game Character, This Hits It Out Of The Park!

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Movie Reviews
Sonic the Hedgehog * Based On A Favorite Game Character, This Hits It Out Of The Park!

Sonic tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound best friend — a human named Tom Wachowski. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this movie because is based on one of my favorite game characters… The graphics in the movie are excellent and, with the new sonic design, it looks like Sonic is real.  The new design works better than the Sonic design Paramount Pictures had before redoing this movie.  The special effects are impressive too, such as Sonic’s blue lightning which also looks real.” Zoe C. adds, “I’ve never played Sonic the video game and was never a really big fan of the character but I really like this movie. It is very well done and great for the whole family. I like the animation and I love the acting. The story is very human and has very little to do with video games. It is about friendship and friends that become a family.”  Tiana S. contributes, “I really love this movie! Sonic the Hedgehog’s team nails it creating a movie based on the SEGA video game of the same name. There are amazing special effects from the beginning to the end.  I love how it includes parts from the SEGA game, such as Sonic running in vertical loops and his spin attacks. I felt as if I was watching a live version of the actual game!” Ian C. wraps it up with, “Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog was the first non-educational video game my mom allowed me to play. I was five years old, and making Sonic speed through worlds was awesome! This film lives up to my expectations—it’s funny and just as exciting as my first time playing the game.” See their full reviews below.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11
https://youtu.be/ocBCzPAri4c

 

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I like this movie because is based on one of my favorite game characters. Sonic the Hedgehog is a live-action film—except for Sonic who is a CGI character (Ben Schwartz)—based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega.The story of Sonic the Hedgehog follows Sonic, a small blue hedgehog who has super-speed powers.  When Sonic was younger, his owl guardian gave him a bag of rings to help him escape to different planets in case anyone discovers and kidnaps him because of his powers.  One night, after he comes to Earth, he is playing baseball by himself and he gets upset because he realizes he is very lonely.  Sonic runs in circles as fast as he can because he is upset.  He is so fast that blue energy comes out of his body causing the whole town to black out.

This power outage causes big problems for Sonic who is pursued by a crazy military man named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) or Dr. Eggman, as Sonic calls him. Fortunately for Sonic, the town’s sheriff (James Marsden) catches him and helps protect him from Dr. Robotnik.The graphics in the movie are excellent and, with the new Sonic design, it looks like Sonic is real.  The new design works better than the Sonic design Paramount Pictures had before redoing this movie.  The special effects are impressive too, such as Sonic’s blue lightning which also looks real.  Ben Schwartz did and very funny voiceover for the Sonic character.  He is really full of energy.

The moral of this movie is that you are never alone in the world.  There will always be someone for you to be your friend, to talk to and to be by your side when you need it.  When Sonic is feeling alone, Sheriff Tom, or The Doughnut Lord, as Sonic calls him, takes Sonic to protect him and help him get to the Mushroom planet where Sonic needs to go.
Sonic the Hedgehog is filled with a lot of action and fun.  I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.  If I could, I would give this movie 100 out of 100 stars.  I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 plus older adults. Sonic the Hedgehog comes out in theaters on February 14, 2020.

 

Sonic The Hedgehog
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

https://youtu.be/EFJQvIgq2rM

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I’ve never played Sonic the video game and was never a really big fan of the character but I really like this movie. It is very well done and great for the whole family. I like the animation and I love the acting. The story is very human and has very little to do with video games. It is about friendship and friends that become a family.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue hedgehog that ends up on earth and he’s trying not to be discovered. He lost a ring that helps him transport to places. When humans find Sonic, he has to run away (something he does well because he moves at super sonic speeds). Sonic feels lonely and wants a friend. When he meets Tom, a police officer (James Marsden), they develop a great “bromance,” but they have to face Mr. Robotnik who is obsessed with everything fast and wants to experiment with Sonic. In their journey, both learn they don’t have to run away from their problems.

 

https://youtu.be/HWCmtgWbaRk

 

 

I love all the characters! Dr. Robotnik is so funny and pleasing to watch. He is played by Jim Carrey, who is one of my new favorite actors. His performance is amazing and he is definitely a fascinating villain. He is graceful, entertaining and full of life. I also love the character Sonic; even though it is an animated character he really looks realistic. I could really see all the details in Sonic and I felt like he was pretty much a stuffed animal, opposed to a virtual digital character. Sonic is played by Ben Schwartz, an amazing voice actor who gives the character a great personality.It’s so amazing to see a character that was made about 30 years ago continuing to fill children’s hearts with joy. I think Sonic is 100% absolutely adorable and all the characters are so fun to watch. There are a lot of action scenes and wonderful colors in the film as well. The music adds so much energy; it is catchy and upbeat. Finally, I like all the jokes and they definitely made me laugh. To add to that, I love how Sonic gives everyone their own special nickname. That gives the movie its own special touch and I guess I’ll nick name this film “Blue Speedy Furry with Heart.”

 

I give Sonic the Hedgehog five out of five stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 13. The message of this film is that friends in our lives bring us the most joy and they are the family we chose. Another message is that humans will always be more important than technology. Dr. Robotnik keeps trying to make technology a greater power than humans, but Sonic and everyone prove that our simple life and connections are what really matter. Sonic the Hedgehog opens February 14, 2020. Look for it!

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

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I really love this movie! Sonic the Hedgehog’s team nails it creating a movie based on the SEGA video game of the same name. There are amazing special effects from the beginning to the end.  I love how it includes parts from the SEGA game, such as Sonic running in vertical loops and his spin attacks. I felt as if I was watching a live version of the actual game! Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue, fast and funny hedgehog named Sonic (Ben Schwartz) who has to escape his home in another world and ends up on Earth. He accidentally causes a power outage and has to hide out in Green Hill, Montana. The government tries to hunt him down and hires Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to capture him. Sonic meets a cop named Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) or Donut Lord, as Sonic calls him, and Tom agrees to help Sonic, find his rings and defeat Dr. Ivo Robotnik, who wants to use Sonic’s power to take over the world.

 

The lead characters are Sonic, Tom Wachowski and Dr. Ivo Robotnik. It is very clever that the movie takes place in Green Hill, Montana, since the first level of the actual SEGA game is called Green Hill Zone. My favorite character is Sonic because he is funny. I love how he is made to have lives, just like he does in the SEGA game. One of my favorite scenes is when Dr. Ivo Robotnik has a virtual reality screen behind him and it shows a dinosaur running after him. Jim Carrey uses his flexibility to lower his head to make it look like the dinosaur bit it off. The movie is filled with special effects, such as explosions and lightning when Sonic runs. Sonic’s CGI perfectly match his character in the video game. This is something the producer went back to correct before releasing the film. The music ties into what happens for each part of the movie; however, I was a little disappointed that the song Super Sonic used in the trailer is not in the movie.

 

The main message of Sonic the Hedgehog is that you should consider home wherever people that care the most about you are. There isn’t much to be forewarned about besides Dr. Ivo Robotnik uses some minor foul language.   I rate Sonic the Hedgehog 5 out of 5 rings and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18. Adults, especially gamers, will also love this movie. Since it’s based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game by SEGA, it may remind them of their own childhood. It’s a great action-packed, family movie. Catch Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters starting February 14, 2020. Be sure to stay for the credits.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
By Ian C., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/SaYomHHWX7c

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Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog was the first non-educational video game my mom allowed me to play. I was five years old, and making Sonic speed through worlds was awesome! This film lives up to my expectations—it’s funny and just as exciting as my first time playing the game.        In Sonic the Hedgehog, a talking alien hedgehog, Sonic, uses magic rings to get to Earth. Here he hides from those that would seek to use his powers for bad. Sonic, (Ben Schwartz), is extremely lonely, and one day his emotions get out of control. He accidentally causes a huge power outage that gets the attention of the U.S. government. The government calls in a psychotic inventor named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) who is chasing Sonic to perform experiments on him.  Sonic tries again to use his rings to run to another world, but a startled local sheriff (James Marsden) causes Sonic to lose his rings. The sheriff decides to help Sonic find his rings and escape Dr. Robotnik.

 

The cast of this film makes it 99 minutes of hilarious excitement.  Choosing one favorite part was difficult. I tossed a coin between the super crazy bar fight and Dr. Robotnik’s dance breakout. Jim Carrey dancing to his “Tunes of Anarchy” playlist won the toss. My stomach hurt from laughing.The message of this film is eventually you have to stop running and face your fears. Otherwise, you can’t get the things you want out of life.Sonic the Hedgehog has minimal violence and profanity. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You can find Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters February 14, 2020.

 

 

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All!

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Kids
Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All!

In GIGANTOSAURUS, four dinosaur pals team up for big adventures around their community as they help others, solve problems, and learn about the mysterious Gigantosaurus that lives among them. Often it’s Mazu’s curiosity that leads the group’s charge, and her friends Tiny, Bill, and Rocky eagerly join in her explorations. Whether it’s returning a lost egg to its herd or saving an insect species from extinction, these dinosaurs never give up on a challenge. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this DVD because it is very funny and teaches children different morals.  The moral of Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is about coming together as friends and never give up on any challenge or obstacle that you might find on your path.  These four dinosaur friends defeat every obstacle and challenge without giving up and help their community and other animals in need. Tiana S. adds, “Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is not my favorite DVD, but I can see how younger kids would love it. It’s not really a show that makes you laugh, but there are lots of lessons that can be learned from each episode. I really love how every character has its own unique personality.” Jolleen M. wraps it up with, “I absolutely love this adorable animated series. It is unlike any other animated series I have seen. The dynamics between all the friends is interesting and it is so pleasing seeing how supportive they are of each other.” See their full reviews below.

 

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All!
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/G0EmtOraV40

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I like this DVD because it is very funny and teaches children different morals.  Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is approximately 90 minutes long and has eight 11 minute episodes including “Giganto’s Laugh,” “Frozen Giganto,” “The Lost Egg,” “The Island,” “The Biggest Hero,” “Treasure!,” “Seeing Stars” and “Dinosia.” Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! follows four dinosaur friends – Mazu, Tiny, Bill and Rocky – who team up to help animals in need and to solve their community’s situations or problems.  They also learn about the Gigantosaurus that live among them.  Mazu is the leader of the group and her three friends follow her on different adventures.  The graphics are neat and very colorful.  The landscape is very detailed.  The music is pleasant and appealing in each episode.  The voice-overs match each dinosaur’s personality.

 

One of my favorite episodes is “Treasure!”  This episode is about the four dinosaur friends playing on a playground.  Tiny says to get cave moss for Giganto before they leave.  When Rocky gets the cave moss, he falls in some sticky water and Tiny pulls him out.  Tiny notices a little shiny gold pebble.  Mazu takes the gold pebble and brings it home.  Eventually, almost all the dinosaurs are chasing each other for the pebble.  The only one who’s not chasing or fighting over the shiny gold pebble is Giganto.  My other favorite episode is “The Biggest Hero,” because it teaches an important lesson.  This episode is about Rocky and Tiny fighting over who is the best hero.  They compete by solving a ton of problems and trying to help everyone in need.  At the end they are both heroes.
The moral of Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is about coming together as friends and never give up on any challenge or obstacle that you might find on your path.  These four dinosaur friends defeat every obstacle and challenge without giving up and help their community and other animals in need.

 

I give the DVE Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18, plus. This DVD is available now so look for it!

 

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All!
By Tiana Sirmans, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

https://youtu.be/aDJm2Qp_vPE

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Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is not my favorite DVD, but I can see how younger kids would love it. It’s not really a show that makes you laugh, but there are lots of lessons that can be learned from each episode. I really love how every character has its own unique personality.Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is an animated show based on the book by the same name by Johnny Duddle. The DVD contains eight episodes about four young dinosaurs that go on many adventures. They all work hard to face their own fears and solve problems together on their journeys. While they are on their quests, their frenemy, Gigantosaurus, who is the largest, fiercest dinosaur of all, makes appearances. Sometimes the friends help him and other times he helps them. The four young dinosaurs learn different things about Gigantosaurus during each adventure.

The main characters are Tiny (Àine Sunderland), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Rocky (Dylan Schombing) and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell), which are all dinosaurs. Even though they are all different species, they still treat each other like brothers and sisters. One of the things I felt lacking is more of the stories are not about Gigantosaurus, which is who the show is named for. I expected Gigantosaurus to be the main character, but he only makes a few appearances in each episode. The other characters talk about him a lot and they learn about him, but the four dinosaur friends are the main characters. My favorite part of each episode is how Tiny, Bill, Rocky and Mazu learn to overcome their fears. You can really see their true friendship whenever any of them needs a little help. They are always there to help each other throughout the day. I also love how they never give up.

The message in the movie is: everyone has a different talent that is useful for different things. You should appreciate others’ differences and believe that their talent has a true purpose. Since this is a kid’s movie, there isn’t much for adults to look out for except parts where kids may imitate bragging and scaring people on purpose.

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! will have younger kids roaring with laughter. I rate it 4 out of 5 stomps and recommend it for ages 3 to 6. You can find it now on DVD.

 

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest Dinosaur of All!

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/dzbjuAgYTjI

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I absolutely love this adorable animated series. It is unlike any other animated series I have seen. The dynamics between all the friends is interesting and it is so pleasing seeing how supportive they are of each other.Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is centered around four tiny dinosaur friends and their gigantic dinosaur friend, that have a love-hate relationship with. Each of the tiny dinosaurs has a different personality. One is brave, one gets scared but loves food, one’s silly and one is smart. Together they form the perfect team and are able to solve any problem. Their friend Gigantosaurus doesn’t talk, so Gigantosaurus isn’t close with them. Gigantosaurus’ size is beneficial to them because he is protect their herd, but his size can also cause some problems when he walks around. Therefore, the tiny dinosaurs still fear Gigantosaurus and they become cautious whenever he is near.

 

The voice actors for this series are all ages, to separate the adult dinosaurs from the innocent tiny ones. Even though there is this contrast between the adult voice actors and the younger voice actors, it is hard to tell the difference between the younger voice actors. Even so, the younger voice actors are quite remarkable. They are lively and portray various emotions well.The animation is pretty detailed and very colorful. It is wonderful to see that the effort put into animating so many different types of dinosaurs, as well as other animals including birds, a rodent and an interesting walking fish. There is a lot of detail in their facial expressions which portray their emotions quite well.

My favorite part of this DVD is that it is so fun and educational. Hidden inside the plot are actual dinosaur facts that kids can learn, which is amazing.There can be multiple messages in any episode, all of which are extremely valuable. It is great to see how encouraging the dinosaur friends are towards each other, as well as how all the characters are accepted. For example, Gigantosaurus is a large, scary-looking dinosaur, yet he is so caring, protective, and never means any harm. The tiny dinosaur who is considered to be the brave, adventurous one is encouraged by his friends to let out his soft, caring side. Most importantly, this DVD shows kids to look past the stereotypes and accept others, which I love.

 

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is a wonderful animated DVD collection which kids will absolutely love and learn a lot from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. It comes out on DVD January 13, 2029, so make sure to pick it up!

 

 

 

Troop Zero * Terrific Combination of Comedy, Drama and Diversity with a Great Cast

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Kids
Troop Zero * Terrific Combination of Comedy, Drama and Diversity with a Great Cast

 

In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this movie because it is a combination of comedy, drama, diversity and great casting, especially the children actors… My favorite part is when Christmas starts recruiting kids to belong to her troop.” Abigail Zoe L. adds, “I recently saw the inspiring new Amazon Prime movie, Troop Zero, and love it. It’s a warm-hearted coming-of-age story with a beautiful, positive message and a fun adventure throughout. The movie guides us through the story of a quirky girl, Christmas Flint played by the talented McKennaGrace and her rag tag group of Birdies known as Troop Zero.” See their full reviews below.

 

Troop Zero
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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I like this movie because it is a combination of comedy, drama, diversity and great casting, especially the children actors.  This film is an Amazon Prime original and has a duration of 1 hour and 37 minutes.Troop Zero timeline is the late 70’s and the storyline is about a young girl named Christmas (McKenna Grace) who’s obsessed with outer space, aliens and planets.  She finds out there is a competition that offers her to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, but in order to compete she needs to belong to a Girl’s Scout troop.  She recruits four challenging kids and asks her father’s (Jim Gaffigan) co-worker, Mrs. Rayleen (Viola Davis), to be her Troop Mom.  The five children go through tough and exciting experiences in order to earn their badges to enter the NASA’s competition.  During their journey, all five children create a strong bond and friendship.

My favorite part is when Christmas starts recruiting kids to belong to her troop.  Troop Zero has amazing actors such as Award Winner Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney and McKenna Grace from The Haunting of Hill House.  Charlie Shotwell, who portrays Joseph, Christmas’ best friend, pulls off an amazing performance as a feminine boy.  I am happy to see Johanna Colon (internet dancing sensation) play Smash, in this movie.  She’s great!  The scenery and costumes are typical 70s style, including the hairstyles.  The story line is bit slow in the beginning, but later it gets interesting.  You will experience laughter, sadness and tears of joy with this movie.The moral of this film is to have a child’s heart when it comes to choosing your friends or recruiting a team.  Christmas does not discriminate against skin color, gender identity, religion or personalities when it comes to recruiting her troop and becomes friends with all four of them because she sees their hearts, not what society considers flaws.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because the beginning is rather slow.  I recommend it for ages 8 to 18.  Older adults might enjoy this movie as well.  Troop Zero is available on Amazon Prime beginning January 17, 2020.

 

Troop Zero

By Abigail Zoe L. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

https://youtu.be/epr78cKQvVc

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I recently saw the inspiring new Amazon Prime movie, Troop Zero, and love it. It’s a warm-hearted coming-of-age story with a beautiful, positive message and a fun adventure throughout. The movie guides us through the story of a quirky girl, Christmas Flint played by the talented McKennaGrace and her rag tag group of Birdies known as Troop Zero.Christmas is passionate about science. She wants to connect to the universe and her late mom through a NASA competition. The winner will have their voice recorded and sent out to the universe for posterity on a Golden Record. This movie is a journey of self-discovery, not only for Christmas, but everyone that is a part of her adventure. Each person learns more about themselves as they work together.

One of my favorite scenes is at the end of the movie, when the cast comes together and performs at the jamboree competition. I won’t give away what happens but it is an emotional moment when they take a stand to be accepted for who they are. Another favorite scene is the baking fight scene. I bet it was so much fun for the actors to film, because it is absolutely hilarious and, at the same time, cathartic as a baking food fight between Troops Zero and Birdie. My question for you is: Who do you think won? LOL.The acting by McKenna Grace as Christmas Flint and Viola Davis as Miss Rayleen, is perfect. Each of them make the audience believe in the struggles they face during the movie. McKenna really embraces her character with the lopsided haircut and awkward, quirky moves. However, I particularly connected with her character’s father, Ramsey Flint (Gaffigan), because he so perfectly portrays the ideal father. He reminded me of my own father, who while not perfect, truly loves his daughter and wants her to be happy and achieve her dreams. Indeed, theirs is a father-daughter relationship very touching that I think families will connect with.

 

The moral of the story is to be yourself, listen to your heart and, if people try to knock you down, just keep on fighting the good fight for what you believe in. This is definitely a triumphant movie of self-acceptance and overcoming life challenges and one definitely to watch. This film would be especially enjoyable for those who love science. The transition of Troop Zero becoming Troop Hero is inspiring and uplifting. At the same time, the critic in me did find the film a little slow moving at times. All said, I think it is a wonderful movie and give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It is airing on Amazon Prime beginning January 17, 2020.

 

 

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk * Adorable selection of stories that teaches lessons about nature and friendship

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Kids
Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk * Adorable selection of stories that teaches lessons about nature and friendship

Munki and Trunk: 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 Brad M. comments, “Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!” Ethan P. adds, “I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch.  It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes.” Cadence G. wraps it up with, “I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn’t). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I’m often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.” See their full reviews below.

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk

By Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

https://youtu.be/JPkwCFToCWk

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Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!This compilation of episodes follows two main characters, Munki and Trunk, as they explore the world together. Along the way, these jungle animals learn lessons about nature, their friendship, as well as their own unique qualities. The protagonists quite often face their fears with one another and help them grow as individuals.

An interesting part of the world the characters live in is how they communicate through noises and actions, rather than actual words. Brent Dawes, the voice actor for Munki, and Alison Lambole, the voice actress for Trunk, are terrific at making the animal noises comprehensible for the audience. I love how bright and fun the animation in this show is. The jungle and characters all have a very playful vibe that keeps the audience super intrigued with each adventure. For example, each tree is animated with a particular texture that is incredible to look at. One issue I have with the DVD is how repetitive it is, but I believe that is effective for younger viewers. The two goofballs (Munki and Trunk) are amazing at bringing creativity to really simplistic scenarios. For example, the two characters are chasing a rainbow and decide to run through it. When going through the rainbow they change colors like a chameleon and then end up swimming up the rainbow,

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk has many lessons to teach viewers. My favorite is that each animal is their own individual, yet they all get along and coexist so well with one another. I think we can use this in our lives – to not worry about other people’s perceptions of us, because we should all be kind to one another regardless. Another moral of these stories is how effective teamwork is in problem solving. It seems that every episode has some type of roadblock or obstacle to overcome, and only when the two friends stand together they can prevail over the problem.

 

I give Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 2 to 8. It is available now on DVD, so go check it out!

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/-AzQ3aKoo_c

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I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch.  It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes. Jungle Fun with Munk and Trunk DVD is approximately 60 minutes long.  The adventurous episodes include:  “Hot Stuff,” “Rainbow Rising,” “Bubble Trouble,” “Copycat,” “Hypno-Munki,” “Boing Boing,” “Sticky Situation,” and “Midnight Run.” Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is about an elephant and a monkey who live together in the jungle.  They have adventures that range from comedy to scary situations.  Munki is a very curios and friendly monkey, while Trunk is a big-hearted, kind elephant.  They are friends with everyone in the jungle and very nice to other animals in need.  The jungle is their playground.  The vines are their swings, the mushrooms are their trampolines to bounce on.  The graphics are super amazing and the colors are very bright. The animation can be compared to Disney’s animated movies.  The forest looks so realistic; it looks like a real forest with real animals.  The music and theme song are very pleasant and delightful to listen to.  There is no dialog in this DVD.

My favorite episode is “Rainbow Rising,” because it is very funny.  It’s about Munki and Trunk finding berries that makes their skin or fur look blue.  They go around showing every one that they are blue.  Then, the blue wears off and they get upset.  Munki and Trunk soon see a rainbow.  They play in the rainbow and soon it makes them change colors, so they are happy again.  There are multiple morals for different episodes but the overall moral is about accepting people for who they are, with their perfections and flaws. Nobody is perfect and true friendship is about accepting each other for who they are.  Part of the lyrics from the theme songs says, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, river to wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart!”  Munki and Trunk are completely different animals, but they are still inseparable best friends.

 

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because and recommend it for ages 3 to 18.  Adults can enjoy this DVD with their children as well. It is available now so look for it.

 

Jungle Fun with Munki And Trunk
By Cadence G., KIDS  FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

https://youtu.be/uNQjK7X80aw

 

I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn’t). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I’m often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.This DVD is a collection of episodes about the jungle adventures of two friends—a monkey named Munki and an elephant named Trunk. They have fun together and meet new friends, but always seem to get in a little bit of trouble. They discover really cool things in the jungle and luckily can use many of the things they find to have some fun.

In one episode the elephant (Trunk) and monkey (Munki) start out being too hot, so they find different ways to cool off. They try to find shade and find themselves getting to a place that has snow, where they roll a huge snowball to try to get the hot spot cooler. At another time, they have fun changing colors and use grapes to turn purple, but then the rain washes away the colors. After finding a rainbow, they and other animals start changing colors. In their next adventure, Munki and Trunk find themselves in space because they chewed too much bubble gum. They start copying each other and get all the animals around them involved. Munki winds up hypnotizing all of the animals so they start acting like monkeys. In other adventures they find a plant that has a liquid that causes them to turn into Jello. They lose control over their bodies, while another liquid sticks to everything. There’s an ostrich that appears throughout the film that is always trying to protect her eggs.My favorite part of the film is the music, composed by Andries Smit, because it is very catchy. It’s exciting and upbeat. It brings out the happiness of the characters. Some episodes on this DVD are a bit cheesy, but would probably appeal to a younger audience. I found myself laughing at one point when Munki and Trunk are squished in a bubble and get stuck in a tree. It is also fun to see all of the animals change colors and watch how excited they get. Listening to the animals just make noises gets a little annoying, but the animation, done by Infinite Studios, is great and gives lots of personality to the characters.

 

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Munki and Trunk show that you can get through almost any sticky situation by working together and using the problem as the solution.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this DVD to ages 4 to 8. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

 

 

Dolittle * Great CGI, Cinematography and Visual Effects

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Movie Reviews
Dolittle * Great CGI, Cinematography and Visual Effects

Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship comes from an array of exotic animals that he speaks to on a daily basis. But when young Queen Victoria becomes gravely ill, the eccentric doctor and his furry friends embark on an epic adventure to a mythical island to find the cure. Dominic D. comments, “Wow! The long anticipation of Dolittle is well worth the wait! A big two thumbs up for director Stephen Gaghan, for knocking this action-packed, comical, fun-loving film out of the ball park!” Arjun N. adds, “Dolittle does little in terms of original storytelling, but this reboot offers colorful ambiance and magical performances. Anyone interested in big budget family entertainers is sure to get their money’s worth on a matinee.” Katherine S. has another take on it, “What a terrific movie!  The dialogue among the characters is so much fun and the cinematography, costumes and visual effects are so beautiful and well done.” Jude A. adds, “Dolittle is a roaring, barking and chirping fantasy adventure story with great humor and special effects…Unfortunately, even though the film is not very long (an hour and 41 minutes), some scenes seem very slow and the film feels a lot longer than it actually is. The movie is very comedic and has some laugh out loud moments, but sometimes the humor seems a little forced and unfunny.” And Sahiba K. wraps it with, “Unfortunately, Dolittle left me confused because its storyline is all over the place. There are too many plot elements to follow and they do not tie together cohesively in the end.” Their full reviews are below. You decide.

 

Dolittle
By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

https://youtu.be/Yye3TBrTOWo

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Wow! The long anticipation of Dolittle is well worth the wait! A big two thumbs up for director Stephen Gaghan, for knocking this action-packed, comical, fun-loving film out of the ball park!  The film, although perhaps a little lengthier for younger kids, keeps viewers on the edge of their seats while they take in all the adventure, suspense, laughs and emotion that this film offers. I left the theater with an appreciation of the quote, “It’s truly by helping others that you can help yourself!”The film follows the life of quirky veterinarian Dr. John Dolittle, of Victorian England, who has a sure connection with animals. Dr. Dolittle becomes reclusive, hiding behind the walls of Dolittle Mansion following the death of his beloved wife Lily. His only companions since her death are his furred and feathered friends that the animation department has excelled in giving anthropomorphic qualities to.  Dolittle is quite content with his lifestyle, void of humans, until he has to make a decision when the very ill Queen of England calls on him to help save her from sickness. Dr. Dolittle appears to be the only person able to bring the Queen the secret antidote to reverse the symptoms of her sudden illness. The doctor, along with his humorous animal crew and new young, self-appointed assistant, set sail in search of the cure which will save the Queen from dying. They encounter several obstacles while on their journey, which adds to the suspense, adventure and comedy of the film.

 

The star of film, Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. Dolittle plays his role well. He also is one of the film’s executive producers. Hats off to the very lengthy list of animators who bring Dolittle’s friends to life and make us laugh at each of their personalities. The animatronics are by far my favorite part of this movie. It was also super fun to try to identify the many voices behind Dr. Dolittle’s menagerie. I especially love the voice of Craig Robinson who plays Kevin, the squirrel with an attitude. The locations also deserve mentioning. Landscapes are lush, bright and so captivating, which adds such so much to this film.

The message in Dolittle is all about relationships. You have to have a sense of imagination to appreciate the connection between Dr. Dolittle and his animal friends, but the message is clear that no matter how diversified living things are, we can find a way to connect, communicate and appreciate one another. The film writers gathered together a variety of different characters that show that no matter what their limitations, they can interact with each other and build heartwarming friendships. This film allows us to open up our minds about differences and promotes positive interactions.

 

I give Dolittle 5 out of 5 stars and, if I could rate it higher, I would! I recommend it to ages 5 to 18. Dolittle is the perfect family film and adults will love it as much as kids. Dolittle opens January 17, 2020 in theaters. This is a film that you do not want to miss…mark your calendars!

 

Dolittle

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

https://youtu.be/XCoxmKiJ8SQ

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What a terrific movie!  The dialogue among the characters is so much fun and the cinematography, costumes and visual effects are so beautiful and well done.Dolittle takes a new spin on the infamous tale of Dr. Dolittle, who is of course the doctor that speaks to animals. The story begins at Dolittle Manner, which is an estate provided to him by the Queen of England for serving as her veterinarian. Dolittle Manner is a sanctuary open to all animals until his wife passes away on an adventure and Dr. Dolittle closes it and isolates himself from people.  As the Queen falls ill, Dr. Dolittle is convinced to go on an adventure to find a cure to help save the Queen before it’s too late!  

The movie trailer does not do this movie justice as I was not overly excited to see movie before going to the screening. My feelings changed greatly after I watched the movie. The writing is very clever with the dialogue for the animals. Everything they say is witty and playful. I also love that the animal characters  aren’t stereotypical, as they all need a lit bit of fixing. There are some magnificent actors in Dolittle, such as Robert Downey Jr. (as Dr. Dolittle), Harry Collett (as Stubbins, Dr Dolittle’s self-appointed apprentice), Emma Thompson (as the parrot Polly and Dr. Dolittle’s advisor), Rami Malek (as the funny gorilla Chee-Chee), Octavia Spencer (as the enthusiastic duck Dab-Dab), Tom Holland (as the sight-challenged dog Jip), Craig Robinson (as the wise-cracking squirrel Kevin) and Selena Gomez (as the giraffe Betsy). My favorite character is Kevin since he made me laugh the most.The messages of this movie are about perseverance and the importance of family and friends to help you overcome obstacles. Dolittle has no bad language, but it does have some mild violence and action scenes, primarily among the animals.

 

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 14. Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters January 17, 2020. Check it out.

 

Dolittle

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 13

https://youtu.be/UeiC2wq7E2Q

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Dolittle is a roaring, barking and chirping fantasy adventure story with great humor and special effects. The film has amazing CGI and the animals look completely real. The movie also has very creative dialogue that fits each of the characters very well. The film has very vibrant colors and beautiful landscapes. Unfortunately, even though the film is not very long (an hour and 41 minutes), some scenes seem very slow and the film feels a lot longer than it actually is. The movie is very comedic and has some laugh out loud moments, but sometimes the humor seems a little forced and unfunny.Dolittle follows the retired Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downy Jr.) after his wife passes away from a ship-wreck. An odd boy named Stubbons (Harry Colltett) seems to have the same animal talking abilities as Doctor Dolittle himself and becomes his apprentice. When the Queen of Buckingham Palace (Jessie Buckley) falls gravely ill, Doctor Dolittle, Stubbons and the rest of the animal gang embark on a journey to attain the cure for the Queen to preserve the land they live on and the animal’s sanctuary.

 

It is difficult to cast people for this kind of film, because we’re dealing with lots of animals and I think the casting is amazing! The voice-overs for the animals really make a big difference because they add humor, drama and suspense. The dialogue is very creative and fits each animal very well, making them seem very real. For the most part, the dialogue is very entertaining and creative. However, some lines try to force the humor and come off as not humorous at all. Robert Downy Jr.’s performance is spot on, but his accent seems a little off and inconsistent throughout the film. It seems as if he is trying to be too exotic and it doesn’t work.Dolittle fits the PG rating. It has some action and possibly scary creatures that could be frightening to younger viewers. The message of the film is about helping other people, even when it does not benefit your personally. It also points out that when something gets in your way of reaching your goal, don’t give up, figure out a new way to reach that goal. Be creative. Think outside the box.

 

Dolittle did not soar as high as the parrots do in the film so I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It has amazing visuals and CGI, but forced jokes and slow scenes. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. Dolittle opens in theaters January 17, 2020. Look for it.

 

Dolittle

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

https://youtu.be/upkIJ9CnEqE

 

 

Unfortunately, Dolittle left me confused because its storyline is all over the place. There are too many plot elements to follow and they do not tie together cohesively in the end. Most of the characters have vague back-stories which are presented in ways that prevent any character from becoming fully developed.The story follows the grief stricken Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) who is mourning the death of his wife. He lives alone with his animal friends including Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), a gorilla and Yoshi (John Cena), a polar bear. When the Queen of England (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, she calls upon Dolittle for help. To save the Queen, he must embark on a perilous journey to find a mythical healing fruit.

 

Robert Downey Jr. has the quirkiness and personality to play an eccentric individual like Dolittle. However, his potential is overshadowed by his perplexing accent which feels forced and thus, his voice does not match his emotions or actions very well. Rami Malek plays my favorite character, Chee-Chee, and gives him a sweet, loveable personality. Unfortunately, due to the excess of poorly developed characters, Chee-Chee’s character arch seems irrelevant even though he is one of the better characters.The graphics are well done in some aspects but not in others. The gorilla, polar bear and the parrot all look realistic and have features that add to their cuteness. Other animals such as the dragonfly and the ostrich do not look realistic, which disrupts the mood, making it cartoonish, and contributing to the chaos I felt when viewing the film. Moreover, the graphics in exciting scenes, such as those that take place on the ships, are noticeably done in CGI and thus the realistic aspect is not achieved.

 

The saving grace is the creative incorporation of the animals. I enjoyed the scenes where Dolittle uses his gift of animal communication to ask for help, whether to solve the mystery of the Queen’s illness or to run away from the antagonist.

 

The message of Dolittle is that the best way to help yourself is to help others. However, this message is stated by the narrator at the end and is otherwise loosely relevant to what happens throughout the film. I give Dolittle 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out Dolittle when it opens in theatres January 17, 2020.

 

Dolittle
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Dolittle does little in terms of original storytelling, but this reboot offers colorful ambiance and magical performances. Anyone interested in big budget family entertainers is sure to get their money’s worth on a matinee.The reimagining of the Dr. Dolittle franchise follows the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), famed English doctor and veterinarian, who hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his collection of exotic animals for company. When the young queen (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, her daughter Rose (Carmel Laniado) asks a reluctant Dolittle to set sail to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his humanity and courage and gaining a young, self-appointed apprentice Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett).

Robert Downey Jr. brings his signature charisma and his posh British accent to fill the energetic void left by January releases. His conversations with his animals are seamless; keep in mind, he’s talking to larger-than-life CGI constructions. Regarding the big ensemble cast voicing the animals, they’re all great if a little bit reliant on star power. You wouldn’t know big list actors are voicing the animals without background research or watching the credits. However, there are a few noteworthy exceptions including Rami Malek’s Chichi, a paranoid gorilla, which is greatly characterized and developed. Emma Thompson brings her acerbic demeanor as Poly the parrot. I also enjoyed John Cena and Kumail Nanjiani, as Yoshi and Plimpton, the bickering and bantering polar bear and ostrich that serve as the film’s comic relief. Finally, the film has impressive child performances from Harry Collett, who previously acted on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Carmel Laniado, both of whose screen presence holds well alongside Robert Downey Jr.

I enjoyed the special effects as they are truly impressive to look at, even a bit too flashy at times. The director Stephen Gaghan blueprints the film in an honest way. However, his writing is trope-ridden and uninspired, at times hodgepodging rather than creating. Don’t expect a developed plot, even if some good messages prevail.

The message of this film is about allowing friends to carry your back as Dolittle realizes his reclusiveness is unhealthy and decides to be better. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters January 17, 2020, so check it out.

 

Molang: Season 3 DVD * Amazing Adventures, Each With Its Own Moral

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Kids
Molang: Season 3 DVD * Amazing Adventures, Each With Its Own Moral

Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his best 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. Whether performing in a rock band, becoming superheroes or enjoying a hike with friends, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and humor. Embark on 52 adventures with Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “Molang: Season 3 is about a white, round bunny named Molang and a little, yellow chick named Piu Piu.  They have amazing adventures together that always teach them something new.  No matter what happens, Molang and Piu Piu always laugh even through tough times.” See his full review below.

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Molang: Season 3 DVD
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11

 

https://youtu.be/w0SV4REnVIQ

I like this DVD because it is very cute and nice to watch.  Every story has its own moral and they are all very interesting.

Molang: Season 3 is about a white, round bunny named Molang and a little, yellow chick named Piu Piu.  They have amazing adventures together that always teach them something new.  No matter what happens, Molang and Piu Piu always laugh even through tough times.  There are 52 episodes of different stories.  The DVD is about three hours of unforgettable fun.  The main menu consists of two features, “Play All” which plays everything and “Stories,” which play each episode.

My favorite episode is “Santa” because it’s about how Santa comes to Molang and Piu Piu’s house to give them presents.  When Santa is about to put the presents under the tree, the tree falls on Santa and knocks him out.  When the tree falls, it makes a loud noise so Molang and Piu Piu wake up to see what happened.  They see Santa knocked out, so they decide to take the gifts to every one to save Christmas.Another one of my favorite episodes is “The Long Trip.” This episode is about how Molang and Piu Piu are flying a kite and a bird hits the kite which causes the bird to fall on the ground.  Molang and Piu Piu take the kite off the bird’s neck and they realize the bird can’t fly any more.  They get in the car with the bird and follow the bird’s family so the bird can reunite with his family.  The graphics are pretty good.  This animation reminds me of looks the Hello Kitty animation.  The colors are vibrant and the background has different patterns and colors.  The voice over is funny because is just gibberish; there is no dialogue going in these stories.

 

There are multiple morals, but the main moral of this show is that we should treat each other equally and learn to get along. Even though Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick they still are best friends.  Just because they are different doesn’t mean they cannot get along and have fun together.

I give Molang, Season 3 DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18, plus adults can enjoy it with their children too. It is available now from NCircle Entertainment so look for it.

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Molang: Season 3

By Nathalia J, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB5jHZt_ppk&feature=youtu.be

This animated, unique, funny and creative film takes you along adventures that will make you
laugh and wish you were part of Molang and Piu Piu’s world. I must say, Molang and Piu Piu love
ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary on a daily basis. Get ready for amazing adventures,
each with its own moral. This film follows Molang, an accommodating, nurturing, kind and happy round fluffy rabbit and his
best friend, a little duck that loves quack time named, Piu Piu. Despite their many differences, Piu
Piu and Molang enjoy their special friendship. Whether it’s helping a delivery worker or exploring
a haunted house, joining a competition or joining a rock band, they embrace every day adventure
together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and
humor.
The lead characters in this film are the hilarious and wild Molang and his goofy and tiny friend Piu
Piu. Throughout all episodes you meet new characters. Many characters are recurring, such as
the neighborhood watch group.
My favorite episode is “Top Model,” because it brings so much humor. It’s one of the opening
episodes and really starts off the show with a bang. I savor this episode specifically because of
one scene when Molang and Piu Piu call all the models and take their photos. The faces on the
bunny are hilarious.
This film disregards bad language; every adventure in this mirthful and amusing DVD is safe.
There are several important messages in this DVD including never stop believing in yourself even
when others are fearful, be honest and work hard. The main message is that, although Molang
and Piu Piu are different, they got along just right.
I’d give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11. This film is available on DVD
now. Make sure to check it out

The Snowman * A Holiday Classic Unlike Any Other!

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Kids
The Snowman * A Holiday Classic Unlike Any Other!

One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, The Snowman is a family classic for generations to enjoy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “…directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement.” Eden T. adds, “This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays.” Morgan B. wraps it up with, “I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning.” See their full reviews below.

 

The Snowman

By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
https://youtu.be/x-ONxIpcmLA

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The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.In The Snowman, a young boy James wakes up one morning and finds snow on the ground. He quickly gets dressed and runs outside. He then builds a huge snowman. He gives it eyes, a nose, a scarf and a hat. He even gives it a big smiley face. After building the entire snowman by himself, it is time for James to go to bed. When he wakes up he notices that the Snowman has moved a little, so he runs downstairs and out the door. He then notices that the Snowman is glowing, moves some more and then, totally comes to life. James is flabbergasted to see a live Snowman. The Snowman and James introduce themselves and become great friends. The rest the film shows the two flying around having so much fun and adventure throughout the day.

 

The Snowman book was adapted for the screen in 1982 and earned a nomination for an Academy Award for best animated short film.  The animation of the drawings is just amazing, bringing to life so many memories from the days of movie shorts. There is no dialogue, which makes it even more beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned.  The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing. It fits perfectly with everything the boy and the snowman are doing.  Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. The songs in the movie are catchy and addicting to sing along with.  I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!

The Snowman is directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement. I recommend this for ages 1 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

The Snowman

By Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

https://youtu.be/fQ0RUgoP16Y

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This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays. For example, when the boy has to scrounge up snow for his snowman, I thought about when I tried to do the same thing!In the film, a young British boy in a classic 1950s English rural home builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy on a flying trip around the world! The scenes become grander and grander until you think nothing more can happen! After all of this is over, they travel back home. The next morning, the boy…well, you’ll see. The ending brought meaningful tears to my eyes!

The detail in this movie is stunning! Even though there is no talking, the artistry makes up for that. Each scene is hand-drawn, which must have been a technical pain for the scenes in motion! These movies are based on Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book.  Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate this quality film. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6, as well as adults. This movie is available both on DVD now so check it out. Enjoy this winter delight!

 

The Snowman

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

https://youtu.be/uzeqVye7G4U

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Holiday movies are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Especially those that have adorable characters and a heartwarming tale. That is what this short film is all about. Add magnificent hand drawn animation and you have the perfect Christmas movie.I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning. Each piece of music fits the scene perfectly because it made me feel as if I was in the scene myself. Also the music is superb to relax to. So grab a hot cup of cocoa and put your feet up.

 

The images in this film are hand drawn with pastels and pencils, which make it special and unique. I like having a break from all the CGI we see and seeing animation as it was made years ago. This is something that many other kids will appreciate as well. This movie never gets old and people from all over the world will absolutely adore it. This DVD has become one I have added to my holiday collection and will watch it every year. Even really young children can watch it because it is so beautiful and the message is all about friendship, love, cheer and what the holidays are all about. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 golden stars and recommend

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! * Three Sweet Stories About Friendship And Everyday Kid Problems

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Kids
Merry Christmas Llama Llama! * Three Sweet Stories About Friendship And Everyday Kid Problems

lama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they give gifts, sing songs, and build snow sculptures. It’s a very Merry Christmas indeed! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Beatrice N. comments, “The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!” Tiana S., adds, “Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things – SNOW and GIFTS! It’s really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.” Christine R. wraps it up with, “These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8.” See their full reviews below.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
By Beatrice Nail, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Merry Christmas! The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!In this new holiday DVD Llama Llama starts his season off with a snow sculpting contest, singing Christmas songs and some secret Santa fun! If you are an imagination filled, wholehearted kid who enjoyed the books, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, this DVD is for you. I would have thought these episodes were so much fun when I was little, and I still enjoyed them as 10-year-old. My favorite episode is when Llama Llama is the judge of a snow sculpture contest and is having trouble deciding who the winner should be, between his friends. When faced with a problem little Llama turns to Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) to help him out. Together, Mama and Llama Llama take you through solving the problem with a little bit of imagination and kindness.

The animation is really cool and unique. The characters are all hand-drawn, while the background is painted. There is also a bonus episode about Llama Llama’s favorite library book that someone else has checked out. This episode really deals with the love of reading and how sometimes we need to try different types of books and we may find something new we enjoy. The setting is mostly in Llama Llama’s friendly neighborhood, though he often goes to many different places during the day, such as school, the library, the park and much more. Llama Llama is voiced by Shayle Simons creates the perfect Llama Llama voice. There are three episodes included in this DVD and it is a little over 30 minutes long. The message of these episodes is that, even if you are little, you can solve big problems with some imagination, so always use it!

I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. The DVD is available now, just in time for the holidays. Look for it.

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Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
By Tiana Sirmans KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things – SNOW and GIFTS! It’s really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is based on the book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. The DVD includes three short stories of adventures that the lead character, Llama Llama (Shayle Simmons), goes on with his friends. In the first short story, Llama Llama has to judge a snow sculpture contest between his friends and pick a winner without hurting anyone’s feelings. In the next one, Secret Santa, Llama Llama and his friends are secret Santas and have trouble picking gifts and keeping their secret Santas a secret. In the bonus episode, Llama Llama Loves to Read, Llama Llama and his friends have to pick out books to read out loud to the younger kids. Llama Llama can’t find his favorite book at the library and his friend Gilroy Goat is nervous about reading out loud. In all three episodes, I really love seeing the great friendship between Llama Llama and how they always support each other. They always find ways to make other people feel good about themselves.

The three stories are all quite good and have great animation. One of my favorite parts was watching Llama Llama finish reading and then jumping into a pile of leaves. One cool thing is seeing how they finish things they have to do and are off to do something fun, like sledding. George Gabriel’s music is really catchy and short, which is perfect for the short episodes.The DVD has two different stories and a bonus story and they all have different messages, but they all have the same theme of friendship! In each episode there is some problem that needs to be solved and gives them a chance to show what good friends should do for each other.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is a great DVD for movie days around holiday break. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 3 to 12. Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is currently available on where DVDs are sold.

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Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

The DVD Merry Christmas Llama Llama! delivers two holiday stories and a bonus story about reading. This series is based on the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. In “Snow Show,” the teacher announces a snow sculpture contest and the judge will be one of the students themselves. No surprise when Llama Llama is chosen, but can he be fair and choose just one winner? Mama Llama, voiced by Jennifer Garner, gives him advice that helps devise a clever way to ensure all his friends are recognized, while still awarding one champion. In the second story “Secret Santa,” classmates must keep their Secret Santa from each other, made especially tricky when they all end up at the same store. The timeless lesson is that giving gifts makes you feel good. Bonus episode, “Llama Llama Loves to Read” highlights the importance of reading practice. Gilroy Goat must overcome his reluctance to read aloud, which he does when paired with the perfect book and many repeated readings. Llama Llama must find a new book when his first choice is not in the library. These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8.

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