Check out HDnet Movies kidScene
By: Ranny Levy, President and Founder of Kids First!
For many grandparents, a fun thing to do is to share some of the classic family films that they are familiar with. HDNet Movies kidScene is offers a wonderful selection of movies on kidScene, a daily programming block specifically for kids and families from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. E.T. and every Friday night at 7 p.m. Here are two movies featured this month with reviews by some of our KIDS FIRST! youth film critics.
“Labyrinth” was a creative experiment for Jim Hensen, trying to go beyond the more typical puppet milieu of his popular Muppets. HDNet Movies kidScene brings this 1986 family film to your home Aug. 24 and 25. As our KIDS FIRST! youth film critics’ views demonstrate, response varied. 11-year-old Hunter Willow Jones recommends it for ages 8 and up because the characters or situations might be too scary for the very young. Hunter makes special note of another special element of this movie: “The best part of the movie is the music by David Bowie. It is cool to use a famous rock star and rock music to create a different mood in the film,” and lauds the film’s creativity.
The film did pick up some award nominations in a variety of categories: Saturn Award for Best Costumes from theAcademyofScience Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, a BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
Reviewed by Hunter Willow Jones
I love how creative this movie is!
It is the story of Sara (Jennifer Connelly), who is sick of having to watch her infant half-brother, Toby. She wishes that the goblin king would come and take him away and, unbelievably, her wish comes true. The Goblin King, Jareth (David Bowie) arrives at her house and tells her she has thirteen hours to get Toby back, but she has to go through a massive labyrinth. If she fails to do so, Jareth will keep Toby forever and turn him into a goblin. Sara regrets her wish, so she decides she must go through the labyrinth. Throughout her journey she meets many friends and has many near-death experiences. She also learns not to take things for granted.
I really like how the movie is creative. I think having puppets as main characters is really cool. Jim Henson, the creator of Kermit the Frog, wrote, directed and did the puppetry. I also like the setting a lot. It goes with the storyline and makes the movie feel mystical. The set has so many cool ideas. When Sara first comes into the labyrinth, a worm tells her to go through the wall and take a chance. It looks like there is no way to get through, but when she decides to go through she finds that there are more ways for her to go. The best part of the movie is the music by David Bowie. It is cool to use a famous rock star and rock music to create a different mood in the film.
The storyline could be more creative because the concept is too close to Alice in Wonderland.
Jennifer Connelly’s acting is a little weak. She only uses one facial expression the whole time. She doesn’t show much range to her emotion.
I give Labyrinth 4 out of 5 stars and feel that it is better for kids who are 8 and over because the puppets can be a little scary for little kids.
Labyrinth is one of the many movies brought to your home by HDNet Movies kidScene, a daily programming block specifically for kids and families from 6am to 3pm ET and every Friday night at 7pm. http://www.hdnetmovies.com/program_categories/kidscene/
‘Teacher’s Pet’ – A little dog wants to be a real boy. That premise behind the story of Teacher’s Pet, an animated film that Disney released in 2004, may parallel an animated feature from Disney’s earlier days: the 1940 classic Pinocchio. In fact, KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Morgan Bertsch, age 7, points it out: “Our story begins with the little dog Spot and his crazy idea that he wants to be a real boy. Shameless plug of Pinocchio on the TV while Spot is singing is very creative.” Cheyenne Nguyen, age 8, shares one element that makes this movie special: “I love the catchy songs they have in this movie, especially the one that has all 50 states in alphabetical order and tells you something about each state.”
Teacher’s Pet is one of the many movies brought to your home by HDNet Movies kidScene, a daily programming block specifically for kids and families from 6am to 3pm ET and every Friday night at 7pm. It screens on Aug. 4, 10 and 16.
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
(See her full review on video.)
Disney’s Teacher’s Pet is a cleverly scripted animation that both children and adults will enjoy.
Spot Helperman (voiced by Nathan Lane) is a canine dog that wants to be a human as a boy. To make his dreams come true, the dog puts his ears in a beanie and puts on a pair of glasses and pants. Spot becomes Scott and follows Leonard to school during the day.
On the last day of school, they learn that there’s a mad scientist named Ivan Krank (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) who can turn animals into humans. He lives in Florida, and it just happens that Leonard’s mom, who is his 4th grade teacher, is nominated to go to Florida to compete as a finalist in a teacher contest.
Spot has to go through a lot of twists and turns to travel to Florida with Leonard and his mother to fulfill his destiny as a boy with Dr. Krank.
I love the catchy songs they have in this movie, especially the one that has all 50 states in alphabetical order and tells you something about each state.
This animated movie is flashy and has a lot of fun colors. It’s very funny when they make references to other Disney animation classics.
My favorite character is the cat because he is so cute and talks like he has braces.
The message from this movie is to accept who you are and happiness will follow. Being someone else does not guarantee happiness.
I would like to see some of the other pets in this movie be featured more, especially the house bird.
I rank this movie 4 out of 5 stars, for an age range of 5-10.
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch
(See her full review on video.)
Teacher’s Pet is another great Disney animated creation! Teacher’s Pet is playing all month long on HDNet Movies KidScene.
Our story begins with the little dog Spot and his crazy idea that he wants to be a real boy. Shameless plug of Pinocchio on the TV while Spot is singing is very creative. Spot is voiced by Nathan Lane. His voice gives a great feel to the character of Spot.
Spot is a dog that can talk and read, so he gets this crazy idea to dress up as a boy and go to school with his owner, Leonard (voiced by Shaun Fleming). While at school, Spot sees his opportunity to change into a real boy in Florida.
My favorite part is when Spot the dog has to sneak his way onto the Florida vacation past Leonard’s mom, who doesn’t know Leonard can talk. She thinks she left Spot at home. Leonard’s mom is voiced by Debra Jo Rupp.
In Florida, Spot meets the wacko scientist Dr. Ivan Krank (voiced by Kelsey Grammer). The wacko claims he can turn any animal into a real person. That’s very confusing and really weird but just the thing Spot is looking to do.
It’s a catchy musical with fun characters that’s enjoyable and animated. The songs are wonderful and educational. Some of them stuck in my head for days and I just love to sing along with them. If you want your kids to lean their states in alphabetical order, then this movie gets bonus points.
I give it 5 twinkling stars, for ages 5 and up.
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