Archives for January 18, 2018

The Greatest Showman – Delightfully Fantastic Story, Acting, Music, Songs, Dancing & Costumes

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “The movie musical The Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Everything is delightfully fantastic, including the story, acting, music, songs, dancing and costumes. It also has many thoughtful messages.”  Abraham F. adds, “This movie is super vibrant and colorful, making it all the more interesting. It also proves that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like.” See their full reviews below.

The Greatest Showman
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The movie musical The Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Everything is delightfully fantastic, including the story, acting, music, songs, dancing and costumes. It also has many thoughtful messages.

The film tells the story of the imagination and creations of P.T. Barnum, the successful businessman who brought us the circus.  It begins when Barnum is just a boy and has both big dreams and a big crush on an upper-class girl. Barnum rises from a homeless boy to a very wealthy and successful man. He creates the first museum of oddities and a very entertaining show (known as the circus), full of unique persons such as the Bearded Lady, trapeze artists, the shortest and tallest men in the world and more. Along the journey, he has a lot of ups and downs, but he always seems to triumph over them.

The opening scene with song and dance is my favorite and got me moving in my seat. My other favorite scene is when cups are used to create rhythm in song when Barnum convinces a wealthy young man to partner with him. The costumes are amazing and my two favorites are Barnum’s colorful ringmaster suit and Jenny’s dress with beautiful shiny rhinestones.

Two of my most favorite characters are P.T. Barnum, played by the multi-talented Hugh Jackman and Anne Wheeler played by Zendaya. Hugh Jackman is believably brilliant playing someone who can win, lose and win again. Zendaya has a wonderful singing voice and does her own amazing acrobat stunts.

Additionally, the perfectly written and woven songs in the movie by composers Justin Paul and Benj Pasek stand out in my mind. In fact, these songs tell the story, on their own, of this wonderful movie musical.

Finally, the message of this film is best summed up in the ending credit quote and by P.T. Barnum himself which is, “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” I personally believe this to be true, do you?

As a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic I have been extremely fortunate to review many wonderful films and I can say without a doubt that The Greatest Showman is one you absolutely do not want to miss. I think it may also be one of the best films of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults and give it the highest KIDS FIRST! rating: 5 out of 5 stars! It opens in theaters December 20, 2017 so, be sure to check it out!

The Greatest Showman

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 12

The Greatest Showman is a musical based on the true story of P.T. Barnum. This movie is super vibrant and colorful, making it all the more interesting. It also proves that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like.

 

The storyline explores the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a boy dreaming of becoming a performer. Once he becomes an adult, he marries his childhood love, Charity Hallet. They live in an apartment with their two children in New York, until Phineas is laid off from his job. Phineas goes back to his dream of becoming a “Showman” and starts to look for cast members for his show.

 

P.T Barnum (Hugh Jackman) portrays “The Greatest Showman” in a very animated and lively way, making him stand out among others. P.T. Barnum’s partner, Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) is a well introduced supporting character. There are many interesting things about this movie. For example, the music was composed by the same people that composed the music for La La Land. Next, Zendaya did all her own trapeze stunts. Third and last, this movie has been a dream for Hugh Jackman’s since 2009.

 

My favorite part is the bar scene when P.T. Barnum is trying to convince Phillip Carlyle to be his assistant and they start to sing and dance. It leads to Phillip Carlyle joining the circus. The message of this movie is that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like a lot. This movie has a few things you should be aware of, such as a scene when two characters are taking shots at a bar. There might be a few risky things kids might try after watching it such as doing trapeze tricks. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 as well as adults. This movie opens in theaters December 20, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Antics – Humorous and Nostalgic Family Entertainment

Gumby and Pokey, television’s legendary clay characters, live one great adventure after another in a timeless world of stop motion magic and wonder. Join our favorite duo in this fun-filled collection of 50’s, 60’s and 80’s episodes! When Santa gets sick right before Christmas, will the holiday be ruined or can the Witty Witch save the day and deliver the gifts with the help of a certain someone? Then, Scrooge escapes from his book and sets out to destroy all of the toys in Toyland, but luckily Gumby is there to save the day. From helping the Pilgrims, George Washington, and even the Moon Boggles, to rescuing a baby mastodon in the Arctic, these unique shows will spark your imagination and bring a smile to your heart. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Even though this collection’s branded as Arctic, there are many episodes that leave the Arctic Circle and dive into history. Some of the best include visiting the American Revolutionary War or the voyage on the Mayflower. Gumby really makes them shine by bringing humor and unique adventures to each one.” Carla P. adds, “I believe the DVD Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Adventure is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my holidays and made me happy.” See their full reviews below.

 

Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Antics

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

 

This collection of a dozen Gumby episodes promises to entertain the whole family with great humor suitable for all ages. Its spectacular soundtrack really brings the show justice.

Like many other Gumby collections, this set revolves around Gumby’s adventures which vary from episode to episode, but generally have some light comedy throughout. Something that really stands out to me on this DVD is the moment where Gumby actually talks about some historical facts, bringing a bit of education to this set.
Even though this collection’s branded as Arctic, there are many episodes that leave the Arctic Circle and dive into history. Some of the best include visiting the American Revolutionary War or the voyage on the Mayflower. Gumby really makes them shine by bringing humor and unique adventures to each one. The genius writers even fit in an occasional fact here and there that teaches young viewers about history without it feeling like a lecture. It just feels like one character explaining the situation to another character. However, there are minor issues with some of the plots. Generally, Gumby episodes are very short which fits the style, but many of these are too open-ended and don’t have a concrete finish. Almost all Gumby episodes feel a bit unfinished and seem to do little to address the conflict that made the story exist, which leaves the viewer slightly disappointed.

 

The quality of the stop-motion animation keeps at a superb level, despite these episodes originally being made across three decades, some as early as the 1950s. The writers, for the most part, did well in keeping the episodes interesting. There are some noticeable repeats in jokes or ideas. For example, there are two episodes where Gumby and Pokey somehow destroy an igloo and must rebuild it for the occupants. The two stories vary slightly, but have a very similar conflict. This makes the repeat episode rather boring. Something that the writers excel at (as they always did for Gumby) is the dialogue. The conversations are always natural, smooth and very realistic, despite all the characters being made from clay. These episodes of course also feature the original soundtrack of the show, which is recognizable and really adds to the experience. The music feels light and soothing, yet entertaining and fitting for each story.

 

My favorite episode is Gumby Crosses the Delaware River. In this episode, Gumby and Pokey enter a book about George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River, where he surprise-attacked enemy soldiers. Pokey and Gumby help Washington by sending Pokey in as a spy. The episode is filled with a good sense of humor and does teach kids about some historical facts. It represents a perfect bundle of learning and fun.

 

Like all other Gumby collections, the show revolves around family. There are some jokes here and there that will make teens and adults laugh, but it’s mainly geared for younger kids. I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. In general, the episodes are great to watch, but some could have a better or different storyline to ensure uniqueness and the originality of writing. This DVD is available in stores now so go check it out.

 

Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Adventure

Reviewed by Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

I believe the DVD Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Adventure is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my holidays and made me happy.

 

This DVD is a collection of holiday-themed episodes from the 50s, 60s, and 80s about Gumby and his friend Pokey as they look into famous stories about Christmas, Thanksgiving and the fourth of July. Gumby and Pokey are an iconic duo from the 60s.

 

This type of animation is known as claymation. It reminds me of Christmas movies such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other classics such as Santa is Coming to Town. They poke fun of the fact that the characters are clay by making them melt. I like how they incorporate live action with the animation. In one scene, Gumby and Pokey fall down into a pile of things and they are live action.

 

The characters in the show are fantastic. I love the banter between Gumby and Pokey. Gumby always tells Pokey to pay attention to the story they are watching, but he always disobeys. Instead, he helps the characters in the story.

 

The message of this film is to help people no matter the consequences. It spreads a message about helping friends or people in need. Pokey helps a prince who was scammed by shop owners when they gave him a plum tree with a pigeon in it. So, he tells a man with fairy dust to turn the tree and pigeon into gold. The prince is surprised at what happens and the girl he gives it to is ecstatic.

 

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars recommend it to ages 6 to 9. This is available on DVD now so go check it out.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!