Archives for June 18, 2019

Summer fun! Check out the dogs! A Science Tail Exhibition at the California Science Center!

My son and I love visiting the California Science Center and we love dogs! So, the new exhibit dogs! A Science Tail was a must visit for us! We had a blast checking it out this past May.

See, hear, smell, and act like a dog! Through engaging and fun hands-on exhibits, explore the science behind the bond between humans and dogs. Find out how humans and dogs are both wired for social connection, which made it possible for dogs to nuzzle their way into human society and into our hearts. And don’t miss the live demonstrations of work and rescue dogs in action!

My favorite were the fun hands-on exhibits. It was really cool to see how a dog sees and even hears.

I recommend this one for all ages and there is something for everyone.

And when you are there, you have to check out the IMAX Movie SuperPower Dogs 3D! I loved this movie and could even watch it a second time. I just loved the stories of all the superpower dogs!

Join an immersive IMAX adventure to experience the life-saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world’s most amazing dogs. 

In this inspiring true story, our best friends are also real-life superheroes! Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners. 

Self Disclosure: I received media comped tickets to visit and highly recommend this exhibit and movie. Images (Top image and bottom image) were provided except for the ones I took.

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

Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Will C. comments, “Molang: Season 2 is 52 episodes of animated fun for kids. I enjoyed these funny cartoon shorts, each only about 3 to 4 minutes long, following the friendship between a chubby bunny and a tiny little chick. Together they have little adventures, both ordinary and extraordinary.”

Sahiba K. comments, “The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive.” Selene W. adds, “Molang is an adorable and funny series that’s great for kids! My favorite episode is Chickenpox; when cute Piu Piu, the little chick, gets chickenpox all over his face.” See their full reviews below.  

Molang: Season 2

By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

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

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

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

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

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

Molang: Season 2

By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

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


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

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

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

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

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

Molang:  Season Two

By Selene Weiss, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1

By Will Chuhta, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floogals: Season 1, Volume 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s time for A to Z with Sesame! Little ones will love to learn their ABCs with classics such as “The Beetles Perform Letter B” and “C is for Cookie” plus animation, parodies, and the best from recent seasons covering all 26 letters. Celebrating the alphabet alongside their furry friends are Norah Jones duetting with the letter Y, Tori Kelly trying a little kindness, and Pharrell Williams belting it out for the letter B. Maya Angelou stops by to talk hugs, Sheryl Crow helps “I” soak up some sun, and Ricky Gervais attempts a lullaby. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Every single scene of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet is lovable. This DVD has the funniest songs and parodies for each letter of the alphabet. Each part has so many cute characters and great lessons for the whole family.” Ethan P. adds, “This DVD is about learning the alphabet. Mostly all of the characters from Sesame Street sing the alphabet and encourage the kids to sing along. There are about three scenes or songs for each letter so that you can understand how to use each one. There are also very different types of scenes and songs, each of them really cool and fun, so it keeps you entertained.” Ivey H. chimes in with, “All of my favorite characters make an appearance such as Big Bird, Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch and many more. The music, songs and lyrics are fun to sing along with and are education as well. I love how everything in the video relates to the topic of learning your ABC’s.” Will C. wraps it up with, “There’s even a bonus feature, Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race and ABC-themed printable activities. Since it’s a compilation of segments from over the years, there’s a wide range of styles representing older and newer segments.” See their full reviews below.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet

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

Every single scene of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet is lovable. This DVD has the funniest songs and parodies for each letter of the alphabet. Each part has so many cute characters and great lessons for the whole family. Your children will love to learn their ABC’s with all of their favorite characters.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet has two hours of fun for everyone!  It spends approximately five minutes on each letter. We see a wide range of themes from Tori Kelly singing about kindness to Chance the Rapper in a play with Cookie Monster. In all cases, we are learning about the alphabet with so many talented artists. It’s a mix of old and new Sesame Street episodes such as Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus singing a song together to Sia singing about how she loves songs.

The DVD includes many of our favorite Sesame Street characters including Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster as well as some of our favorite people in real life including Maya Angelou and Pharrell Williams. I love the songs because it makes you want to sing along. Also, some of the songs are parodies, which I very much enjoy. My favorite part is when Elmo can’t sleep so Ricky Gervais comes in and sings a “celebrity lullaby”.

Throughout this DVD, there are a lot of positive messages. My favorites are learning is fun and using your voice in a fun way.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. Adults will also like all of the parodies of the songs. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend buying this for your young kids.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection

By Ethan Persten, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 10

I enjoyed the Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection on DVD because it is funny, even for me, and I’m 10. It is made for small children, but I still could not stop laughing and enjoying the music.

This DVD is about learning the alphabet. Mostly all of the characters from Sesame Street sing the alphabet and encourage the kids to sing along. There are about three scenes or songs for each letter so that you can understand how to use each one. There are also very different types of scenes and songs, each of them really cool and fun, so it keeps you entertained.

The songs are very catchy, and the scenes are really funny and cute. I like how they use celebrities like Chance the Rapper. I think kids will enjoy seeing these celebrities because they know them. My favorite part is when Sia sings for the letter “S”, and it shows her face, because she has not shown her face before on TV. One funny scene is when two detectives confuse the “W” for an “M” when trying to find the criminal W.

The message or point of this DVD is to teach kids how to use the letters of the alphabet and how they sound — the scenes are put together from all of Sesame Street‘s “Letter of the Day” specials. This DVD makes it fun for kids to learn the alphabet. I believe these songs can make the process of learning the alphabet simple and fun, and that students will like the characters. I can see it might be particularly helpful for kids with special needs or learning disabilities.

I give Sesame Street Awesome: Alphabet Collection 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection
By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection DVD is just that – awesome! It really brought back amazing childhood memories of watching the show.

This particular collection teaches kids the alphabet. Not only is it educational, but provides a source of entertainment which will keep kids interested while learning. All of my favorite characters make an appearance such as Big Bird, Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch and many more. The music, songs and lyrics are fun to sing along with and are education as well. I love how everything in the video relates to the topic of learning your ABC’s. There is lot of repetition, which is a great technique for learning. Something else that caught my eye is how they use different types of animation, such as clay and paper. I really enjoy the mix of puppetry, real people, animals and insects. Some episodes even have celebrities singing along. Look out for Norah Jones, Tori Kelly, Cheryl Crow and many others.  

All the Muppet characters are so cute and adorable. My favorite is Cookie Monster (Frank Oz, David Rudman), because he brings laughter to this collection. My favorite skit is when Cookie Monster sings about the letter “C” and how cookies are good enough for me. Ryan Dillon plays the role of everyone’s favorite loveable character – red, fluffy Elmo. Carol Spinney plays another fan favorite – Big Bird. They use many real life animals to help you associate with the words that are being taught. This video is very bright, colorful and cheery. You will enjoy every minute.

I recommend this for ages 2 to 7, depending on the maturity level of the child. It’s always a good refresher for anyone who is having trouble with their letters or spelling to review the basics. The star rating I give this is 4 out of 5 stars.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection

By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is a fun introduction to the alphabet for preschoolers. This is a two-hour compilation of animation, pop-culture parodies and favorite segments for each letter of the alphabet. The all-star lineup of celebrity guests is enough to hold the interest of parents too.

Sia, Pharrell Williams, Maya Angelou, Tori Kelly, Chance the Rapper and others introduce Elmo and his friends to each letter of the alphabet. There’s even a bonus feature, Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race and ABC-themed printable activities. Since it’s a compilation of segments from over the years, there’s a wide range of styles representing older and newer segments.

Even though I’m not in this film’s target audience, I still found it entertaining to see various celebrities on the same screen, with puppets, helping kids learn the alphabet. My favorite segment is Ricky Gervais singing Elmo a lullaby for the letter “N”, that’s anything but relaxing!

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 2 to 5. Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is available now on DVD and digital download from Shout! Kids and Sesame Workshop. Look for it.