Archives for October 21, 2020

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising * Goes Above And Beyond Sonic’s Top Speeds, Delivering An Entertaining Action-Packed Story

It’s a Sonic you haven’t seen before Wherever he goes and whatever he’s up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jude A. comments, “You have “got to go fast” in this new action-packed DVD  Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! with everyone’s favorite super-powered hedgehog Sonic Boom. This DVD is running with 600 miles per hour speeds, fantastic animation and plenty of action-packed scenes.” Kyla C. adds, “The highlight of this collection of re-released episodes is definitely the animation. It’s bright, detailed and full of imagination. It’s a little kid’s dream world! I applaud the animators, voice-over actors and foley artists on their spectacular work. One thing that definitely has room for improvement is the storyline.” Christine R. KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer wraps it up with, “Sonic is back in Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising with his usual wise-cracking, fast talking…well, fast everything! …Sonic fans won’t be disappointed with these action-packed animated stories.” See their full reviews below.

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising
By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

You have “got to go fast” in this new action-packed DVD  Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! with everyone’s favorite super-powered hedgehog Sonic Boom. This DVD is running with 600 miles per hour speeds, fantastic animation and plenty of action-packed scenes. While it has amazing animation and action-packed scenes, unfortunately, it doesn’t have the best dialogue and didn’t grip me as much as I thought it would.

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising starts off with our favorite hedgehog team, Sonic (Roger Craig Smith), Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), Knuckles (Travis Willingham), Rose (Cindy Robinson) and Sticks (Nika Futterman) as they are attacked by everyone’s favorite eggtastic villain, Dr. Eggman (Mike Pallok). Later, Sonic and friends encounter a couple of recently crash-landed robots, and the team learns of a mysterious robot world in the sky. One day the robots suddenly go evil! The team must uncover the mystery and save the robots of this world.

I am a long-time fan of Sonic the Hedgehog. I was nervous about viewing this DVD because I have high standards for this character. I was not disappointed. I would like to give major congratulations to the Animation Director Riash Tadeo Shahnawaz for overseeing and creating such beautiful animation with a beautiful set of characters. My criticism of this DVD is with the dialogue. The dialogue is extremely basic and doesn’t really go into as much depth. I feel that if the writers took a little more time to work on the script, it would be a lot better.

This DVD is entertaining for children, with comedic action and plenty of jokes that young kids will understand. The characters DVD provide very important examples for children, like the importance of charity, teamwork and more. It also promotes many morals. When something gets in your way, problem-solve and think out of the box to reach your goal!

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising goes above and beyond Sonic’s top speeds, and provides an entertaining, action-packed story that all children will enjoy, but lacks clever and gripping dialogue. I give Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12. You can find Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising in stores or at your digital retailer. Check it out.

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising!
By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, Age 11

This colorfully animated Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! DVD is great for young kids! The voice-over actors add silliness and comedy to the scenes, and the theme song and other sound effects are great elements as well. Plus the animation is truly incredible. There isn’t much of a story, and the one there is, is a bit difficult to follow with all of repetitive action and combat.

This DVD includes (eight) fifteen-minute-long episodes all together. Four of them are part of the same general story. Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) and all of his friends have to decide which robots to befriend, knowing that whomever they don’t choose become their enemies. The other four episodes are individual but similar in the way that Dr. Eggman is the Antagonist.

The highlight of this collection of re-released episodes is definitely the animation. It’s bright, detailed and full of imagination. It’s a little kid’s dream world! I applaud the animators, voice-over actors and foley artists on their spectacular work. One thing that definitely has room for improvement is the storyline. The animation and acting are great, but a TV show needs a story, even if just for each individual episode. Most of the time I only see fighting and have no idea what is going on. Although this might be great for younger kids, who are just interested in seeing their favorite characters come to life, older kids will probably get bored after a few minutes. Overall, this the greatest, but also possibly the only flaw of these select episodes.

The message is that teamwork and friendship are important. Sonic and his friend have to use teamwork to face off against Dr. Eggman and his robot bad guys. There are some arguments, but the protagonists work it out and learn their lesson, the way little kids should take away that lesson. This is okay, but I think actually saying the lesson to be learned helps people understand it better. There is only some mild cartoon violence, but nothing inappropriate or extremely violent takes place. 

I give Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising! 3 out of 5 stars and recommend the DVD for ages 4 to 7. The DVD is available now so look for it.

Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising
By Christine R., KIDS FIRST!

Sonic is back in Sonic Boom: Robot Uprising with his usual wise-cracking, fast talking…well, fast everything! This DVD includes eight episodes (four of these are parts of one story) and runs for 90 minutes. It begins with the story “Robots from the Sky” in which Sonic and his friends Tails, Knuckles, Sticks and Amy must defend themselves when a past mistake turns into a robot civil war. Robots from Morristown, a robot utopian planet, try to recruit others. Unknown to them, they are infected with malware and are controlled by a vengeance-seeking robot. The robot uprising theme continues in the episode entitled “Strike!” in which Dr. Eggman’s robot minions become fed up with their maltreatment and decide to strike until their demands are met. With help from Amy, the robots and their evil overlord come to a compromise…but not necessarily in the way she had hoped. In “Evil Dr. Orbot” Dr. Eggman needs to pass a test to get his evil permit–but forces one of his robot lackeys to take it for him. After Orbot downloads the textbook, he begins devising his own evil plans. Will he replace the evil genius Dr. Eggman? Sonic fans won’t be disappointed with these action-packed animated stories. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST!

Bat, Oct. 22nd Pet of the Week!

What’s Halloween without witches, ghosts, skeletons, black cats and bats? Our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services can help with the last two! Meet Bat, 9 months old! He was brought into the shelter because he was hanging around—not upside down, though—as a stray. They found out that he won’t use his fangs to bite even though he chitters and chatters like his namesake species. If you make an appointment to see him, we’re sure you’ll cave! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email, so contact PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Bat. Ask for ID#A650104.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Discover creepy creatures at Aquarium’s Halloween celebration

Photo credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

Everyone is invited to explore outdoor exhibits in search of the creatures lurking in the depths at the Aquarium of the Pacific during its Scarium-themed weekend October 23 to 25, 2020. Guests can enjoy spooky décor and creepy creatures on these special days. You can see lorikeet birds eating pumpkins, and look for pumpkins in the animal exhibits, such as the June Keyes Penguin Habitat and mudskipper exhibit. 

The Aquarium is inviting everyone to wear family-friendly costumes when visiting during Scarium of the Pacific. Islands is providing Kids Free Meal certificates each day of Scarium to the first 200 children in costume as they enter the Aquarium.

The outdoor exhibits currently open to the public at the Aquarium include various exhibits where you can interact with animals, including the Moon Jelly Touch Lab, Lorikeet Forest, Shark Lagoon, the Ray Touch Pool, and the horseshoe crab touch exhibit. Other outdoor exhibits include the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat, June Keyes Penguin Habitat, archerfish and mudskipper exhibits, Southern California Steelhead Story exhibit, Our Water Future and native plant garden, Molina Animal Care Center, and Shorebird Sanctuary. The Bamboo Bistro is serving snacks, entrees, and drinks for purchase, and the Pacific Treasures and Pacific Collections gift stores are open for shopping.

You can also now feed a moon jelly between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays by purchasing a cup of their food while supplies last. For those interested in adding to their visit, the Aquarium is also offering a Seal and Sea Lion Experience on Saturdays and Sundays at 8:15 a.m. with advance reservations (includes Aquarium admission).

Advance reservations are required to visit the Aquarium along with safety measures that include facial coverings for everyone ages two and older and temperature checks. For more information, please visit the Aquarium’s safety protocols page.

WHEN: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 23-25, 2020 (Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. / Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) (advance reservations required)

WHERE: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

COST:  Included with general admission: $17.00 per person and free for children under age 3 and Aquarium members

INFO: (562) 590-3100 or visit aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/scarium_of_the_pacific/

AQUARIUM: The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium outdoor exhibits include Shark Lagoon, Lorikeet Forest, June Keyes Penguin Habitat, the Molina Animal Care Center, moon jelly touch tank, and the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages through its Online Academy, which is free to everyone. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.NOTE: ONLY OUTDOOR AREAS ARE CURRENTLY OPEN. Please visit the Aquarium’s website for the latest information at aquariumofpacific.org or call (562) 590-3100.

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1

Four curious young dinosaur friends explore the mystery of Gigantosaurus, the largest, fiercest dinosaur of all. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Cadence G. comments, “I enjoyed the DVD Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 because this collection of episodes is full of adventure. I think kids will really like to watch this series featuring four young dinosaurs named Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu who are all afraid of a huge dinosaur named Gigantosaurus.” Joshitha B. adds, “The voice acting is very high quality and the dialogue easy for kids to understand. Cyber-Group Studios’ animation is quite smooth, plus the cinematography, by Director Olivier Lelardoux tells the story clearly with its high-key lighting and, for the most part, eye-level shots. With each episode presenting a new fun adventure for four friendly dinosaurs, it will surely keep your kids’ interest peaked.” Ethan P. contributes, “This educational preschool TV series is based on a book and was first made into a series in France. The graphics are super impressive, the voice-overs fit each character and the music is appealing. My favorite episode is “Don’t Cave In” because it’s about how Tiny hears a rumor that there’s a monster in a cave. The gang is running away from Giganto, when they run into the cave that they weren’t meant to.” See their full reviews below.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1
By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the DVD Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 because this collection of episodes is full of adventure. I think kids will really like to watch this series featuring four young dinosaurs named Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu who are all afraid of a huge dinosaur named Gigantosaurus.

Each one of these 26 episodes tells stories about this crew of four characters who are best friends. In one episode, they try to get one of Gigantosaurus’s scales; in another episode, Rocky (Dylan Schombing) tries to be brave and goes to the top of a volcano. Many wild things happen to the group of friends through their adventures, but they always seem to figure things out.

My favorite part of this series is the time when Gigantosaurus slaps Rocky with his tail, and Rocky flies through the air. It is a super funny part because what seems like a bad thing at first—getting hit with Gigantosaurus’s tail—ends up helping Rocky get to where he wanted to go. I also like the upbeat theme song at the beginning of each episode—it sets an energetic tone. I like the animation because each character is cute and colorful. Rocky is my favorite character because he may be small, but he’s super confident.

The message of the film is don’t judge people or things by what they look like. Just because Gigantosaurus looks scary, he might not necessarily be mean or evil. And even though Rocky is on the smaller side, he still can be really brave. (I understand because I get judged for being small, but I am capable of many things that might surprise people!)

I give Gigantosaurus 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 is a very cute and entertaining animated series for younger kids to enjoy with friends and family. What I like the most about this DVD is that it comes in a gift box package which includes two discs  with 26 episodes of Gigantosaurus and two action figures, Rocky and Mazu adding up to over four hours of fun.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 is about four small funny dinos living in the forest and discovering new things. The dinos Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are the perfect team. Rocky is a red dino who is very brave. Bill is a blue dino that is kind of scared of literally anything. Tiny is a green dino who loves to be silly, tell jokes and have fun. Mazu is a brown dino who is extremely smart, and he is the one with the brains. These four together have incredible adventures and they help anyone along the way. There’s one thing that they cannot do, which is go near Gigantosaurus. Gigantosaurus is the biggest, fiercest dino of all. He is 100x their size and can destroy anything in his path. He does help them, though; he gets them food by walking because the trees shake when he moves around causing the coconuts to fall.


This educational preschool TV series is based on a book and was first made into a series in France. The graphics are super impressive, the voice-overs fit each character and the music is appealing. My favorite episode is “Don’t Cave In” because it’s about how Tiny hears a rumor that there’s a monster in a cave. The gang is running away from Giganto, when they run into the cave that they weren’t meant to.


One of the morals of the series is not to brag because Rocky brags about how he was going to win the talent show, but instead he crashes it. This tells kids not to brag in any way or form—instead just do your best.

I rate Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 the highest,5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 plus adults can enjoy this DVD with their kids as well. It is available now, so look for it.

Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1
By Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The DVD Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1, a collection of episodes from the animated children’s TV show, is incredibly adorable and perfect for preschoolers. The voice acting is very high quality and the dialogue easy for kids to understand. Cyber-Group Studios’ animation is quite smooth, plus the cinematography, by Director Olivier Lelardoux tells the story clearly with its high-key lighting and, for the most part, eye-level shots. With each episode presenting a new fun adventure for four friendly dinosaurs, it will surely keep your kids’ interest peaked.

The storyline follows Rocky, Tiny, Marshall and Mazu – a pack of dinosaurs that spend their time going on exciting journeys that often involve provoking the most threatening dinosaur of all, Giganotosaurus! As time passes, the group finds out that perhaps that the biggest dinosaur isn’t so scary after all.

The way the story is told is very engaging for young minds. The episodes stand alone quite well so you don’t need to watch it in chronological order to understand what’s going on — always a plus in a kids’ show. The production design is appropriate for youngsters. For one thing, the color schemes are bright and eye-catching, so it really sets a childish mood. There are plenty of things for children to learn from in the show – being smart is like a superpower, boldness is essential to success. When it comes to preschool DVDs, Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 is the cream of the crop.

The message that Giganotosaurus always promotes is “never judge a book by its cover.” The other dinosaurs often fear Giganotosaurus because he is huge, but he is actually very nice and completely unlike their expectations.

I rate Gigantosaurus: Season 1, Volume 1 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. The DVD is available now so look for it.