Archives for August 10, 2022

High School Musical:  The Musical:  The Series:  Season 3 * The Music Of This Series Is So Central To The Show’s Popularity And This Season Is Better Than Ever

Season three of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is set at Camp Shallow Lake, a sleep away camp in California, as the Wildcats and their fellow campers are primed for an unforgettable summer ripe with romance, curfew-less nights and a taste of the great outdoors.  With a high-stakes production of “Frozen” on the horizon AND a drama-filled “docu-series” of the production, the Wildcats will attempt to show who is “best in snow” without leaving anyone out in the cold.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Selene W., comments, “Are you ready to join your favorite Wildcats at summer camp?  Then don’t miss High School Musical:  The Musical:  The Series:  Season 3.  Adventure awaits as our motley group reunites at summer camp and meets new friends for two weeks of fun in the sun!” See her full review below.

High School Musical:  The Musical:  The Series:  Season 3 

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14 


Are you ready to join your favorite Wildcats at summer camp?  Then don’t miss High School Musical:  The Musical:  The Series:  Season 3.  Adventure awaits as our motley group reunites at summer camp and meets new friends for two weeks of fun in the sun!

After an amazing year at East High, the Wildcats journey to Camp Shallow Lake in California to start their summer escapade.  What could be better than sleepaway camp at a location primed for summer romance, intrigue and high-spirited jinks set in the great outdoors?  It’s an unforgettable summer as the campers prepare for a high-stakes production of Frozen

My favorite parts are the audition scenes for Frozen.  I really loved watching everyone dance and sing to some of the amazing songs and enjoyed the dialogue in this iconic production.  I just can’t “Let It Go” how these various auditions are spliced together in Season 3, capturing all the drama and competitive nature of auditions, while still maintaining the positivity and support among cast members.  You won’t be left in the cold watching the talent of this dynamic group. The music and original songs in Season 3 do not disappoint.  That’s really saying something since the music of this series has been so central to the show’s popularity and success from the first two seasons. Tim Federle (Creator, Showrunner, and Executive Producer) of High School Musical:  The Musical:  The Series really has created a collaborative and supportive environment on set with the cast, which shows in their performances.  The show feels authentic with its teen cast and I really love its positivity.

The essence of this series is that you can personally grow and explore all life has to offer in a supportive and caring environment.  Even when friendships and relationships change it allows characters to embrace their differences and support each other throughout the process.  It’s fun to watch the new experiences and growth in some of our favorite characters away from school expectations and pressures. 

High School Musical:  The Musical:  The Series:  Season 3 gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, but adults will enjoy watching with their kids as well.  Season 3 will begin streaming on Disney+ July 27, 2022 so don’t miss this summer party!

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Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters * An Emotional Depiction Of The Ups And Downs Of A Father/Daughter Relationship

When a wealthy businessman learns of his daughter’s sudden engagement to a missionary, he embarks on a quest to keep her closer to home, but when his efforts go awry he must reconsider what it means to be a strong father.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is all about trust and respect in relationships. It encourages parents to let go of their children when they wish to fly away, and it promotes altruism, both professionally and in personal relationships.” Samantha P. adds, “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters teaches important lessons about family values. This family-friendly movie doesn’t only benefit children; it also teaches fathers about letting go of their daughters, and to know when to step in to ensure a positive future.” Kyla C. wraps it up with, “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is a fantastic mix of romance, comedy and family life. The film is simply a must-see. Strong acting supports a well-developed plot. The message of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is that you have to let people make their own choices, whether you agree with their decisions or not.” See their full reviews below.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is an emotional depiction of the ups and downs of the relationship between a father and a daughter. It’s a superb summer watch.

Wealthy businessman, Steve Parston (Bart Johnson) just locked in a huge new deal based on his daughter Abby’s (Carrie Wampler) pitch deck. Soon after celebrating this achievement, he learns of Abby’s sudden engagement to Oz (Brandon Prado), a selfless missionary based in Mexico. Steve embarks on a quest to keep Abby closer to home and make her a partner in his new venture. However, when his efforts go awry, he must consider what it means to be a strong, supportive father.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters director David de Vos guides this film quite well, especially with the actors’ performances and the cinematography, by Rick Pendleton. Each actor seems comfortable in their role, especially Robyn Lively as Steve Parston’s wife, Connie. The Mexican angle seems a bit underdeveloped; it is rather inconsequential that we learn that Oz and his family are Mexican and run an orphanage in Mexico until the final scenes of the film. I’m not sure that this addition is meaningful and if so, why it doesn’t it come up earlier. The writing is a bit stilted at times, but the emotion with which Bart Johnson, in particular, plays his role helps lift the film back up.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is all about trust and respect in relationships. It encourages parents to let go of their children when they wish to fly away, and it promotes altruism, both professionally and in personal relationships. Note that Christian missionary work is referred to, and we see children acting out in the film at times.

I give Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters releases August 1, 2022 in theaters.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

By Samantha P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters teaches important lessons about family values. This family-friendly movie doesn’t only benefit children; it also teaches fathers about letting go of their daughters, and to know when to step in to ensure a positive future. Based on the bestselling book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by author Dr. Meg Meeker, the movie shares heartwarming values that make the whole family comfortable watching it together.

Actors Robyn Lively and Bart Johnson play Connie and Steve, the parents to Zoey, Abby, and Bridget in the movie. The movie starts with Abby, the oldest daughter, coming home from a business trip and surprising the family with the fact that she’s engaged. Not only is she giving up her career path at her dad’s office, but she is also running away to Africa with her future husband to care for the poor as missionaries with the church. Steve struggles with finding a way to let Abby accomplish her own dreams and start a new path, instead of continuing the dream they have always had together, even the dreams of what her future wedding would look like.

Robyn and Bart who play the believable role of husband and wife, are married outside of the movie, it turns out! I can imagine how this would add more depth to their roles. Abby and her fiance Oz are played by Carrie Wampler and Brandon Prado. While these are the main characters, other actors that are important to the movie include Kayla DiVenere (as Zoey), Arden Myrin (as Crystal), David Barrera (as Carlos), and Maria Canals-Barrera (as Bella.) This movie is funny to watch, and the set design is exciting and colorful. Learning about the Mexican culture through the bright colors and fun decorations was also very interesting. The writing seemed predictable, though, without too many major twists. Not to give any spoilers, but I could imagine how it would end from the beginning.

The message of this movie is that families can persevere to solve different problems and to build strong futures together. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters has alcohol consumption and breaking the rules with social media. In one scene, a daughter sneaks out to a party with boys against parent permission.

I give Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it on Pure Flix starting on August 1, 2022.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is a fantastic mix of romance, comedy and family life. The film is simply a must-see. Strong acting supports a well-developed plot.

The storyline of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters follows Steve Parston (Bart Johnson), the father of three kids and husband of Connie Parston (Robyn Lively). The couple’s eldest child, Abby Parston (Carrie Wampler) returns to the family home in California after living in Mexico for months. Having had big plans to be business partners with Abby for years, Steve is shocked and unsupportive when she announces other plans. Will Steve learn to live without his daughter at home, or will he ruin everything with her in his refusal to move on?

The story of this film is very impressive, with each character having their own engaging subplot. Rather than awkwardly pausing the primary storyline to build on each of these subplots, the smaller stories develop in the midst of the main story, without viewers realizing it. As a result, there are characters that are cared for, many loose ends to be wrapped up and countless extra comedic and romantic bits in between. One of the best characters, Crystal (Arden Myrin), the wedding planner, is a perfect addition to the film. She is extremely enthusiastic about her job and very excited to be getting business; she brings lots of light to some of the bleaker, sadder scenes. These sequences provide the right balance of negative and positive energy. Another important aspect of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is the relatable family. This film truly demonstrates how, although family members disagree and argue, each person is seriously trying to help one another and do the best they can. Each of the three daughters goes through one or more realistic conflicts that they solve with guidance from their inner selves as well as from those around them. With a variety of difficult situations shown throughout the film, every viewer will have at least one struggle that is similar to something they, or someone they know, has dealt with. So many different connections allow Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters to reach many diverse audiences. The actors use these connections to make their character even easier to identify with. In particular, Kayla DiVenere gives an amazing performance as Zoey, the middle child in the family.

The message of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is that you have to let people make their own choices, whether you agree with their decisions or not. Steve tries to prevent Abby from making her own decisions, and ends up realizing that it is not his choice to make. There is some minor language to be aware of.

I give Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters exclusively on PureFlix beginning August 1, 2022.

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