Archives for July 1, 2024

Wondla * Eye-Popping Animation With Everything, From Flying Whales To Enormous Man-Eating Butterflies

Eva is a typical teen: curious, enthusiastic, and spirited. The only difference … she’s being raised alone by a robot caretaker, Muthr, in a state-of-the-art underground bunker. On her 16th birthday, an attack on her sanctuary forces her onto the Earth’s surface, and it’s not what she expected. The planet is inhabited by aliens, covered with otherworldly fauna, and there are no other humans to be found. In fact, it’s no longer called Earth — it’s called Orbona. Otto, a lovable giant waterbear with whom Eva shares telepathic powers, Rovender, a cantankerous alien with a troubled past, and Muthr join Eva as she embarks on a quest to find humans, her home and her true destiny.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kinsley H. comments, “I really had fun watching this show! WondLa is a sci-fi fantasy filled with thrills and adventure. It has eye-popping animation that had me on the edge of my seat. The animation made me feel like I had walked into a whole new world. The setting has everything, from flying whales to enormous man-eating butterflies.” See her full review and interview with the show’s star, Jeanine Mason, below.

WondLa
By Kinsley H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I really had fun watching this show! WondLa is a sci-fi fantasy filled with thrills and adventure. It has eye-popping animation that is very entertaining. The characters are diverse and unexpected.

This television series is based on the book, “The Search for WondLa,” by Tony DiTerlizzi. It tells the story of Eva (Jeanine Mason), a courageous and lively teenager, who has spent her life in bunker training for her first moment above ground. The only family that she has known is Muther (Teri Hatcher), a very cautious robot, that teaches her about Earth and how to protect herself. Eva soon gets the surprise of her life when she learns that everything she has been taught is no longer true.

WondLa had me on the edge of my seat. The animation made me feel like I had walked into a whole new world. The setting has everything, from flying whales to enormous man-eating butterflies. It depicts an Earth that has been transformed into Orbona, a world filled with the unexpected. The backgrounds are detailed and colorful. It is impossible to see everything in just one viewing. My favorite character is Eva’s Omnipod (D.C. Douglas). Omni is the most humorous character. I love that, even though his tone does not change, he can still make you laugh with his short and witty statements. The characters are either adorable or terrifying. Otto (Brad Garrett) is a gigantic, water bear-like creature. He is a kind and loyal friend that is constantly helping Eva get out of tough situations. On the other hand, there is Besteel (Chike Okonkwo), a scary and towering villain with sharp teeth and a hunched back. I screamed when this character was first introduced. I could not wait to see what new character Eva would meet next.

The film’s message is about friendship. Eva spent the first years of her life wishing to meet humans just like her, so that she could finally have a family. Each episode proves that friends can take any shape or form. WondLa celebrates differences! Parents should be aware that the show does have some violence and dangerous activities.

I give WondLa 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. The first seven episodes of WondLapremiere globally on June 28, 2024 on Apple TV+.

Trailer:

Tomorrow’s Game * A Wild Journey Through Time That Combines The Thrill Of Baseball With A Heartwarming Family Adventure

Daniel de la Rosa travels back in time to 1957. To get home, he must find a way to restore his family’s legacy and rewrite baseball history. A fun adventure for the whole family ensues, full of baseball and time travel, featuring Paul Rodriguez.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ashleigh C. comments, “Tomorrow’s Game is a wild journey through time that combines the thrill of baseball with a heartwarming family adventure. The story’s creativity and the strong performances by the cast make it an unforgettable movie experience.” Kinsley H. adds, “Tomorrow’s Game kept me engaged with its story line. The actors make the characters come alive and are true to the time period. The 2002 Jorge Robles made me chuckle. He has amazing comedic timing. I especially like when he makes sure Daniel knows about the number 207.” Gloria J. wraps it up with, “The appeal of Tomorrow’s Game lies in its blend of time travel and baseball nostalgia, combined with a heartwarming story about family and self-discovery. The dynamic between Daniel and Sally provides engaging, relatable moments, while the historical setting adds charm. The plot twist of Daniel becoming the unexpected commentator is particularly satisfying.” See their full reviews below.

Tomorrow’s Game
By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 20

Tomorrow’s Game is a wild journey through time that combines the thrill of baseball with a heartwarming family adventure. The story’s creativity and the strong performances by the cast make it an unforgettable movie experience.

In Tomorrow’s Game, Daniel de la Rosa (Alejandro de Anda), travels back in time to 1957. To return to his present day, Daniel must find a way to restore his family’s legacy and rewrite baseball history. This film is packed with excitement as Daniel navigates the challenges of a different era while discovering the importance of family and perseverance.

The film features a stellar cast with standout performances. The supporting cast enhances the film’s charm — including notable appearances by talented actors such as Miranda Meadows who plays Sally McDavies, Paul Rodriguez, who plays Jorge Robles and Carlo Menddez, who plays young Santiago de la Rosa. The period sets and costumes transport viewers back to the 1950s, adding an authentic feel to the time-travel adventure. The special effects used for the time travel scenes are impressive and add a magical touch to the story. The soundtrack perfectly complements the film, enhancing key moments and adding to the overall enjoyment. My favorite part of the movie is when Daniel finally understands the true value of his family’s legacy. This pivotal moment is both touching and inspirational, showcasing the film’s core message about believing in yourself and the importance of family.

Tomorrow’s Game promotes positive social behavior and highlights the importance of treating others with respect. The film’s message is clear: believe in yourself and cherish your family.

I give Tomorrow’s Game 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. You can catch this delightful family adventure now in select theaters plus on VOD, streaming and at online retailers.

Tomorrow’s Game
By Kinsley H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Tomorrow’s Game is not only a baseball movie but a time traveling adventure. I really enjoyed this film, and its inspiring message about equality. Everyone can learn something important from this story.

This movie is about Daniel De La Rosa (Alejandro De Anda) who takes an unexpected trip back to 1957 to see his uncle, Santiago De La Rosa (Carlo Mendez), become part of baseball history. The story begins in 2002 as Santiago De La Rosa  (David Arturo Sanchez) is being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame for his baseball career with the JetHawks. Daniel is unsure of himself during this time which leads to a heart-to-heart with Jorge Robles (Paul Rodriguez). This encounter quickly leads to a time traveling adventure that leads Daniel to help make big changes in the past.

Tomorrow’s Game kept me engaged with its story line. The actors make the characters come alive and are true to the time period. The 2002 Jorge Robles made me chuckle. He has amazing comedic timing. I especially like when he makes sure Daniel knows about the number 207. The viewer has no doubt that this number is important. Another character that sticks out, but in a different way, is Sally McDavies (Miranda Meadows). Her acting is more theatrical than the other characters, and it seems to interrupt the flow of the dialogue. Despite this, she is still entertaining to watch, and she adds variety to the film. The props and set are amazing. It really feels like you have time-traveled into the fifties. The broadcast station, which is the time travel machine, made my jaw drop. It is so intriguing how it spins with flashing lights and clicking date changes. The special effects make Daniel’s transition to 1957 seem realistic. The setting change is flawless.

The film’s message is about fairness. In 1957 not all baseball players were treated equally, especially Puerto Rican players. These individuals did not get the same air time as their white teammates. Daniel, Sally, and young Jorge Robles (Jerry Hernandez) worked together to change this while restoring the De La Rosa family legacy in the process.

I give Tomorrow’s Game 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It is available in select theaters, VOD, AVOD, streaming and through online retailers now.

Tomorrow’s Game
By Gloria J., KIDS FIRST!

https://youtu.be/1tTD8yZRyFQ?si=pUg29W42bZo-9vaF
The appeal of Tomorrow’s Game lies in its blend of time travel and baseball nostalgia, combined with a heartwarming story about family and self-discovery. The dynamic between Daniel and Sally provides engaging, relatable moments, while the historical setting adds charm. The plot twist of Daniel becoming the unexpected commentator is particularly satisfying.

In the time-traveling family adventure, Tomorrow’s Game, young Daniel De La Rosa, uninterested in baseball despite his legendary uncle, is transported back to 1957 after a mishap with a mysterious recorder. With the help of a spirited girl named Sally and a young commentator named Jorge, Daniel embarks on a mission to return home, discovering a newfound passion for baseball and forging a surprising connection to his family’s past.

This family-friendly film masterfully blends time travel and baseball nostalgia, creating a heartwarming and adventurous tale about self-discovery and family legacy. The story kicks off with young Daniel De La Rosa, initially disinterested in baseball despite his legendary uncle, being transported back to 1957. With the help of spirited Sally and young commentator Jorge, Daniel embarks on a mission to return to his own time, discovering a newfound passion for baseball along the way.

Children might enjoy this film for its adventurous time-travel plot and the relatable, likable characters. Daniel’s journey from indifference to passion for baseball mirrors many kids’ experiences of discovering new interests. The humorous and exciting moments, like Daniel’s chaotic first encounter with Sally, keep the story engaging. Additionally, the nostalgic setting and the idea of influencing history provide a fun and imaginative escape for young viewers. The show’s well-crafted writing and seamless structure create an engaging flow between past and present. Key moments, like Daniel’s first encounter with Sally and his unexpected commentator role, are well-paced, driving his character development. The screenplay balances humor, drama, and adventure, with relatable characters that build empathy. The rich historical setting enhances the narrative, making the story immersive and emotionally resonant, drawing viewers into Daniel’s journey. The material is accurate and suitable for its intended age group, using vocabulary and concepts appropriate for children. The dialogue is simple and relatable, avoiding complex jargon. For example, Daniel’s explanation of his time travel and the playful banter with Sally, are clear and engaging. The historical references, like the 1957 setting, are presented in an accessible, educational manner.

The film boasts vibrant visuals, with clear, easily identifiable images. The live-action scenes are complemented by well-designed sets and authentic 1957 costumes, enhancing the historical feel. The acting is engaging, especially the dynamic performances by Daniel and Sally. The music is nostalgic, fitting the film’s adventurous and heartwarming tone. The promotional image is appealing, capturing the film’s family-friendly essence. The only shortcoming may be that the story’s premise might feel overly familiar to those who prefer more original narratives. The film encourages critical thinking and problem-solving as Daniel navigates time travel and devises plans to return home. The film supports inquiry into history and sports, making it educational and appropriate for its intended age group, sparking interest in cultural and temporal exploration. The program conveys that discovering one’s passion often requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone. It highlights the importance of family, legacy, and perseverance.

The film’s message is about how one might need to step outside of their comfort zone to discover their passion. It highlights the importance of family, legacy and perseverance. Through Daniel’s journey, the film shows that understanding and appreciating history can lead to personal growth and unexpected connections. It teaches valuable lessons about perseverance, family, and embracing new experiences, making it both educational and suitable for its intended age group. It also emphasizes the value of teamwork and friendship in overcoming challenges, encouraging viewers to embrace new experiences and learn from the past.


I give Tomorrow’s Game 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is available now in theaters, VOD, AVOD, streaming and through online retailers.