KIDS FIRST! Film Critics is a group of youth, ages seven to fifteen from all across the country who attend premieres, press junkets and press screenings and report from them. Their reviews and interviews represent an authentic youth point of view that we are sharing with you. After all, these kids are the audience for these films. In addition to their written coverage, be sure to click through to watch their video reviews and check out their weekly radio show on the Voice America Kids Network, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions.
Today, one of our reporters reviews the documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, coming out in theaters April 4. Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman narrates this film which profiles nature's greatest explorers -- lemurs. Shot in IMAX 3D, the film explores the remote world of Madagascar and its primate inhabitants -- lemurs -- who first arrived as castaways millions of years ago and have evolved into hundreds of diverse species, now endangered. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, comments, "I love this film. The most mind-blowing part is how the camera crew gets so close to the wild, and sometimes imposing, lemurs." See his full review and interviews with cast members below.
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Reviewed by Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
I thought this movie would be a story of a specific lemur living in Madagascar, but I was very wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for the wonderful adventure I experienced. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is a fantastic documentary that every animal or nature lover will enjoy.
This documentary has more to offer than lemurs. It has action, comedy, adventure, thrills, education and so much more. Of course, who could possibly know that there are so many species of lemurs -- the unforgettable bamboo lemur, the brown lemur, the hustle lemur and the adorable (and my personal favorite) -- the mouse lemur.
The story begins when a scientist by the name of Dr. Patricia Wright goes to Madagascar to study lemurs. She goes to the wildest part of the vast jungles to look for one thing: bamboo lemurs, which were thought to be extinct. Lucky she proves them wrong and spends many years saving their species from extinction. We join her adventure and learn about the real dangers to the cute and furry animals and hear about her stories in Madagascar.
I love this film. The most mind-blowing part is how the camera crew gets so close to the wild, and sometimes imposing, lemurs. There are some angles that look simply impossible to accomplish with wild animals. The film is enhanced by Morgan Freeman's narration which makes this documentary truly unique. The filmmakers are so smart, using simple techniques to get their dream shots. The entire cast of lemurs (no, they are not paid actors) are adorable and, the coolest thing is, they are not trained. Every lemur in this movie is wild.
My favorite scene is when they show the adorable but powerful, hand-sized, smaller primate, the mouse lemur. This little guy is captured in a trap that does not hurt him and is then taken to a place where they study and scan him. Afterwards, he is released back to the wild with a story to tell his family.
This movie is meant for all ages but does have a bit of intensity. So, I recommend it to kids ages six to 18. This move also easily deserves 5 out of 5 stars. The only thing I would add is that it is too short. I wish it was longer because it is so well done and so interesting.