Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month – February 2011 – Perry Chen

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things. We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements.

Do you know an “Amazing Kid” who is accomplishing amazing things? Nominate them for our Amazing Kids! of the Month Award using our online nomination form!  Who knows? They just may be our next Amazing Kid! of the Month!

Quote of the Month

All success is built on a solid foundation of hard work.
-Perry Chen, 10 year old film critic, speaker, entertainment personality, and much more!

Amazing Young Film Critic!

Perry Chen has accomplishments that seem to take centuries to complete. He’s a credentialed film critic, an entertainment personality, speaker, artist, and the list goes on. All of these accomplishments have happened over the past two years, and Perry is only 10!

Perry Chen, amazing young film critic

Whether he is interviewing an award winning director, writing a stunning Perrific movie review, or speaking at events, Perry has one thing in mind: To inspire other children to follow their dreams! Amazing Kids! could not be any more excited to introduce Perry Chen as our February Amazing Kid of the Month

A Young Start to Success

Perry started critiquing films two years ago when he was in the 3rd grade. “My teacher Ms. Joli Harris told my mom at a parent teacher conference that I was decoding words at a high school level,” he says. Perry’s mother Zhu Shen helped encourage Perry to write movie reviews. “Mom wanted to challenge me and suggested that I start writing reviews, initially on books, then moving on to movies because of my love of movies,” Perry said. Perry’s 3rd grade teacher also read and gave encouraging comments on each review he wrote while in her class.

Now Perry is a credentialed film critic. This means he doesn’t have to wait in line to see movies, doesn’t have to pay, he gets invited to press screenings and gets to sit in the “Press Only” seats! “The most exciting part is to interview some of the most talented filmmakers and stars face-to-face at film festivals, press junkets, and red carpet premiers and awards,” Perry says. Some of the famous filmmakers he has interviewed include Oscar-winning director Pete Doctor and producer Jonas Rivera from Up, and Directors Dean deBlois and Chris Sanders from How to Train Your Dragon. “From these interviews, I learned what inspired the filmmakers and how they made the movie magic come to life on the big screen,” Perry adds.

How to Train Your Dragon director Dean DeBlois with Perry Chen and his drawing of Dean at Comic-Con

Perrific Films!

Perry reviews movies using the starfish system on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. “Great or ‘Perrific!’ films have four characteristics that I look for: Interesting storyline, rich & colorful characters, great visuals, and a powerful moral,” Perry says.

His favorite movies to watch are animation. “In animation, anything is possible,” Perry says. “There are no physical constraints and you are free to create whatever your imagination takes you.” Perry is also starting to enjoy Hollywood classic films. Leonard Maltin, a renowned film critic and author, advised Perry to start watching older and more classic movies. “I watched Casablanca this month, and gave it a ‘Perrific Squared!’ rating, a first for me!” he says.

Perry Chen climbing Toy Story 3

Young Success!

Perry’s film critics have taken him very far! To date he has been featured on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NPR with Liane Hansen, Variety, The Young Icons TV show, The China Press, and many others! “The producers, reporters, and anchors that I have worked with are all wonderful and ‘Perrific’ to work with!” Perry says.

While Perry doesn’t have a favorite out of all the shows he has been featured on, the CBS Evening News show stands out. “I’ll have to say the CBS Evening News show has a special place in my heart because this first national TV coverage helped launch my career as a film critic on a bigger platform,” he says. Perry and his mother spent two days with the CBS team filming. Not only did the show help his career, but by being interviewed and watching the final product it taught Perry about the art of interviewing and how to tell a compelling story.

Perry also gave a speech at the TEDx Redmond event last year, an event that hosts live speakers. “As I mentioned at my TEDx Redmond speech last year, you are never too young to start pursuing our dreams,” Perry says. “Every child has something special. Some may play sports well, others may excel in art, or are natural-born leaders,” he adds.

Perry was recently interviewed for the second time on NBC Today in LA about his favorite animated films of 2010, including the three nominees for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.  You can watch a video of his interview here:

Other Interests

In addition to being an amazing film critic, Perry has many other interests. One of them is art. “I love making art of all kinds, and using many different materials,” he says. Perry’s art is all about imagination! In past art pieces he has used lunch foil to make animal sculptures, cheese wax and grocery store twist-ties to make tiny animals, colorful papers for folding origami, and leaves and twigs to make installation art.

Perry Chen drawing Beyond the Forest using Toon Bom on Wacom tablet

“I also enjoy using traditional tools like pencil, pen, and pastel to make drawings and paintings,” Perry says. “Getting into animation is my newest adventure. It’s magical to see things move on the screen, created from your own drawings!”

In addition to art, Perry is also a speaker and an entertainment personality. As a speaker he speaks at universities, fund-raisers, and film festivals. Perry speaks about his success as a child film critic and animator, how he got started, and the lessons he has learned. Perry has also been invited to review movies on TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, and online in addition to being interviewed himself!

A Perrific Future

With so many interests and talents, Perry’s future is wide open. However, Perry does have short-term goals planned out. “My immediate goal is to finish my first animation short “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest,” about a young Jewish girl’s survival during the Holocaust, so that it can be shown at many film festivals this year,” he says.

Perry is also working on a project with Amazing Kids! magazine. “Amazing Kids! and Perry’s Previews are organizing a first ever “Amazing Kids! Perrific Oscar Picks Contest” for kids age 6-15 around the world to predict the best animation Oscar winner!” Perry explains. “I hope we’ll get tons of entries because kids’ voice is important to be heard.” In the contest, the kids share why they predict the film they select in 50 words or less. For more information and to enter the Amazing Kids! Perrific Oscar Picks Contest, visit:

Perry is also planning another contest for kids with Amazing Kids! to “Write a Perrific Amazing Kids! Movie Review,” slated to launch this Spring. Perry will be one of the judges for this contest. “I hope to see more young film critics emerging from this contest,” he says.

For long term goals Perry isn’t exactly sure what he will be doing, but he knows that he will always be an artist and explorer at heart. “I love animation and movies, and I would be interested in learning more about making animation films,” he says.

Perry Chen on red carpet at Annie Awards

Perry also would also like to become a cross-cultural ambassador for family-friendly films and entertainment. Since he is bilingual and speaks Chinese, Perry would be able to introduce movies and entertainment between the Western countries and China.

“I am entrepreneurial too,” Perry adds. “Mom and I have been talking to people in design and merchandizing about making products with my art design son them and contribute part of the revenue to charity.”

Perry lying with Perrific ceramic at Torrey Hills best

Whatever Perry decides to do, he has one thing in the back of his mind. “I hope to continue to inspire other children about pursuing their dreams by speaking more at conferences and events.”

Awards Perry has won!

– “Excellence in Journalism Award” at the San Diego Press Club, Oct 2010
– Honoree of the Cox Communications Asian Heritage Month, May 2010
– Vic Kops Children’s Challenge Award:
– “Excellent Writer for We Chinese” for my movie review column, January 2010:

Four art awards:
-San Diego County Fair, First Place, 2010 and 2009
-San Diego City Hall Children’s Art Show, October 2009
-San Diego International Art & Music Festival, January 2010

Connect with Perry!

Personal website:
Facebook: (fans will receive updated movie reviews, film festival news, press screening tickets, and other promotions)
YouTube channel:
IMDB (internet movie database)