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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

DORA AND FRIENDS: INTO THE CITY! gets a Second Season, Dora heads to NYC for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...

Nickelodeon has ordered a 20-episode second season of the new preschool hit Dora and Friends: Into the City!, featuring global phenomenon Dora in all-new adventures, with new friends and a new curriculum.  The newly imagined Latina heroine launched on TV Aug. 18 and is now set to make her debut in the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®.  Dora will make the journey to the Big Apple on Thursday, Nov. 27, with some of her new friends, Kate and Pablo, to sing and dance along the parade route on a brand-new float inspired by the series. 

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First-Drive: The Rock Father goes hands-on with the 2015 Kia Soul EV

Electric vehicles are a fascinating thing, fueled by still-developing technology that the general population still has yet to embrace. While the adopters are growing in numbers, electric cars are still most prevalent in markets like California, not only due to a higher environmentally-friendly consciousness, but practicality as well. While makers like Tesla have their vehicles readily-available here in Northern Illinois where I live, there are issues pertaining to battery life and range that can hinder EVs in cold-weather climates (battery heaters are available), which is why Kia is smartly rolling out their first-ever zero-emmissions, all-electric vehicle in select markets before casting the net wider. Just launched on the West Coast, I had a chance to spend some time with the 2015 Kia Soul EV a couple of weeks back, taking to the road in Southern California to see just how this new ride handles and performs.

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31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: DWTS Nominated for an EMMY Award?

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 12: There were plenty of weird occurrences when it came to the development of the DWTS project, and while they may have appeared strange from an outsider's perspective (we drew the ire of some other independent filmmakers along the way), from my seat it was even more overwhelmingly bizarre. How about getting nominated for awards based on a movie that hadn't even been shot yet? It happened... twice. While I'll discuss the second instance shortly, how did DEATH WALKS THE STREETS get nominated for an EMMY Award? One word: MySpace.

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31 Days of Halloween: The TeeFury Halloween Collection (PREDATOR, MINIONS, WALKERS and More!)

TeeFuryWhat do PREDATOR, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THE WALKING DEAD, Slimer from GHOSTBUSTERS, THE EVIL DEAD, the Minions of DESPICABLE ME, Jack Skellington from THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Freddy Krueger from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Pennywise the Dancing Clown from Stephen King's IT, the Death Eaters from HARRY POTTER, the guys from SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and The Headless Horseman of SLEEPY HOLLOW have in common? Well, aside from all being pretty cool on their own, all of these icons of the spooky season have become the subjects of limited-edition pop culture mashups from my friends at TeeFury. For a limited time (through 10/17/2014) TeeFury is offering these spook-tacular t-shirts for men, women and children for just $15 each as The Halloween Collection.

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Bread that Rocks? Yep, Dave's Killer Bread is no joke, but what a story behind it... (Food Review)

I've covered a lot of ground here on THE ROCK FATHER over the years, but I don't think I've ever brought you a review of bread before. It takes something a little bit different to hook me, and DAVE'S KILLER BREAD had the story to pique my interest even before the girls and I tried the product, which is not just very, very good, but excellent. In fact, Dave's Killer Bread (Non-GMO, Organic, Project-Verified Whole Grain) actually accomplished an incredible feat - it's the only "grainy" bread that my girls have ever eaten, and thus far the only one they will eat. But there's a story to go along with this bread - one that will no doubt have a movie hidden within one day...

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31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: A Pumpkin-y Vibe...

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 11: When crafting the Halloween issue of the DWTS comic book, we worked in a lot of influences, most of which are rooted in why DWTS exists in the first place - a love of movies. In the Vetala Theatre scene, we featured it decorated for a major Halloween bash (one I will show in more detail later this month), and we hoped to capture a little of that "magic of the movies" - even just the vibe of being in a grand old theatre, with this moment right here, when Danielle first gets a glimpse inside the main auditorium, where a band would soon play, followed by some movies...

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31 Days of Halloween: SOFIA THE FIRST: THE HALLOWEEN BALL (Book)

We just caught what I believe is the second Halloween episode of Disney Junior's SOFIA THE FIRST this past Friday, and if your little ones want to keep that pumpkin-y adventure going like mine do, there's a book available to do just that. SOFIA THE FIRST: THE HALLOWEEN BALL is a 24-page paperback from Disney Press that includes a set of sparkly stickers and can be found for under five bucks at retailers everywhere. I picked up a copy for my little Princesses, and there's a good chance that you might want to, too!

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31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Film Costume Concepts

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 10: You could say that "multi-tasking" was an understatement for some members of the DWTS development team, and there may be no better example than the work put in by designer Gregory Hill. While I've already shared some of his set designs here, Greg had also been working on ideas for the costume design of what should've been the first DEATH WALKS THE STREETS film, had it lensed as scheduled somewhere between 2005-2007. Actor/Musician Christian Kane, then fresh from the BUFFY spin-off ANGEL (he's since starred in LEVERAGE and soon will be seen in THE LIBRARIANS), had been cast in the lead role of Michael Labou, and you can see some of that influence in the designs I'm sharing below...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Disney Princess Palace Pets Magic Dance Pumpkin (Review)

Holiday 2014If you've recently been inside a retailer that happens to have a toy section, you've probably come across a display for Blip Toys' Disney Princess Palace Pets Magic Dance Pumpkin. Pegged by kids and insiders (guys like me) as one of 2014's Hot Holiday Toys, there's good reason: It's cute, well-built, and the little ones love it. In fact, we've had our Pumpkin for nearly two months already, and she's used daily. Imagine if you will, that Cinderella received an adorable little puppy from Prince Charming as an anniversary gift. That puppy is little Pumpkin, and in this version, she's an interactive, talking, moving, singing radio-controlled pet.

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Holiday Gift Guide: CAT PAW - This Year's Strangest Stocking Stuffer?

Holiday 2014There's a strange new beast roaming the toy aisles this year... a creature devoid of a body, but one just a mischievous as you'd expect from feline DNA. The Original CAT PAW by Wicked Cool Toys recently started hitting the streets, and if all indications hold as they have been, it just might be this year's strangest stocking stuffer... and one that's heavily requested and in-demand. In fact, with some Toys "R" Us and Kmart stores reportedly selling out of their initial supply already (and yes, it's still October as I type this), now is the time to snag this $9.99 novelty before the season is truly upon us.

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31 Days of Halloween: HAPPY HALLOWEEN, DANIEL TIGER! (Book)

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)Our love of DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD has been well-documented here on THE ROCK FATHER, pre-dating my work with the PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent) program. From the fantastic show from The Fred Rogers Company, to the wonderful toys by JAKKS Pacific and the infectiously-good soundtracks, the adventures of Daniel and his friends have been a daily part of our lives for a few years now. For 31 Days of Halloween comes a new book from Simon & Schuster's Simon Spotlight collection - HAPPY HALLOWEEN, DANIEL TIGER! Written by series creator Angela C. Santomero, this 14-page "Lift the Flap" Board Book is perfect for youngsters preschool to second grade, bringing some pumpkin-spiced charm to the Neighborhood of Make Believe...

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31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Rare Art - Danielle and Michael

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 9: In making DWTS, there was never any "throwaway art," as some prime examples of "cool" seemingly came from out of nowhere. A prime example is this sketch of Danielle and Michael that artist Guilherme Balbi (PREDATORS, SUPERBOY) banged-out during the process of development. While it was never used officially, the black-and-white image remains one of my favorite representations of the characters, even though less-refined than what their appearance would eventually become...

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