Like young Sophie is plucked from a window by The BFG ahead of an adventure in Giant Country, The Rock Father is plucked from Illinois by Disney for an adventure in 'Dream Country'... Hollywood.

It's pretty safe to say I live a dual-life at this point... or at least, it certainly seems like it at times. I have a bad habit of getting caught up in flight delays, and that's just what happened Wednesday night as my 5pm flight out of LAX became a 6:30-ish departure thanks to stormy weather in Chicago. A midnight landing found our plane without a gate, and by the time we had one an hour later, there was no one there to attach the sky bridge to the plane so we could properly deboard. By the time I was off the plane and caught the train to economy lot E followed by a quick bus ride to lot G and an hour drive home, I was back at HQ after 3am. I was running again by 7, my day consisting of taking the girls to/from Summer Academy/Camp, and stopping by Meijer for some groceries before half falling asleep on the couch with the kids while checking out LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. While my norm is here in Lake County, I was back on the red carpet for the U.S. Premiere of Disney's The BFG this week... another adventure, and a big one - for a friendly giant

On July 15, Paul Feig's GHOSTBUSTERS hits theaters, and as the film picks up steam, more GB-goodness has been oozing out like Ectoplasm upon the masses. Today comes another piece of the film's original soundtrack, "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" - an update to Ray Parker Jr.'s classic GHOSTBUSTERS theme, this time performed by FALL OUT BOY featuring MISSY ELLIOTT. While I dig the tune, I'm partial to some other GHOSTBUSTERS covers out there (to be fair, this is more "inspired-by" than a direct cover), many of which I've written about in the past - including those from the likes of MELO-M, HOOBASTANK and LEO MORACCHIOLI.  With #GhostbustersWeek coming to THE ROCK FATHER Magazine next month, you can bet we'll have a playlist in order. Check out FALL OUT BOY's new jam below!

I'm sitting in Los Angeles as I type this, about to head over to Walt Disney Studios on some not-so-secret Rock Father business. While I'm on the Disney lot, of course I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open, hoping to discover some grand secrets about December's release of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, but I can be 99.999% sure that there will be none. As with THE FORCE AWAKENS, official news has been light thus far, but with STAR WARS CELEBRATION: EUROPE coming up and SDCC (which I'm told will not have a ROGUE ONE presence, but ya never know) as well, you can bet the floodgates will soon be open as we head toward fall. ROGUE ONE is an interesting beast, a film that's a prequel by definition (34 years before THE FORCE AWAKENS), but not in the same realm of the infamous George Lucas-helmed "Prequel Trilogy," and today comes some real details.

One of the year's most intriguing military thrillers is coming home, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and THE ROCK FATHER Magazine are giving readers a chance to win it! EYE IN THE SKY looks at the moral issues involving drone warfare spread across a multi-national canvas. The gritty film stars Academy Award® Winner, Helen Mirren (Trumbo, The Queen), Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad,” Need for Speed), Academy Award®  Nominee Barkhad Abdi (Captain Philips), Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones,” Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and the late Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter) in his final on-screen performance. Check out the details, and enter to win one of two copies on Blu-ray below!

It's hard to believe, but DreamWorks Animation's SHREK turned 15 this year, and with news that a fifth installment is in the works, it's time to spin things back to where it all began with the newly-released SHREK Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. THE ROCK FATHER Magazine and the FHE Insiders have teamed-up once more to give readers a shot at winning #Shrek15, and your chance to do so can be found below!

Disney•Pixar's FINDING DORY has been swimming into theaters this week, winning the hearts of families with record-breaking crowds turning out for the long-awaited sequel to FINDING NEMO. As with most great cinematic family adventures, kids want to continue the story at home, and as such the folks at Zuru Toys have released a new line of FINDING DORY Robo Fish (reviewed here), including the Coffee Pot Playset. To celebrate the new film, THE ROCK FATHER Magazine and Zuru Toys are giving readers a chance to win the Coffee Pot Playset, which includes a special, water-activated Dory inside said coffee pot.

Backyard Theaters are a trend that's been picking up steam in recent years, and for good reason: Families have really been taking advantage of ways to "take the indoors outdoors," and having your own movie screen in your backyard can be a crowning achievement. While the idea might seem complicated or expensive, it certainly can be, but it hardly has to be. With a little preparation, you can enjoy the communal cinematic experience of "Movies in the Park" or an old-school Drive-In right in the comfort and freedom of your own backyard. My friends at The Walt Disney Company asked if I'd be up for starting a backyard screening series right here at Rock Father HQ, and to be honest - it was something I was already looking into doing, so when they offered to provide some tools for the kick-off, those plans got rolling fast, with a screening to celebrate the home release of ZOOTOPIA in-mind. But first, I needed a trial run.

Over the past few years, I've had the good fortune to count The Walt Disney Studios among the best friends of myself and the site, a relationship that has thrown open the gates to the "Magical World of Disney" to a big kid from Illinois who grew up loving Mickey Mouse and friends. With each group of new films and projects from the Disney family (Studios/Animation/ABC/Disney Channel/etc), teams of 25 writers/bloggers are welcomed to Los Angeles to get an inside look - and sometimes take part in events that go above and beyond what I would've ever expected. I'm thrilled to officially announce that this week I'm returning to Los Angeles as a guest of Disney to attend the red carpet premiere of The BFG - the new film from Director Steven Spielberg! While there, I'll have a chance to meet with much of the cast and crew, screen the film (twice - once before the premiere), and will be getting a look at the upcoming film QUEEN OF KATWE and Disney XD's FUTURE WORM in what is one of the most tightly-packed three day itineraries that I've ever taken part in. As always, YOU can follow along and interact with our crew LIVE on social media, tweeting/facebooking questions and comments. Check out all the details on #TheBFGEvent below!

Stream TeamRemember back in January when I wrote about Netflix "doubling-down" on original content for kids and families? Today comes news that keeps that train rollin', with five new original series being announced, along with word that KONG: KING OF THE APES will be back for a second season in 2017. Among the new programs are SKYLANDERS ACADEMY (bound to be huge and featuring fellow "Rock Father" James Hetfield of METALLICA doing a featured voice!), LLAMA LLAMA, SPIRIT: RIDING FREE, HILDA and SPY KIDS: MISSION CRITICAL. Check out details on all of these new shows below... 

When I reviewed the out-of-the-vaults edition of 1977's PETE'S DRAGON for the late Starlog Magazine back in 2009 (reposted here), I noted that despite its classic status, the "overall presentation is very dated," making it a perfect candidate for a remake. When Disney announced that a reimagining of their cherished family film was on the way, I was completely on-board, ready to see the tale of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott (who just so happens to be a dragon) brought into a modern age. After a recent teaser, the first full trailer for the film has arrived, and can be seen below. PETE'S DRAGON stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Oscar winner Robert Redford. The film, which is directed by David Lower, is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field.

I've written a surprising amount about Strawberry Shortcake here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine over the years (18 articles by current count) - one of the timeless pop culture properties that I grew up on and played with alongside my sister, and now enjoy with The Rock Daughters™. My friends at Entertainment Earth have just sent over details on the first-ever scented Funko Pop! Vinyls, and they're appropriately from the world of Strawberry Shortcake & Friends, borrowing from the classic styling of the original characters from the 1980s. The first wave includes Strawberry Shortcake and Custard, Blueberry Muffin and Cheesecake, Orange Blossom and Marmalade and Lemon Meringue and Frappe. They're expected to ship this September. Check 'em out...

Wednesday, June 15 2016 12:35

Teaser: Walt Disney Animation Studios' MOANA

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"Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why."

This Thanksgiving, there's a new adventure coming forth from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and a new Disney Princess unlike any that's come before, as Princess Moana Waialiki and demigod Maui set sail on a mission across the South Pacific. Check out the trailer for MOANA below!

Wednesday, June 15 2016 01:03

Rock Father's Day: A Time to Say "Thanks, Baby"

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This #RockFathersDay feature is brought to you in partnership with Life of Dad and Pampers. #ThanksBaby!

Seven years ago this August... and again four years ago this week, babies were born, and so was "The Rock Father." - My wife and I were driving south on I-94 outside of Chicago in November of 2008. We were on our way to a Thanksgiving gathering that was happening pre-Thanksgiving, and she turned to me very quickly and said "I think you knocked me up." That was the moment that I first realized that I'd soon become a Father for the very first time. The weight of things didn't really hit me, but I remember smiling ear-to-ear and just thinking, "OK - let's do this!" She was afraid that I'd be unhappy about the news - especially because just the night before... I'd been on the phone with my Mom, who was shopping at Target with a couple of my step-brother's kids - and as they were acting out and being naughty - I made some quip about "this is why we don't have kids!" Funny thing is, I've always been good with kids - but there's also definitely an "old me" versus the man who I've become. On August 7, 2009 - our 10th Wedding Anniversary - our first daughter, Adalyn, was born. We liked the experience so much that we prepped a sequel, and were back at the hospital four years ago today - June 15, 2012, for the release of our second "Rock Daughter," baby Finley! The personal change that I've experienced as a father is undeniable, and both I and my wife have our girls to thank for it.

Wednesday, June 15 2016 00:25

Toy Review: Disney•Pixar's FINDING DORY Robo Fish

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With Disney•Pixar's FINDING DORY making its way into theaters, the folks at Zuru Toys have a full assortment of fun items from the long-awaited FINDING NEMO sequel swimming into toy stores and toy departments. Among the ones that will be at the top of many kids' wish lists this summer are the FINDING DORY Robo Fish - robotic fish with lifelike action, just as the name implies. Having already been familiar with some of Zuru's aquatic offerings over the years, we were excited when a trio of Robo Fish - Swimming Nemo, Swimming Marlin, and of course, Swimming Dory - arrived at Rock Father HQ for review in our State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility™ (in this case, our bathtub) by yours truly, and The Rock Daughters™. With something this unique, words only go so far, so we made a little video... taking the camera underwater to show you these things up-close and in-action! Take a look...

He was only on screen for a brief glimpse into his underwater lair, but Jason Momoa's Aquaman was for many a highlight cameo in this year's BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Set for a greater appearance in the currently-filming two-part JUSTICE LEAGUE (out next year from Warner Bros. Pictures) before going solo in 2018, the fan-favorite from the world of DC Comics has already received the Funko Pop! Vinyl treatment in a couple of variations, but this summer one of the coolest is coming to market as an Entertainment Earth Exclusive to debut at SDCC! My friends at EE have partnered with THE ROCK FATHER Magazine for an exclusive reveal of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Aquaman Patina Pop! Vinyl Figure - Entertainment Earth Convention Exclusive* that's splashing out of the ocean and into your collection!