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

Toyography: Here's Rocket Raccoon's Hot Wheels GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Character Car...

Every so often, beyond the normal realm of traditional vehicles, Mattel releases a fresh batch of Hot Wheels "Character Cars" - concept vehicles inspired by a pop culture franchise. In the past, the Character Cars series has seen MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, TOY STORY 3, THE MUPPETS, and even SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS get the Hot Wheels treatment - but right now the two big lines are based on STAR WARS (two of which I showcased here) and MARVEL Comics. From the MARVEL assortment comes the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Rocket Raccoon car, featured in a #Toyography post on my social networks last week, and one that I've decided to share here on the site with a little more detail. First, the original photo...

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JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES - BATTLE FOR THE BOOK (An Adventure-Packed Review)

Growing up, I don't remember there being much love for pirates. In fact, as an 80s kid, the only real "pirate" memory that sticks in my head is One Eyed Willy and his fantastic ship in THE GOONIES (which turns 30 this year), and one of the major reasons why is that most pirates were sorta a-holes, and Captain James Hook was the poster boy. Weird thing is, back then the "talk" of Hook was bigger than the character, as we'd only seen PETER PAN during a theatrical re-release in 1982. Fast-forward a few decades and pirates are everywhere, and as new generations have had instant access to older films, there's a really cool vibe that surrounds JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES as an educational, yet fun series that manages to seamlessly bridge the classic and the modern. While Captain Hook might be a little toned-down from his earlier, more sinister days, he's still an a-hole, and that's the driving force behind the recent BATTLE FOR THE BOOK, which premiered last Fall on Disney Junior and is now out on DVD.

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National Hugging Day 2015: Baymax of BIG HERO 6 Named "Most Huggable Character"

Today is National Hugging Day (held every year on January 21), and for 2015 (after much deliberation and even more hugging), Baymax, the lovable personal companion robot and star of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Academy Award-Nominated film BIG HERO 6 was today named "Most Huggable Character of 2015"! To celebrate, a new montage of Baymax's "most huggable moments" has been released and can be seen below. According to the Ambassador of Hugs, Kevin Zaborney (founder and creator of National Hugging Day), Baymax humbly accepted the award from his residence in San Fransokyo where he attributed the honor to his “non-threatening, huggable design” and said he looks forward to spending the upcoming year giving and receiving hugs from all.

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Recipes: Disney and Smucker's Team-Up for Some Delicious Treats based on FROZEN, THE LION KING, CARS and More...

Two of my favorite companies have just teamed-up to share some cute recipes based on some kid-favorite franchises. Disney and The J.M. Smucker Company have just launched a new "Sidekick" section of Disney Family loaded with Crafts, Activities, and Recipes... and a chance to win a Disney Parks Vacation Package. Recipes include food art (made with Smucker's Uncrustables) based on Tow Mater from Disney•Pixar CARS•Pixar CARS, Olaf from FROZEN, Simba from THE LION KING, and of course, Mickey Mouse himself. Ready to try your hand at some Pinterest-worthy edible goodness for the kids?

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Preview - STAR WARS REBELS: SABINE - MY REBEL SKETCHBOOK

Dig the artwork of Sabine Wren on STAR WARS REBELS? Then you'll want to check out the new book, STAR WARS REBELS: SABINE - MY REBEL SKETCHBOOK. Written by Daniel Wallace with Illustrations by Annie Stoll (as Sabine), the 96-page book follows the similarly in-universe REBEL JOURNAL by EZRA BRIDGER that was released last fall, offering kids of all-ages a look inside the mind of one of their favorite new characters from the STAR WARS canon. Set to hit the streets this February, check out some preview pages and the official boilerplate below...

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Teaching The Force THE ROCK FATHER™ Way: MARVEL STAR WARS Comics and The Girls' First STAR WARS Christmas

"Just like Daddy, I have a feeling that she'll come to love the Star Wars universe through the original trilogy... and by the time the 2015 reissue of the 1977 original takes place, she'll be just the right age to experience it on the big screen for the very first time." - February, 2012

It was three years ago that I posted STAR WARS - Teaching The Force THE ROCK FATHERTM Way. Those three years already feel like a lifetime ago, as so much has drastically changed since that cold day when little Addie and I had our first big adventure with a Tauntaun and a Wampa outside. Written at a time when THE PHANTOM MENACE was being re-issued theatrically in 3-D as part of a now-discarded plan, I'd referenced a timeline that now no longer exists - a time when a 3-D reissue of the very first STAR WARS had been slated for this year. Instead, I won't be taking my daughter to see the film that Daddy and Mommy enjoyed as children, but taking my daughters (now plural) to see a brand-new adventure that we'll all witness for the first time as a family of four. When I posted that entry, few (if any) could've predicted that Lucasfilm and STAR WARS would be sold to Disney, and the adventures in a galaxy far, far away would continue in such a dramatic way.

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Watch this Now! Second Trailer for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Has Arrived...

All is not well in the MARVEL Universe... at least not in the latest trailer for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. We've got THOR vs. TONY STARK... Stark as IRON MAN vs. HULK... and ULTRON vs EVERYBODY in what looks to be an incredible cinematic showdown for the AVENGERS in their second full-blown adventure, hitting theaters on May 1 via MARVEL Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Take a look at this superhero goodness below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Giveaway: Win a JAKE & THE NEVER LAND PIRATES - BATTLE FOR THE BOOK DVD + Toys Prize Pack!

This month, Disney Junior's JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES: BATTLE FOR THE BOOK comes home on DVD, complete with an exclusive checkerboard bandana and gold coins (doubloons!) that you can't find anywhere else! To celebrate the release, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and THE ROCK FATHER have teamed-up to get one lucky reader set-up with a rockin' prize pack that includes the new DVD along with some special goodies from our friends at the Disney Store - A  Figurine Playset, a Cannon Popper and a Skully Mini Plush! Are you ready to set sail for a fantastic voyage?

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Are You Ready for the MARVEL STAR WARS Comic Books? The Rundown on These New Pieces of STAR WARS Canon...

On January 14, 2015, the first new STAR WARS comic books to bear the MARVEL imprint since the 80s will begin arriving at comic shops (new comics day is Wednesday), expanding the STAR WARS world into exciting new directions with stories that will become official pieces of STAR WARS canon. As these new tales take their places in a timeline that includes the motion pictures and select animated series' (like STAR WARS REBELS), these new books will be an excellent starting point to get new readers into comics, while bringing fresh tales with familiar characters to longtime fans like me. If you're curious what the future of STAR WARS comics holds, take a look at my rundown below - a cheat-sheet of what to look for in the months ahead (release dates subject to change)...

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2015 Movie Preview: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Lucasfilm)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENSTHE ROCK FATHER's 2015 Movie Preview showcases select titles heading to theaters this year, as provided to us by studio representatives. 

Do I need to tell you that STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is my most-anticipated film of 2015? After all, if not for STAR WARS, I likely would not even have this website today. I probably would've never become pop culture-obsessed, would never have become so interested in making movies (something I did in a past life, and will likely do again in a future one), and definitely would've never written this song. Now, my wife and I are raising two girls who are strong in The Force, and just had their first genuinely STAR WARS-enhanced Christmas. Expect to see a ton of STAR WARS coverage right here on THE ROCK FATHER for the indefinite future...

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