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

McFARLAND, USA Races Home this June...

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles to sit down for conversations with the folks behind The Walt Disney Studios' McFARLAND, USA. After seeing the film and then getting to know the real-life individuals that inspired the film and the creative team that brought it to life on-screen, I heartily recommended it here on THE ROCK FATHER. The film was a small one by Disney standards, and it not only outperformed expectations at the box office, but has won over a dedicated and diverse audience in just a few months since release. Now, on June 2, 2015, McFARLAND, USA will come home on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

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Watch Now: STAR WARS REBELS - The Season Two Official Trailer Arrives...

At STAR WARS CELEBRATION in Anaheim this weekend, visitors were treated to their first look at STAR WARS REBELS' forthcoming second season. Debuting later this year on Disney XD (no premiere date has been revealed), there's twice as many episodes, new characters and the return of some familiar faces from a galaxy far, far away. A four-minute trailer was shown, and now that trailer is available for all to see. Where the first season of REBELS seemed like it had so much more to tell, this trailer unleashes just how big this thing really is - a fascinating bridge between REVENGE OF THE SITH and A NEW HOPE... one in which we will get to see Darth Vader (yes, it's James Earl Jones) in his most villainous days. Take a look...

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STAR WARS HOT WHEELS Character Car Collection Checklist and Guide

STAR WARS fans of all ages got excited in 2014 when it was first revealed that Mattel would get to dabble with the STAR WARS license for the very first time under their flagship HOT WHEELS brand. Jumping in heavy, the announcement came with the debut of a life-sized, functional Darth Vader character car, along with the slow roll-out of a variety of STAR WARS-inspired rides across several different assortments, pack sizes and retailer exclusives, keeping up has quickly become a difficult pursuit. That's why I've begun putting together a checklist, complete with all the details I can wrangle for this exciting new collection. And this is just for the STAR WARS Hot Wheels that are on wheels. There's a whole separate line of diecast ships and playsets yet to come, and that will warrant its own guide. In the meantime, here's the latest, and this list will continue to be updated regularly...

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Toyography: Meanwhile at The Walt Disney Studios Offices...

On my visits to The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios, I've noticed the life-sized FIX IT FELIX JR. machines (perhaps the same machine) in two different locations. Built to promote the release of WRECK-IT RALPH back in 2012, the FIX IT FELIX JR. games are based largely upon DONKEY KONG JR., and present a true throwback to classic arcade gaming. The girls and I recently made a Papercraft FIX IT FELIX JR. machine using printer paper and a template found on DeviantArt (an alternate plan exists on Disney's official site). The end result is a little sloppy, but it's perfectly-scaled for 3 ¾" action figures, and inspired this photo. "Meanwhile at The Walt Disney Studios Offices..."

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The Rock Father: Unboxed - The STAR WARS Digital Movie Collection Mystery Box...

With the official release of STAR WARS: The Digital Movie Collection upon us, many are taking time to reflect on the pop-cultural impact that George Lucas' creation has had since the release of the first film - Episode IV: A NEW HOPE - back on May 25, 1977. With the release of J.J. Abrams' THE FORCE AWAKENS coming to theaters this December, and STAR WARS REBELS currently welcoming new fans to take "their first step into a larger world" on Disney XD, 2015 may well be the best time ever to be a STAR WARS fan - and I've been there for the ups-and-downs that this fandom has experienced. In fact, my wife and I have been there since the beginning - and that's fueled a love for a galaxy far, far away that we're now sharing and passing along to our daughters. STAR WARS is so big in this house that I've given it it's own dedicated section here on THE ROCK FATHER, so when The Walt Disney Studios asked if we'd be interested in doing a "mystery" edition of UNBOXED in celebration of the new digital releases, we were on it quicker that Han and Chewy making the Kessel Run. It's all a part of sharing #MyStarWars Memories with the girls, while making new ones along the way.

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Mickey and the Roadster Racers is Coming to Disney Junior... in 2017

2017 seems so far away, but the announcement of Disney Junior's MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS makes me hold some hope that my girls will into it when it arrives - a new series aimed at kids 2-7. Featuring stories told using a combination of CG animation and live action footage, MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS is "designed to impart social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork and good sportsmanship." If this show existed today? My Mickey-loving, car-loving kids (and the Mickey-loving little one in me) would be all over this. The high-octane announcement arrived today, along with some early test footage (viewable below) and full details on what looks light a fantastic replacement for the aging MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE...

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STAR WARS: THE DIGITAL MOVIE COLLECTION Officially Announced... and Coming This Month!

If you follow STAR WARS, then you might've heard rumblings that the original STAR WARS Saga would finally be coming to Digital HD this year. In large part, the release was a mystery - one fueled by last month's release of six "Digital Collection" box sets of Hasbro action figures, each containing four characters from one of the films. Toys on shelves, but no official word on the release... until now. On April 10, yes THIS Friday, The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox today will release The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection. For the first time ever, all six epic films in the Saga, from The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi, will be available on Digital HD throughout the galaxy - or at least here on Earth via Disney Movies Anywhere, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes and more. Check out the trailer below...

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Here's When You Can Get the First MARVEL STAR WARS Trade Paperbacks...

As readers enter just the fourth month of the new era of MARVEL STAR WARS comics, reactions have been overwhelmingly positive to the fine storytelling on display during the lead-up to J.J. Abrams's THE FORCE AWAKENS this December. While I can't speak for everyone, I'm already starting to have problems keeping up on the release schedule, with multiple titles hitting on different weeks, and daily life making those Wednesday stops at the local comic shop more easier thought of than achieved. While single issues are always cool (and variant collectors have been having a field day with the STAR WARS saga), there's always that saying - "wait for the trade" - that I think will apply to a lot of folks in the months ahead. Pre-orders have already gone live for the first trade paperbacks - collected editions - of the current MARVEL STAR WARS comics. For the ongoing series (STAR WARS, DARTH VADER) these are being presented in volumes, while limited series' (PRINCESS LEIA, KANAN) will be fully collected. Here's when to get 'em, but please note that the final cover art has not yet been released...

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Toy Review: Inkoos Color 'N Create FROZEN Anna & Elsa, Color 'N Glow Bob the Minion

For years there have been a variety of products and kits out there that allow kids to customize and color their own... whatever. We've had some here (several variations of purses come to mind), and while I've seen some of the stuffed offerings in the "Arts & Crafts" sections of our frequently-visited local retail emporiums, I'd never done any with the girls until now - largely because I'd always thought of them as a "one-and-done" kind of deal. Inkoos are The Bridge Direct's long-running series of color-and-create stuffed creatures, and the selling point for me (even though ours were sent for review) is that they're machine-washable. They're touted as "Draw, Wash and Redo!" - but how well they work? That's what I was aiming to find out... with The Rock Daughters as my usual testers. Our subjects: FROZEN's Anna & Elsa, each presented as part of the Inkoos Color 'N Create collection, and the Color 'N Glow Bob the Minion (of Universal Pictures & Illumination Entertainment's forthcoming DESPICABLE ME prequel, MINIONS). 

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