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Tuesday, August 30 2016 20:25

Disney Movies Under the Stars at Rock Father HQ: THE JUNGLE BOOK

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Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK is a film that I've had a real connection with this year, having attended its red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, and getting a chance to sit down with Director Jon Favreau and much of the principal cast back in April. Promotional activities aside, it's a fantastic film that I love immensely, and one that I'd been looking forward to sharing with my own family after returning to Illinois. Favreau's direction from a screenplay by Justin Marks was able to hit all the right notes in such a dramatic way that I found myself moved in an unexpected manner. Visually stunning and with a real focus on family, it's one of 2016's best, and audiences certainly agree, propelling it to box office success well-beyond what anyone had predicted. Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we decided it was time for another movie night in the backyard here at Rock Father HQ, just as we've done with films such as ZOOTOPIA and STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS over the all-too-short summer break. Together with some good friends, it was time to turn our backyard into a Jungle...

THE JUNGLE BOOK - Outdoor Screening

A Backyard Home Theater Overview:

To build your own backyard theater, you really only need these five simple items: 1 - An LED projector; 2- something to project from (iPad/Tablet/Laptop/Blu-ray Player/etc; 3 - Speaker/Speakers; 4- proper cables to connect all the devices; 5- something to project onto - Screen/Wall/Fence/etc.

My friends at Disney sent us an Ion Audio Tailgater - a one-piece portable speaker/P.A. system; an Axxa PICO P300 Micro Projector; an Amazon Essentials Digital AV Adapter for my iPad Mini; and an Amazon Basics 3' HDMI Cable. I purchased the Camp Chef Outdoor Entertainment Gear 92" Portable Outdoor Screen from Amazon to complete our set-up.

Thanks to the weather entering the famed "dog days of summer" here in Illinois (hot and humid) and the fact that our oldest is back in school already, we opted to do our screening of THE JUNGLE BOOK on a school night. But, since it's getting darker a tad earlier, it all worked out. The one thing we could've done without was the mosquitoes, and while our DynaTrap is working well to protect our backyard overall, the added moisture was attracting them, so we still had to fight off a few. If anything, it added to that authentic "jungle" vibe, as the kids snuggled with King Louie and Mr. Pangolin. 

THE JUNGLE BOOK - Outdoor Screening

Regardless of where you watch it - inside or out - Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK is a must-own... a film that will no doubt be viewed as a classic as our kids grow up, just as the animated version was for the generations that came before them. What's next for us as the nights get shorter and cooler? I've got some more outdoor screening ideas in mind... stay tuned!

Bonus: Get a FREE Printable THE JUNGLE BOOK Activity Pack here; Stream a JUNGLE BOOK Reimagined Playlist, Curated on Spotify by The Rock Father

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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