Friday, March 31 2017 14:15

Netflix Family: Five Picks from Theatre to the Racetrack and Beyond...

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Netflix Stream TeamI've often said that "we're living in a Golden Age of television for kids and family" audiences, and that sentiment is one that bears repeating. Changes in culture and viewing habits have forced change among content creators, and competition has been a great thing for audiences as the quality and diversity of programming has really seen a huge uptick over the past few years. For Netflix in particular, the focus on kids and family has been a big one, and their partnerships have spawned some incredible things - from educational and entertaining, to adventurous and action-packed... and sometimes, all of the above, there's something for every taste. Here's some Rock Father Picks for the Spring of 2017!

Julie's Greenroom - With so many schools slashing budgets and cutting programs that focus on the arts, this series fills a little bit of the gap by introducing young audiences to the performing arts.  From The Jim Henson Company, this series finds students Fizz, Riley, Peri, Spike, and Hank exploring the magic of the performing arts under the mentorship and teaching of theater legend Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins!). The kids learn to work together as they move toward a big performance, and guest stars like Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban and Carol Burnett help them master new skills along the way.

Buddy Thunderstruck: Is binge-watching a family series a normal thing to do? Sometimes you just want to have a good time, and with that I'm partial to this new series from Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken) and American Greetings (Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake) - an unexpected new entry that manages to harness the feel-good action and friendship of some high-octane adventures that I loved from my youth. Geared toward both kids and grownups alike (especially those who dug Smokey and the Bandit, the Dukes of Hazzard, etc.) Buddy Thunderstruck is a truck-racing dog out for a good time with some good friends. There's even an episode that's very Evil Dead, and that's appropriate since Ted Raimi does a couple of voices here.

Dinotrux: Season 4 - The Mechazoic world just got a whole lot bigger. Ty, Revvit and the gang go all over the place rescuing trux from exotic islands, snow covered mountains, icy frozen seas and even adventure deep within a volcano! They ski, they skate, they even get to fly, but the core values of friendship and teamwork still apply.

Voltron '84: DreamWorks scored a major hit with their Netflix Original Series, Voltron: Legendary Defender. Now comes the time to educate today's youth on the legacy of Voltron and the adventures that came before them... 30+ years ago! This collection features a dozen episodes of the 1984 Voltron: Defender of the Universe series, enhanced with introductions by the creative team behind the modern-day Voltron resurgence. 

Beat Bugs: I've written about this one before, and I probably will again. Music education is important, especially now - when most kids don't know what a record store is, and few understand the legacy of the artists who've come before the present. The music of The Beatles is timeless, and in Beat Bugs, kids not only get to hear new versions of iconic tunes, but they'll learn problem solving, teamwork and friendship!

The Rock Father™ is a member of the Netflix Stream Team, delivering opinion, news and features relating to streaming content from Netflix each and every month.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly 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. 

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 PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, 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 the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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