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This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

I don't recall what I was doing on Friday, June 24, 1994, but chances are I was probably working my job as Assistant Dairy Manager of the local Hy-Vee grocery store in my then-home of Davenport, Iowa. I was a month or so past my high school graduation, and one of the summer's big movies was Walt Disney Animation Studios' THE LION KING. Aside from the buzz, I don't even remember what initially drew my attention to the film at the time, but I do remember taking a girl to see a matinee screening - not really a "date," but an afternoon adventure. It became one of my favorite films of that year, along with PULP FICTION, AIRHEADS, SPEED, NATURAL BORN KILLERS - and from the absolute opposite end of the cinematic spectrum, a tiny film called PCU, directed by the guy who played Ellis in DIE HARD. Now, with "The Circle of Life Edition" of THE LION KING being issued on Digital HD (out now for the first time) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (out 8/29) as part of The Walt Disney Signature Collection, my appreciation and love of the film burns brighter than ever after attending this summer's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, where I was in the room for a special panel in celebration of this classic slice of Disney perfection.

The world of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES has evolved numerous times throughout the past few decades, and through countless adventures that have sometimes jumped dimensions, the Turtles have occasionally crossed paths with a Ronin rabbit called Miyamoto Usagi, perhaps better-known as Usagi Yojimbo. Created in the 1980s by Stan Sakai, the character has appeared alongside the TMNT crew in several different versions, particularly becoming a cult favorite based on the original 1987 animated series. Now, in Nickelodeon's TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Usagi is back, and a recent three-part story arc found the Ninja Turtles transported to an alternate dimension in which they fight as samurai alongside the mysterious Ronin rabbit. Of course, being back on the radar for a new generation means the right time to be reintroduced to the toy line, and Playmates has stepped-up with a fantastic Samurai-themed collection of new TMNT action figures, a sampling of which arrived here at Rock Father™ HQ for review.

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

There's a moment in the premiere episode of Disney XD's DuckTales in which Donald rolls up to the estate of Scrooge McDuck, his nephews along for the ride. From the back seat, Huey, Dewey and Louie can't believe where they're at - and have seemingly never met their great-uncle. In fact, to them, Scrooge seems to be a legend - a mythical figure whose status is not unlike that of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Just as Rey learned from Han Solo that the stories were true - "all of them," the boys soon realize that when it comes to Scrooge, the stories were also true - most of them. After taking a real-life leap into Scrooge's famed "money bin" at this summer's D23 Expo, I took an early look at the new series alongside Executive Producer Matt Youngberg and Co-Producer/Story Editor Francisco Angones. The sneak-preview prompted a few questions...

Hasbro's HASCON is fast-approaching, and today the toymaker has issued details on additional entertainment programming for their first ever "FANmily" event. Happening September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, HASCON will bring Hasbro’s most iconic brands to life, with experiences based around Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, MarvelPlay-Doh and more.

Adolescence is always such an awkward time, and for years, American Girl has been helping girls and their parents to navigate those choppy waters. Now, American Girl is reaching out to boys and their parents, offering  advice in a new book, Guy Stuff: The Body Book for BoysWritten by Dr. Cara Natterson, board-certified pediatrician and author of American Girl's famous The Care and Keeping of YouThe Body Book for Girls series, this new book is geared toward boys ages 8+, and aims to help them prepare for body changes in the years ahead. This new book covers everything from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to shaving, acne to voice cracking, pubic changes to moodiness, peer pressure to bullying, and more.

Tuesday, August 08 2017 23:59

Disney's Big Streaming Future... without Netflix

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The media landscape is ever-changing, and when it comes to the big news of the day, the complicated relationships between some entertainment powerhouses just became even more tricky. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll say that I've cashed checks from both Netflix and Disney as an independent contractor over the years, and will continue to do so as often as I can. They're two of my favorite companies overall, and it's been rumored off-and-on for years that Disney would eventually make a play for Netflix (and maybe they still will down the line), but for now they're letting their new release streaming distribution contract with Netflix run out, opting to create their own "Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service" in 2019, preceded by an ESPN-branded "multi-sport streaming service" in 2018.  The move comes as they take majority ownership in BAMTech, a streaming technology leader in which Disney had already purchased a 33% stake in last summer. For the consumer, there's gonna be a huge new player in the streaming mix.

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