DHX Media's PEANUTS Deal with Apple is a Prime Example of How the Streaming Wars will Be Bad for Consumers...Written by James Zahn
"The streaming wars" are real, and 2019 looks to be the year that they finally start becoming a real issue. While "cord-cutting" continues to rise (we're even about to drop our Xfinity TV subscription here at Rock Father HQ), consumers are quickly seeing their monthly savings shrink as they buy into new services that offer exclusive content a la carte. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon's Prime Video continue to dominate, but Apple's new streaming service is on the horizon along with Disney+ and offerings from studios such as Warner Bros. These majors ride alongside smaller standalone services like DC Universe, WWE Network and many others. Now comes news that DHX Media has inked a deal with Apple to create new series, specials and short-form content based on PEANUTS - the iconic characters created by Charles M. Schulz. If you love Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang and can't live without seeing their new adventures, get ready for another bill when Apple's as-yet-unnamed new streaming service comes online.
The power of SLIME has been compelling kids for the past few years, and what I thought might be a passing fad has shown no signs of letting up - especially here at Rock Father HQ. In our house it's 9-year-old Addie who holds the position of resident slime enthusiast and chemist, and because of that she's been asking for months if she could create her own "Slime Channel" on YouTube. Since I'm not a big fan of many elements of the YouTube culture (despite being a creator on the platform), I said she could have a "show" on my channel: Addie's Slime Videos. But I actually launched it on Facebook first (where it's actually done better), and this week the initial episode went live. For its debut, Addie cracks into a box of Super Cool Slime from the folks at Kangaroo Manufacturing - an assortment of ready-mixed slimes that I pegged as potential stocking stuffers for my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™. Check this out!
Coming off an epic World Premiere for the film this week, WaterTower Music is making a splash with the release of the AQUAMAN - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. From director James Wan comes a new adventure based on the iconic character from the pages of DC Comics, one that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas. Aquaman features an original score by multi-award-winning composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman, Hotel Rwanda, Hacksaw Ridge), includes a track by composer Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and debuts the new songs “Ocean To Ocean” by Pitbull Feat. Rhea (a riff on Toto's oft-covered "Africa"), and the end title song “Everything I Need” by Skylar Grey.
While the world awaits news on what the next installment of the long-running James Bond franchise will be, the first-ever official James Bond experience to take place in New York City is taking shape. SPYSCAPE, the experiential spy museum in NYC has partnered with EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM) to collaborate on a new 007 exhibition at the SPYSCAPE headquarters in Manhattan. Set to open in early 2019, registration for early access to tickets has already opened.
As my girls get older, I do find myself occasionally missing certain things from "simpler times" that weren't all too long ago. One of those things is Chuggington, a series I'd written much about a few years back - a hit from UK-based Ludorum that had been airing here in the States on Disney Junior before quietly building more of a YouTube presence. Now comes news that Ludorum has sold the popular franchise, and the Chuggers have rolled into a new station right here in the States with Herschend Entertainment Studios taking ownership.
Following a first-look at some character art along with some casting announcements from Lionsgate's forthcoming PLAYMOBIL: The Movie. back in October, things had been a bit quiet on that front. Today that silence has been broken with the release of the first teaser trailer for the upcoming film, which finds some human kids living out a fantasy that many of us have had... to be pulled into the world of their favorite toys! Directed by Lino DiSalvo and produced by ON Animation Studios, PLAYMOBIL: The Movie features the voice talents of Anya Taylor-Joy (The New Mutants), Gabriel Bateman (the upcoming Child's Play remake), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), comic Jim Gaffigan (Chappaquiddick) and singers Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert. Get your first look at the action below!