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THE ROCK FATHER Magazine

Is You At Home, Runt? A Whizpoppin' Conversation with The BFG's Mark Rylance & Jermaine Clement

"There's no redemption for these villains," declares Jermaine Clement, the FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS' Hiphopopotamus, spending some time throwing down some thoughts about his recent turn as "The Fleshlumpeater," the 50 ft leader of the man-eating giants in Disney's The BFG. At the London Hotel West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, Clement joins on-screen adversary Mark Rylance ("The Big Friendly Giant") in a room full of pop culture writers and bloggers from the family entertainment space, all eager to discuss Steven Spielberg's much-anticipated first film to bear the Disney mark. "The bad giants are a satire of adults and they’re very stuck in their ways and fearful of things - they’re so stupid that they’re dangerous without realizing it. There’s no reasoning with these characters because they won’t understand and they don’t care. The BFG needs Sophie to help overcome them."

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Kindie Scene: NATHALIA releases new bilingual kid's album, Cuando Era Pequeña (When I Was Your Age)

Following From Here to There and Dream a Little (Sueña un Poquito), bilingual children's artist NATHALIA is back with her third full-length album, Cuando Era Pequeña (When I Was Your Age). Released this month, the Columbian-born singer/songwriter serves-up a new collection of songs witten in English and/or Spanish that directly relate to her own childhood experiences, or that of her own kids. Nathalia says that she did, indeed, drink coffee when she was little, and that her mother most certainly did chase an iguana with a broom. When I Was Your Age also includes songs about dinosaurs, math, birthdays, nightmares and more. You can preview all of her music on her official website.

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Rides: STAR WARS Celebration Europe gets Hot Wheels Boba Fett in Prototype Armor

Hands-down one of my favorite vehicles to come from the Hot Wheels STAR WARS Character Cars Collection is the Boba Fett edition - a "rat rod" that legitimately looks like it could be a real car, the kind pieced together and driven to extremes by a ruthless bounty hunter. As one of the most popular characters from the STAR WARS franchise, it's no secret that Fett went through numerous variations prior to becoming the stoic figure that we first saw in live-action in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (of course, he appeared in animated form in the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL), including the increasingly-popular "Prototype Armor" version. Clad in all-white (perhaps too close to an Imperial Stormtrooper), there have been several action figures made based on the concept, but for the forthcoming STAR WARS CELEBRATION EUROPE, Mattel is unleashing a Prototype Armor version of their Hot Wheels Boba Fett - a vehicle that's bound to become a sought-after addition to any Hot Wheels STAR WARS collection. See more below, and hit this link for one of the most comprehensive Hot Wheels STAR WARS Checklists on the web!

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Kindie Scene: TRANSYLVANIA PETTING ZOO (Preschool Popstars) - "Finger Family Song"

Have you ever heard the "Finger Family Song?" Despite having two young daughters, I'd never heard of it until today (neither had they) when a new version of the tune (an older version has over 221 MILLION views on YouTube) hit my inbox. The hook for me is that TRANSYLVANIA PETTING ZOO (from Charles Fulp, creator of Preschool Popstars) is a group of pretty cool monsters... and I do love some monsters. Check out the new video below, and check out both Preschool Popstars and Transylvania Petting Zoo on Facebook for more family-friendly tunes.

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Disney's The BFG: Family & Fate - A Conversation with Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill

The BFG is something that I had spent years off and on developing. Many, many, years. And I must say many, many conversations with Steven (Spielberg) who I kept saying, ‘This is really right for you.’," recalled Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy when I spent some time with her at the global press event for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS last December. We were just a day or two out from the first teaser for Disney's The BFG, and Kennedy, whose collaboration with Spielberg dates back over three decades, was taking a momentary break from a galaxy far, far away to share some insight on a project that she'd invested much time in, and one that finally clicked at what could've been an inopportune time. "Within I would say a month after I decided to take over Lucasfilm he called me up and he goes, ‘You know, I read the script again and I really wanna make the movie.’ And I was, like, ready to go through the phone and strangle him!," she said with a smile and a chuckle, noting that the delays in making the The BFG actually served it well in that "the technology has caught up with making the film," allowing Spielberg to make something "quite spectacular." So why The BFG and why now? According to the director himself, "fate."

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Guard Your Yard from Mosquitoes & Other Pests with DynaTrap

THE ROCK FATHER Magazine has partnered with Life of Dad and DynaTrap for the #GuardYourYard promotion.

Over the past few years, we've had a growing threat here at Rock Father HQ, an enemy whose numbers have been increasing, all while the usual tactics of combat have been proving ineffective as our adversary has evolved. These bloodsucking beasts are, of course, mosquitoes, and their presence truly has increased to nearly-unbearable numbers at times, managing to be "vampires of fun" - sucking the enjoyment out of our all-too-short summer season here in Illinois. I've tried everything, as have my neighbors and the county. As the mosquitoes locally have brought with them greater threats like West Nile and now the infamous Zika Virus, protecting our children has become something of paramount importance, and there is no single solution, but with the right combination of weapons in our fight, we're finally making progress. This year, we've added an impressive new tool to our arsenal in the form of the DynaTrap XL - a cutting edge tool in our war against mosquitoes and other flying pests. With no chemicals and no propane, we've had our DynaTrap XL installed since early May, simply plugged-in and running 24/7 to help in the fight, and it's been working - an impressive feat, considering how many other options I've tried that have failed.

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Rockin' the Red Carpet at Disney's The BFG Premiere...

Like young Sophie is plucked from a window by The BFG ahead of an adventure in Giant Country, The Rock Father is plucked from Illinois by Disney for an adventure in 'Dream Country'... Hollywood.

It's pretty safe to say I live a dual-life at this point... or at least, it certainly seems like it at times. I have a bad habit of getting caught up in flight delays, and that's just what happened Wednesday night as my 5pm flight out of LAX became a 6:30-ish departure thanks to stormy weather in Chicago. A midnight landing found our plane without a gate, and by the time we had one an hour later, there was no one there to attach the sky bridge to the plane so we could properly deboard. By the time I was off the plane and caught the train to economy lot E followed by a quick bus ride to lot G and an hour drive home, I was back at HQ after 3am. I was running again by 7, my day consisting of taking the girls to/from Summer Academy/Camp, and stopping by Meijer for some groceries before half falling asleep on the couch with the kids while checking out LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. While my norm is here in Lake County, I was back on the red carpet for the U.S. Premiere of Disney's The BFG this week... another adventure, and a big one - for a friendly giant

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Listen to FALL OUT BOY's "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" featuring MISSY ELLIOTT

On July 15, Paul Feig's GHOSTBUSTERS hits theaters, and as the film picks up steam, more GB-goodness has been oozing out like Ectoplasm upon the masses. Today comes another piece of the film's original soundtrack, "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" - an update to Ray Parker Jr.'s classic GHOSTBUSTERS theme, this time performed by FALL OUT BOY featuring MISSY ELLIOTT. While I dig the tune, I'm partial to some other GHOSTBUSTERS covers out there (to be fair, this is more "inspired-by" than a direct cover), many of which I've written about in the past - including those from the likes of MELO-M, HOOBASTANK and LEO MORACCHIOLI.  With #GhostbustersWeek coming to THE ROCK FATHER Magazine next month, you can bet we'll have a playlist in order. Check out FALL OUT BOY's new jam below!

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY - Vader Returns, EW Cover Revealed!

I'm sitting in Los Angeles as I type this, about to head over to Walt Disney Studios on some not-so-secret Rock Father business. While I'm on the Disney lot, of course I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open, hoping to discover some grand secrets about December's release of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, but I can be 99.999% sure that there will be none. As with THE FORCE AWAKENS, official news has been light thus far, but with STAR WARS CELEBRATION: EUROPE coming up and SDCC (which I'm told will not have a ROGUE ONE presence, but ya never know) as well, you can bet the floodgates will soon be open as we head toward fall. ROGUE ONE is an interesting beast, a film that's a prequel by definition (34 years before THE FORCE AWAKENS), but not in the same realm of the infamous George Lucas-helmed "Prequel Trilogy," and today comes some real details.

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Giveaway: Win EYE IN THE SKY starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and Alan Rickman

One of the year's most intriguing military thrillers is coming home, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and THE ROCK FATHER Magazine are giving readers a chance to win it! EYE IN THE SKY looks at the moral issues involving drone warfare spread across a multi-national canvas. The gritty film stars Academy Award® Winner, Helen Mirren (Trumbo, The Queen), Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad,” Need for Speed), Academy Award®  Nominee Barkhad Abdi (Captain Philips), Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones,” Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and the late Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter) in his final on-screen performance. Check out the details, and enter to win one of two copies on Blu-ray below!

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Movie Night Giveaway: SHREK 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray

It's hard to believe, but DreamWorks Animation's SHREK turned 15 this year, and with news that a fifth installment is in the works, it's time to spin things back to where it all began with the newly-released SHREK Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. THE ROCK FATHER Magazine and the FHE Insiders have teamed-up once more to give readers a shot at winning #Shrek15, and your chance to do so can be found below!

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FINDING DORY Giveaway: Zuru's Finding Dory Coffee Pot Playset!

Disney•Pixar's FINDING DORY has been swimming into theaters this week, winning the hearts of families with record-breaking crowds turning out for the long-awaited sequel to FINDING NEMO. As with most great cinematic family adventures, kids want to continue the story at home, and as such the folks at Zuru Toys have released a new line of FINDING DORY Robo Fish (reviewed here), including the Coffee Pot Playset. To celebrate the new film, THE ROCK FATHER Magazine and Zuru Toys are giving readers a chance to win the Coffee Pot Playset, which includes a special, water-activated Dory inside said coffee pot.

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Disney Movies Under the Stars at Rock Father HQ: ZOOTOPIA

Backyard Theaters are a trend that's been picking up steam in recent years, and for good reason: Families have really been taking advantage of ways to "take the indoors outdoors," and having your own movie screen in your backyard can be a crowning achievement. While the idea might seem complicated or expensive, it certainly can be, but it hardly has to be. With a little preparation, you can enjoy the communal cinematic experience of "Movies in the Park" or an old-school Drive-In right in the comfort and freedom of your own backyard. My friends at The Walt Disney Company asked if I'd be up for starting a backyard screening series right here at Rock Father HQ, and to be honest - it was something I was already looking into doing, so when they offered to provide some tools for the kick-off, those plans got rolling fast, with a screening to celebrate the home release of ZOOTOPIA in-mind. But first, I needed a trial run.

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Goin' Back to Cali: The Giant, The Queen and The Worm...

Over the past few years, I've had the good fortune to count The Walt Disney Studios among the best friends of myself and the site, a relationship that has thrown open the gates to the "Magical World of Disney" to a big kid from Illinois who grew up loving Mickey Mouse and friends. With each group of new films and projects from the Disney family (Studios/Animation/ABC/Disney Channel/etc), teams of 25 writers/bloggers are welcomed to Los Angeles to get an inside look - and sometimes take part in events that go above and beyond what I would've ever expected. I'm thrilled to officially announce that this week I'm returning to Los Angeles as a guest of Disney to attend the red carpet premiere of The BFG - the new film from Director Steven Spielberg! While there, I'll have a chance to meet with much of the cast and crew, screen the film (twice - once before the premiere), and will be getting a look at the upcoming film QUEEN OF KATWE and Disney XD's FUTURE WORM in what is one of the most tightly-packed three day itineraries that I've ever taken part in. As always, YOU can follow along and interact with our crew LIVE on social media, tweeting/facebooking questions and comments. Check out all the details on #TheBFGEvent below!

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Netflix Announces Five New Animated Series for Kids including SKYLANDERS & SPY KIDS

Stream TeamRemember back in January when I wrote about Netflix "doubling-down" on original content for kids and families? Today comes news that keeps that train rollin', with five new original series being announced, along with word that KONG: KING OF THE APES will be back for a second season in 2017. Among the new programs are SKYLANDERS ACADEMY (bound to be huge and featuring fellow "Rock Father" James Hetfield of METALLICA doing a featured voice!), LLAMA LLAMA, SPIRIT: RIDING FREE, HILDA and SPY KIDS: MISSION CRITICAL. Check out details on all of these new shows below... 

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