It's officially that time of year again... I'm sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte while beginning to write an awful lot about Christmas. Truth is, I've been working on Holiday Wish Guide™ off-and-on since May, and one of my favorite additions to that is when we get to start announcing new holiday music for the year. While my definitive list of new titles is just taking shape, today we have an announcement from Mr. Engelbert Humperdinck. As he continues the year-long celebration of his 50th showbiz anniversary, he's now decided to launch the next chapter of his career on October 12, 2018 with Warmest Christmas Wishes, a brand-new Christmas album – his first in almost forty years. Set for release by OK! Good Records, the new album is a mix of the classic and the new, and this morning the first gift premiered over at Billboard. Check out "Please Come Home for Christmas" and see the full tracklisting below...
When it comes to the modern era of holiday music, Mariah Carey's 1994 hit "All I Want for Christmas is You" is about as close to a "standard" as you can get. It's become a staple that also hit the mark of the most-downloaded holiday single, and like all the songbook standards, it's been covered by a host of artists including Michael Bublé, Bowling for Soup, Lindsey Stirling and Idina Menzel among many others. It's also inspired a film and the success of the song led to further holiday albums in recent years. Now Carey is getting the Funko treatment, coming to life as a part of the Pop! Rocks line and her first figure is based upon her look on the cover of the album that spawned the hit - Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas. The Mariah Carey Funko Pop! Vinyl figure is available now via my affiliate, Entertainment Earth.
According to the Official Rock Father™ Seasonal Calendar (first revealed here), Fall/Autumn runs August 15-October 31 with the overlapping Halloween Season running September 15-October 31. That said, my favorite time of the year has begun, and for those looking for a fall travel adventure, the folks at Visit Orlando note that the City is conjuring up 78 days (and nights) of Halloween fun this year! From "Theme Park Frights" to "Boo! Beyond the Parks," there's something for everyone, with many highlights posted below.
Hallmark's Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse "Partners" is One of this Year's Must-Have Keepsake Ornaments...Written by James Zahn
One of my favorite places in the world is Legends Plaza on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. The first time I visited the studio lot, I had my picture taken right next to the famous "Partners" statue by sculptor Blaine Gibson. There are five versions of the statue, and visitors to Disney Parks know it well - a perfect vision of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, looking proudly in the distance, perhaps at what's been accomplished, but more intriguingly at what is yet to come. When I saw the latest catalog for Hallmark's Keepsake Ornaments (a tradition in our family) ahead of the annual July release, many items caught my eye, but one stood out - a version of "Partners" set for release this fall.
After taking a year off from Six Flags due to a hectic schedule for us, I surprised the family by purchasing season passes again - just in time for Fright Fest and Last Call for Fall last year. This year we plan to be there often, and one exciting announcement is for something that's looming far off in the horizon... for the first time in the park’s 42-year history, Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois is extending its operating season and inviting guests of all ages to be a part of the festivities at the new Six Flags Holiday in the Park. It's an event that's been requested for ages, but the Illinois weather is cold and unpredictable, so it's always been a "wish list" item that guests to other Six Flags parks have enjoyed. The new Holiday in the Park will feature more than one million LED lights, beautifully adorned Christmas trees, thrilling rides, enchanting shows, delicious seasonal food and dazzling park décor. The fun begins on Friday, November 23 and run weekends through Sunday, December 23 and daily December 26 – December 31.
When you think of Pharrell Williams' infectiously-upbeat "Happy," can you think of a person who not only wouldn't like it, but would absolutely 100% despise it? Of course that individual would be THE GRINCH, and on November 9, 2018, he's back in theaters as Illumination and Universal Pictures bring forth a new animated feature based on the holiday classic by Dr. Seuss. This isn't just a shot-for-shot re-telling, either - and we've got the first official trailer to show you!
Preview Coverage of the 2018 Motion Picture Slate from The Walt Disney Company...
All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.
We've reached final countdown stage: Santa will soon be in the air, and the holiday stress level is about to reach its fever pitch. With that in mind, you've got a lot of choices when it comes to holiday music this year, but what if we lightened the mood with a look and listen to what some famous holiday songs could've been, had they been performed by someone else. Anthony Vincent of Ten Second Songs is back with EROCK on guitar for "Christmas Songs in Different Styles." You're gonna want to crank this one up...
When Disney•Pixar's Coco arrived in theaters just before Thanksgiving, audiences were divided - and some might even say offended by the inclusion of a 22-minute holiday-themed short film entitled Olaf's Frozen Adventure. Originally intended to be an ABC holiday special (which it technically still was), I don't think there was anything wrong with the short (it's cute and my girls enjoyed it enough to set the DVR to record it on ABC, and then watched it at least a half-dozen times), but I don't think people were expecting a holiday special to play before the feature they came to see, especially after sitting through all of the trailers. That said, families looking for some fresh holiday viewing at home are in luck, because Olaf's Frozen Adventure is a surprise release on Digital HD/SD on Movies Anywhere - a perfect new addition to your holiday viewing tradition as Olaf seeks out some traditions of his own. Check out all of the details below, and shout-out to Disney for the fun Frozen care package we received today (see it here).
I've been meaning to post this one since the weekend, but while it may not be brand new, it's still worth checking out a time or two. Straight from the stage at 30 Rock, FOO FIGHTERS performed on Saturday Night Live, breaking out "The Sky is a Neighborhood" from their latest album, CONCRETE AND GOLD. But for their second performance, they veered off from the usual current-album-promoting format to do a little of their 1997 hit "Everlong," followed by a Christmas medley of Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" from A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. See the performance, and crank it up below!
It's been 10 years since comedy rockers PSYCHOSTICK unleashed their holiday album "The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride". Indeed, it's an off-the-radar choice for your holiday playlist, and with it being a little hard to come by in streaming form (not even on Spotify), the band is sharing it as a full stream in honor of its 10th anniversary. Now you can sit next to the fireplace while cranking up modern classics such as "Jingle Bell Metal", "Holiday Hate", "Jolly Old Sadist", "Red Snow" and more. Not for the kids, folks. Not this time. Stream it below!
We've had an unusually great season for Holiday Music this year - a welcome flood of new tunes that follow a bit of a drought in the festive fare. The Rock Father's 2017 Ultimate Guide to New Release Holiday Music and Movies continues to grow as we approach Christmas, and today there's a new addition - a rocked-up version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," as performed by Pennsylvania's SMALL TOWN TITANS. See the video below and crank it up!