James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance. Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.
As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.
He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and 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. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix).
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 Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, 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 Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.
Learn more here.
DreamWorks' VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER has been a big hit for Netflix over the past year, and now comes word that the third season will begin streaming on Netflix beginning August 4, 2017. Much of the tease revolves around the fact that it might be time to seek a new pilot for The Black Lion, because after all - no Black Lion, no Voltron. Check it out below, and get ready for some major action!
The latest addition to the "I wish they had this when I was a kid" department here at Rock Father HQ comes from Radio Flyer, who've just announced their Star Wars Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder Ride-on toy. Geared toward kids ages 4+, this two-seater hits a top speed of 5mph, and bears a weight limit of 130 lbs. Modeled after the iconic X-34 craft from 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, this ride features an interactive dashboard with movie-accurate lights and sounds, and provides the perfect craft for chasing down your pesky run-away R2 unit. Just watch out for Sandpeople, though - the Jundland Wastes are not to be traveled lightly, and Tusken Raiders often travel single file to hide their numbers. See the Radio Flyer Landspeeder in action below!
At Sweet Suite '17, otherwise known as "The Biggest Night of Play," I had the opportunity to host a segment on The Toy Insider's live stream - straight from Chelsea Piers in New York City. The task at hand? Unboxing a few of the newest toys from K'NEX. Expected to be among 2017's hottest holiday toys, I took a live look at the Budding Builders Tub from Kid K'NEX, along with the Power & Play Motorized Building Set, and the all-new Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set from the K'NEX Thrill Rides Collection. Captured during the livestream, the full video can now be viewed below!
I made my first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida in 1988. It was a unique experience in that I went by myself - sans parents - at age 12, the winner of a contest held by the Star Newspapers here in Chicagoland. I was a paperboy - a "newspaper carrier" - and as part of a yearly push for great customer service and increased subscriptions, the top carriers were rewarded with a trip to Disney World. I was one of them, and the experience marked my first ride in a limousine, and my first big adventure away from home (under the guidance of two chaperones). The Magic Kingdom is, indeed, a magical place, and in 2016 I returned for the first time as a parent, my wife and I taking our girls on a Florida adventure. On the west coast, I'd never been to Disneyland until December of 2015, when I attended as a guest as part of the Global Media Event for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Five hours in the park and I was hooked. I did return this week (more on that later), but at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim, I was on the show floor, live-tweeting announcements about what the future holds for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. There's a whole lot of Marvel... a whole lot of Star Wars... a whole lot of Pixar... some new ships... new hotels... and a ton of magic to be experienced. Here's the full rundown...
The 2017 D23 Expo was absolutely massive, and while I live-tweeted the festivities direct from the show floor, I'm still trying to collect my thoughts on everything that I've seen and heard, even now that I've been back in Illinois for a full day. At the live-action film presentation, Alan Horn, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios, introduced Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production to give an overview of what moviegoers can expect to see across Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm over the next few years. For a few projects, development is still fairly early on, but ALADDIN was confirmed to be directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie, with original music by Alan Menken with Pasek & Paul (La La Land) handling lyrics. MULAN will be helmed by Niki Caro (McFarland, USA, Whale Rider), and JUNGLE CRUISE marks the latest Disneyland ride to get a big screen nod, with Dwayne Johnson set to star. Those announcements simply scratch the surface, as the lineup is huge, and I've got all the details below...
What happens when World of Dance meets Bunch O Balloons? With Zuru Toys' easy-to-use and water balloons already being a huge hit here at Rock Father HQ, the prospect is intriguing, and the answer to the question has been revealed in a new video presenting the first-ever #SplashMob! In Los Angeles, NBC World of Dance contestant and So You Think You Can Dance winner, Fik-Shun recently surprised unsuspecting pool party goers with an epic Splash Mob performance attended by over 50 World of Dance performers, including Autumn Miller (Spring Sisters World of Dance), the Miniotics Dance Crew (America’s Got Talent Season 11), Hall of Fame Dance Team and Soul Fresh to name a few. Captured using twelve cameras and more than 5,000 self-tying Bunch O Balloon water balloons, the video evidence was released today and can be seen below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine!