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James Zahn

James Zahn

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

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, September 05 2017 08:38

Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 Races Home this Fall!

One of our favorite movies of 2017 is finally coming home. Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 races home Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ on Oct. 24, and on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™ and Blu-ray™ on Nov. 7.  The news came down today in an announcement timed to honor world-champion racer Lightning McQueen - #95 - on his date-sake 9/5. The film surged to the front of the pack opening weekend, with audiences racing to see the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and spirited trainer Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo) team up to beat the new generation of blazing-fast racers. Now, this summer’s high-octane hit cruises home—loaded with bonus features like the all new mini-movie starring the demolition derby legend Miss Fritter.

The time has come: STAR WARS REBELS returns to Disney XD for its fourth and final season beginning MONDAY, OCTOBER 16 (12:30 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. EDT). A new trailer just made its debut at FanExpo in Toronto, and now it's available for all to view. See the new trailer and all the details on STAR WARS REBELS Season Four below!

It has begun... FORCE FRIDAY II officially kicked off at 12:01am this morning, with STAR WARS fans on the East Coast being among the first to purchase new merchandise from Rian Johnson's upcoming film, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. The Disney Store in NYC was first to welcome a line hundreds long, starting a wave that's moved coast-to-coast this morning with midnight openings and events at retailers such as Toys "R" Us, Walmart, Target, Meijer and more. This year's Force Friday is actually a weekend event running September 1-3, 2017 with events planned at many locations. Check out StarWars.com/FindTheForce for full details. 

One of our most-anticipated series' of the year finally has a premiere date. Based on the children's book series Vampirina Ballerina written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by LeUyen Pham Disney Junior's VAMPIRINA was developed for television by Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee, and will premiere SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 (11:00 a.m. EDT), with two back-to-back episodes simulcast on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. The episodes will also be available on Disney Junior VOD, Disney Junior YouTube and in the new DisneyNOW app, which will also debut two additional episodes same day. New episodes will be presented every Monday and Friday in October on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Check out the title sequence and theme song below, along with more details on this seasonally-appropriate new series!

For the past few years, Mattel has been doing some very creative things with their license to make Hot Wheels vehicles that are inspired or based upon the characters, locations and machinery of a galaxy far, far away. While their Starships line makes diecast scale models of the actual ships of Star Wars, their Carships and Character Cars bend the rules quite a bit. For us, the character cars have been the big hit - so popular that I eventually added a running checklist to this very website, a page that has become increasingly popular. Now, with the Force Friday II debut of merchandise centered around Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Hot Wheels design team has cranked things up and raised the suspension for something new - Hot Wheels Star Wars All-Terrain Character Cars.

Note: Video on this has been added to The Rock Father™ YouTube Channel!

Since the 2015 relaunch of the Star Wars franchise with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we've entered a new era of fandom in which families have regular access to perhaps the widest assortment of merchandise from a galaxy far, far away than ever before. Under Disney's leadership, Lucasfilm no longer has the lull of a "non-movie year," since there's going to be a new Star Wars film each year for the foreseeable future. For consumers, that means steady access to new toys and gear, but as recent years have shown us, there's just too much stuff out there, and it's not always what the people want. For our family, the true core of Star Wars imaginative play lies solely with Hasbro's 3.75" action figure line - the one whose lineage dates back to the original Kenner Star Wars Collection of figures, vehicles and playsets. For the current generation of kids and collectors, there's been a huge omission on the playset front, and with the Force Friday II launch of toys for Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Hasbro aims to fill that gap with the BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset. This impressive set* looks like a near life-sized BB-8 Astromech Droid while closed, but opens up into a First Order Star Destroyer packed with play features!

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