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James Zahn

James Zahn

About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™. 

Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur. 

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.

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, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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Sponsored Content: This special feature is presented in partnership with Teletubbies...

2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Teletubbies - Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po - a quartet of colorful aliens with a childlike curiosity about the world around them. As I first wrote about earlier this year, the legend of the Teletubbies continues to grow as the series and characters have been updated for a new generation of tech-savvy tots, with new episodes airing weekdays at 9:47am on Nick Jr. There's the new toys from Spin Master, and from DHX Media and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the new "Big Hugs" DVD. With summer road trip season upon us, now is the perfect time to bring the Teletubbies along for the ride, ad we're gonna give you a shot at winning some new DVDs to take with you!

It wasn't long ago that we got our first-listen to the modern version of the classic DuckTales theme song, re-imagined for the 2017 series that's coming to Disney XD this summer. What a lot of DuckTales fans might not realize is that there was an extended version of the theme for the original series, one that added a full second verse that was seldom-heard back in the day. Keeping tradition alive, singer/songwriter Felicia Barton (Dancing with the Stars) has recorded an update of that as well, and it's now available as a digital single on iTunes, Amazon and more. Written by Mark C. Mueller, the new DuckTales theme song was produced by Emmy Award-winning Michael 'Smidi' Smith (Coldplay, Sia, Britney Spears) and composer Dominic Lewis ("Rough Night," "Fist Fight"). Check it out below!

I've never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It's taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.

It was 1991 when THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST arrived, the third game in the Zelda series, and first for the recently-launched Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). I came into THE LEGEND OF ZELDA a tad late, our family getting the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) a few years after it came out, but just at the right time (probably 1988 or so) to be really into the Zelda series by the time that THE SUPER MARIO BROS. SUPER SHOW! started airing in syndication the following year, presenting animated episodes of The Legend of Zelda in place of the Mario Bros. each Friday. The reason I cite the third game in the series as a benchmark is because it was a massive game for Nintendo at the time, helping to usher in the era of a new system, and it has a title that perfectly relates to being a parent: As my kids grow to love THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, it is in fact "a link to the past" - my past.

In Short: After five films, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT closes the book on a decade on cinematic adventures from Michael Bay and Co., but blasts a door wide open for more Autobots & Decepticons yet to come...

It's been ten years since Michael Bay launched TRANSFORMERS into the live-action realm, his Steven Spielberg-produced 2007 epic arriving in theaters more than two decades after the animated classic, TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE hit theater screens back in 1986. As a kid who grew up on the original series and Hasbro toys that started with 1984's "Generation One," my excitement for Bay's film series was a given - and for the past decade I've been there, capping it off by attending the U.S. premiere of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, the fifth film in the series, and what's being touted as "The Final Chapter" for Bay's run on the franchise.

Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Folgers® Perfect MeasuresTM

While there's certain other cities that might be associated with coffee on a more immediate basis thanks to crafty marketing and perception, Chicago is definitively a coffee town, and now there's some stats to prove that. Having lived in the Chicagoland area for most of my life, but also having visited much of our country, I really don't need data to back up what I already know - but still, it's cool to have it. Coffee is in my blood, and that's something I've mentioned many times here on this very site, and I famously trace that back to my great grandfather, who worked as a coffee taster in Chicago nearly a century ago. Just like him, people here are always on a quest for the perfect cup, and when you drink a lot of coffee that also means a perfect pot.

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