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Wednesday, January 28 2015 23:25

2015 #RockFatherTour: Heading to Los Angeles for the #McFarlandUSAEvent with Walt Disney Studios and ABC TV!

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My Mickey Mouse thumbprintAround this same time last year, I sat here in my office looking at the calendar and realized that my travel plans for the year were shaping-up to look an awful lot like routing for a tour. With "The Rock Father" as my moniker, and serving as publisher of this site of the same name, everything came into focus that I should look at my adventures as just that, and the #RockFatherTour was born. By the end of 2014, I'd logged more miles than any other of my 38 years, and my work had morphed from a "U.S." to a "North American" Tour. Of those missions, four of them led me to The Golden State, one of which was my first of the year.

To kick off the 2015 Rock Father Tour, I'm excited and privileged to announce that I'm going back to where it all started almost exactly one year ago, Walt Disney Studios and ABCMy old pal, Mickey Mouse has been kind enough to fund another big adventure (disclosure and all) on which I will be part of a group of 25 entertainment writers and bloggers that will have the opportunity to meet with the talent and creatives behind several new projects from the Disney family of companies including McFARLAND, USA (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures), TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST (DisneyToon Studios), BIG HERO 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios), FRESH OFF THE BOAT (ABC) and BAD HAIR DAY (Disney Channel). While I'll be bringing back some in-depth coverage to be posted as features in the weeks ahead, I'm inviting all of YOU to follow along and take part in the journey online as it happens. Want to know the details?

Be sure to follow these hashtags on your favorite social channels: #McFarlandUSAEvent, #BigHero6Bloggers, #NeverbeastBloggers, #FreshOffTheBoat, #ABCTVEvent and #BadHairDay. Here's the projects we'll be checking out...

McFARLAND, USAMcFARLAND, USA | In Theaters February 20, 2015

We'll be interviewing Kevin Costner and additional cast, filmmakers and real-life inspirations behind this inspirational new film from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Costner has always been an actor, filmmaker and musician that I've held a tremendous respect for, and I look forward to sitting down with him. From seeing him take on roles such as Eliot Ness in Brian De Palma's THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) and Crash Davis in 1988's BULL DURHAM (both films that I watched when I was slightly below the appropriate age range), to Ray Kinsella in FIELD OF DREAMS (I played ball on the real-life field there once), and Superman's dad in the recent MAN OF STEEL (2013), Costner has been a frequent and welcome fixture in my cinematic diet.

In McFARLAND, USA, he inhabits the role of Coach Jim White, who in 1987 led a team of inexperienced high school athletes to cross-country victory.

BIG HERO 6BIG HERO 6 | On Disney Movies Anywhere February 3, Blu-ray & DVD Feb. 24

"When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred"

There were some big themes wrapped into an adorable and action-filled package when BIG HERO 6 hit screens last Fall, and in February it all comes home. We'll interview the filmmakers, along with Ryan Potter (voice of Hiro), Daniel Henney (voice of Tadashi) and the voice of Baymax, Scott Adsit (who I've actually already met once for about two seconds many years ago). BIG HERO 6 is one of my favorite films of the past year, and one my girls absolutely adore, having fallen in love with Baymax before the movie even arrived in theaters. 

LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEASTTINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST | On Blu-ray, DVD and Disney Movies Anywhere March 3

"Fun and talented animal fairy Fawn believes you can't judge a book by its cover, or an animal by its fangs, so she befriends a huge and mysterious creature known as the NeverBeast."

It's incredibly cool that I get to attend the press day for the latest Disney Fairies film, as last year I covered it's predecessor, THE PIRATE FAIRY in great detail. This time around, Fawn is being voiced by someone new... someone you may recognize as Snow White on ABC's ONCE UPON A TIME. Ginnifer Goodwin will be joining us at DisneyToon Studios for an interview, as will the filmmakers responsible for this new tale. As a parent whose oldest daughter has an entire wall done in Disney Fairies art, I can say that my daughters are pretty excited that Daddy gets to see this one. 

 FRESH OFF THE BOATFRESH OFF THE BOAT | Coming to ABC, New Episodes on Tuesdays
Previewing in ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block on Wednesday, February 4th at both 8:30 and 9:31 p.m., followed by its time slot premiere on Tuesday, February 10th at 8:00 p.m., ET

One of the most talked-about mid-season series' to debut this year, FRESH OFF THE BOAT is a new family comedy told through the eyes of a first-generation Asian American kid in 1995 Orlando. Inspired by a true story, FRESH OFF THE BOAT stars Randall Park (THE INTERVIEW) as Louis, Constance Wu (EASTSIDERS) as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery and Ian Chen as Evan. Real-life inspiration Eddie Huang provides the voice-over narration.

We'll meet with the show’s Writer and Executive Producer Nahnatchka Kahn as well as select cast. Having seen a few episodes already... definitely set the DVR or tune in. I've already said too much!

BAD HAIR DAYBAD HAIR DAY | A Disney Channel Original Movie 
Premiering Friday, February 13th at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT

Laura Marano (AUSTIN & ALLY) and Leigh-Allyn Baker (GOOD LUCK CHARLIE) star in BAD HAIR DAY, a buddy comedy about a high school tech-whiz whose prom day abruptly shifts into a wild ride across town, thanks to a down-on-her-luck FBI agent and a jewel thief. 

After screening the film, we'll take part in a Q&A session with Leigh-Allyn Baker, who not only stars in the film, but serves as Executive Producer as well.

With a stacked schedule bound to contain more than a few surprises along the way, I'd like to know if there's anything YOU'D like to know about these projects or the folks involved with them. Please feel free to leave your questions below, and I'll do my best to bring back the answers. 

To Infinity and Beyond! Or, May The Force Be With Us! Stay tuned...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly 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 PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, 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 the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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