It's an in-between week for new family media titles, with some decent stuff hitting retail but no single "blockbuster" title to lead the charge. But that doesn't mean that the offerings aren't worth a look, as there's a trio of new DVDs from SESAME STREET along with BEWARE THE BATMAN, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, GARFIELD, DR. SUESS and a bunch of bargain-priced reissues. And, if you'd like to "Think Spring," there's new Easter titles from PETER RABBIT, PETER COTTONTAIL, and Nickelodeon's DORA THE EXPLORER. Here's what's hitting the streets today, February 18, 2014.
As I've previously mentioned here on THE ROCK FATHER, February 25 will be a big day for fans of DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD, as the first two volumes of the hit PBS KIDS series arrive on DVD with the release of DANIEL'S BIG FEELINGS and LIFE'S LITTLE LESSONS. Now comes word that the week leading up to the release will be jam-packed with new episodes as Daniel's Big Feelings Week kicks-off this Monday, February 17 on PBS KIDS (check local listings for times). Below you'll find all the details and some brand-new clips!
Earlier this week, as I had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney Studios, one film that I got to pull back the curtain on was one I couldn't mention right away because it's home video release wasn't officially announced yet. That changes today, with word that SAVING MR. BANKS will arrive on Blu-ray™ + Digital Copy, DVD, Digital HD, and On-Demand on March 18th. The film is a look at the making of MARY POPPINS, along with studio life during that classic era of Disney filmmaking. While the official details follow below, stay tuned for some exclusive SAVING MR. BANKS content, coming to THE ROCK FATHER in mid-March.
When I was out in Los Angeles this week, some news hit my phone that was at the same instance, both exciting and disturbing. The folks at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment had issued a press release informing writers that what is arguably both the greatest Christmas film of all-time and the greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger film of all-time is getting a sequel. JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2, a follow-up to the 1996 classic is headed our way for Christmas 2014, and the news came courtesy of an announcement that also includes the fourth installment of the MARINE franchise in partnership with WWE Studios.
I always say this, but it's interesting delving into cinematic worlds as a parent that I haven't entered since being a child myself. Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK is one of those worlds, a film released countless times over, yet somehow escaping my purchase (unlike certain films that I've owned multiple times on whatever the latest format). Oddly enough, THE JUNGLE BOOK is one film that always should've been in my collection, if only for it's musical pedigree. In fact, it's the swingin' soundtrack that really propels the film, with several songs by the Sherman Brothers (MARY POPPINS, WINNIE THE POOH), and the iconic, Louis Prima-sung "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" becoming an oft-covered standard (I love the BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY version). That aside, there's a classic Rudyard Kipling story at it's heart, and experiencing THE JUNGLE BOOK again for the first time in probably 25-30 years - but this time with my girls - was a treat.
When I first caught an episode or two of MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE some years back, I wasn't really into it. There was something that struck me as a bit hollow, and the animation style just didn't appeal to me. Fortunately, by the time my girls started to show interest in Mickey and the gang, the show had improved drastically in both animation and storytelling, and on recent home video releases (like December's SUPER ADVENTURE!), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has actually tapped into a lot of what I loved about THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB and THE NEW MICKEY MOUSE CLUB (both of which I'd seen in re-runs as a kid), speaking directly to young audiences and teaching valuable lessons and social skills through story and song. Out this week, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: MINNIE-RELLA keeps that vibe going, introducing families to a new tale based on the classic CINDERELLA story.
It's a rare occasion that I get to see a film during it's theatrical run, and then circle back around to it some months later to revisit it when it comes home. But that's what happened this week with the release of FREE BIRDS on Blu-ray via 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. In a relatively quick turnaround, the film, originally released this past November, came home in just three months time, giving families a Thanksgiving treat... just in-time for Valentine's Day.
SOFIA THE FIRST lines-up appearances by Snow White, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel (and Ron Swanson!) for Season Two...Written by James Zahn
Ok, so the headline was misleading. Ron Swanson will not be appearing on the upcoming second season of Disney Junior's massive hit, SOFIA THE FIRST... but his voice (that of actor Nick Offerman) will appear as that of a "well-connected fox who reigns over Enchancia's woodland creatures." But for kids like mine, appearances by some of the most famous DISNEY PRINCESSES will be sure to delight. SOFIA THE FIRST: Season Two debuts FRIDAY, MARCH 7 (9:30 a.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channel. A special episode featuring Snow White will premiere FRIDAY, APRIL 4 on Disney Channel (9:00 a.m. ET/PT) and Disney Junior (6:00 p.m. ET/PT). Check out more details on what (and who) to expect below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER.
This month, a new CHUGGINGTON adventure pulls into the station for anytime enjoyment on DVD. CHUGGINGTON: BREWSTER LEADS THE WAY is an all-new collection of six episodes, available as a standard DVD or in a limited-edition version featuring an "Old Puffer Pete" Die Cast Train from TOMY Toys. To celebrate the release, the folks at Anchor Bay have teamed up with THE ROCK FATHER to get one lucky reader set-up with a copy of the new disc to share with their little one(s). Learn more and enter below!
"From above the world of CARS," Disney's PLANES flew into our home last Fall, creating an endless stream of adventures for the girls and I, both with the film itself (reviewed here), and the toys (which I featured here). Months later, and we're still into it - and just last month, I purchased the Aircraft Carrier Playset. Well, on July 18, the big-screen adventures will continue with the release of PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE, an all-new theatrical film that will debut in 3D. This afternoon, Yahoo! premiered a new trailer called "Courage," and I've got it for you below. Take a peek...
Goin' Back to Cali: Blogging from Walt Disney Animation Studios! #RockFatherTour #PirateFairyBloggers #FrozenBlurayWritten by James Zahn
Last week, as I began taking a real look at my calendar for the next year, I started to realize something... that my adventures were shaping up a bit like routing for a band. With "The Rock Father" as my handle here in this world of cyberspace and virtual ink, it became both crystal clear and very appropriate that that I needed to call this something: THE ROCK FATHER - 2014 U.S. Tour. But, instead of playing music (as I've been known to do in the distant past), I'll be blogging... bringing all of YOU the best in pop culture and entertainment for the whole family, from different cities around the country. The kick-off is a big one, as next week I will return to Los Angeles, this time as a guest of The Walt Disney Company, who so graciously invited me to join some other fantastic bloggers and writers in promotion of two hotly-anticipated home video releases: THE PIRATE FAIRY, and the massive hit, FROZEN. As I journey inside WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS for a series of adventures, I'm asking YOU to join me as I document the experience, and meet with the filmmakers behind the magic.
Whether you're into belly badges, mice on trains, cats in hats, talking rag dolls, anthropomorphic turkeys, or wacky space knights based on toys, this week offers up an interesting assortment of new DVD and Blu-ray releases for kids and family. The music side of things is a little light, but new records from Clint Perry and the Boo Hoo Crew, along with Jazzy Ash also hit the streets. Take a look at the highlights from this week's Family Media Releases below, right here on The Rock Father!