The holiday season is almost behind us, but as we overlap the end of one year and the beginning of another, chances are the kids are on winter break and the drone of “I’m bored” just may be lurking. It may not be lurking just for the kids, but also for the adults that care for them, and that’s why when the time comes to settle in for some visual entertainment, one need look no further than Netflix. As part of my gig for the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’m always on the lookout for some interesting things – not just the obvious, but some “Rock Father Picks” that might be hidden a little deeper in the Netflix library. Here’s a little of everything – perfect for streaming on winter break!
For fans of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
While the latest Star Wars film is still playing in theaters, you can expect it to arrive on Netflix next summer. Until then, take a look behind the scenes of the original Star Wars Saga with some documentaries that pull back the curtain on some unsung heroes of the original trilogy…
Elstree 1976 – They weren’t the stars of the film, but the hundreds of background performers that inhabited a galaxy far, far away are what have 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, such a genuine, lived-in feel. This is the story of those people – some actors, some just regular joes, many of whom became famous in their own right, all because of a little sci-fi movie that was filming in England.
I Am Your Father – On a few occasions, I’ve come across actor David Prowse. On one such occasion, I asked him to sign a Kenner Star Wars action figure package for me, and on it he wrote “David Prowse IS Darth Vader.” Appropriately, I Am Your Father is a documentary about the man who wore the iconic suit in A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), providing the physical form of one of cinema’s most famous villains, yet whose voice and face were replaced by other actors along the way.
For music fans:
Breaking a Monster – Unlocking the Truth may not be a household name, but their story is a unique one. A band of brooklyn teens signed to an unheard-of in this era $1.8M record deal with Sony back in 2014, these young rockers’ roller coaster ride is the subject of this feature-length documentary.
Sing Street – One of my favorite films of the past year, there’s a retro vibe that takes you straight back to the mid-80s for this story of teens growing up loving music in Dublin.
For the whole family:
DreamWorks’ Trollhunters – From filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes a tale of two worlds set to collide. “When ordinary teenager Jim Lake Jr. stumbles upon a mystical amulet on his way to school one morning, he inadvertently discovers an extraordinary secret civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town of Arcadia. Suddenly destined to play a crucial role in an ancient battle of good and evil, Jim is determined to save the world – right after gym class.” The first part of this series is streaming now, and features the voice talents of Kelsey Grammer (“The Simpsons,” X-Men: The Last Stand), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, “Adventure Time”), Steven Yeun (“The Walking Dead”) and the late Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Beyond).
Fuller House: Season 2 – On Christmas came news that the Tanners and Gibblers will be back for a third season of fun next year. If you haven’t caught up yet, it’s time to binge Season 2 in its entirety – and it’s seasonally-appropriate! There’s episodes covering Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bonus: New Kids on the Block make an appearance.
A Christmas Special: Miraculous – Tales of Lady Bug & Cat Noir – Yes, Christmas is over – but a lot of families are still discovering ZagHeroez’ Miraculous, and this is a fun one to watch while the tree might still be up.
The Jungle Book – Jon Favreau’s new take on the classic Disney tale, The Jungle Book, wowed audiences and critics, garnering success well beyond what anyone was predicting. I had the opportunity to attend the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles earlier this year, and now, having seen it several times with my family since, we view it as a modern classic. It gets better, and it’s beautiful.
The Angry Birds Movie – We missed this one in theaters, but Sony’s Angry Birds have been unavoidable. Kids love the Rovio mobile games, and the toys from Spin Master made their way into our collection as well. Now that the film is streaming on Netflix, the girls have watched it a few times, and it just may become a staple in time.
Captain America: Civil War – The time just seems right for some heroic action, and as audiences prepare for 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans can enjoy Tom Holland’s first appearance of the webslinger in one of the finest action sequences of the past year – the epic airport showdown with the Avengers in MARVEL Studios’ Captain America: Civil War!
The Rock Father is a member of the Netflix Stream Team, sharing news and features on great streaming content every month.