Family’s Movie-Themed Cosplay Christmas Photos Are Magical

Die Hard Toddler Poster
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)

The holiday season means different things to different people. For some, it means gathering with family and friends over large meals and enjoying chestnuts by an open fire. For others, it means an elaborate movie-themed photo shoot is in order.

Todd Cameron and his wife Nicole fall into the second group. The proud parents have put every other holiday photoshoot to shame thanks to some ingenious setups and expert photography, crafting what could be the most adorable holiday portraits you’ve ever seen that pay homage to your favorite Christmas flicks.

These aren’t your co-worker Mary’s cheesy pics of her grandkids in tacky sweaters. Instead, the British Columbia-based couple decided to pay homage to a dozen of the most memorable holiday movies with the help of their adorable son Jack and family friend Heather Stone who helped edit the photos.

(Facebook/Todd Cameron)

From Elf to Home Alone, and yes, even Die Hard, this family absolutely nailed each and every one of these movie-poster-style gems. Thankfully, Todd and his wife Nicole have shared these treasures with the world for all of us to enjoy.

(Facebook/Todd Cameron)

The two are no strangers to internet notoriety.

The Camerons made headlines a while back for their alien-themed maternity photoshoot and a follow-up first birthday celebration, which both swept across the web like wildfire.

But this new nod to Christmastime classics goes well above and beyond their initial shareable sensation.

The Dad reached out to Todd and Nicole to learn more about what went in to capturing these one-of-a-kind photos as well as their motivation behind making them.

Todd says it’s just who they are.

“Nicole and I are both big Christmas lovers and we go all out. Every year, our house gets chosen as one of the houses included on the local Christmas Lights map here in Nanaimo, B.C. “

But Todd acknowledges that having a new baby often means making a few changes to your regular routine. “This year, having a one year old whom we are keeping away from screens for now, we knew that it wasn’t going to be as easy to watch all of the movies we usually dig into.”

So Todd and Nicole thought of the perfect solution. A little Christmas cosplay.

Todd was in charge of staging the scenes and making the costumes while Nicole captured the shots that have now been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

Asked to choose his favorite, Todd says it’s close, but one definitely takes the cake. “While I think that “A Christmas Story” is the most adorable of the photos, my personal favorite is the Clark Griswold photo. The reason for this is that photo was taken on the evening where we showed Jack our over-the-top Christmas light display for the first time so that expression is genuine excitement response from Christmas lights. To have that memory immortalized in a photo, especially with Jack dressed as Clark, is just a treasure to us.“

The most difficult costume? “Buddy the Elf was probably the most time consuming as it’s a very intricate costume” Todd admits, but adds “it was all worth it when we got to see Jack wandering around a local Toy Store dressed as the cheerful Elf, while people paused their shopping to bask in his cuteness.”

(Todd Cameron)

As for young Jack, he was undoubtedly a die-hard Die Hard fan. “To coax Jack into the box, Nicole came up with the idea of throwing a candy cane into the box. Jack delighted in retrieving the candy cane multiple times while Nicole snapped pics. You can see the enjoyment on his face and if you look close, you can even spot the candy cane.”

(Facebook/Todd Cameron)

For the Camerons, the shoot is a gift that just keeps on giving “First, we get to channel and challenge our creativity. Second, we get to spread joy and laughter amongst others. And last, we end up with these amazing keepsakes that one day we will be able to give to Jack to show him that one never has to stop playing pretend or being silly.”

While we all may celebrate the holidays in different ways, the one universal trend is sharing the moments that matter with those we love. In turn, they share their joy with the people they encounter and thus the holiday season is made bright.

So when your coworker shares those silly holiday shots, just smile and take joy in their joy, and remember that you’ll likely both have a few days off this week which is the greatest holiday miracle of all!

Here’s the complete series:

A Christmas Story Toddler Poster
(Todd Cameron)
Gremlins
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)
(Facebook/Todd Cameron)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Proud Dad Encourages Talented Son To Play Piano at Crowded Geneva Airport

Dad encourages talented son to play piano at airport
(TikTok/hawwellpete)

There’s no easy way to build confidence in kids, but that doesn’t stop us from trying pretty much constantly. From being their biggest cheerleaders to showing interest in things they care about, the opportunities for empowerment are endless. That is, if you somehow managed to have a kid who highly values your opinion (what are you, some kind of wizard?). Most often, encouraging kids is a practice that requires superhuman levels of patience and impeccable timing.

A dad named Peter Blandford crushed the art of encouragement two years ago in the crowded Geneva Airport, and he’s been riding that high ever since. Ok, so he’s almost definitely had countless peak-dad moments since, but two years after that fateful success, he decided to share his son’s touching win with the world.

In a TikTok that’s been viewed nearly three million times in under a month, Peter gently encourages his 15-year-old son to show off his piano skills. Anyone who’s sat through even one piano recital is likely less than enthusiastic to hear someone else’s kid play – the choppy, barely-recognizable rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” still haunts our darkest nightmares.

But 15-year-old Christian clearly hasn’t been skimping on his piano practice, and nobody knows that better than his proud dad. After spotting a piano at the bustling airport, Peter seizes the opportunity to push Christian out of his comfort zone. After floating the idea of playing the neglected piano for passersby, Christian is initially reluctant.

“They’re bored, it’s some free entertainment, okay, trust me. Go and do it,” Peter says.

@shawwellpete2 years ago in Geneva airport I persuaded my 15 year old to play the public piano. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone reaps rewards ##piano♬ original sound – Peter Blandford

Christian nervously plays with his water bottle, considering the possibility. He glances around, takes a swig of water, and just freaking goes for it. The wildly talented teen starts with Beethoven, completely stunning the previously silent airport.

The server at an airport restaurant is an instant fan, staring in amazement as Christian moves on to Rachmaninoff. Christian barely notices his audience, his face buried in the familiar keys. Fortunately, his dad got the whole thing on camera so Christian can fully appreciate his impact when the nerves aren’t so overwhelming. The server soon returns with a (non-alcoholic) cocktail for the talented young pianist, a drink Christian won’t soon forget.

“2 years ago in Geneva airport I persuaded my 15 year old to play the public piano,” Peter captioned the touching video. “Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone reaps rewards.”

Dad’s Creative Way To Get Balloon From Ceiling

Firefighters Rescue Dog Stuck in Couch Without Harming the Couch

Firefighters rescue a dog from under a retractable couch
(people.com / KAMLOOPS FIRE RESCUE)

How many firefighters does it take to get a puppy out of a couch? That’s not the setup to a dad joke, it’s the real-life question one department in Canada got to ask itself after responding to a call for a dog trapped in a reclining couch.

Being a pet parent can be stressful and sometimes scary. Cats are crazy, and will randomly climb trees and get stuck up there for no good reason. Dogs, much chiller, will go so deep into a couch they literally can’t get out. As a Dad I’ve also been there, but I’ve never had to call emergency services because of it.

As the Kamloops Fire Department found out, it takes five firefighters, and a few hours of work to get a small dog out of the couch. The department shared the story on Facebook.

“We don’t rescue cats out of trees anymore…but we do occasionally rescue dogs out of reclining couches!”

“We are happy to report that Bean, her owners, and the couch are all doing just fine today.”

See, that’s why they are heroes, not only did they save the dog, but they also managed to save the couch in the process. Lesser men would’ve broken the couch to save the dog. True heroes realize you don’t need to choose.

The owner said they were really thankful for the firefighters in their community and that they were able to work so calmly to free their beloved pet. This could also be a good testament to why you shouldn’t let your dog on the couch, but let’s be honest, most pups are going wherever they want.

Good Samaritan Jumps Into Bay To Save Baby Ejected from Car After Bridge Crash

Man Saves Baby is Bay
(Twitter/TODAYShow)

The “hero” label is thrown around very casually in the social media era, but in this case, you can’t say it enough. A tragic car accident on a bridge in Maryland left a car dangling over the guardrail, and an infant, still stuck in a car seat, was ejected from the car and into the water below.

That’s when a bystander JUMPED THE GUARDRAIL to dive into the Bay and RESCUED THE BABY. That sounds like superhero movie stuff right there. A man literally LEAPT OFF A BRIDGE AND SAVED A BABY’S LIFE. It’s astounding that they both survived the episode, but it’s heroism in its purest form.

The Ocean City Police Department shared the first report on its Facebook page, and it was widely covered by the media. The infant was flown to the hospital, and the rescuer was in a good deal of shock himself, according to boaters who pulled them both out of the water. He’s chosen to remain anonymous.

The man’s 30-foot dive into the water wasn’t the only heroic act, as a 14-year-old girl on a boat with her dad spotted the accident and directed him to investigate. The duo found the man treading water with the baby and pulled them both from the water.

The 14-year-old, Alayna, said the rescuer didn’t say anything because he was in such shock. Her dad echoed his daughter’s statement, adding “it says a lot about some people’s demeanor, just doing the right thing when you got to do it.”

The dad also said he was proud of Alayna and her instincts to help during the incident.

“You’re taught through your life as a child and as you’re growing up, to respect and help others when needed, keeping your head on a swivel, you know, always looking around,” he said, “it’s those little things in life that teach you. You see your 14-year old daughter going through this and just say ‘wow, she’s learned and understood what has to happen in this world.”

The infant suffered some injuries but was stable, and the family agreed to keep the man’s identity anonymous. The police department is still investigating the accident, but one thing is clear, there was some major heroism on display and some pure magic that no lives were lost in such a dangerous situation.

YouTubers Theorize Disney+ Could Reset the Star Wars Movies

Dave Filoni and Pedro Pascal Discuss Upcoming Mandalorian Season
(Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez / Stringer)

Recently, Pedro Pascal gave an interview in which he discussed plans for the third season of The Mandalorian. Like most Star Wars properties, future plans for the series are being kept under wraps, and the info that Pascal dropped was vague and incomplete. The hints dropped were interesting nonetheless, especially if they relate to a particular idea that has been floating around since the summer.

Pascal mentioned the possibility of “unexpected surprises and timelines” and the potential of characters to “cross over.” On one level, this sounds like the next logical step in Disney+’s plan, having announced a whole collection of Star Wars shows into which The Mandalorian and friends could potentially crossover. Or else he was referring to something far more drastic: an alternate Star Wars timeline, in which the last two movies never happened.

The theory is that The Mandalorian could take a page from Star Wars: Rebels, one of the animated shows Mando mastermind Dave Filoni managed. On that show, they introduced a concept called “world between worlds” which allows for characters to travel between timelines via a mythical dimension called “the Veil of the Force.”

If you watched the Star Wars LEGO Holiday special, in which Rey and other beloved characters bounce into and our of the new movies, the OT, and the prequels, then you get the idea.

Months ago the YouTube channel known as “Overlord DVD” suggested that due to the negative reaction to Rise of Skywalker, Disney is scrambling to course-correct. [Editor’s Note: There is no reason to believe Overlord DVD has any insight into Lucasfilm or Disney creative discussions]

The idea is that they could be looking to do something drastic by erasing the events of the sequel trilogy by porting it into an alternate reality. Sort of like how JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek reboot reinvented familiar characters by splitting them into their own timeline and tweaking their histories. Could that kind of game-changing move be what Pascal was referring to?

It sounds far-fetched, and it probably is, but The Mandalorian has already featured and name-dropped several characters from Star Wars: Rebels, which makes the potential of borrowing some story points less unlikely. But relegating three major blockbusters into the sidebin of canon would be a huge disruption. Despite the cartoons and the success of The Mandalorian, the movies are still the Big Show for most Star Wars fans.

There’s a lot more to this potentially insane theory, which you can read about in an article in Deseret News.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 Releasing on Nintendo Switch This June

Pro Skater Switch Release Date
(Activision/Vicarious Visions)

We finally have a release date!

After teasing fans back in March, it was officially announced today that the excellent Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 remake will release for Nintendo Switch on June 25th, 2021.

If you’ve been holding off on purchasing this remake, it’s definitely worth every penny.  Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 were already great games, but with updated graphics, quality of life improvements like reverts implemented along with online play, this is the must-own definitive version.  Also, the soundtrack still slaps to this day.

I already own the PS4 version and this might sound crazy, but I think I’m gonna have to double-dip.  The thought of being able to score million point tricks or spelling out S-K-A-T-E while laying in my bed sounds too good to be true.  Portability is a beautiful feature and my aging dad bod really appreciates these Nintendo Switch releases.

Steve Harvey Can’t Dislike Daughter’s Boyfriend Because He’s Michael B. Jordan

Steve Harvey Michael B Jordan
(Instagram/iamsteveharvey//MichaelBJordan)

It’s a tale as old as time: dad beefing with their daughter’s boyfriend. It’s a little trite, but old-school dads can still fall into those patterns. Plus, messing with your kids is one of life’s great joys. And however flawed they may be, they come from a good place of wanting your kid to be happy. Steve Harvey is one of those dads, and he’s tried to hate on his daughter’s new boyfriend. But he can’t because that boyfriend is MICHAEL B. JORDAN.

The comedian/game show host’s youngest daughter Lori is dating the terrific actor from “Creed”, “Black Panther” and a million other great things. The two have been dating for several months, and Harvey has finally met his match as an overprotective dad.

“You know what, I have tried not to like him,” he said on Ellen. He followed that by praising him soundly. The “Family Feud” star is exposed to just about every variation of complaint and annoyance people have conjured for years in survey answers, and he’s still coming up blank when he tries to think of something bad about Jordan.

And he’s not had this problem before. On Kimmel, he said he had plenty of success ousting past boyfriends, saying “I done get rid of all of them. All of them…Some of them just snuck in the back door on me and lasted a lot longer than I wanted it to,” he added. We’ll just leave it there and move on without comment.

“But this guy is such a good guy, man,” Harvey said of Jordan. “He is one of the nicest guys. I met his father. I’ve sat up with him, talking for hours.

“I just can’t find nothing wrong with him. I’m hoping to.”

Good luck, Steve! But also, Michael B. Jordan seems like a good dude and also your daughter is literally 24 years old so it’s probably time to stop that behavior. Hopefully, he’s joking a little bit, seeing as a daughter isn’t property.

Survey says: she’s a grown-up and doesn’t need you to tank her relationships forever!

Prince’s Legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Guitar Solo Gets Director’s Cut

Prince Rock and Roll HOF Performance
(YouTube/JAGtenthplanet)

Way back in 2004, I happened to be flipping channels when I stumbled across the rebroadcast of that year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on (I think) VH1. This was back before streaming, and even before YouTube existed and offered access to every memorable moment that had ever been filmed. Suffice to say, I got really lucky to stumble across it.

The line-up that year included George Harrison, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, and Prince, all of whom were honored earlier in the program and most of whom were on stage for the show’s closing all-star jam which featured all the inductees (with Dhani Harrison standing in for his late father) performing Harrison’s classic Beatles’ track, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. It’s been nearly 20 years and I have never stopped talking about this performance, for one reason.

About halfway through the song (at the 3:29 mark), which is basically front-lined by Petty with support from Winwood and Lynne, Prince septs out of the shadows and absolutely takes over, lighting the ceremony on fire with one of the greatest, if not the absolute best, guitar solos of all time.

Anyone who has listened to Prince knows he’s an incredibly talented artist, but if you only know the hits or heard him on the radio or MTV, you might not understand how proficient a musician he is, especially at guitar. At his concerts, he regularly tears up covers of classic rock songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and more, and this performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame puts his full powers on display.

No description can do his performance justice. Every time you think the solo has peaked, he unleashes a new riff and takes it up a notch, clearly having a blast the entire time. It wasn’t on YouTube at the start, but it is now, and it has over 100 million views, and it’s about to have even more when I finish this and go watch it again.

Now, the director of the ceremony, Joel Gladden, has re-cut the footage to focus even more on Prince during his solo, including more close-ups as the purple one blows the audience’s – and Tom Petty’s, and especially Dhani Harrison’s (just look at the awe on the kid’s face as Prince goes off) – minds. Gladden explains his intentions in an article about the footage in the Los Angeles Times.

Is this version of the footage better? Maybe, maybe not. But it hardly matters because the solo remains the same, and the solo is simply incredible. Watch the director’s cut below, then go back and watch the original footage that I watched all those years ago, and then just go back and forth and watch the solo over and over, as I’ve been doing for some 15 years.

And if you can tell me where the hell his guitar goes at the end, when he simply throws it up into the air. It never comes down!

Watch below:

Someone Has Made a Mod That Puts Barney Into the Resident Evil Village Demo

resident-evil-8-barney-mod
(Youtube/Marcos RC)

The Resident Evil franchise is famously known for it’s zombies, ridiculous storylines, creepy settings, and unsettling monstrosities.  Now, we can add purple dinosaurs to that list.

Last weekend, players had the chance to try out the upcoming eighth installment in the series ‘Resident Evil Village’ via a limited-time demo.  The demo was only available for 24 hours and once you started playing, you only had 60 minutes to explore and complete it.  Not one to let that short amount of time go to waste, modder Marcos RC managed to put Barney the Dinosaur into the game.  This isn’t the first time Marcos has modded a Resident Evil title, but I feel like it’s the best one yet.

The mod is pretty hilarious, but it doesn’t quite pack the same punch without Barney’s actual voice.  This needs to be rectified immediately.  Imagine Barney shuffling towards you saying things like “Super Dee-Duper!” or hearing him hum the Barney theme song to himself while standing in a dark corridor.  The thought alone sends shivers down my spine.

If you were one of the many (including myself) that missed out on trying the demo, developer Capcom ended up changing their mind.  They lifted the restrictions and made the demo accessible for everyone from now until the game officially releases on May 7th.  Will you be picking it up?