Craig McFarland

Front Row Network Host

Craig is a Co-host of Beyond the Mouse, the Disney themed podcast from The Front Row Network. He is also Associate Editor-in-Chief of The Front Row Network. He began podcasting in 2015, and can be heard on over a hundred Front Row Network episodes. 

Brett Rutherford

It’s March let’s start the madness!

We are thrilled to bring you this very special episode. We invited back three close friends of the podcast, Justin from Disney Dads Podcast, Matthew from Imagineer Podcast and John from BigFatPanda.com. Joined by Brett and Vanessa these five take on narrowing down the best attraction at Walt Disney World. Who will cut down the nets at the end? Will a Cinderella story be in the making? Find out!

Disney Dads Podcast: https://disneydadspodcast.com

Beyond the Mouse: Brett's Disney World Trip Report

Feb 26, 2021

 

 

This week’s Beyond the Mouse Podcast includes ALL of Brett’s “unedited, charming side trips and anecdotes and ramblings” from his recent trip to WDW. It’s the “wildest podcast in the wilderness!”

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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Named one of the top 50 Disney Podcasts by Feedspot! blog.feedspot.com/disney_podcasts 

FIND US ON Patreon! patreon.com/frontrownetwork 

An Interview with Tamzin Merchant

Feb 25, 2021
Norton Young Readers

Tamzin Merchant is known by many for her roles in Pride and Prejudice, The Tudors and Carnival Row. She's a wonderful actress, and now she is a published author! We were delighted to read Tamzin's first book, The Hatmakers."Full of magic, surprise, and adventure, Tamzin Merchant’s sparkling debut introduces a captivating heroine and her extraordinary world." We can't recommend enough that you go out and pick up this book. We speak to Tamzin about The Hatmakers and her acting career.

Headgum

We are excited to bring you our conversation with actor, comedian and podcast host Connor Ratliff. His podcast Dead Eyes speaks to his experience with rejection early in his career at the hands of Tom Hanks. Craig and Larry speak to Connor about his career in acting, his time with the Upright Citizen's Brigade and of course, his hit podcast.

Find Dead Eyes on Headgum: https://headgum.com/dead-eyes

Beyond the Mouse: An Interview with Evangeline Lilly

Feb 4, 2021

Interview also available on all major podcast platforms by searching "Beyond the Mouse"

We are thrilled to bring you our interview with actor and author Evangeline Lilly. Many know her for her roles in LostThe Hobbit and as Hope van Dyne in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to her acting, Ms. Lilly has a true passion for writing. The crew sits down with her to discuss her ongoing children’s book series The Squickerwonkers. We also discuss her past acting experiences, and so much more.

Beyond the Mouse: Muppets, Dinosaurs and more with John Kennedy

Jan 21, 2021
Walt Disney Studios

John Kennedy is a puppeteer who has had so many amazing experiences throughout his career. In this special interview, the crew discusses his time at Disney MGM Studios. We also ask about projects he worked on with The Muppets, and a special experience he had with Jim Henson. January 29th fans of the hit show Dinosaurs will be able to stream every episode on Disney+. John was with the show from pilot to finale and we speak to him about all his experiences with the Sinclairs.

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

Beyond the Mouse: BigFatPanda.com with John Saccheri

Jan 14, 2021
BigFatPanda.com

We are so excited to be joined by John Saccheri! His Disney content on YouTube has kept us from feeling the Disney Parks blues for so many years! We speak to John about how he got into vlogging, what he has been up to the past year and what he’s looking forward to in 2021 in the parks. The crew also discusses what they are looking forward to the most this upcoming year.

Visit BigFatPanda.com for more of John’s content!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson, __________________________________________ 

6th Annual Geek Year In Review (2020)

Jan 13, 2021
Front Row Network

Once a year the geekiest podcasts in all of Central Illinois gather together to discuss the year that was. It is true that 2020 was a year we may want to forget, but the content creators gave us lots to sink our teeth into! Join Craig and Jeremy from the Front Row, Mitch from The Geek Awakens, Bailey from Lincolns Legends and (for the first time) Meghan and Jacqueline from I Think You're Gonna Like This as we break it all down for you.

Beyond the Mouse: 2020 Year End Review

Dec 31, 2020
Brett Rutherford

Happy New Year!

As we look back on the past year, we are so grateful to all of you. Thank you for continuing to spend time with us each and every week. We have expanded the show in so many ways during 2020, and we can’t wait to see what happens in 2021. THANK YOU! Also, thank you to the amazing guests we had on this past year. FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

Walt Disney Pictures

Join us for a special discussion about the new Pixar film, Soul. We are thrilled to bring back to the show, Disney Legend Floyd Norman. In addition to his thoughts about the film, Floyd gives insights into the Pixar process, his experiences in animation and much more. We also speak about the voice acting, production, animation and beautiful music that makes up Soul.

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson, Floyd Norman

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An Interview with Disney Legend Rolly Crump

Dec 24, 2020
The Walt Disney Company

We have quite the treat for you at Beyond the Mouse. We recently had the amazing opportunity to chat with Rolly Crump. He was awarded the Disney Legend award in 2004 for his tremendous work as an animator and as an Imagineer. Rolly worked on attractions from The Haunted Mansion to The Tiki Room. We talk about it all in this episode!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson __________________________________________ 

Beyond the Mouse: Disney Christmas at Home

Dec 16, 2020
Walt Disney World

This is a Christmas season like no other, and we are here to help you celebrate the season. One of the best times of year to be a Disney fan is during Christmas. Craig, Brett and Vanessa give you all the ways that Disney helps them enjoy this time of year.

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson __________________________________________ 

Named one of the top 60 Disney Podcasts by Feedspot! 

blog.feedspot.com/disney_podcasts 

FIND US ON Patreon! patreon.com/frontrownetwork 

Paris Visone

We are thrilled to welcome Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake to the show! Chris is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band. Their new album Silver Linings was just released last week. Craig and Scott have been fans of Less Than Jake for over twenty years, and had a lot of questions for Chris. The interview covers the new album, Chris' favorites from the bands 28 year career, his new podcast and much more. Thanks for listening and be sure to subscribe to The Front Row Network!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Scott McFarland

*This interview does include explicit content*   

Beyond the Mouse: Disney Investor Day Recap

Dec 13, 2020
Walt Disney Company

There was an incredible amount of news coming out of the Disney Investor Day presentation last Thursday. The whole crew is here to breakdown the biggest announcements from Lucasfilm, Disney Theatrical, Disney Animation, Pixar and Marvel!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson __________________________________________

Named one of the top 60 Disney Podcasts by Feedspot!

blog.feedspot.com/disney_podcasts

FIND US ON Patreon! patreon.com/frontrownetwork

Beyond the Mouse: Disney Gift Extravaganza!

Dec 10, 2020

There are only a couple weeks left to Christmas. What gifts do you get for the Disney fan who has everything? We have the answers! The crew reviews some of their recommendations and then we jump into two very special items. The first is a new book called "Boundless Realm" by Foxx Notle. This book really dives deep into the Haunted Mansion, and it's an incredible account of the attraction that holds a special place in all our hearts. The second is a board game provided to us by Ravensburger. We all love the Jungle Cruise, and now you can experience the attraction in your own home!

Beyond the Mouse: An Interview with Brenda Chapman

Dec 3, 2020
Pixar

We are incredibly excited to speak with Academy Award winning director, and Central Illinois native, Brenda Chapman. We had the chance to speak with Brenda about her career from her time working in animation during the Disney renaissance to her bring Pixar’s Brave to life. Brenda’s live-action directing debut, Come Away, is out now on any video on-demand platform. This wonderful reimaging of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland will have you filled with whimsy throughout the picture.

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

FLASHBACK - The American President

Nov 30, 2020
Warner Bros. Pictures

FLASHBACK is closing out our November by taking a nostalgic look back at the 1995 Aaron Sorkin drama The American President. The template for what would become The West Wing boasts an amazing cast but does it really still have something to teach us about politics today? Our crew breaks it all down!

FEATURING: Ryan Lootens, Jay Hoffman & Craig McFarland

Don’t forget to follow/reach us at:

FULL DISCLOSURE - Hillbilly Elegy

Nov 24, 2020
Netflix

We're stepping into Oscar movie season once again with another EARLY REVIEW from our friends at Netflix. Ron Howard directs the film adaptation of the best-selling novel Hillbilly Elegy, in which a Yale law student is drawn back to his hometown and grapples with his family history, Appalachian values and the American dream.

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford & Ryan Lootens

Don’t forget to follow/reach us at:

Beyond the Mouse: The Super Secret Hive!

Nov 12, 2020
Kid Save the World

This week we are so happy to invite to the show the cast the new podcast “The Super Secret Hive”. Julie and Mike are furloughed Disney cast members. They”ve spent the last 6 months writing/recording/producing a musical & educational kids’ adventure podcast, “The Super Secret Hive,” to help kids, parents, and educators navigate these challenging times. They created: 6 full-length adventures, 14 original songs, and online activities galore (ALL FREE!). We can’t recommend enough that you check out all that’s going on in The Hive!

Beyond the Mouse: Brett's Big Business Birthday Bash

Nov 6, 2020
Touchstone Pictures

This week we are celebrating all things Brett as we help our friend and cohost ring in his upcoming birthday! One of his all time favorite films is the 1988 film “Big Business.” This fun comedy starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin is available right now on Disney+. So, put on some headphones and a party hat while we all discuss “Big Business.”

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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Named one of the top 60 Disney Podcasts by Feedspot!

Walt Disney Studios

This week we bring you a real treat, as the Beyond the Mouse crew talks with D.J. MacHale. In addition to bringing Are You Afraid of the Dark into our lives, D.J. also wrote and directed the Disney cult classic Tower of Terror! Based on the attraction, Tower of Terror thrills with a tale of Old Hollywood and the mysterious events that occurred on Halloween night at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. We can’t recommend this film enough. We speak to D.J. about how he came to the project, the production design, the cast and so much more!

BEYOND THE MOUSE - Disney Villains Draft

Oct 22, 2020
Brett Rutherford

 

Beyond the Mouse continues a month long celebration of all things Halloween and Disney. Who would you draft on your team of villains from all Disney properties? Find out who Craig, Vanessa and Brett selected, and let us know who you think won this round!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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Named one of the top 60 Disney Podcasts by Feedspot!

blog.feedspot.com/disney_podcasts

FIND US ON Patreon!

BEYOND THE MOUSE - Getting into the Halloween Spirit with Imagineer Podcast

Oct 15, 2020
Imagineer Podcast

There is no better time to be a Disney fan than Halloween! We are joined by one of our favorite Disney podcaster Matthew Krul of the Imagineer Podcast. We speak with Matthew about his podcast. How the podcast came to be, his love for the parks and some of his personal favorite episodes. After that the whole group discusses the ways that Disney puts us into the Halloween spirit!

Featuring: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

Beyond the Mouse: Hocus Pocus Game Review

Oct 8, 2020
Ravensburger

Thank you to our friends at Ravensburger for providing us with copies of the new Hocus Pocus card game! We played it, and we will review it for you. Follow along as we discuss the design of the game, how to play and our overall impressions of this very impressive game. Fans of Hocus Pocus go out and buy this now!

Beyond the Mouse: An Interview with Jeff Kurtti (Part 2)

Oct 1, 2020
Walt Disney Books

This week we bring you the second half of our interview with former Imagineer and Disney author Jeff Kurtti. He has written over 40 titles for the Disney company, and his latest book "The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky" was just released earlier this month. Jeff shares so many stories and insights about the Walt Disney Company.

Beyond the Mouse: An Interview with Jeff Kurtti (Part 1)

Sep 25, 2020
Disney Books

This week we bring you the first half of our interview with former Imagineer and Disney author Jeff Kurtti. He has written over 40 titles for the Disney company, and his latest book "The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky" was just released earlier this month. Jeff shares so many stories and insights about the Walt Disney Company. On this episode we speak with Jeff about his new book. He also speaks to his relationship with Richard and Robert Sherman.  This is a must listen!

Beyond the Mouse: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Sep 4, 2020
Walt Disney Studios

Brandon dives into the world of the Mouse, on this Beyond the Mouse/Classics crossover. The crew discusses the 1954 Disney live-action film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This movie has been beautifully restored on Disney Plus. We speak to the production design, the history, the influence on the Disney parks and more (maybe even a great James Mason impression) much lies in store for you loyal listener!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson and Brandon Davis

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FIND US ON Patreon!

REMEMBERING - Chadwick Boseman Tribute

Sep 1, 2020
Front Row Network

Like everyone, we at the Network were blindsided by the news of Chadwick Boseman's death at the age of 43 from colon cancer. Boseman left behind a towering legacy in the world of film and in the world as a cultural icon. We at the Network wanted give our thoughts on his passing and invite some special friends to offer their thoughts. We finish it off with our Oscar Spotlight episode on Black Panther with special guest Professor Tiffani Saunders. Rest in Power, Chadwick.

FEATURING: Jeremy Goeckner, Reggie Guyton, Lou Hare, Tiffani Saunders & Craig McFarland

Beyond the Mouse: Disney World Trip Report with Craig and Kristen

Aug 28, 2020
Walt Disney

This week we are joined by two friends who have made the trek to Florida since the reopening of Walt Disney World. Kristen Wolfe speaks to her experience at the Boardwalk and all about the parks. Craig William II lets us know about his stay at the Polynesian and his take on what Walt Disney World is like for travellers right now. Join along with us!

Featuring: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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FIND US ON Patreon!

patreon.com/frontrownetwork

This week we are happy to bring to the podcast, Dan Cockerell. Dan spent a twenty-six-year career with the Disney company in multiple roles. Beginning in the Disney College Program and ultimately becoming VP of Epcot Center, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. This week Dan has released a new book called "How's the Culture in Your Kingdom" which you can find on Amazon or wherever books are sold. We speak to Dan about the current situation inside the Disney Parks, his thoughts on leadership and his new book!

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