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. 

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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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!

BEYOND THE MOUSE - Disney Song Draft

Aug 7, 2020

This week the documentary Howard drops on Disney+. We are celebrating the life and accomplishments of Howard Ashman in the best way possible, by doing a Disney Song Draft! Make sure to follow us on social media for your chance to vote for your favorite team!

Featuring: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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FIND US ON NPR ILLINOIS!

https://www.nprillinois.org/programs/front-row-network

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BEYOND THE MOUSE - Kaye Malins from the Walt Disney Hometown Museum

Jul 31, 2020
Front Row Network

This week on the show we have a wonderful guest! Kaye Malins provides us with insights about Marceline, Missouri. Walt Disney always regarded his time in Marceline as vital to the creation of the Disney Parks, and many of his other projects. Kaye speaks to us about the museum, how it was founded, what types of exhibits they have had and will have in the future. We also get to hear her own personal stories about Walt and Roy Disney. It’s a treat!

FEATURING: Jeremy Goeckner
GUESTS: Kaye Malins

Don’t forget to follow/reach us at:

BEYOND THE MOUSE - Enchanted

Jul 24, 2020
Walt Disney Studios

We had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Lima, director of so many wonderful Disney films. One such film is Enchanted! Brett, Vanessa and Craig break down their love for the film. Featuring: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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FIND US ON NPR ILLINOIS!

https://www.nprillinois.org/programs/front-row-network

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

Beyond the Mouse: Hamilton with Julius Thomas III

Jul 2, 2020
Hamilton

We are so excited that Hamilton has arrived on Disney+! To celebrate the occasion we interview a man who has played Alexander Hamilton for the past year. Julius Thomas III speaks about his Broadway career, his words of wisdom to upcoming performers and of course we dive deep into his role in Hamilton. 

Featuring: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford, Vanessa Ferguson

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FIND US ON NPR ILLINOIS!

https://www.nprillinois.org/programs/front-row-network

Front Row Network

We at the Network are always looking for new content and the best content creators to keep you entertained! And so we are so psyched to introduce you to our good friend Larry Smith and his brand new show for the Network and NPR Illinois called "Convince Me". Check out this interview for a preview of what this hilarious show has in store for your earbuds.

FEATURING: Larry Smith, Jeremy Goeckner & Craig McFarland

FIND US ON NPR ILLINOIS

nprillinois.org/programs/front-row-network

Beyond the Mouse: Kevin Lima Interview

May 2, 2020
Walt Disney Studio

Twenty five years ago Goofy and Max set out on the open road and ended up at a Powerline concert. We had the opportunity to sit down with the man who made it all happen. The Beyond the Mouse crew sat down with director Kevin Lima. We talking about his entire career from his start at the Walt Disney Studios to what he’s doing today. In addition to A Goofy Movie, Kevin has also directed Tarzan, 102 Dalmatians and Enchanted. We talk about them all in this exclusive interview!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford & Vanessa Ferguson

Apollo 13

Apr 29, 2020
Universal Pictures

Apollo 13 is one of the top 90s films. The film is 25 years old and we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the event. So, a perfect time to revisit this classic!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Anna McFarland and Brandon Davis

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FIND US ON NPR ILLINOIS!

https://www.nprillinois.org/programs/front-row-network

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

BEYOND THE MOUSE - "Onward" Review

Mar 16, 2020
Walt Disney Studios

Even in the midst of the coronavirus, #Pixar and #Disney gave us the next in the stable of animated adventures. The whole Beyond The Mouse crew is here to give you their #FullDisclosure review of the magical family advneture #Onward. #BTM #FRN #NPR

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford & Vanessa Ferguson

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FIND US ON NPR ILLINOIS!

https://www.nprillinois.org/programs/front-row-network

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

BEYOND THE MOUSE - News Roundup! A Couple of Bobs

Mar 2, 2020
Walt Disney Studios

It's been a while since #BeyondTheMouse has a done a good old fashioned #Disney news roundup! We're discussing the HUGE shakeup as CEO Bob Iger suddenly steps down, do some Disney+ reviews and much more. #BTM #FRN #NPR

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford & Vanessa Ferguson

OSCAR SPOTLIGHT - Best Picture

Feb 9, 2020

Our #OscarSpotlight category series concludes on this Oscar Sunday with a long look at the nominees for the industry's top prize of Best Picture. We give you a detailed reasoning of why all 9 films deserve to win. #FRN #NPR

FEATURING: Lou Hare, Craig McFarland, Phil Rockwell & Jeremy Goeckner

WATCH THE OSCARS WITH US AT OUR 2ND ANNUAL OSCARS VIEWING PARTY AT THE HOOGLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS.
https://bit.ly/2Re76mg

BEYOND THE MOUSE - Disney Goes To The Oscars!

Feb 5, 2020
Walt Disney Pictures

It's Oscar season once again at the Front Row and #BeyondTheMouse is getting in on the fun. In this special episode, the crew takes a look at some of the biggest moments for the Moues House at the Oscars. #BTM #FRN #NPR

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

WATCH THE OSCARS WITH US AT OUR 2ND ANNUAL OSCARS VIEWING PARTY AT THE HOOGLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS.
https://bit.ly/2Re76mg

OSCAR SPOTLIGHT - Best Adapted Screenplay

Feb 2, 2020

Our #OscarSpotlight series now turns to the big 8 categories as we take a look at the nominees, talk some snubs and tell you who should and will win on Oscar Sunday. First up is Best Adapted Screenplay. #FRN #NPR

FEATURING: Ryan Lootens, Jay Hoffman & Craig McFarland

WATCH THE OSCARS WITH US AT OUR 2ND ANNUAL OSCARS VIEWING PARTY AT THE HOOGLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS.
https://bit.ly/2Re76mg

OSCAR SPOTLIGHT - Parasite

Jan 28, 2020
CJ Entertainment

Our #OscarSpotlight series continues with a breakdown of the wire-to-wire best-reviewed film of 2019; Bong Joon-Ho's searing social drama #Parasite. All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.

IMDB PAGE: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6751668

FEATURING: Ryan Lootens, Brett Rutherford & Craig McFarland

OSCAR SPOTLIGHT - The Two Popes

Jan 21, 2020
Netflix

Our #OscarSpotlight series continues with a look at #Netflix's #TwoPopes, the drama no one saw coming and the two nominated performances that power it.

Featuring: Craig McFarland & Ryan Lootens

WATCH THE OSCARS WITH US AT OUR 2ND ANNUAL OSCARS VIEWING PARTY AT THE HOOGLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS.
MORE INFO: https://bit.ly/2Re76mg

5th Annual Geek Year In Review

Jan 10, 2020

It's the end of the year so it is time once again for the 5th Annual Geek Year In Review crossover podcast extravaganza! This year we welcome back our good friends Jeremie Bailey from the Lincoln's Legends podcast and Mitch Ladd from The Geek Awakens. We cover a wide variety of topics from movies to TV shows to Comics and even some video games. This is always one of the highlights of our podcasting year so a big shout-out to our co-collaborators and of course to all of you! So please enjoy this special episode!

Featuring: Craig McFarland, Mitch Ladd & Jeremie Bailey

FRN's Best Movies of 2019

Dec 31, 2019

2019 is officially in the books and in many ways the year in movies was as eclectic, chaotic and satisfying as everything else we encountered in 2019. We had a brand new all-time box office champion, a record-setting year for Disney as a studio that is unlikely to ever be challenged, the emergence of Awards front-runners on streaming services and one of the truly most baffling films in recent memory (Cats). As such here on the Front Row Network we put the task out to our writers to come up with the best films of the year in given categories. 

BEYOND THE MOUSE - 2019 Year In Review

Dec 31, 2019
Walt Disney Pictures

2019 is in the books and it has been just about as successful as it could have been for Disney. From the biggest movie of all time to a record-breaking haul for a studio at the box office that may never be approached again. From new parks opening to the launch of an all new streaming platform. Beyond The Mouse is here to take it all in and give the House of Mouse a thorough review!

FEATURING: Craig McFarland, Brett Rutherford & Vanessa Ferguson

Lionsgate Pictures

#FullDisclosure makes its triumphant return by going HEAVY SPOILERS with the most critically acclaimed whodunit of the past decade, #KnivesOut. A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

IMDB PAGE: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8946378/

FEATURING: Brandon Davis, Craig McFarland & Ryan Lootens

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