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I didn't watch Mr. Rogers as a child, so I had no idea what to expect from this documentary. I found it very compelling to watch - I did not realize that the tv shows tied in to current issues of the day. Loved this film and Mrs. Rogers.
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood became highly successful (despite being the exact opposite of what normally succeeded on TV). Some of you may remember watching this show as a child. Mr. Rogers was able to connect viscerally with children through this show.
One of my favorite scenes in this film was when Mr. Rogers testified in Congress. When Nixon became president, he wanted to kill funding for PBS. Mr. Rogers’ testimony saved it. Can you imagine what would happen if Mr. Rogers testified in Congress today?
Frankly, everyone in Congress and the current administration should watch this movie. They could learn a lot about kindness and empathy and compassion.
In these negative times, this positive movie has a lot to offer.
A master helper, Rogers challenges everyone to be kind, think of others, and remember that you are loved no matter what. It's always a beautiful day with Mr. Rogers.
Mr Rogers a kind and compassionate man understood children. This film is a treasure.
I saw this DVD on order at SPL and put a hold on it. I had to ask my childhood friend when she came over for visit if she watched Mr. Rogers because I never did. She said no but her younger sister watched it as a child. So, I guess I am a bit too old for Mr. Rogers (I grew up watching J.P. Patches). The only Mr. Rogers I remember was Eddie Murphy’s version on early Saturday Night Live.
The DVD traces the show history and provides background on Fred Rogers. A young man who put off theological study to try out public television with a show for young children. It captured a generation and covered subjects as broad as being scared to dealing with divorce or death. I thought his appearance at Congress to testify when PBS was going to get a $20 million cut was brilliant (seemed like many of the Congress / politicians were big babies). The DVD covers the parodies (Eddie Murphy, PeeWee Herman) which Rogers was okay with as long as they didn’t parody his message (all children are special and loved). They touch on subjects such as was Mr. Rogers gay (his wife and sons appear in the DVD). One character on the show was gay in real life (the Police officer on the show) and he said Fred Rogers told him that he loved him and the actor recalls that neither his father nor step-father ever told him that. The show ends with a group protesting that Mr. Rogers is responsible for making a generation of children feeling entitled. To me Fred Rogers comes across as a truly remarkable and unique individual who felt he could communicate well with children and he put those efforts/talents into his show.
All parents and people who interact with children should take time to watch this. Surprised myself how much what Mr. Fred Rogers (1928 –2003) cared about are as pressing today. How about this film clip early on:
King Friday was really irritated that people were changing things. So his reaction as the authority was to build a wall.
King Friday: Remember our battle cry, Edgar?
-Down with the changers! 'Cause we're on top.
A truly wonderful film about Mr. Rogers and a great all around view into his life on and off screen.
I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and I loved this. Make sure you have tissues handy because you’ll need them !
A beautiful moving portrait of the unique Fred Rogers and his timeless message that love and kindness matter, especially to children. FYI - The VPL offers a collection of actual episodes in a DVD called "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood It's A Beautiful Day Collection". Here are some quotations from Fred Rogers in this documentary:
"I think that those who would try to make you feel less than who you are, I think that is the greatest evil." ... "The next important learning - it's the ability to accept and expect mistakes and deal with the disappointments that they bring."
"And what that ["you're special"] actually means, of course, is that you don't ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you." ... "In this country the child is appreciated for what he will be. He will be a great consumer some day. The quicker we can get them to go out and buy, the better. There's so much of that in this country."
"Well I suppose it's an invitation, "Won't you be my neighbor?" It's an invitation for somebody to be close to you. You know, I think everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he or she is loveable. And consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they're loved and capable of loving."
"From the time you were very little you've had people who have smiled you into smiling. People who have talked you into talking. Sung you into singing. Loved you into loving." ... "Now, think about somebody who's helped you along the way for one minute. I'm going to time you." ... "Let's just take some time to think of those extra special people. Some of them may be right here. Some may be far away. Some may even be in heaven. No matter where they are, deep down you know, they've always wanted what was best for you. They've always cared about you beyond measure and have encouraged you to be true to the best within you."
Need a pick me up? And a good cry? A walk down Memory Lane? This film is all that and then some. After seeing it, I've been more mindful in listening to kids and adults alike, for one thing. I may also dare say that I've been more optimistic, or stalwart in looking for the good. With all the yuck in politics and the news these days, this film was just what I needed. I would highly recommend it to everyone and anyone. Even if you didn't grow up watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Fred Rogers' life story and unique message are food for thought, and some good medicine for whatever ails you.
Mr. Rogers was a beloved fixture in children's entertainment for many decades, noteworthy for his calm, respectful approach in treating children as the individual humans that they are, and providing a safe way for them to acknowledge their fears and concerns while also having fun. This unexpectedly moving, candid documentary fleshes out the man and gives insight into what it was that helped him to create a show with such impact and resonance; a cultural icon that inspired both imitation and parody. I enjoyed it very much.
Won't You Be My Neighbor is a slick, well-produced, engaging documentary about an undeniably authentic, intelligent, caring man. It will warm the hearts of anyone from the generations of children who grew up watching, and then watching their children watch, Fred Rogers, while deepening their appreciation for the gentle influence he exerted and the difficulties he faced. Unfortunately, it is also predicated on the lie, repeated over and over, that a real relationship existed between the Mr Rogers and the children watching him on TV, that his neighborhood was a real community of which they were a part and not a mere imposture of one, that what happened in the house set was less pretend than what happened in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. The documentarians chose to cover this through heavy-handed sentimentality, classing those who dare to criticize their subject as evil meanies who want to make children cry (and are probably racists and homophobes, too). They therefore completely miss the greatest and most impactful lesson Rogers taught us - that television is our best friend.
I admit that I knew very little about Mr. Rogers and his neighbourhood show. I never saw it as a child. But after seeing this documentary I wish I had. Touching, inspiring and made me hug my kids tighter after it.
This is an excellent documentary-style story about this amazing person. The big takeaway for me was the discovery that he was the same person that we saw in his children's program in real life, it was not an act. He was on a mission to change children's TV programming and did. His work should be admired for generations to come and I hope that future projects geared toward young viewers will continue his work by demonstrating how we should interact and work together to become better people. If you were a fan as a child or are interested in young viewers' programming, this is a worth watching.
Great movie about a great man.We need more of this kind of thinking for the younger generation. 5 stars.
A fantastic, inspiring documentary that brought up many great questions about life and childhood.
I was about 14 when Mr. Rogers' show debuted so I always thought it was a little sappy. But this film showed me that for the millions of kids who watched the show, Mr. Rogers was not sappy at all and that his message "I like you just the way you are" was something that many of them needed to hear. Watching kids watching Fred Rogers made me a believer in his uniqueness and greatness. It takes a lot to make me tear up over a movie, but that question at the end, oh my.
Pretty, pretty good (LD).
A couple of weird moments but overall a nice tribute with a nice message.
A really well-done documentary about a really great person who had a really inspiring dream. It was interesting to see how the show began and the course it took throughout the years and what everyone had to say about Mr. Rogers. You are left with such a warm feeling and a little sadness knowing that there really isn't this type of show anymore. I am heavily considering getting these for my daughter to watch.
It's like watching the needle scene from Pulp Fiction but instead of having a needle full of adrenaline jammed into the heart, it's a needle full of pure goodness and hope in the world...for an hour and a half at least.
I was a teenager when Mr. Rogers started his show so never really saw it.
But this documentary helped me understand the appeal of the show and its creator. What an inspiration Fred Rogers is. I was teary-eyed for much of the movie because the message of the movie and the man is so pertinent now. Watch this movie as an antidote to the crass, mean-spirited atmosphere we seem to be stuck in today. Or just watch it to better understand how we can emulate the spirit of Mr. Rogers to better own lives.
I got a little "verklempt" watching this. Rogers was right there along the Friendly Giant, Mr Dress Up and Archie and his friends (CKY Winnipeg), which explains I've never done jail time. He was bold talking about war, assassination, and divorce on his shows - you'll never see that today. Typical how he's picketed at his funeral, ridiculed for "spoiling" a generation. When a child is born it asks "can I trust you" - it seems Mr Rogers was the only one who ever answered "yes".
I'm very positive about this. It is informed by the intelligence of Neville Morgan whose films punch above the weight of their apparent subject. Some of the cheap shot humor at Mr. Rogers expense, and the fact that critics chose his funeral to inveigh against him, is indicative of the his varying effect on people. He had some doubts himself; asking at one point if he was a sheep, rather than a goat. My father often said, 'children should be seen and not heard', but he said it in quotes, as if he was not entirely comfortable with that. Much as he invited young children to be his neighbor, much as he offered them assurances (You'll never go down the drain) they could never really take those to the bank. I never heard him go so far as to say, 'You can be anything you want'; rather he said 'I like you just the way you are', the sort of pushback to bullying most can approve of. Having been slighted by what seemed bad he became a determined do-gooder in the tradition of a certain kind of Christianity. Stepping ahead, not on certainties, but with good intentions. such as pave the road to hell.
Great, heart-warming documentary
If you watched Mr. Rogers as a kid and do not tear up a bit watching this then you have no compassion, no empathy and no heart - in other words, you grew up to be a republican.