In 1968, an edutainment show called, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” starring Fred Rogers lasting from 31 seasons until 2001, the show focused on the titular host talking to the viewer about everyday life, activities, hobbies, subjects about a particular interest etc. Besides engaging with the viewer, the show also takes the viewer to a trip to “The Neighborhood Of Make-Believe” populated by hand puppets such as King Friday (played by Mr. Rogers himself) & actual people portrayed by actors. Other characters interacting with the host including mailman, Mr. McFeely who gives him a specific delivery linked to an episode’s theme/subject. The show also tackled serious issues such as death, divorce, inclusion, depression, aging etc.
The show became a cultural phenomenon in television history gaining viewership from dozens of families around the globe gaining Mr. Rogers recognition as a a television icon earning awards and achievements.
A documentary called, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Premiered at “The Sundance Film Festival gaining positive word-of-mouth.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor was released in selected theaters on June, 2018. It received critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. Besides positive reception, the documentary went on to become the highest grossing biopic documentary earning $22 million at the box office. Former U.S. President Barack Obama listed Won’t You Be My Neighbor as one of his favorite films of 2018.
Now that Tom Hanks will portray the legendary icon wearing his trademark sweater & cardigan in a biopic film titled, “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” slated for a release date on Thanksgiving month, I won’t to share what’s good or bad about this documentary.
Although it’s not a three act structure narrative, I’ll let the documentary speak for itself, because this is a mini-review and let some of you check out the good and bad elements of my article.
Good & Bad Aspects
Good: The documentary focuses on Mr. Rogers’ life & career.
Surviving Cast Members of the show & Mr. Rogers’ friends & colleagues are interviewed.
Mr. Rogers was also an ordain minister. Don’t worry folks, no religious overtones didn’t shove anything down my throat. It’s told carefully because he uses his faith to inspire youths.
One of the puppets represents Mr. Rogers’ figment of his inner child.
The origins of PBS is also revealed on how and it was conceived in the first place along with the show.
Mr. Rogers was a one man show headlining and constructing each episode by writing, producing and portraying the puppets from “The Neighborhood Of Make-Believe.”
Archive Footage of Mr. Rogers is shown including interviews about the concept of the show, behind the scenes footage & episodes from the show.
The iconic opening theme song is used during the opening credits. Brings back old memories for those who used to watch the show.
Each pivotal moment in Mr. Rogers’ public image factors in on why he remains as an icon.
Arc Number is 143. If you’ve seen the documentary, you probably understand why.
Certain episodes reflected real life events at the time.
Bad: To be honest, I couldn’t find nothing wrong with this documentary. I’m giving it an Extra Point for not making me feel bored against my will.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Won’t You Be My Neighbor is heartwarming tribute to Mr. Rogers who will forever remember his long lasting impact spanning one generation after another. If you have nothing else to do over the week, I strongly recommend it.
R.I.P. Fred Rogers. Thank you for inspiring every single human being as a unique individual as each of us has a purpose in life and we want to succeed and love one another. We won’t forget your legacy and will continue to honor your image as one of televisions greatest icons.