April 14, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Review: Discover the Magical Mister Rogers

 

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Rated PG-13, 94 Minutes, Released June 8

 “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” is much more than a biographical documentary about an American icon. This study of Fred Rogers, whose television show framed the lives of children for 34 years, is a window into the mind and persona of a unique and beloved figure in our history.  By skillfully incorporating interviews with Rogers from later in his life with clips from his huge library of shows, director Morgan Neville provides us with an emotional understanding of this giant of entertainment, whose personality was gentle and unassuming. In addition to being a life history, the film stands as a psychological and social commentary against the historical backdrop of the second half of the 20th Century.

Fred Rogers grew up in Pittsburgh. He was a lonely child, certainly not one of the “in-crowd” at school. He spent much time at home sick in bed, and made up stories with his toy figurines as they traversed the landscape of his sheets and blankets. The hardships he endured as a child allowed him to develop an innate sense of empathy. Music was another solace that comforted him as a child, and he became an excellent pianist, a skill he often used on his shows.

Rogers was able to take the feelings he experienced in his childhood and turn them into a universal language that contained no sense of judgment.  In this film you can see the connection he makes with each child’s eyes – they are mesmerized. I went into this movie without a prior opinion, as I had never watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood regularly. Now I wish that I had been a loyal viewer.

The show debuted in Pittsburgh in 1967 and was picked up by PBS the following year. It ran on that station from Episode 1, which aired on February 19, 1968, to Episode 1765 on August 31, 2001. Fred Rogers passed away from stomach cancer in early 2003. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” shaped the lives of generations of children. As Rogers himself put it, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Rogers always asked the kids how things made them feel and allowed them to talk about their feelings.

Photo: Courtesy. Fred Rogers.

Maria Shriver wrote in her “Sunday Paper” email message of July 8, “So do yourself a favor this summer. Turn down the noise. Turn down the heat…change the way that you interact with those around you…take a page from Mr. Rogers and ask them about their feelings.”

Rogers’ show was about discovery – discovery of the world around us and about feelings. This movie can be your own discovery, of the magical Mister Rogers.

 

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica.

 

 

Related Posts

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Junior Lifeguards Returning This Summer

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

County-run program returns to LA County beaches July and August  By Sam Catanzaro A few weeks are left for prospective...

Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Santa Monica Beach

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism organizing April 22 event  On Earth Day next week join a “micro-cleanup” to help beautify...

Six Vendors Released on Citation for Fight at Santa Monica Pier

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Santa Monica police cite and release six people involved in Sunday incident By Sam Catanzaro Six individuals were released on...

City Council Passes New Measure to Meet State Affordable Housing Mandate: Santa Monica Beat – April, 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Passes New Measure to Meet State Affordable Housing Mandate...

Elon Musk Backs New Santa Monica Tesla Supercharging Station

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Charging station would provide power to over 50 vehicles By Toi Creel A new Tesla supercharging station spearheaded by billionaire...

Edify TV: A Look at a Proposed Westside Homeless Shelter Locations

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Take a look at a collection of Westside properties that a LA lawmaker is proposing bringing homeless shelters to in this...

Santa Monica Lawmakers to Consider Banning Certain Items at Protests

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

City Council to take up emergency ordinance next week  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica lawmakers will consider banning certain items...

Foster Youth Staffed Cafe Set to Open on Montana Avenue

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe to open in former Starbucks space  By Toi Creel  A Texas-based cafe that makes an...

Santa Monica Place Getting New Rooftop Restaurant

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

LOULOU opening soon at Santa Monica Place By Toi Creel Santa Monica Place is getting a new rooftop restaurant from...

Food Review: An Almost-Essential Westside Sandwich

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Johnnie’s french dip pastrami sandwich in Culver City  By Kerry Slater  While there are far better sandwiches in Los Angeles,...

Edify TV: Brentwood Encampment Reacts to Veteran Homicide

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Last weekend a homeless veteran, just a week away from entering permanent supportive housing, was killed in a vehicular assault....