‘Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like’ on PBS

Category: Television

Michael Keaton hosts this extraordinary documentary examining the career and contributions of Fred Rogers. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ran from 1968 -2001 and over the years brought joy, entertainment, knowledge, support, and love to kids through his imaginative storytelling and impressive guests.

The documentary interjects interviews with many people who discuss the effects the show had on them and on the viewers. Judd Apatow, Joyce DiDonato, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Kratt, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma and son Nicholas Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Silverman, Esperanza Spalding and Caroll Spinney talk about how Mr. Rogers gently helped kids expand their worlds and learn about others who influenced people with their talents and disabilities. Keaton had first hand knowledge of Fred Rogers and the show, having worked at the studio during the time and describes some of his duties on the series.

Over the years guests of all kinds came to the neighborhood, including Big Bird. There were the regulars, like Mr. McFeely The Speedy Delivery Man, Officer Clemmons, and the puppets Daniel Striped Tiger, X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and others who appeared regularly to add continuity and contentment to the series. When kids turned on the show, they felt like they were visiting friends.

The trolley took them to the Neighborhood of Make Believe, where anything was possible. Picture Picture took viewers to various factories where they learned how items were made. Many different styles of music, including Jazz, were explored on the show as well. This series broadened the minds of young viewers while not preaching at them, but inviting them into the comfortable neighborhood.

And speaking of comfortable, who can forget the tennis shoes and cardigan Mr. Rogers wore during the show? These trademark items impressed on young minds that Mr. Rogers was there to be with them and not instruct them, as a teacher would, dressed in a suit and tie. Everything about the show was designed with young minds in mind.

Songs added to the continuity and education while giving kids a foundation on which to build their lives. All kinds of topics were explored through discussions, guests, and music. When a kid entered the neighborhood, he or she knew she was among friends.

Fred Rogers’ wife Joanne also appears on this documentary as well as Angela Santomero who created the animated series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. This series debuted in 2012 and continues with the themes and characters of the original show, with Daniel taking viewers through the neighborhoods and into his home.

The legacy of Fred Rogers lives on. Mr. Rogers: It’s You I Like takes a look back at the show and how it influenced a generation of young viewers. The documentary celebrated the 50th year anniversary of the show. It premieres March 6, 2018 on PBS.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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