Mr. Rogers moves into the cinematic neighborhood



Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures' A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

Savannah MacAllister, North Campus Staff

“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of those things that connects us as neighbors; in our own way, each of us is a giver and a receiver.” – Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers’ movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, will be released on Nov 22. It portrays the life of Fred McFeely Rogers, America’s most prominent neighbor.

Rogers was an American television personality, who was the voice of the millennial generation’s childhoods. He wanted to save and protect children from all of the violence in the world. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” He cared more about the values of others rather than eternal life. He had a deep love and respect for children; leading him to become a children’s entertainer. His television show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, debuted on Feb 19, 1968.

The upcoming film is based on an article that was written by Tom Junod. Telling the story of the real-life friendship of Junod and Fred Rogers, magazine writer Lloyd Vogel is assigned a profile of Rogers. Learning about empathy and respectability, Vogel conquers his disbelief on if he can complete his assignment and who Rogers really is. In the article, he explains the effect that Mr. Rogers’s kind and caring personality had on people all over the globe. His personality affected Junod incredibly. The two men became very good friends.

In the film, Rogers introduces Vogel to his neighborhood, with its authentic puppets and the trolley leading to the Land of Make-Believe. He gives Vogel an escape from the outside world, showing him that it is okay to be vulnerable.

Golden Globe winner Tom Hanks will be portraying the role of Rogers, and Emmy winner Matthew Rhys will be playing the role of Vogel.

Based solely on its trailer, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has already received a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics say the cast earns unfeigned emotions for the film. At one point during filming, he asked production to delay filming so he could spend more time encouraging children to be themselves. He discovered that the famous star too had struggles on the inside, but found a way to hide them.

However, Mr. Rogers’ movie has a few negative aspects. Some have said the film lacks details of the real impact that Rogers had on people. Some also have said doing an impersonation on such an important figure isn’t enough to show how impactful he was on both adults and children.

Make sure to catch Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys bring the real-life friendship of Fred Rogers and Tom Junod to life on Nov 22.