Few things are as sacred as Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. The classic PBS children's show was on for 31 seasons, and even though it hasn't been filmed since 2001, it's still beloved to this day.
Fred Rogers hosted the show with a kindness that can best be described as neighborly - at least that's what I think he would want to be described as. He was sweet, caring, and honest with his viewers, teaching them all the things they needed to learn.
Every show started with the same song, while Rogers pulled on a cozy cardigan and asked us all if we would be his neighbor. Obviously we sang along every single time.
The show was intended for kids aged two to five, but honestly, at any age you could watch the show and enjoy it. There was just something so soothing about his presence, and it also helped that we all knew that he was just an awesome guy all around.
He didn't just care about being on TV, he genuinely cared about every child that watched his show and wanted to make the world a better place for them all.
It was Rogers's six minute speech in 1969 that helped earn the $20 million needed to fund PBS. He spoke about how shows like his were beneficial for kids to grow into productive members of the community. His words gave the chairman of the subcommittee goosebumps, and solidified the investment in the publicly funded programs.
After such an epic and magical life, Rogers's story is one that many of us are curious about. And now, there is a new movie that will help give us an inside look at his life, and now we know a little bit more about it and we already have tears in our eyes.
Mr. Rogers was an absolute treasure, and we were lucky to get the time with him that we did. But as a tribute to him, Oscar-winning filmmaker, Morgan Neville, has created a documentary called Won't You Be My Neighbor and the trailer is honestly more emotional than I was prepared to handle.
The trailer highlights that even though Rogers didn't use expensive sets or crazy costumes, he was able to connect with children in a way that made them feel heard. He talked about tough topics like death and racism, but in a way that was understandable for kids.
"The greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they're loved and capable of loving." - Fred Rogers
The documentary opens in select theaters June 8th, and I don't know about you, but I will absolutely be watching this. My childhood wouldn't have been the same without him, and I wish there was some way I could thank him.