And try not to cry.
Happy Birthday, Fred Rogers! To celebrate what would have been Rogers’ 90th birthday, fans everywhere have been gifted the moving trailer for the upcoming documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which explores Rogers’ life, his television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the profound impact he had, and continues to have, on the lives of viewers across the country.
The documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is directed by Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Best of Enemies) and features footage of Rogers throughout his life as well as interviews with family, friends, and colleagues. In the trailer, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood producer Margy Whitmer marvels, "If you take all the elements that make good television and do the exact opposite, you have Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Low production values, simple set, an unlikely star, yet it worked."
Buoyed by an instrumental track composed by Michael Nyman (“Fish Beach,” which was also featured in the 2008 documentary Man on Wire), the trailer promises an illuminating and heart-expanding look into the extraordinary life of the late host, who changed the landscape of children’s programming through a focus on compassion, sensitivity, and candor.
2018 is shaping up to be the year of Fred Rogers. With a feature film in the works and an upcoming Forever Stamp commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, we have no shortage of opportunities to celebrate our favorite neighbor this year. (You can also see another sneak peek of the upcoming film here.)
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Mark the date on your calendar, and check to see if Won’t You Be My Neighbor? will be showing at a theater near you when it’s released in June. If it’s not screening nearby, you may need to plan a road trip. We have a feeling this documentary will be worth the drive.