‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Trailer: Love Is Mr. Rogers’ Secret Ingredient
To have Mr. Rogers as a formative childhood influence was a gift that, obviously, as kids, we took pretty much for granted. Pretty much the only strange man who could ever invite us into his home and not be creepy about it, Fred Rogers built an empire on a very simple concept: that all kids — and adults — need is for someone to tell them that they like them. With low production values and an occasional emphasis on difficult subjects like divorce and death, it’s crazy that his show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood ever got off the ground, but it did, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? shows us how they did it.
A new documentary by Morgan Neville, director of 20 Feet From Stardom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? tracks the development and success of Mr. Rogers’ unlikely children’s show. “Love is at the root of everything,” Rogers says at one point in the trailer, and this becomes the thesis of his show: that the most important thing for any child to learn early on in their life is the importance of having love and showing love. The real Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was — you get it.
Plus, take a look at this clip to see just how strange and delightful Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’s inception was.
A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? opens in select theaters June 8.