"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," the story of the friendship that developed between Mr. Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, comes out for home viewing today, February 4, on iTunes and Amazon with the DVD and Blu-ray release expected February 18.
First, this is a family-friendly movie about a man whose faith shaped not only his life, but his ideas for children's television. Mr. Rogers was an educator and he created his program in response to the changes in media in the 1960s, which he considered as leading children morally astray. I cannot imagine what his reaction would be to contemporary children's programming that we see today.
The film is not a biographical piece on Mr. Rogers, rather it shows how Mr. Rogers influenced the journalist. The journalist is a real person, but according to him, the movie fictionalizes their relationship quite a bit. Mr. Junod writes the whole, real story in his article in The Atlantic .
His account is a beautiful recollection of how a person of strong faith and conviction can impact a non-believer in profound ways not by evangelizing or preaching, but by living one's beliefs and treating people with love. That is who Mr. Rogers was. He lived his faith and worked to make a difference.
When I first saw the trailer for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," my throat choked up and tears came. It brought me back to sitting on the floor in front of the television singing along with Mr. Rogers. At 45 years old, I can still sing along with the intro and get all the words right.
I didn't know much about Fred Rogers until I started looking into his life once the movie came out. Most of us know him because of his Neighborhood of Make Believe and Daniel the Tiger. I did not know he was a Christian and I was astounded to learn how he lived his faith and took action to provide an alternative to what he saw as material corrupting children.
COUNTER CULTURE MOM CHALLENGE
- Get the movie and watch it with your children.
- Explore the life of Fred Rogers and discuss how faith inspires action.
- Check out Mr. Rogers Neighborhood online where you can watch old episodes.
- At Fred Rogers Productions, you can watch and follow Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which if you remember Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Daniel was the main character. Now Daniel guides kids through the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
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