It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood and Morgan Neville brings us a beautiful documentary about a man we all wanted as a neighbor growing up: Fred Rogers. 

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is a poignant and important look into the popular PBS program, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” as it ran from 1968 to 2001 and who the host, Fred Rogers, was as a man. 

This film shows that Mr. Rogers was real, full of emotion and not afraid to tackle tough subjects with his children’s programming. He touched many lives through the show’s episodes, having filmed hundreds for over 30 years. 

The story is told through a combination of archive footage, interviews and animation. Neville talks with those who knew Mr. Rogers best, his friends like Yo-Yo Ma, fellow cast members François Clemmons and Betty Aberlin, family, Joanne Rogers, Jim Rogers and John Rogers, as well as crew members from “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

“Won’t You Be my Neighbor?” could not have been released at a better time, here in 2018. This documentary really shows how true to love Mr. Rogers was. In a time of trash television and not much meaning being produced through the tube, Mr. Rogers took his time to really invest in the viewer as an individual and make sure that viewer knew they were special. 

That speaks volumes today. 

Mr. Rogers cared. He saw the importance in everyone and everything. 

Today we live in a world that is quick to judge, quick to point a finger. In Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood that wouldn’t happen. We’d see communication, understanding and unity. 

After watching this movie, it makes me wonder how Mr. Rogers would look at the world today? How would he address the internet? Social media? Current politics? 

Let’s all take a lesson from Mr. Rogers book and really invest in one another, listen to one another, work together and love our neighbor.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is a must see documentary, whether you grew up with Fred Rogers’ television programs or have never heard of the man and just enjoy television history, it is a true delight to travel back into Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” gets 4 stars/4.

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