Mister Rodgers brings another new day


Miranda Parrish, Staff Writer

There wasn’t a more perfect time than Thanksgiving to debut the new Mister. Rogers movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring one of the most well-liked actors to fill his role: Tom Hanks. Hanks has been known as thoughtful and polite to everyone, and his role in the movie fits into his own values.


The new movie is based off Mister Rogers’ life- both on and off screen, and told the story between the impolite magazine writer, Lloyd Vogel, and the nicest man in yours and my childhood: Mister Rogers.

The movie is set up like an episode of the beloved classic, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”: the red cardigan, the song, the fish tank and the toys around the house. The staple to our childhood, filled with love and puppet animals, provided a safe space for a short thirty minutes, and a mentor to all ages. The episode starts with Hanks coming through the door and slipping into loafers, just like the show, and with a simple “Hello, neighbor” transports viewers back to their childhood. All of this unfolds while Vogel’s negative assumptions of the childhood icon are consistently challenged through the good deeds Mister Rogers performs.


 As the movie continues, Vogel writes a piece on Mister Rogers about heroism. Vogel’s interviews with Mister Rodgers as well as his observations at work and home discover that he really was as gentle and considerate as his TV personality, while at the same time discovering that it’s okay to need for help sometimes.


Vogel, a frankly violent and dysfunctional journalist, interrogates Mister Rogers to try and search for the selfish answers that most other interviewees give. Questions like “Do you consider yourself a hero?” allow the viewer to keep watching and see how Mister Rogers reacts. His true to the heart responses spark the same amount of kindness that’s depicted on camera, showing how whole-hearted he really is.


As the movie continues, Rogers’  honesty and directness to problems, commonly misunderstood as naivety, transfers Lloyd into a flustered state. Simple encounters with Rogers then turns him back into the angry and rejected child that is still hidden deep inside himself.


After the documentary about Mister Rogers came out several years ago, some critics and fans were concerned that the new movie would be too repetitive. But after earning a very high rating of 94 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes as well as nothing but phenomenal reviews, viewers were nothing but ecstatic to watch this beloved classic on the big screen. What the screen doesn’t show is how Vogel and Rogers were lifelong friends even after the interview for Esquire. 

By the end, Mister Rogers and Vogel alike brought tears to everyone in the audience. The nostalgia from watching Mister Rogers as a child was brought back by Hanks in a beautiful fashion, leaving everybody in the audience nostalgic to the past and walking out of the theater happy and thinking about their childhood days. 

photo curtsy of sony.com