OK truth time. I was not a fan of Mr. Rogers. Never really knew the show but I always carried the view that he wasn’t a “real guy”. It wasn’t anything to do with he being gay, which he never was, that would have been ok, he was just too soft. That was based on my background and upbringing. He was nerdy before nerdy was cool. Sneakers and a sweater was more Perry Como to me. I was dealing with Elvis, James Dean and Marlon Brando.
So when I saw the trailer about 15 times at the Angelina,I said to myself, this guy had a message. He really was ahead of his time and there seems to be some philosophy behind his method. But those damn sweaters! So with great ambivalence I saw it.
Mr. Fred Rogers cared about kids and how they were being raised. He cared about the poor treatment of black people, handicapped people and anyone who was different, my kinda guy. Who knew? He taught love and compassion and had a fantastic ability to speak with children at their level. His message was they needed to accept and love themselves. Just shows how far off the path my childhood teaching was that I rejected him out of hand and instead bought the crap about Brando and John Wayne, cigarettes and all.
The movie has clips from the show in front and behind the camera. His wife and son are given ample time to reflect on him. You are never too old to learn. I learned a lot today.