By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
Knitted cardigans, handcrafted puppets, and long train rides around the Neighborhood of Make-Believe… do you see where this is heading? Yep, the beloved Mister Rogers is getting a biographical movie based on Tim Madigan’s 2006 memoir I’m Proud of You, that tells the story of their friendship!
During their time together, Rogers helped Madigan overcome the life-threatening sadness that came after his sibling’s tragic death. Oh jeez, we hope you have tissues ready, because a flick about these two besties sounds like a tearjerker! Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the film explores their time together from 1995 until Rogers death in 2003
If you don’t remember Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which first aired in 1968 and featured 895 episodes, then you’re missing out on some valuable life lessons! See, Fred Rogers was displeased with the way television hosts treated children. Instead of lifting spirits and making kids feel smart, the networks talked down to their viewers. He felt as though the proper way to educate children was by treating them with compassion and patience, like you would any other adult. “I went into television because I hated it so, and I thought there’s some way of using this fabulous instrument to nurture those who would watch and listen,” he said in an interview with CNN.
Apart from hosting his own children’s television series, Mister Rogers was a strong supporter of public television funding. In 1969, he appeared before the US Senate, asking for a donation so that television could provide more educational programs. The chairman of the committee, John O. Pastore, was not familiar with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, but stated that the passionate speech gave him goosebumps. After that, PBS funding increased from $9 million to $22 million.
Wow! Not only was he an amazing friend willing to stick around during rough times, but he genuinely cared about educating children.
Images courtesy of The Fred Rogers Company Facebook.