Mister Rogers is still telling us we are special and we believe him


EPK, AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Tom Hanks played the role of the kindhearted but introverted Mister Rogers. Despite Hanks having quite the opposite personality, he was able to convey Rogers’s persona through the screen.

In an increasingly polarized and cynical world, director Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” offers a refreshingly wholesome story. If you’re like me, this movie was like a door to a tidal wave of childhood memories. Mister Rogers was there for my best and worst days of elementary school. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95%, the film has beaten “Frozen II” and “Queen and Slim.”

I tried not to have extremely high expectations for this movie because, as much as I respect Tom Hanks and his acting abilities, I was skeptical of the idea of anyone fully capturing the essence of Mister Rogers. However, Hanks, who played Rogers himself, delivered a spot-on performance, even matching Rogers’s nuances in facial expression and tone. 

As talented of an actor as Hanks is, I still think the most impactful factor in this movie was how clearly Rogers’s philosophy shines through. The interactions between Rogers and Lloyd Vogel in the movie remained truthful to the character the real Fred Rogers displayed on and off-screen. This movie skipped cheesy and went straight to inspiring. 

“When my parents told me we were going to go see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, I was by no means excited. However, the movie definitely moved me and I may have shed a tear,” Ari Campbell (12) said. 

Campbell, like so many others, was surprised to be affected by a movie about a children’s show, but that’s just how good Mister Rogers is. This long overdue tribute to the man who was one of the first to validate kids’ feelings did not disappoint in theaters, and we could all stand to learn from him.