I don’t think that Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood ever showed on Australian television. It started in 1968, the same time as Sesame Street, which did make it onto Australian screens. I think that perhaps, even then, Mister Rogers would be a little bit too saccharine and preachy for Australian audiences. Where Sesame Street went for cognitive development, Mister Rogers went for emotional and -dare I say it- spiritual development. I don’t know, even now, if I feel particularly comfortable amongst such goodness.
Tom Hanks is absolutely brilliant in this film. Stay for the end and keep watching the credits to see a clip of the real Mister Rogers. And the real life Esquire magazine article mentioned in the film is here – Can You Say …Hero? It’s a beautiful piece of writing. And the real life author Tom Junod wrote another article recently about him in the Atlantic Magazine, after the film had been made, and it’s almost just as beautiful as the original.
My rating: 4.5 stars