• by Wes Singleton

Won't You Be My Neighbor, A-


Rated PG-13, 90 minutes

"Won't You Be My Neighbor" is one of the year's best documentaries about Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" from Oscar-winner Morgan Seville, who directed the Oscar-winning documentary "20 Feet From Stardom." Compelling, insightful and touching, "Neighbor" is a behind-the-scenes examination of how Rogers got his start in TV and the impact he had on children and society as a whole. It's filled with a lot of interviews of Rogers' family and colleagues, as well it's loaded with a lot of archival footage from "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood."

"Neighbor" is a real treat, especially if you're like me and grew up watching Rogers on TV, changing his sweaters and shoes and acting out all of puppets such as King Friday XIII, Daniel Striped Tiger and Lady Elaine Fairchilde. It's also a pertinent look at how Rogers was committed to helping children learn in a different way from the fast, hyper pace and sarcasm of the cartoons then and now. Humorous and gentle, it has a slow pace, but it's a fascinating look at a fascinating individual. If you need an intelligent, entertaining documentary, "Won't You Be My Neighbor" is a good alternative from the big-budget summer epics.


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