Sep 122018
 

Won’t You be My Neighbor? is an incredible documentary outlining the exceptional and unconventional career of Fred Rogers and the influence he had on so many generations, including my own.

 

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
(2018)

Genre(s): Documentary
Universal | PG13 – 95 min. – $21.98 | September 4, 2018

Date Published: 09/12/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Morgan Neville
Cast: Fred Rogers
DISC INFO:
Features: None
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 26.3 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Studios Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 4.5/5


Growing up in the 1980s, I don’t remember a whole lot but what I do is my morning routine before heading off to pre-school and eventually elementary. One program was Sesame Street the other Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred Rogers, the host, had a way with delivering a message to children like so few could, in a way that imparted sage advice that would translate later in life while still keeping it entertaining and fun (personally always loved Neighborhood Trolley).

Won’t You Be My Neighbor is the long overdue documentary on the life and beliefs of Fred Rogers and does it in an interesting way. Rather than merely being a bio of the man, we still get to know him but what made him tick. As an ordained pastor, Rogers managed to educate children using his own experiences growing up, as told through the puppet named Daniel. His understanding of children made him a unique figure with the ability to often get through to them like no other; also served as a counter to what he felt was poor programming for kids (for the 80s, that included some of my favorite shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

This movie is really well made and although it doesn’t completely sugarcoat the man, not presenting him as flawless, but doesn’t really delve into his imperfections either. The film does touch upon his stubbornness in some respects and toward the end, you could see, even based on the archive interview footage, his frustration with society and how it dealt with the children.

Even so, there is no doubt the influence Fred Rogers had on generations dating back from the 1960s through the new millennia, but beyond that, what he meant to those closest to him from his loving wife, those who worked with him on the show and even classical cellist Yo Yo Ma. It was also a lot of fun to see some behind-the-scenes footage from the set including raw footage of him and the crew just having fun together.

Unfortunately in today’s society, and frankly really going back 10 years even, it is more cynical and sadly someone with the innocence of Fred Rogers likely would not be as welcomed as he was during my time of watching and certainly the 20+ years before that. The darkly cynical would think him strange and look at him in suspicious eyes. So with that, I am happy Won’t You Be My Neighbor was made, not only showcase Rogers’ belief system but to perhaps see him less sardonically.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5


No features were included, there’s not even a menu.

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


The movie is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer and it mostly looks good, though as you might imagine the archival footage be it the Fred Rogers’ interview or the behind-the-scenes shots, do look old and is soft. Otherwise, the new interviews are sharp and well defined.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


The disc comes with your standard but effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Outside of the score, the bulk of this came out of the center channel which output crisp and clear dialogue levels.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, Won’t You be My Neighbor? is an incredible documentary outlining the exceptional and unconventional career of Fred Rogers and the influence he had on so many generations, including my own. Unlikely he would’ve found the success today’s far more cynical and suspicious society, so makes me thankful to have grown up when I did…

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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