The Mister Rogers Google Doodle Brings Back Days Of Childhood Innocence & Twitter Can’t Handle It
When you search the internet nowadays, you can expect an onslaught of bad news. But the last day of summer 2018 started with a ray of sunshine, thanks to the Mister Rogers Google Doodle. The Doodle was in honor of the 51st anniversary of the very first taping of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on Sept. 21, 1967. The public television show premiered in 1968 and Fred Rogers continued to make the children's program for more than three decades, influencing entire generations of kids. And whether you grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood or not, Twitter reactions to the Doodle show just how important a Mister Rogers-inspired dose of kindness can be.
The stop-motion, animated video features the real Rogers singing the show's theme song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" to children as they make their way through a "real" neighborhood. Then they jump on the Neighborhood Trolley and go to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, as they did in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the kids wave to the beloved characters Queen Sara Saturday, King Friday XIII, X the Owl, and Daniel Tiger. The Doodle ends with Mister Rogers telling his captivated TV audience from the comfort of his home, "You help to make each day a special day by just your being yourself. There's nobody else in the whole world who's exactly like you and people can like you exactly as you are."
A child development consultant for Fred Rogers Productions, Hedda Sharapan, wrote for Google that "the Doodle aims to be a reminder of the nurturing, caring, and whimsy that made the show feel like a 'television visit' between Mister Rogers and his young viewers." Sharapan continued:
"Through his honest words, thoughtful songs, and imaginative Neighborhood of Make-Believe stories, Mister Rogers took us by the hand, helping us feel good about who we are. He encouraged us to find positive ways to deal with our feelings, to treat others with respect and kindness, and to appreciate the world around us."
The response to the Mister Rogers Google Doodle highlights how appreciative people are for Rogers and for how he spoke of the importance of self-acceptance and love for others. In fact, people on Twitter were overcome with emotions due to the simple, innocent sweetness that the Doodle conveys. These are just a few of their tweets.
In particular, the Mister Rogers Doodle is resonating with people due to the increasing divisiveness in society. Some people noted how necessary Rogers' message is in this big, scary world full of big, scary news stories.
The Doodle also gives a lesson about how to treat children. One fan, @ThatsAllBrother, wrote that if everyone spoke to kids the way that Mister Rogers did, the world would be a far better place. After all, he understood that kids have powerful emotions and that they should be taught how to deal with those feelings in a healthy way.
And it's not just children who can benefit. Adults can also gain confidence if they listen to Mister Rogers' moving words.
Beyond the praise being showered upon the Google Doodle, the year 2018 has been big for Rogers. It was announced in January that Tom Hanks will portray Rogers in a biopic titled You Are My Friend. And Hanks' son Colin played Rogers in a February episode of Drunk History. Rogers was also the subject of the surprise hit documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, which premiered in June and is currently 99 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rogers passed away 15 years ago in 2003 from stomach cancer. But his wife, Joanne Rogers, said in a statement to Google that the Doodle captures the "gentle kindness" that this children's TV show host had. Based on how the public has embraced the Mister Rogers Google Doodle, people are craving more "gentle kindness" — even if it makes them cry when they should be smiling.