I loved Mister Rogers. His gentle voice, his warm smile, his cardigans…what’s not to love? The beloved children’s TV host passed away almost ten years ago back in 2003 after a long career of entertaining and amusing children. Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001, was a beloved institution. Mister Rogers seemed like an irreplaceable icon…until now.
Mister Rogers’ sensible tennis shoes will be filled by Daniel, an animated striped tiger in a new show entitled, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The New York Times describes Daniel as the “the fictional young offspring of Rogers’ original puppet characters.”
It is a logical way to replace the space left by Mister Rogers. Before he retired in 2000, he searched for a replacement but never found one to take his place. An animated version of him, in cuddly cute form, is a far easier option to accept than an actual human. But there was some trepidation from Mrs. Rogers, Mr. Rogers’s widow. “I must say I spent a very nervous time thinking about what Daniel would be like,” Joanne Rogers said. “I’m in my 80s now, and I grew up with cartoons, the slapstick kind of things that went on, and I never much cared for it.” But she apparently approves of the animated homage to her husband. “I like that little Daniel is so dear, but he’s also very, very human, and he has his feelings,” she said.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is featured on PBS and will run every day on weekdays.
Will you tune in?
Photos Source: PBS Kids