Friday, November 16, 2012

On The Air: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (2012)

Growing up during the 70's, I don't think you could find anyone that didn't watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and travel into the "Neighborhood of Make-Believe", which at the time was populated by puppet characters such as King Friday & Daniel Striped Tiger. Today, Fred Rogers' legacy lives on through the spiritual successor to his seminal series. Welcome, then, to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

Young Daniel carries on the Rogers traditions from back in the day. He sings "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" as he ties on his shoes, and speaks directly to the viewer as his "neighbor", just as Fred did for so many years. It's almost as if we've stepped through a time warp!

In truth, Daniel is the son of Daniel Striped Tiger from the original series, and has his own circle of friends, including Prince Wednesday, King Friday's son. In effect, he's the perfect playmate for the preschoolers tuning in. PBS has the series airing weekdays at 11 am (ET) presently, and I would imagine that if the series takes off---it's been on the air 2 months---additional airtimes will be added, depending on where you live. After all, back in the old days, local affiliates could schedule Mister Rogers to air in the late afternoon-after school block, right before dinner, so everyone could watch.

Following is the intro:

The animation is produced on computer such that it looks like it leaps off the pages of a storybook. Naturally, it wouldn't surprise anyone if PBS licenses out picture books and other merchandise based on the show. Fred Rogers is smiling up in Heaven, knowing that his mission is continuing.

Rating: A.

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