Mister Rogers gets animated with Google Doodle honor

Joann Johnston
September 22, 2018

Today, on the 51st anniversary of his first episode on WQED, Fred Rogers is being celebrated as the feature focus on Google's home page .

To mark the anniversary of the taping of the very first episode of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", Google offered up a lovely stop-motion animated video on Friday, featuring Fred Rogers proclaiming, as he always did, that today is a attractive day in the neighborhood.

Through the magic of a fairly nascent technology called television, he took preschool-age children on factory tours, met with people in the neighborhood to talk about their jobs, and even visited the set of the TV show The Incredible Hulk (disclosure: The Hulk appeared on CBS, which owns CNET). His calming presence was a fixture on TV until August 21, 2001, when the final episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired.

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The Google project, directed by Melissa Crowton and Olivia Huynh, worked in collaboration with Fred Rogers Productions, the Fred Rogers Center and the Sen. In a claymation presentation reminiscent of another 1960s children's show, Davey and Goliath, Mister Rogers greets friends along the way with smiles and invitations to educational adventures.

Google also released a behind-the-scenes video about how the Doodle came to life, with commentary from Cathy Cohen Droz of Fred Rogers Productions and Melissa Crowton, one of the video's directors.

The video ends with Mister Rogers reminding the children, "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".

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