A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


Luke Paugh, Writer

America’s friendliest neighbor has returned in the newest edition from Sony: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which first came out November 22nd.  The best way I can describe this movie is that it’s something the world needs to see. 


This movie is based around Lloyd Vogel, a fictionalized version of real life journalist Tom Junod,  who became inspired by Fred Rogers, played by Tom Hanks, to write a magazine titled “Can you Say… Hero?”. 


When the movie begins, we see the model neighborhood with Trolley crossing two streets.  Rogers enters singing “It’s A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood,” and changes into his sweater and sneakers.  He then shows pictures of Lady Aberlin and Mr. McFeely. When Rogers shows Vogel’s picture, the audience notices a bruise on Vogel’s nose. I like how this engages concerns to why we see this.  The plot of this film is based on when Vogel, played by Matthew Rhys, got into a fight with his father.  


After sharing Vogel’s story, Rogers shares about his childhood. Rogers was bullied in school. Kids picked on him, calling him “Fat Freddy,” but he learned to think positive about himself; he was brave enough to share his feelings to others by not being afraid.  I believe nobody should be afraid to share their feelings. If you don’t tell somebody about your feelings, people won’t help you. I think this scene gives encouragement to stand up for yourself.  


When Vogel’s editor gives an assignment on Rogers, and after receiving a surprise phone call from him, Vogel travels to WQED studios in Pittsburgh.  During his interview, Rogers becomes dismissive, and begins displaying concerns for Vogel’s injury.  


In my opinion, Tom Hanks was the best choice to play Fred Rogers.  He shows Rogers’ personality, from his smile and kindness. The way the real Fred Rogers showed kindness is well interpreted in this movie by Hanks.  


Senior Ellie Townshend shared, “For me, it was sad.  It reminds me of my grandfather passing away and how kind he was.  Some scenes may scare kids, but Tom Hanks truly shows kindness as Fred Rogers.  


When speech teacher Mrs. Brenda Bulich was asked if this film has good problem solving strategies, Bulich foreshadowed, “Absolutely.  I think the film does have a good approach for problem solving. There’s multiple ways to solve problems”.  


Overall, I thought the movie was heartwarming.  There’s many interesting problems with multiple solutions. 


Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people”- Fred Rogers