Mister Rogers certainly has had his share of honors lately, but maybe none as great as being Google Doodled.
And he’s animated, no less.
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 .
The Latrobe native is featured in a stop-motion animated video — set to his iconic “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” theme song — created by Google and Fred Rogers Productions, The Fred Rogers Center, and BixPix Entertainment.
The video shows a spry Rogers riding the Trolley into town, greeting children and even turning a sad boy’s frown upside down with some slick origami.
“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,” writes Hedda Sharapan, child development consultant with Fred Rogers Productions, in a special background explainer on Google.
“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.”
“Mister Rogers Neighborhood” debuted on Sept. 21, 1967 on WQED, but it wasn’t until February 1968 that the show would premiere nationally on PBS.