A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: What Would Fred Rogers Do?

Many of you reading this grew up with Fred Rogers as a presence in your home. That wasn’t the way it was for me; Mr. Rogers always struck me as creepy, as the guy at the end of the block who gives out Werther’s Originals on Halloween and who always wants to hire young boys in the neighborhood to do errands for him. Something about that tidy haircut, the red sweater, changing his shoes when he came into the house… all of it set off alarm bells for me. 

But what really set off the alarm bells was his emotional openness. Raised by a single mother who didn’t have the capacity to express love or acceptance, I found Fred Rogers’ default state to be mind blowingly threatening. Grow up in a desert and you’ll have one of two reactions to the ocean – you’ll either fall in love with it because it was what you were always missing or its depths will terrify you.

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TOY STORY 4 Renounces God, Gives Woody Closure

This contains spoilers for Toy Story 4.

That Toy Story 4 is a mess, narratively, is undeniable. It’s probably the worst of the franchise from a storytelling point of view, and the finality of its ending feels like a kindness – let these characters rest, or rather live forever in parks and toys but never again in a movie.

And yet there’s something impossibly charming about the film, and even though the story is a Frankenstein-ed together disaster of disparate setpieces and unserviced characters, there’s a lot of wisdom and beauty to be found within the film. As a critic I see Toy Story 4 as a big old wreck, albeit an often delightful one, but as somebody looking for something deeper in my entertainment I see Toy Story 4 as a wellspring of great ideas about healing, boundaries, change and acceptance. 

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