‘Native America’ Is A Powerful History, Tribute To Native Americans

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Native Americans are some of the world’s most important peoples.  If not for them, America today might not have the governmental system that it has today.  If not for Native Americans, the world might not have many of the foods, clothes, medical and even scientific advancements that it has.  That is a massive statement, considering how intelligent Native Americans and their ancestors are and were.  Now thanks to PBS, Native Americans and their ancient ancestors have finally received the recognition that they have deserved for decades (if not eons) in the new docu-series Native America.  The nearly four-hour series (specifically three hours and 40 minutes) is a wonderful lesson on the importance of Native Americans, their ancestors and the importance of their contributions to the world.  It shows unquestionably that Native Americans and their ancestors deserve so much more respect and recognition than they get even today.  That is proven through the stories told in each of the program’s four separate segments.  Speaking of that segmentation, it is its own important part of this two-disc set’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  The double-disc set’s average price point makes it a presentation that viewers of every background can afford.  In turn, people of every background should spend the money and purchase this set.  They will be glad they did.  They will agree in watching this set that it is easily one of this year’s best and most important new documentaries.

PBS’ new new docu-series Native America is one of this year’s best and most important new documentaries.  It is a “series” that people of every background must see.  That is because it is one of the most in-depth and respectful presentations of Native American history and culture that has been presented to audiences in recent memory.  That statement is supported primarily through the program’s content.  That content displays, in full depth, all of the contributions and advancements made by Native Americans and their ancestors. One of the four episodes included in the series focuses intensely on the role of Native Americans who lived in what is now New York in the formation of today’s American government.  It openly states that Benjamin Franklin cited those tribes’ governmental establishment as the influence for the system created by the founding fathers.  The docu-series’ opening episode goes into just as much depth to present the incredible level of intelligence of ancient Native Americans, such as the Pueblo and Zuni tribes, living in the American Southwest in their measurements of the solar and lunar cycles.  Audiences will be awed seeing firsthand, the precise calendars etched onto rock walls that tracked those cycles, and the role that said tracking played in the tribes’ planting and harvesting. Just as interesting to learn is how one ancient ruler used corn as the source of his people’s very culture.  “New World Rising,” the “series”’ finale, points out the atrocities committed against the Native Americans and their ancestors by Europeans who came to the Americas, and the result of those atrocities.  Audiences will be shocked to learn of the role of the Catholic Church in those atrocities among other items.  Between all of the items noted here and so much more that is discussed throughout the course of the “series”’ nearly four-hour run time, the whole of the program is certain to keep viewers completely engaged throughout.  What’s more, it is just as certain to be quite enlightening for plenty of audiences, just as it was for this critic.  Keeping this in mind, the content shared throughout the program provides in itself more than enough reason for audiences to watch the program, not just during Native American Heritage Month, but during any time of the year.

The content presented throughout Native America’s four separate segments creates a solid foundation for the double-disc set, and – as already noted – gives viewers more than enough reason to watch the program.  Speaking of the segments, those behind the program’s construction are to be commended for that segmentation.  Each segment is its own presentation, lasting roughly one hour in time.  The segments each have a beginning, middle and end.  Given, there are a few minor transition issues, such as those in the program’s second segment, “Nature to Nations” and in “Cities of the Sky.”  Audiences will note that in both segments, the stories reach some points that feel like random changes of thoughts, almost like they were constructed in a stream of consciousness style.  Luckily though, those transition issues are not enough to derail the viewing experience and, in turn, viewers’ engagement.  Staying on that note, the fact that each segment is its own presentation, audiences are not made to feel that they have to watch the whole thing in one sitting in order to take it in entirely.  This is hugely important to the program’s new DVD presentation as it will add to viewers’ appreciation for the presentation in whole.  When it is considered along with the depth and breadth of the program’s content, the two elements together make the program that much more appealing for viewers.  Even with that in mind, it still is not the least or last of the DVD’s important elements.  Keeping in mind, the appeal of the DVD set’s content and its overall construction through its segmentation, its average price point proves to be its own important part of the whole.

The average price point for Native America – using prices listed at PBS’ online store, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million – is $21.89.  Even adding in shipping and handling, that price increases, obviously.  Regardless, that increase is still not enough that it should dissuade consumers from purchasing the two-disc set.  Prices obviously vary from one outlet to the next, and regardless, each price is still worth the money paid because of the program’s ability to pull in audiences and keep them engaged.  What’s more audiences will find themselves more enlightened by the program’s end, and perhaps even having more appreciation for Native Americans, their ancestors and the cultures of each tribe and peoples.  Keeping this in mind, the whole of Native America proves to be a two-disc presentation that is, again, the best history of Native Americans to be presented in many years.

PBS’ recently released history of Native Americans, aptly titled Native America, is the best presentation of said history to come along in a very long time.  That is proven in part through the content presented over the course of its four separate segments.  The very segmenting of the program makes the program that much more appealing for audiences, as it does not leave them feeling that they have to be so fully committed to watch it in one sitting.  The average price point of the set adds even more appeal for audiences, especially considering the program’s ability to keep audiences engaged from start to finish of each segment with its in-depth history lessons.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Native America.  All things considered, they make the double-disc set a solid, positive new effort from PBS that will appeal to audiences not only during Native American Heritage Month, but throughout the year.  More information on this and other PBS programs is available online now at:

 

 

 

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‘NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine’ Eliminates All Doubt About Climate Change

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The issue of climate change is one of America’s most divisive topics today.  Between scientists and civilians, opinions on climate change have created a deep rift between Americans.  The deniers constantly claim that the planet’s climate is not changing and that humans are not to blame.  Those on the other side attest the exact opposite.  Now thanks to a recently released episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA, — Decoding The Weather Machine — those raising the alarm about climate change and mankind’s influence on climate change have even more support for their arguments even as the deniers continue to hold firmly to their deluded beliefs.  That support is provided in large part to the program’s primary presentation, which will be discussed shortly.  The program’s overall construction – its transitions and related pacing – play into the program’s presentation, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The single-disc presentation’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of this release.  All things considered, this two-hour presentation is a powerful and convincing warning about what is currently happening to Earth and a reminder that it is not too late for the planet or for Earth.

NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine is one of the most powerful discussions on the issue of climate change that has been released in recent years.  The in-depth program leaves no doubt – despite deniers’ own beliefs – that climate change is real, and that mankind is in fact playing a part in what is happening to the weather, and in turn to Earth.  As has been noted, that is due in no small part to the discussions that make up the program’s primary presentation.  Over the course of the two-hour presentation, academics and scientists alike discuss the roles that Mother Nature and mankind alike play in climate change.  They do admit that climate change has been happening for eons, but in the same breath, prove through extensive discussion that it has been increasing dramatically ever since the start of the industrial revolution.  From there, the discussions turn to a focus on the obvious rise in the number of wildfires in the west, Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic and the equally obvious decline of the polar ice caps, and even decrease in sea ice in the Antarctic to prove the effects of that continued rise in the earth’s temperature and carbon dioxide levels.  Audiences are also taken to areas, such as Norfolk, VA and the Falkland Islands to illustrate the impact of the world’s rising ocean levels.  Between those illustrations of the impact of climate change and the evidence exhibited throughout the first half of the program, it becomes painfully clear that climate change deniers have no case in their arguments.  It shows climate change is in fact very real and very much an issue that must be addressed now.

Speaking of being addressed now, the second half of the program addresses just that.  It reminds audiences that if mankind starts making changes now, it can avoid a very bleak future.  It points out that the best way to avoid that potentially bleak future is to adapt and mitigate now, adding that thankfully there are those who are already mitigating.  Case in point is the rise in the use of solar and wind power discussed in this portion of the program.  Some scientists are even finding ways to recycle carbon dioxide and put it to use for mankind while even profiting from that use.  The end result is not only profit, but also a decline in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which also means less heating of the atmosphere, and in turn less damage to Earth.  As if that is not enough, in America’s heartland, one farmer shows that non-tilling of fields is another way in which mitigation is helping decrease carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  In turn, it is also making soil on farmland richer, despite how the land might look.  Simply put, the program shows just as clearly how mitigation and adaptation can help humans make a positive change in Earth’s future as it does how mankind has played a direct part in speeding up Earth’s natural climate change.  It reminds audiences that the future does not have to be bleak.  Keeping this in mind, the primary program of NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine creates a solid foundation for the program’s presentation.  The program’s overall presentation strengthens that foundation even more.

The construction of NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine strengthens the program’s foundation because of its ability to keep viewers engaged throughout.  This is even despite any clear segment breaks.  From one segment to the next, the transitions are just clear enough that audiences are not left wondering where the topic changes from one item to the next.  The program starts off by focusing on the earth’s atmosphere (air) before moving to the planet’s oceans (water) and then to the land (earth & fire), connecting each portion smoothly.  As noted previously, the program also focuses on the changes that can be made to avoid a bleak future.  Even the transition to the discussions on what mankind can do in order to create a better future for the planet is smooth in its own right.  Through it all, those smooth transitions keep the program’s pacing stable throughout, ensuring even more, viewers’ engagement.  Given, segment breaks would have been a nice addition to the program.  Either way, the manner in which the program was constructed – both in regards to its transitions and pacing – builds on the foundation formed by the program’s main presentation, and strengthens it even more.  The end result is a program that, despite its two-hour run time, is still a powerful work that is certain to keep viewers engaged, and in turn, remind audiences that mankind is in fact impacting climate change.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to make the program’s purchase money well spent.

The average price point of NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine – using prices from PBS’ store, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million – is approximately $18.84.  That is a relatively affordable price considering the amount of evidence presented here of climate change’s reality, and the reality of mankind’s role in the increasingly dramatic impacts of climate change.  When considering the relatively smooth transitions from one discussion to the next along with the material featured in the main presentation, it becomes even more affordable.  To that end, this must-see episode of NOVA proves to be solid proof that despite what some people want to believe, climate change is very real, and mankind’s impact on that natural process is just as real.

The latest episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA is one of the series’ most important episodes to be released in recent memory.  That is because it proves without a doubt that climate change is real, and that humans’ role in climate change is just as real as climate change itself.  The program’s overall construction ensures with ease that that viewers remain engaged so that that message is received, and clearly at that.  The DVD’s relatively affordable average price point ensures even more that viewers’ will receive that important message about climate change and its impact on the planet.  Each item is clearly important in its own right to the whole of this DVD, as has been pointed out above.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine a presentation that everybody should see at least once.  It is available now.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

 

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PBS Celebrating Native American Heritage Month With Special New Docu-Series

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, PBS Distribution is releasing a new in-depth presentation focusing on Native American history and culture.

Native America is scheduled to be released Nov. 6 on DVD.  Narrated by Robbie Robertson (member of the famed rock group Mohawk, and a member of the Mohawk nation), the program delves into the contributions of Native Americas to modern America while also examining various Native American tribes’ past, present and future.  That includes Native American democratic structure as a model for America’s own three-tier government system, the Native American use of horses for transportation and combat, and their social and economic systems as models.

Native America was co-produced by Joseph C. Sousa, Scott Tiffany and Rob Tinworth.  It was co-directed by Sousa and Tiffany.  Gary Glassman served as the program’s Executive Producer for Providence Pictures.

Julianna Branum (of the Comanche tribe) was the program’s series producer and talent liaison.  Sean Sandefur and Rob Tinworth edited the documentary series while Ed Tomney handled the series’ music.  Coordinating producers were Maureen Barden Lynch and Ben Sweeney.

Native America‘s run time is listed at 216 minutes (3 hours, 36 minutes).  It will retail for MSRP of $29.99, but can be pre-ordered at a reduced price of $24.99 now via PBS’ online store.  A trailer for Native America is streaming online now here.

More information on this and other title from PBS is available online now at:

 

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PBS Taking Audiences Through The History Of The Circus Next Week In New ‘AmEx’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution will release another new episode of its hit series American Experience next week.

American Experience: The Circus is scheduled to be released on DVD next Tuesday, Nov. 6.  The four-hour, two-part doc will retail for MSRP of $29.99, but can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $24.99.

The program follows the rich history of the circus, from its earliest days as a one-ring show in Philadelphia in the 18th century to the rise of P.T. Barnum’s circus to the eventual merger of the famed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  The program’s total run time is 240 minutes, and includes stories about the stars of the circus, as it grew along with much more.

A trailer for the episode is streaming online now here.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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Despite Its Timeliness, ‘AmEx: The Chinese Exclusion Act’ Proves To Be A Rare Miss For PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Much has been said about immigration ever since Donald J. Trump was handed the White House in the 2016 presidential election.  From Muslims to Mexicans and other groups, Trump’s racism and xenophobia have led to so much talk about immigration and immigration law.  Of course, this is not the first time in America’s history that the nation has dealt with the plague of clearly racist immigration policy.  That is evidenced in PBS’ recently released documentary American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act.  Released on DVD June 19, this nearly three-hour documentary outlines the long-forgotten federal legislation that discriminated against generations of Chinese immigrants.  In the process, it also serves as an educational point, reminding audiences about the dangers of allowing racism and xenophobia to control politics and the nation’s social climate through a series of in-depth discussions on the law and its impacts.  That story forms a solid basis for the documentary.  While the story of the Chinese Exclusion Act is engaging, the story does suffer from one obvious negative, its collective pacing and transitions (or lack thereof).  This will be discussed later.  The program’s pricing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  All things considered, American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act proves to be a rich, in-depth presentation that is certain to appeal to students and lovers of history and politics.

PBS’ recently released documentary American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act may have been released this past July, but due to the rhetoric currently being spewed by Donald J. Trump about the 14th Amendment, this documentary is proving to be just as timely as ever, and a presentation that is certain to have a wide appeal.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the doc.  The story at the center of the doc focuses on the 1882 act that clearly and blatantly discriminated against Chinese and Chinese-Americans.  As the story points out, it actually went through Congress not once, but twice before eventually being signed into law by then President Chester A. Arthur.  What is truly interesting in taking in the story is that it seems that Arthur did not even want to sign the act even in its second edition, ergo showing his reluctance to give into the racist and xenophobic views controlling so much of the nation even back then.  The story takes audiences from the late 1880s right up to the mid 1900’s showing the far-reaching impact of that discriminatory legislation even as the political landscape changed.  Audiences will be shocked to learn that even after the 14th Amendment was passed, Chinese and Chinese-Americans still suffered discrimination at the hands of Americans even after its passage, reminding audiences of what those racist views caused along the way.  In watching the news, it is obvious that Americans need that reminder now more than ever.  To that end, the story presented at the center of this doc proves to be an important presentation, and one that all audiences should certainly see.  Staying on that note, while the story is an important and intriguing presentation, the manner in which it was presented proves extremely problematic.

Audiences will note in watching American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act that this special edition of AE clocks in at a run time of almost three hours.  To be precise, its run time is listed at 160 minutes (that’s 2 hours and 40 minutes in layman’s terms).  The bonus segment “2012 Congressional Acknowledgement of the Chinese exclusion Act” – which is really the only worthwhile addition to the doc’s bonus features list – adds another 10 minutes to that run time, so push that time technically to 2 hours and 50 minutes.  Considering the doc’s slow pacing, that run time feels far longer as it moves so slow and because there is so much information.  What’s worse, the program has no clearly defined transition points at any given moment throughout that nearly three-hour run.  This combination of factors makes the doc’s overall construction extremely problematic to say the very least.  Even though it doesn’t break that three-hour mark, it still would have made more sense to either have the program broken up with those needed segment breaks, or even separated over the course of three days, with each segment being an hour in length.  Hopefully, Ric Burns (brother of famed documentarian  Ken Burns), who co-directed and co-wrote the documentary with Li-Shin Yu (and fellow co-writer Robin Espinola), will take all of this into account should he try his hand at another documentary.  That is because while the story presented here is interesting to say the least, the manner in which it was assembled dramatically detracts from its engagement.  Keeping this in mind, it makes AE: The Chinese Exclusion Act far from perfect, and lacking the impact that it could have had.  It makes the DVD’s average price point not too bad of a cost.

The DVD’s average price point is approximately $17.49.  That is found by averaging prices from PBS’ store, from Amazon, Target, Walmart and Barnes & Noble.  It is currently not listed at Best Buy or at Books-A-Million.  Considering that the program clocks in at nearly three hours, that actually is not too bad of a price, when compared to standard hour-long documentaries from PBS generally price from the company’s own store at about $25.00.  The list price on the company’s store for this DVD is $19.99.  To that end, it is not a program that will break the bank, though it may break some audiences’ engagement as noted previously due to its overall construction.  Keeping that in mind, for those willing to risk watching the doc, even despite its presentation problems, an average price point of $17.49 is actually not that bad.  That is even with the problems posed by the program’s pacing and general construction.  To that end, it is worth at least one watch, if viewers can make themselves sit through the whole thing.

PBS’ recently released special edition of its hit series American Experience, The Chinese Exclusion Act is an interesting presentation that is certain to appeal widely to the most devoted students and lovers of history and political science.  Even with that interest, it still proves to be a program that, despite an interesting and timely story, still suffers from one glaring negative, its collective pacing and construction.  Keeping that in mind, its average price point of less than $20 actually proves affordable and bearable.  It means even after sitting through such an overly lengthy and in-depth presentation, audiences will not ultimately be left feeling like they wasted their money.  That is the most important aspect to note here.  It is an interesting program that while not a waste of money, still could have been so much better, especially considering the reputation of American ExperienceAmerican Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act is available now on DVD.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop To Release Another New Sesame Street Special

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is bringing audiences of all ages a new Sesame Street special.

Sesame Street — The Magical Wand Chase is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 6 through a partnership between Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop.  Filmed across three New York City neighborhoods, the story presented in this new special follows Elmo and Abby Cadabby on a hunt for Abby’s wand.

A playful bird voiced by Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) takes Abby’s wand, leading her and Elmo to hunt down the wand across New York.Along the way, the duo learns valuable life lessons about making friends and cultural diversity.  The pair can’t return to Sesame Street without Abby’s wand, though, so Elmo and Abby must find the wand before it’s too late.

As added bonuses, the DVD also features a trio of extras, the companion full-length episode The Golden Triangle of Diversity, full-length feature Elmo’s Alphabet Challenge and a downloadable storybook version of Elmo and the Lost Wand.  The trailer for the new feature is streaming now here.

This new “movie” marks the first time since 1994 that Sesame Workshop has filmed a feature-length presentation on location.  Pre-orders are open now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

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PBS’ New Fred Rogers Doc Is A Good Starting Point For Audiences Unfamiliar With Rogers’ Life, Career

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Almost one year from now, iconic television figure Fred Rogers will have his life story told….sort of….in a new biopic from Big Beach Films and Tristar Pictures.  The movie will star legendary screen actor Tom Hanks in Rogers’ signature red cardigan sweater and sneakers.  Of course while this seems all good and fine, everybody knows that far too often, biopics are overly embellished with some falsehoods.  Keeping that in mind, so many more accurate documentations of Rogers’ life and career have already been released that have proven far more worth audiences’ time.  One of the most recent of those more worthwhile presentations is PBS’ latest Fred Rogers doc, It’s You I Like.  Having originally aired on PBS stations nationwide March 8, the hour-long program will be released on DVD Oct. 2.  Not to be confused with Universal Pictures’ equally popular big-screen Fred Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor, this program is not the first toe be released from PBS, but is still an enjoyable look at Rogers’ life and career.  That is due in no small part to the story at the center of the doc.  This will be discussed shortly.  The program’s transitions, by connection, are just as important to examine as the story.  They will be discussed a little bit later.  The footage, pictures and interviews used to help tell the story round out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of It’s You I Like.  All things considered, they make It’s You I Like another welcome look at Fred Rogers’ life and career.

PBS’ latest profile of Fred Rogers, It’s You I Like, is another welcome look at the life and career of one of television’s most iconic figures.  The network’s first profile of Rogers since 2011’s Mister Rogers & Me, it is a good companion to that profile.  That is due in part to the program’s central story, which discusses what made – and makes – him so respected and beloved to this very day. It presents – as with so many other previously released docs – a man who was genuine in how he addressed tough topics, such as death, divorce and even where babies come from and who was just as genuine off camera as he was on camera.  Audiences also learn through the program that apparently, Mister Rogers had quite a sense of humor, and not in a bad way, either.  The story is told partially through interviews with celebrities, such as John Lithgow, Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman, as they discuss Mister Rogers’ influence on them as they watch vintage clips of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Veteran actor Michael Keaton, who got his start in show business on the long-running series, serves as the program’s host, and adds his own stories of life on set and of Fred Rogers, the man behind the camera.  The whole thing uses music, fittingly, as the foundation for the presentation.  The focus on music here is fitting because, as noted at one point in the program, it is noted that Rogers earned a degree in music composition in college.  Again, this is not the first time that this has been noted in a documentary on Rogers’ life and career, but maybe not everyone knew this.  To that end, it is a good addition to the program, as it explains why there is such a heavy emphasis on music throughout this story.  Considering all of this in mind, many audiences will find the story at the center of It’s You I Like familiar.  For those who might be less familiar with Rogers’ life and career, it is a good brief, but concise introduction.  To that end, this presentation will appeal, at least in terms of its story, more to audiences less familiar with Rogers’ life and career than those who have seen the other Fred Rogers docs that have been released already.  Staying on that note of the story’s familiarity, the story’s transitions are just as important to its presentation as the story itself.

The story’s transitions are of note because they are so smooth.  What is really of note is that Rogers’ beloved “picture-picture” is largely the source of those transitions.  At many points, the story will go from the final scene of one chapter to a slow zoom out of the picture frame and back in at the end of Keaton’s segments.  At other times, the transitions are more basic, going from the final moment of a given chapter to a fade or a smooth cut back to the old set of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Regardless of the transitions, it can be said that each one keeps the story progressing so smoothly from one segment to the next, ensuring that viewers will never be lost.  Getting back to the doc’s story, this means that, again, audiences less familiar with Mister Rogers’ life and career are that much more apt to remain engaged and entertained throughout the program.  When the two elements are coupled, they show even more why those noted audiences will enjoy this presentation as their first exposure to the man who was more than just a television figure, but one of America’s most important figures on and off camera.  Having noted all of this, the actual material used to tell the documentary’s story rounds out the most important elements of It’s You I Like.

The material used to tell the story of It’s Your I Like is as familiar as the story itself for most audiences, and just as fresh, again, for those less familiar with his story.  Audiences are presented here with footage and pictures of Mister Rogers on the set of his show, as well as interviews with various celebrities to tell the story.  The footage includes moments, such as Rogers joking with fellow cast mates David Newell (Mr. McFeely), Francois Clemmons (Officer Clemmons) and crew members as well as footage of Rogers interviewing stars, such as Yo-Yo Ma (and his son), Wynton Marsalis and Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz) at various points throughout.  The pictures featured across the program were taken from the days when the show was still running.  There are candid pictures featuring Rogers and the show’s cast and crew, a picture of Mister Rogers with the one and only Big Bird (from Sesame Street) included in the discussion of Big Bird crossing over into the “Land of Make Believe” and even pictures of Rogers in his youth.  Between those pictures and others, audiences get a wonderfully rich picture of the show from its birth to its end.  Meanwhile the interviews with Rogers’ widow and the previously noted celebrities serve to illustrate even more the legacy and impact of the man who was Mister Rogers.  When those interviews, pictures and footage all come together to tell the story of a man who truly did like everyone, the end result is a documentary that those just starting to learn about Mister Rogers will enjoy.

PBS’ latest Fred Rogers documentary It’s You I Like is a good introduction to the life and legacy of Mister Rogers for those who might not be so familiar with Rogers’ life and career. That is due in part to a story that for other viewers, proves relatively familiar.  It touches briefly on Rogers’ accomplishments and efforts, giving a concise overview why he is still such a revered figure, even in death.  The story’s transitions ensure audiences’ engagement just as much as the story itself, as do the collective interviews, footage and pictures used to help tell the story.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of the presentation.  All things considered, they make It’s You I Like a doc that fans unfamiliar with Fred Rogers’ life and career will like as much as he liked everyone.  It will be available on DVD Oct. 2, and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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