Video mashup honors Mister Rogers, imagination

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LOS ANGELES — Mister Rogers is making it a beautiful day in the neighborhood again.

Fred Rogers, the late host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,”is featured in a PBS Digital Studios video mashup that celebratesthe power of imagination. The piece posted online Friday turns clips from Rogers’ PBS show into a sweetly inspiring music video,``Garden of Your Mind.”

“Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind,” Rogers says, his autotuned voice given a gentle backbeat.

The salute to the treasured children’s TV host drew reaction from the public and celebrities, with Neil Patrick Harris calling it a “groovy” tribute in a Twitter posting, and Alyssa Milano tweeting that the mashup will “make you cry tears of joy.”

Rogers’ widow, Joanne, is among the video’s “biggest fans,” said Kevin Morrison, COO of the Fred Rogers Company.

“It’s a very creative piece and we think it gives appropriate recognition to the fact that Fred was ahead of his time in so many ways,” Morrison said.

The PBS Digital Studios’ video posted on YouTube and elsewhere is intended to get people talking about public television, and more such tribute mashups to PBS figures are planned, spokesman Kevin Dando said.

The video also encourages those who like it to “please support your local PBS station.” PBS and its stations rely on viewer and corporate contributions.

John Boswell, an artist also known as Melodysheep, created the Rogers tribute. He’s also done autotuned video pieces featuring prominent scientists including Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the late Carl Sagan.

Rogers became familiar to generations of viewers as the soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing guide of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which he filmed from 1968 to 2001 and continues to air in reruns.

Rogers died in 2003 at age 74.

Source: The Associated Press

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