Mister Rogers Invites You to the Garden of Your Mind
6.11.12 | Hi neighbor! Can you think of a better way to start the week than by listening to Mister Rogers sing about using your imagination and learning new things?
Thanks to a smart collaboration between PBS Digital Studios and John D. Boswell, the mastermind behind the Symphony of Science autotuned video series, “Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind” is a viral hit.
Using a collection of clips from the long-running Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and a haunting song, the video, only slightly more than 3 minutes in length, takes viewers back to the days of cardigans, trolleys and castles—where anything is possible if you use your imagination.
“Do you ever imagine things?” sings Mister Rogers.
Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind
You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind
It’s good to be curious about many things
You can think about things and make believe
All you have to do is think and they’ll grow
PBS Digital Studios explains the inspiration for the video:
When we discovered video mash-up artist John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, on YouTube, we immediately wanted to work together. Turns out that he is a huge Mister Rogers Neighborhood fan, and was thrilled at the chance to pay tribute to one of our heroes. Both PBS and the Fred Rogers Company hope you like John’s celebration of Fred Rogers’ message.
The description also notes that this video is the first in a series of PBS icons undergoing a remix. Assuming others receive the same quality treatment, this is a terrific way to inspire new viewers while serving a healthy dose of nostalgia.
As for Boswell, his Symphony of Science project delivers a surprising amount of scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. The first mash-up, produced in 2009, was “Carl Sagan - ‘A Glorious Dawn’ featuring Stephen Hawking.”
The “highly positive reception,” Boswell writes on his website, “provided motivation to elaborate on the theme of remixing scientists, which spawned the Symphony of Science project. Although the methods of remixing and tuning spoken word, combined with original electronic music and similarly themed footage, are unorthodox in the context of other science-themed music, the results have often been inspiring, humbling, and of course humorous.”
Plus: This fall, PBS KIDS is launching a new animated series that builds on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Aimed at preschoolers ages 2-4, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood features a cast comprised of children of the original Neighborhood of Make-Believe characters. From the description: “A young Daniel Tiger is joined by his friends O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday, and Miss Elaina. Together, through imagination, creativity and music they learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life.”
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