PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There were many puppets in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, but the late Fred Rogers’ first puppet, Daniel Striped Tiger, had a special place in the hearts of children.
Soon, the children of those children will have a neighborhood of their own. Animated features called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” will premiere on PBS KIDS on Labor Day.
Production manager Chris Loggins of the Fred Rogers Company says the torch has been passed to a new generation.
“All the neighbors and the puppets of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe have grown up, and have children of their own. And the story focuses on Daniel Striped Tiger’s son, Daniel.”
Tucked away in the animation are nuggets of social and emotional learning. The first episode, for example, deals with disappointment.
“It’s his birthday and he’s very excited,” Loggins says. “He gets a cake, and he’s excited to take his cake home and celebrate with his friends. And along the way, something happens to the cake that disappoints him. And we’re with Daniel as he deals with this disappointment.”
The story includes real life scenes shot at a bakery in Pittsburgh. PBS KIDS will air a half-hour episode each weekday, with an hour-long premiere on Labor Day.
For Chris Loggins and others who continue the legacy of their childhood mentor, Fred Rogers, this is a dream come true. Loggins sums it up. “I just can’t believe it.”