Author Topic: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique  (Read 54730 times)

UUrselfRSpecial

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Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« on: September 03, 2012, 03:52:09 PM »
So I saw the premiere of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Here's what I have to say about it:

Of course there's no way it can ever be MRN. It's very differently structured, and to me feels just like another kids' show, and the way they handle certain topics is handled in a much younger, and less sophisticated way than on MRN. But still, it was very good, and very impressive of how much they can keep MRN characters and both the NOMB (and Fred's home too) for today's kids. Here's how I felt about all that:

First, I don't think that this Daniel Tiger is supposed to be MRN Daniel's son, as the FRC website and other sources have suggested. His father is only known Dad Tiger; we don't know that his first name is Daniel. As for other characters:

Amazing that the prince is Prince Wednesday! So this means that all days of the week have been used for MRN characters now except Sunday! I wonder if Sunday could come up. And his father is King Friday, and he looks like King Friday! So this means that unlike in the Daniel situation, there's nothing suggesting that he divorced Sara and married another person who's Wednesday's mother. However, since we don't know the queen's name, maybe it is Queen Sara, and Wednesday could be Tuesday's brother, not half brother. Yes, Tuesday would now be 42 years old, and Wednesday is probably 6 (the age Prince Tuesday I believe was for all the post-75s), but since the post-75 era is 22 years old, and they started 9 years after Tuesday was born rather than 6, there's no real time in the NOMB. And I didn't get enough look at Wednesday's mother, since she was only seen for an instant, so I couldn't tell whether she looked like MRN Queen Sara. Is she indeed supposed to be Queen Sara, and if she's not (or none of you know for sure), do you think she looks like her?

It's amazing that there's an O the Owl as well as X! I'm wondering if just maybe they were thinking not just Xs and Os, tic tac toe, hugs and kisses, etc., but also OCS! I would so not be surprised, since that's all letters starting with O. And the cat was Caterina! Not remotely like Henrietta, but more like Catalion (in the Audrey Duck puppets and seen in 1576 - 1580 as well as a lot of pre-79s). I think they should have instead thought of a name more like Henrietta.

Miss Elena being Lady Elaine's daughter was a a surprise! And the question is why make her black? Who would her father be? Francois Clemmons? (I can't think of any other black man). I also wondered if just maybe, they At first, since Lady Elaine didn't appear in the first episode, it took me a while to figure it out, until I realized what MRN name Elena is close to. In fact, with her being black, I was thinking of maybe her somewhat  the equivalent of Princess Zelda (especially because of 1626 - 1630 (Mouths & Feelings) when it's discovered that she's the cousin of Princess Ella, who's supposed to be Cinderella. Everyone remember that?) And she didn't seem to be showing any signs of mischief like Lady E always did. But then I knew it for sure when she said "toots." I'm sure once we get to know Miss Elena's mother, we'll see Lady E's old mischievous ways!

About the bakery in the birthday episode, I'm sure a lot of you may be thinking it's very different from Brockett's, but if you think that, you could be wrong. I think it did have the look of Brockett's on the inside, and even though the baker wasn't remotely like Don Brockett(what was his name, Baker Baker? I didn't catch it but it sounded like that), he did have a Hispanic look, so I'm wondering if just maybe they were thinking the people who worked at Jose Cisneros and Sergio Pinto! I so wouldn't be surprised about that. Also, one interesting thing was that though there was a yellow building (which was the model pan for Brockett's), that's not the building they went to! When I first saw that yellow building, I was really thinking they would! And as for the school, how great that the teacher is Miss Harriett, even if not a cow. And as for the doctor's, what an interesting twist to name her Dr. Ana! Though she wasn't a platypus, it's like she's following in her father's footsteps! I'll bet if Dr. Bill had a son, they'd name the doctor after him! One thing that's too bad about the school is that we won't have an "Ana, Prince, and Daniel" since the first of those three is an adult (unless she has a daughter?) Also, of all the toys Daniel was packing in his backpack to take to school, I was almost expecting him to pack MRN Daniel's signature toy, a truck! I was a bit surprised and disappointed to see that he didn't! And it's interesting that one could say that for both shows, a school is featured in what could be thought of as a series premiere, since the post-75s could be thought of as one series.

As for other characters, I'm still wondering if there's going to be a Lady Aberlin, Chuck Aber, Joe Negri, Bob Trow, Maggie Stewart, and Audrey Roth figure, as well as Negri's Music Shop, Trow's workshop, and maybe even Betty's Little Theatre.  But I did notice a Mr. McFeely!!!!!!! Since he does still work at FRC, I wonder if just maybe David Newell will voice him!!!!! Since he looked like him, I would so bot be surprised! And for that matter, I wonder if just maybe Betty Aberlin, Joe Negri, Chuck Aber, Maggie Stewart, and Audrey Roth will make appearances. Somehow I don't think Betty would.

And nice to have similar opening and closing songs to MRN's, and the "it's you I like" line in the Good Feeling song!

All of you who saw the premiere today, what do you think of what I had to say about it, and what do you all think about it?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 04:06:58 PM by UUrselfRSpecial »
Nicky

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 06:16:54 PM »
Nicky -- It's been well publicized all along that Daniel Tiger is intended to be the son of the Daniel Striped Tiger from MRN. Essentially, this is supposed to be the next generation of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Considering this information has come straight from the FRC in their press releases -- and they're the people behind the show -- I'd say it's a pretty safe bet to assume Dad Tiger and Daniel Tiger are one in the same.

As for the father of Miss Elaina -- we'll meet Music Man Stan in a future episode.

For what little information is available about the DTN characters, take a look at that section on the archive site. It might be able to answer some of your questions.

http://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/dtn/

JAO93

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 06:59:46 PM »
I saw the premiere earlier today, I felt it wasn't as bad as other programs that air (Barney anyone? Euuuggggh.). The way the NOMB was redone was a bit off-putting, with many minor-but-still-important landmarks such as Corny's factory and Grandpere's tower nowhere in sight (unless I missed something). Then again, it seems this series uses whatever they like from the NOMB array instead of keeping in continuity with the original MRN. Characters were okay, but much has yet to be introduced. Not a big fan of the Flash animation, but the designs are cute enough to get by.

I have little doubt it will appeal to it's age group well, it looks cute and teaches fairly basic lessons well enough, but it just doesn't have that universal appeal MRN had. I understand it's geared for younger children and the different times, so this was to be expected.

pastorscott

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 09:39:19 PM »
I noticed that David Newell voiced the opening sponsor "thank you" credits.
My critique is similar to the ones already posted.  My 3 year old like it a lot; my 4 year old said he'd rather watch MRN, so we watched an episode tonight before bed.
Teacher Harriett and Doctor Ana...two more nods to the old show.

Paul

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 10:13:51 PM »
Yep, me again :)

Well, it's here at last and while I'm tempted to just keep my mouth shut I'll tell the truth:
I am greatly impressed and grateful for the quality of the show. Wonderful production, cute characters, fun songs and storylines, and, although I think Fred would have cringed, a sincere effort to incorporate positive messages and problem solving. I salute FRC and the other producers for creating a wonderful new children's program of such outstanding quality. I will admit that it is even better than I expected in that regard.

My only hang-up:
I agree that they should not and could not create a "new" Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. If the object wasn't to create a new generation of the Neighborhood of Make-believe portion of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, then why do they include so many things from it and market it as "Come back to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe." Why did they use characters, places, and phrases from the original show? From what I've seen, the philosophies, ways of expressing feelings, communication, love, etc, of Fred Rogers are not imbedded in the show (“it’s okay to be disappointed,” etc), not that that's bad, they're just not there. Between the format, style, dialogue, plots, songs, and fast pace, it felt (not surprisingly) a whole lot more like Blues Clues and SuperWhy than anything Mister Rogers. When they say "based on the legacy of Fred Rogers" it can't mean that legacy, so it must mean the characters/neighborhood he created. As far as making an animated show based on the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, I wouldn't recommend it, but I think it would be possible if done very carefully with the insight of the neighbors from the original show who are still alive. They have obviously made efforts to incorporate things from the original show. If it was someone creating a video based on their memory from watching it as a kid, that's about what I would expect as far as things included and how they are creatively incorporated. But a profession company creating a series "based on the legacy of Fred Rogers" with access to all the episodes, I would expect more effort and more included. If they are going to include parts of Make-believe then they need to be true them. If you not going to make the characters act like the original ones, don’t call them “the original.” Include some of the other neighbors who are still alive in addition to adding new ones. A clock factory? Um… what about Corny? What about the Daniel Striped Tiger living in the Clock. Doctor Anna and Teacher Harriet… people? When if they had gone back and watched the crystal ball episodes, they would know that Ana becomes a children’s doctor. That would be really amazing if they could make those kind of connections, just like the show did in its decades of production. Now, realistically I would not expect someone to create a show like that, so then just let the timeless characters and places of the Neighborhood of Make-believe be themselves and create a new series with wonderful new characters.

It reminds me of The Boxcar Children book series. The first nineteen books were written by Gertrude Chandler Warner and were of caliber and style that couldn’t be written by someone else. The characters aged through the course of the series with intricate connections between books and lots of fun details about their lives. The new books (20-130 and counting) are a wonderful series in and of themselves but use characters completely different from the originals, suddenly ten years younger and non aging but with same names, and often get glaring facts wrong (i.e. they’ve “never been on a train” when they live on one during one of the original books, their great-aunt who is in her 80s suddenly is portrayed as being 25! etc.). Wonderful books, but with a completely different style and key parts differing glaringly from the originals. Why not just create a whole different series? And yet the only author credit is “created by Gertrude Chandler Warner” as if to say (though I’m sure intended as a tribute) that she would have written this kind of book or at least approved of it as her work. I see striking parallels with DTN. If they’re not creating a new Neighborhood of Make-Believe then don’t. Keep it the same (of course with some small changes as would be necessary if Fred was still alive and started it again) or don’t mess with it. And don’t say “based on the legacy of Fred Rogers” unless it’s really his full legacy as he would have approved of.

Well, it is what is and I guess I’ll just do what I do with the Boxcar Children and pretend it is a different series. I’ll focus on “find(ing) the good” but remember that it’s okay to be disappointed and that “the truth will make [me] free.” Thanks for letting me express my feelings! Don’t get me wrong, I love the new show in and of itself and commend FRC and the other producers for their great efforts. It will be a good thing despite its weaknesses.


May you all have a belle nuit in your neighborhood,
Paul
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 10:28:21 PM by Paul »

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 06:40:56 AM »
Please take no offense if you have used this phrase (I've used it myself a few times) but I think it's way too easy to say "Fred would have this..." and "Fred would have that..." It's easy to justify opinions when it's felt that there would have been "support" from the person behind all of these characters -- but when that person is someone most of us never had the opportunity to meet outside of our childhood visits to the Neighborhood via television, do we really have the right to assume what Fred Rogers would have thought or done in a given situation?

I stand by my opinion that no one is a better judge of and spokesperson on behalf of Fred's opinions than his wife. If Joanne Rogers says he would have approved, I'm good with that.

bka

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 09:06:04 AM »
Daniel & Father Tiger with no pants, a coloring book printout of Daniel described as creative, merchandising to children, instant "lemons-to-lemonade" behavior modification, euphemisms like "disappointment" (next will be problems changed to challenges, and sorrows into opportunities) - Tony the Tiger ("grrrreat" ad biz) "grrific", a British King Friday ("jolly good"), intrusive little promo ads, no spiritual component, no Costa, no jazz....but it doesn't matter.. the brand has pre-sold it, and the parents (indoctrinated and touched to the heart as children) will be happy to give this cheery little offshoot to their own Littles. Squished cakes & squashed balls and the reverse of cartoons introducing "live" segments....I shouldn't rise to this bait, but since Fred will be turning in his crypt, I dare to say he would never have approved.  The inmates are running the asylum now. I'm not good with that, but I'm powerless. My 97 year old mother, a teacher of young children, now age 97, said she did hope that the Aberlin name would not be anywhere in it. I'm good with that.

mitsguy2001

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 06:39:28 PM »
Please take no offense if you have used this phrase (I've used it myself a few times) but I think it's way too easy to say "Fred would have this..." and "Fred would have that..." It's easy to justify opinions when it's felt that there would have been "support" from the person behind all of these characters -- but when that person is someone most of us never had the opportunity to meet outside of our childhood visits to the Neighborhood via television, do we really have the right to assume what Fred Rogers would have thought or done in a given situation?

I stand by my opinion that no one is a better judge of and spokesperson on behalf of Fred's opinions than his wife. If Joanne Rogers says he would have approved, I'm good with that.

Has Joanne come forward and said that Fred would have approved of the show?  If so, what exactly did she say about it?

Paul

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 07:08:45 PM »

galenfott

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 08:12:28 PM »
I haven't seen the show yet, and I know nothing about Joanne Rogers, so this is NOT a comment on her. I only want to generally say that, considering the type of projects Audrey Geisel has authorized from Dr. Seuss's works, I'm not sure widows are automatically the best judges of what their genius husbands would have sanctioned.

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 09:15:34 PM »

JAO93

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 11:18:32 PM »

Has Joanne come forward and said that Fred would have approved of the show?  If so, what exactly did she say about it?

I found this.
http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12246/1258264-67.stm

silentxero

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 12:44:10 AM »
BKA,
   No offense, but I don't really understand your criticism over some of the things you've pointed out. The "lemons to lemonade" example is probably
the main one. For example, the birthday episode when DT's cake gets smushed; what's he supposed to do? Whine about for 10 minutes like the original
Daniel did. I mean seriously, stuff happens and we just have to deal with it and make the best of it. I do want to emphasize that the show lacks....well, YOU.
I mean, they have supportive characters (Daniel actually has parents and doesn't live alone in the clock), but still he doesn't have that CLOSE/BEST friend
that's he was always able to confide in with everything. Otherwise, I think the show is really cute (except Hen's kid still does that "Meow Meow" crap which
always,ALWAYS drove me up the wall. Yeah, I know it was Fred doing the voice, but..... never mind. And honestly these characters are so much cuter than those ugly puppets (well, except Lady Elain), and no platypus'; Anna was always the ugliest, but then again...it was a platypus so I guess there was no way to actually make a cute puppet for Anna, as well as her parents. Okay, I'm thinking way too much about this now. I'm tired, so please forgive me. It's time to sleep.     
Take care BKA!

bka

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2012, 10:31:27 AM »
I'm thinking too much about DTN, and it's not good for my health. like the old saw about anger being like "drinking poison & waiting for the other person to die."

Went to Angela's site and saw that she also uses UGGA-MUGGA! the way people use Have a Nice Day!. next will come a little tiger icon to go with it, and your own contributions to PBS will help them sell you the cool "swag" (the term she uses). She has that mini skirt sex&thecity veronica lake vibe - & as has been said "there's no arguing with success".  By using/abusing "ugga mugga" a subliminal association with the Lady Aberlin character & her love for the Daniel puppet is evoked inside the empty travesty of all we stood for, pirating the template in the name of the "new!"

"snap out of it!" and "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" are the kinds of parenting we tried to model alternatives to. now the healthier alternatives are being reduced to slogans for tender Littles, to be imprinted while the bright colors on the screen beguile their eyes.

Fred was (& I unfortunately am) of the Perfectionist tribe, and after Margaret McFarland, his trusted advisor, died, I often raised the kinds of questions that Lady Elaine had had the nerve to raise with King Friday. What was just criticism was taken into consideration. For a salary of peanuts, I was not about to participate in anything I did not wholeheartedly believe in - in terms of what Fred called our Mission.  marketing to families was not part of that, and it was with reluctance that Fred o.k.'d any of the MRN products that began to be made available.

you can see the good intentions that went into DTN, and you can see the motivation - that FRC having rebranded itself with a logo entirely distinct from the words Family Communications - would hope to continue good works in Fred's name.  And that the suits & workers of FRC would continue to have jobs, and to adorn themselves with the accomplishments of those who went before.

which Commandment is it that says "Thou Shalt Not Steal"?   that's the commandment that is broken by DTN in the opinion of this Neighbor.


mitsguy2001

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Re: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Critique
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 11:43:52 AM »
Betty's point is that kids need to have their feelings validated.  Telling a kid to "grow up" or "get over it" or "be a man (or woman)" doesn't help kids.  Kids get over things at their own speed.  Not every situation is as simple as a smashed cake.  Other things in life are more complex to deal with, and you can't expect a kid to get over instantly.