A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As with TV series, Daniel Tiger's first-ever movie helps preschoolers confront and cope with new, sometimes daunting situations -- e.g., learning how to make new friends, how to become comfortable in unfamiliar environments. While movie doesn't incorporate skills like phonics or numbers, important social-emotional building blocks (e.g., empathy, cooperation) are imparted in a fun, natural way. Themes are reiterated throughout via musical and dialogue cues.
Daniel is a very relatable kid (or cub?) who demonstrates great curiosity, compassion, while not being too perfect -- he gets scared and sad like the rest of us. He also knows when to reach out to a grown-up; the adults help guide Daniel and his friends on how important it is to talk about how they're feeling and that every problem has a solution. Also: While new people and situations can seem scary at first, if you keep an open mind, things will eventually start to feel like home.
Positive Role Models
Neighborhood of Make-Believe residents are diverse, individualistic bunch, but all have in common a sense of friendliness, compassion. They love to pitch in, help friends, and exemplify old saying that "a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet." Daniel notes how different his new next-door neighbors are from his own family (Mom platypus is a doctor, and raises her twin sons and daughter Jodi with the help of their grandmother -- no dad is mentioned), but as they talk out differences they come to realize how much they have in common. Community spirit is very big, and everyone is made to feel welcome.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Daniel Tiger Movie: Won't You Be Our Neighbor? is the first-ever movie from the team behind the charming animated series inspired by the lovable, iconic tiger character from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Daniel is the perfect stand-in for the typical preschooler, and kids will love the way he talks directly to them, bringing them into his world and encouraging them to share their thoughts out loud. The movie has a big focus on emotions and how to regulate and express them, as Daniel and his friends deal with relatable issues like meeting new people and moving to a new town. It's strongly centered on themes of family, friendship, empathy, and teamwork, as well as what makes a community feel like home. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Packed with helpful life lessons on making new friends and navigating unfamiliar social situations, this movie is as gentle and sweet as the animated series it sprang from. Not only does Daniel reach out to help a neighbor feel more comfortable in her new surroundings, he also learns how much he has in common with this new family, despite the fact that they're the only platypuses he's ever met before. The Daniel Tiger Movie: Won't You Be Our Neighbor? is a charming and emotionally intelligent meditation on community and family, and the way its titular character gets chatty with the audience helps draw kids into the magic right from the start. Subsequent episodes of the animated series will further expand on the issues raised in the movie, addressing themes like getting used to a new school, feeling jealous over new friendships, and so on.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.