The 1979 – 2001 seasons of that wonderful public television classic for preschoolers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, are now available in the Amazon Instant Video Store, and they’re currently part of the Amazon Prime Instant Video catalog, too! That means they’re free for Amazon Prime members to view, but they’re also available for purchase ($1.99 per episode, $5.99 – $17.99 per season depending on number of episodes).
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was among the most famous, longest-lasting and fondly-remembered children’s television shows. Host Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply “Mister Rogers”) used his gentle charm and mannerisms to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on nearly every inconceivable matter of concern to children, ranging from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations and disappointment about not getting one’s way to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. Rogers used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to make his point.
A scale-model trolley was often (but not always) used to segue into the Make-Believe segments, said neighborhood being inhabited by puppet characters including King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchild and Daniel Striped Tiger. Frequent visitors as well as Rogers’ own frequent visits to various places in the neighborhood rounded out each show. The program was taped at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh; first-run shows were produced from 1968 to 1975, at which time production was suspended until 1979. New programs were taped through 2001 for broadcast alongside the original 460 episodes the most notable coming in 1991 with Rogers’ shows focusing on calming children’s fears during the Persian Gulf War. - Written by Brian Rathjen
Prime Members with very young kids might also consider Sesame Street, Classics Vol. 1 and Sesame Street, Classics Vol. 2, both of which are also currently part of the Amazon Prime Instant Video catalog and free for members to watch. As with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood individual episodes can be purchased for $1.99, and each full season (12 episodes per season) can be purchased for $17.99.