Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe

Ernie Coombs came to Canada in the 1960s to work on a TV show for the CBC with his friend, Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood fame). When Mr. Rogers parted ways with the CBC to go back to the United States, Coombs stayed in Canada to create one of the most iconic television shows in our nation’s history.

Over 39 years, countless generations of Canadian children tuned in to Mr. Dressup on the CBC, where they were taught kindness, patience, love, and empathy. With a few simple puppets (Casey and Finnigan), and some construction paper and popsicle sticks, Ernie Coombs built a legacy of positivity that has stuck with all of us.

This documentary, which mixes archival footage with an all-star cast of Canadian celebrity interviews, is like a warm hug. Following in the steps of the acclaimed Mr. Rogers’ documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Believe is a wonderfully cozy trip into the history of Canadian TV.

Director Robert McCallum (2016 FCFF Best Documentary Winner for his film Missing Mom) and co-writer Jordan Christopher Morris (a longtime friend of the festival) seek to inspire feelings of nostalgia in generations who grew up with Mr. Dressup, while also educating younger generations about a truly great Canadian.

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Screening With the Program: TD Opening Night :