“Bix Pix Entertainment is so proud to have been given the honor to produce a Google Doodle, not only because it will be the first one in stop motion animation, but also because it will celebrate one of our national treasures, Mr. Fred Rogers.” – Kelli Bixler, Executive Producer – Bix Pix Entertainment
I know you’ve seen them. They don’t come along every day. You’ll be sitting at your computer, you click on Google search and instead of the static page with the familiar graphics, you’re greeted with a whimsical piece of animation. The animation has some historical tie to whatever happened on the particular day. The Google Doodle. It’s a sweet surprise that brightens your day and reminds you that on 9/15/18 it would have been Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya’s 158th Birthday. What? ...Google him! Well, maybe in a minute. FIRST…
Google Doodle & Bix Pix - It Started Here
Back in the Spring of 2018, Google Executive Producer, My-Linh Le reached out to Bix Pix Entertainment and explained to Kelli that Google was doing a special Google Doodle (up to 2 minutes in length) to commemorate the fifty-first anniversary of the first taping of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. And not only would Google like to use stop-motion animation to bring this Doodle to life, but they wanted very much to work with Bix Pix, since the executives at Fred Rogers Productions, Paul Siefkin and Ellen Doherty, had graciously recommended the studio, and the Google team had seen our work and was quite smitten.
When the crew was hired on this project, they were told first that the project was for Google. That was followed by a squeal of delight. Then, they were told that it was to celebrate Mr. Rogers’ special anniversary and THAT was followed by, (in a low, reverent tone) I LOVE Mr. Rogers. The entire project from start to finish was truly a labor of love.
“It’s been such a fun privilege and honor to bring a little slice of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood to brighten people’s day. I’ve never been so happy to make so many people cry!” – Drew Hodges, Executive Producer, Director – Bix Pix Entertainment
The Google Doodle Magic Begins
At exactly 12:01am on Friday September 21, 2018 the Google Doodle: Celebrating Mr. Rogers, posted live on the Google Search Home Page. It remained there for twenty-four hours. It currently remains on the Google site, YouTube, and various other platforms.
The activity that Mr. Rogers’ Google Doodle generated (on all platforms) was astonishing! To watch it all unfold in real time was so cool.
On the following Monday morning, Matt Cuny (Bix Pix Producer) called Olivia Huyng (Director for the Google Doodle Team) to get the numbers:
“From Friday until this morning (Monday) when they (Google) ran the numbers, the ‘Celebrating Mr. Rogers Google Doodle’ received 3,924,965 streams and counting! It also has one of the best likes to dislikes ratio of all Google Doodles – meaning that the mass majority of reviewers were pressing ‘Like’! Olivia also said that Google considers it a resounding success and that they were very happy with the numbers and social media response.” – Matt Cuny, Producer – Bix Pix Entertainment
Want to read the article in the Google Doodle archive and watch the video there? Here you go! Google Doodle Celebrating the 51st Anniversary of the First Taping of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”
Special thanks to Joanne Rogers, wife of Fred Rogers, for her support of this project. Below, Joanne shares her thoughts on the Doodle:
“I’m so thrilled that Google is celebrating Fred and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with this charming tribute. This stroll through the Neighborhood is delightful, and Fred’s gentle kindness is beautifully captured in the Doodle.”