Designing Donkey Hodie - From Make-Believe to Someplace Else

May 19th–Aug 12th 2024

Join us for an exciting summer of family-friendly programming exploring the visual evolution of the popular PBS KIDS show Donkey Hodie produced by Fred Rogers Productions and Spiffy Pictures.

As featured by the Chicago Tribune, Fox32 Chicago, and Daily Herald, Designing Donkey Hodie: From Make-Believe to Someplace Else draws audiences into the unique and creative visual world of the Emmy®-nominated, live-action puppet series. The exhibit introduces the origins of Donkey Hodie, a character that debuted on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the 1960s and has been reimagined for the puppet series today. Attendees experience the visual development of the series through storyboards, drawings, models, puppets, set pieces, and other props from the show.

Displays, including original concept artwork and props from the series, and hands-on activities offer multiple ways to explore the practical magic behind the imaginative puppet series, from puppet design and building to the art of set and prop design. The exhibit follows efforts by the award-winning production team from Chicago-based Spiffy Pictures and Pittsburgh-based Fred Rogers Productions to create the adventures of Donkey Hodie and her pals.

Inspired by characters from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Donkey Hodie is an imaginative puppet series that follows the adventures of Donkey Hodie, an enthusiastic and charming go-getter who takes on each day with curiosity and resilience, and her pals Purple Panda, Duck Duck, and Bob Dog. Set in the whimsical land of Someplace Else, the series is designed to empower children ages 3-5 to dream big and overcome obstacles in their own lives, work hard and persevere in the face of failure, be resourceful, and discover they can solve problems on their own—and laugh themselves silly along the way.

Donkey Hodie is produced by Fred Rogers Productions and Spiffy Pictures. The series is created by Adam Rudman and David Rudman of Spiffy Pictures and developed by Ellen Doherty, chief creative officer of Fred Rogers Productions. Executive producers are Doherty, Adam Rudman, and David Rudman.

Designing Donkey Hodie is sponsored by DuPage Foundation and Explore Elmhurst with additional support from Lakeside Bank and WTTW.

DONKEY HODIE © 2021, The Fred Rogers Company. All rights reserved.