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Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Believe film image

Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe

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For three decades, Ernie Coombs (aka Mr. Dressup) was a fixture in Canadian living rooms. Over the course of some 4,000 episodes, he imparted simple-but-essential advice (“Always put the caps on your markers.”) and quietly went about leading by example when it came to teaching generations of children how to be better people.

Assembling a veritable choir of famous Dressup true believers (including Michael J. Fox, Bif Naked, and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) to sing the praises of this unassuming television personality, director Robert McCallum also discloses some legitimately fun facts regarding the friendship between Mrs. Dressup and Rogers that are sure to delight. Even more enlightening are the insights into how CBC operated North America’s first dedicated children’s programming department. Equally pioneering was Mr. Dressup’s use of the non-binary Casey puppet and Coombs’ insistence that Judith Lawrence, his lead puppeteer and key collaborator, enjoy pay equity.

Re-assembling many of the beloved sets from the show and restoking countless warm memories, McCallum honours Coombs’ legacy of kindness and creativity.


Michael J. Fox, The Barenaked Ladies, Peter Mansbridge

Country of Origin





Special Presentations



90 min

Book Tickets

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Executive Producer

Mark J.W. Bishop, Matthew Hornburg, Aeschylus Poulos, Robert McCallum, Sonya Di Rienzo, Matthew Wexler, Justin Schoenrock, Greg Floyd, Donna Luke


Mark Bishop, Aeschylus Poulos, Robert McCallum, Matt Hornburg


Robet McCallum, Jordan C. Morris


John M. Tran


Nathan Shields, David New

Production Design

Rudin Causi

Original Music

Jonathan Goldsmith


Robert McCallum headshot

Robert McCallum

Armed with infectious positive energy and a deep love of pop culture, Rob McCallum has spent the last 20 years making documentaries on the coolest subjects imaginable: cartoons, action figures, video games and music. He’s garnered three Emmy-nominations for his writing and directing skills, won numerous awards for his films and raised over $500K via crowdfunding initiatives. A Canadian-American dual citizen, Rob has helmed a slew of projects including the fan-favourite, Power of Grayskull, Missing Mom, and Nintendo Quest.

Filmography: Nintendo Quest (2015); Missing Mom (2016); Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2017); Kittie: Origins/Evolutions (2017)

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