Arthur is an American-Canadian cartoon for children ages 4 to 8, created by Cookie Jar Group (formerly known as Cinar) and WGBH for PBS. It started in 1996 and is still going to this day.
The show is set in the fictional American city of Elwood City, and revolves around the lives of 8-year-old Arthur Read, an anthropomorphic aardvark, his friends and family, and their daily interactions with each other.
Why It Rocks
- It's one of the longest-running kids shows in history, running as of 1996.
- Great animation for roughly the first 15 seasons and decent animation since Season 20.
- Awesome and memorable theme song.
- Stays 100% faithful to the book series.
- Despite being aimed at younger audiences, it's not too "dumbed down", as it respects the intelligence of older viewers.
- Smart, witty and mature humor.
- Every character has realistic flaws, a distinct personality, and comes from diverse backgrounds.
- Some episodes don't focus on Arthur alone, they also focus on some of the supporting characters.
- Arthur goes through numerous relatable childhood situations, such as getting too much homework, learning about himself, growing up, being the last kid to lose a baby tooth, accepting people as they are, and dealing with a tragedy.
- Teaches great messages to children and adults, such as to have fun while you still have to chance, handle your responsibilities carefully and not forget about your friends no matter how old you become. It also tackles many serious topics, like gay marriage, Alzheimer's, cancer, and there's even an allegory towards 9/11.
- Makes hilarious pop culture references and parodies, including Titanic, Star Wars, and even Beavis and Butt-Head and South Park.
- Even though the show switched to Flash animation as of Season 16, the episodes are still decent.
- The show has had many guest stars.
- D.W. is despicably unlikable most of the time. Mr. and Mrs. Read are also debatably unlikable most of the time as well, mainly due to their seemingly bad parenting skills and favoritism towards their spoiled daughter no matter how she behaves. Other characters like Francine, Muffy, and even Arthur himself are (sometimes) unlikeable as well.
- D.W. and Arthur tend to bicker with each other too much.
- There are a handful bad episodes, such as:
- "Arthur's Big Hit"
- "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh"
- "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood"
- "Cast Away"
- "Arthur the Loser"
- "Play it Again, D.W."
- "Nerves of Steal"
- "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?"
- "D.W., Bossy Boots"
- "D.W., the Picky Eater"
- "Citizen Frensky"
- "The Last of Mary Moo Cow"
- "Go To Your Room, D.W."
- Like SpongeBob SquarePants, being an unbelievably long-running show, while impressive on paper, isn't always a good thing, because it's easy to run out of ideas for episodes, and as a result, some episode ideas are reused. It doesn't help either that one episode got remade, that being "The Great MacGrady", originally from season 13 but remade for season 24. The show also somewhat went downhill after the fifteenth season due to the aforementioned reuse of ideas and lazier animation (as said below), though it's not significant enough.
- Season 1's animation has lots of errors.
- The animation went downhill in Season 16 when the show switched to Flash animation. However, it has improved slightly since Season 20, due to the switch to Toon Boom Harmony.
- The series has been acknowledged with the George Foster Peabody Award and four Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Animated Program.
- It was rated 7.4 out of 10 on IMDb and 8.5 out of 10 on TV.com.
- The series is very popular in Israel.
Episodes with their own articles
- The episode "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone" was banned throughout the entire state of Alabama due to Mr. Ratburn being gay.